Keynote Speakers

Kathleen Minke, Ph.D., NCSP holds degrees in school psychology from James Madison University (Ed.S., 1984) and Indiana University, (Ph.D, 1991). She worked as a practitioner in Virginia, Indiana and Maryland. Since 1991 she has been a professor in the school psychology program at the University of Delaware where her interests include counseling, family school collaboration and social-emotional assessment. She is a licensed psychologist and serves as a consultant to Delaware’s Positive Behavior Supports initiative. She is active in the National Association of School Psychologists and served as president during 2010-11.

Matthew Burns, Ph.D., is a Professor of Educational Psychology, Coordinator of the School Psychology program and Co-Director of the Minnesota Center for Reading Research at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Burns has published over 150 articles and book chapters in national publications, has co-authored or co-edited 10 books (including Handbook of Response to Intervention, Implementing Response to Intervention in Elementary and Secondary Schools: 2 RTI Applications: Academic and Behavioral Interventions) and is the Editor of School Psychology Review and past Editor of Assessment for Effective Intervention. He is also a highly sought after national speaker regarding RTI and has assisted in local school district implementation efforts in dozens of districts across many states. Finally, Dr. Burns was a practicing school psychologist and special education administrator in three districts across two states before becoming an academic.

Session Speakers

Michael I. Axelrod, Ph.D., is the Director of the Human Development Center at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and an associate professor in the Psychology Department. His research and clinical interests involve finding solutions to common but potentially harmful child and adolescent problems. He has written numerous professional papers and presented nationally on topics involving child, pediatric and school psychology. Dr. Axelrod is a licensed psychologist and a Nationally Certified School Psychologist.

Kathryn L. Bush, Ph.D., is the Consultant for School Psychology Services at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). Her position is housed on the Student Services, Prevention and Wellness team. Prior to her work at DPI Kathryn worked for over 25 years with the Madison Metropolitan School District as a school psychologist. She also maintained a private practice as a clinical psychologist and served as a university lecturer.

Randy T. Busse, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Counseling and School Psychology Program at Chapman University. Dr. Busse achieved the doctorate from the School Psychology Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Busse has worked with children with selective mutism for over 18 years. Dr. Busse’s other interests include child and adolescent psychopharmacology, curriculum-based assessment and methods for assessing response to intervention outcomes.

Edmund Campbell, Ed.S., is currently practicing in his eighth year as a school psychologist in the Milwaukee Public Schools. He is actively involved in leading district wide training efforts on the topic of suicide prevention and he is currently part of a workgroup focused on enhancing school safety throughout MPS. He has been a WSPA Board member for over a year and is a member of the Convention Planning Committee. Eddie received his MSE and Specialist Degree from University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. 

Melissa Coolong-Chaffin, Ph.D., NCSP, is an Assistant Professor in Psychology and Associate Director of the Academic Intervention Clinic at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Her research and teaching interests include intensive individualized academic and social behavior interventions and supporting teachers and school psychologists in the use of evidence based practices.

Karissa Danes, M.S.E., is a third-year graduate student in the School Psychology Program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Her research and clinical interests include implementing evidence-based academic, behavioral and social/emotional interventions within a tiered problem-solving model.

John Humphries, NCSP, is School Psychologist and Director of Pupil Services in the Dodgeville School District. John was the consultant for school psychology with the WI Department of Public Instruction for seven years and was co-author of PI 11.36(6), our state’s widely acclaimed rule using RTI data to identify specific learning disabilities. John was also DPI’s lead consultant on efforts to reduce the incidence of youth suicide, where he trained school personnel to implement evidence-based programming leading to a fifty percent reduction in the rate in five years. John holds an MSE with specialist equivalence from UW-Whitewater and is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist.  

Kimberly Maczko, B.A., is a second-year graduate student in the School Psychology Program at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. Her research and clinical interests include using Brief Experimental Analysis to empirically select academic interventions for struggling students and providing school psychological services within a tiered problem-solving model.

Tamara A. Maxwell is the English Language Arts Consultant on the Common Core State Standards Implementation Team at the Department of Public Instruction (DPI). Before DPI, she has served at the secondary level as an English language arts teacher as well as an instructional coach specializing in working with students who struggle.

Dana McConnell is the Coordinator of Instructional Supports for Students with Disabilities with the Wisconsin RtI Center. Prior to this role, she had been a School Psychologist for 12 years. In addition, she has fulfilled the roles of SWIS Coordinator, PBIS External Coach, Special Education Coordinator, Department Chair and has taught graduate level courses. Some topics she has recently presented on at state and national conferences include: Specific Learning Disabilities, Universal Design for Learning, Response to Intervention, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, Multi-Level Systems of Support and Culturally Responsive Practices.

Kaitlyn O’Shea, M.S.E., is a third-year graduate student in the School Psychology Program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Her research and clinical interests involve incorporating technology into evidence-based academic interventions.

Christine R. Peterson, Ph.D., Program Director for School Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Stout, is currently on faculty with the School Psychology department at UW-Stout. She began her career as a school psychologist in Omaha, Nebraska, where she first became interested in Autism and developmental disabilities. Following completion of a post-doctoral fellowship in 2002 at the University of Rochester, Dr. Peterson joined the faculty at Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities, where she continued her work in the field of Autism and developmental disabilities, providing support, consultation and professional development training for teaching teams, community professionals and parents. Dr. Peterson’s area of research interest is in social skills and transition for individuals with Autism and developmental disabilities. She is very much enjoying Wisconsin and is excited to be working with wonderful professionals across the WI and MN borders.

Todd Savage, Ph.D., NCSP, a Minnesota native, is an associate professor in the school psychology program at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He earned his doctorate from the University of Kentucky in 2002. Prior to his position at UWRF, Dr. Savage was an assistant professor and the director of training in the school psychology program at New Mexico State University. He also has held several leadership positions in the National Association of School Psychologists, including Program Manager for Professional Development, a position he currently holds; the PREPaRE Workgroup falls under this area. Dr. Savage’s scholarly research interests include culturally-responsive education and psychology practices; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues in education; and crisis prevention and intervention. He can be contacted at todd.savage@uwrf.edu.

Kent Smith, MSSW, CISW, LSSW, has been a school social worker for the past 15 years, and was a child abuse investigator and in-home family therapist before that. Kent is a Technical Assistance Coordinator and Trainer for the Wisconsin RtI Center focusing on PBIS. He has presented content on PBIS, Response to Intervention and PBIS, as well as Culturally Responsive Practices and PBIS at state, national and international conferences and has provided testimony to the United States Congress Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on PBIS as a method of breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline.

Sara Soleymani-Alizadeh, Ed.S,  is a practicing school psychologist for the Milwaukee Public School District. In this capacity, Sara has been deeply involved in the initiation and implementation of PBIS. The PBIS system Sara developed at her own school has won the Wisconsin PBIS School of Distinction award for two consecutive years and has been acknowledged by the Media multiple times. Sara also serves on a committee with Children’s Hospital, which is researching and developing an anti-bullying curriculum known as ACT NOW! Prior to becoming a school psychologist, Sara came from a teaching background, with a specialty in working with English Language Learners. At a very young age, she started teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in Iran where she resided for 15 years. Furthermore, through her membership with the International Reading Association (IRA) Sara attended and presented at the IRA conference in the Philippines. She toured with this group while working with English Language Learners in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

Dana Wagner, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Special Education at Minnesota State University- Mankato. In addition to higher education teaching and course development, she has experience in K-12 teaching, instructional coaching and professional development. Her research focuses on pre- and in- service teachers’ understanding and use of data to make instructional decisions and methods for individualizing reading instruction for struggling readers. She has publications and presentations in related areas.

Jacalyn W. Weissenburger, Ph.D., Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, had several years of experience in the PK-12 schools in Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin prior to her employment at UW-Stout in 1996. While in the public schools, she worked as a high school teacher, as a school psychologist and as a school counselor. She earned her doctorate in Educational Psychology (specializing in Learning Disabilities) from the University of Minnesota in 2003 and conducts research and presents regularly in the area of assessment. At UW-Stout, Dr. Weissenburger was a faculty member, a program director, a chair and the Director of the School of Education (SOE). In her role as Director of SOE, Jackie led efforts to obtain NCATE accreditation and Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction approvals for all teacher education and student services programs at UW-Stout. She remains committed to using assessment data and other sources of information to make decisions leading to the implementation of evidence-based interventions to improve student learning.

Scott Woitaszewski, Ph.D., is the director of the School Psychology Program at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has experience as a practicing school psychologist in Minnesota and has supervised school psychology interns throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota for the past 10 years. Dr. Woitaszewski's scholarly interests include the study of crisis prevention and intervention, emotional and behavioral interventions in schools, educator collaboration, and resilience in children and families. He has several presentations and publications on the topic of school crisis work to his credit, and he is a member of the PREPaRE workgroup (a group of professionals dedicated to the development of the PREPaRE curriculum and related research). Dr. Woitaszewski has conducted PREPaRE workshops locally, regionally, and nationally since 2011. scott.woitaszewski@uwrf.edu.

The Wisconsin School Psychologists Association is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists to offer continuing education for psychologists. The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse is approved by the American Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists. The Wisconsin School Psychologists Association and the University of La Crosse maintain responsibility for these programs and their content.