Recent Notes

Melody J. Tankersley (Ph.D. ’92 Spec Ed) Enduring Issues in Special Education cover

Enduring Issues in Special Education
by Barbara Bateman, John W. Lloyd, and Melody Tankersley.
(Routledge, March 2015)

Lloyd is a Curry School professor of special education. Chapter authors include the following additional Curry connections:

  • Tiara Brown (Curry doctoral student)
  • Paige Pullen (Curry professor) and Dan Hallahan (Curry professor emeritus)
  • Diane Browder (M.Ed. ’76, Ph.D. ’81 Spec Ed)
  • Melissa Driver (Curry doctoral student)
  • M. P. (Peggy) Weiss (M.Ed. ’92, Ph.D. ’99 Spec Ed)
  • Kat Alves (Curry doctoral student)
  • Andrew Wiley (M.T. ’96, Ph.D. ’08 Spec Ed)
  • Shanna Hirsch (Curry doctoral student)
  • Sarah Dillon (Curry doctoral student)
  • Jim Kauffman (Curry professor emeritus)
  • Tim Landrum (B.S. ’83, Ph.D. ’90 Spec Ed)
  • Pat Lloyd (M.Ed. ’80 Elem Ed)


Enduring Issues in Special Education is aimed at any course in the undergraduate or graduate special education curriculum that is wholly or partly devoted to a critical examination of current issues in special education. The book organizes 28 chapters into seven sections using familiar structuring principles—what, who, where, how, when, why, and whither. Each section begins with an introduction that provides historical, legal, and theoretical background information and organizing commentary for the chapters that follow. The book’s objective, in addition to informing readers about the issues, is to develop critical thinking skills in the context of special education.

James Mundy (M.Ed. ’71, Ed.D. ’80 Admin & Supv) has retired after 49 years of teaching and education administration. He is now a Justice of the Peace and a Notary Public for Massachusetts (“just to keep busy”). “I am writing a book, All the Reasons I Forgot My Homework! Much fun!”

James Mundy's Curry Memory

“The professors, especially Frank Flora, Bill Seawell and others.”

Michael Irani (Ed.D. ’14 Admin & Supv) after finally finishing his dissertation (“Thanks again to my committee!”), was appointed principal of Meriwether Lewis Elementary School in May 2014. “It has been a wonderful first year in the principalship, and I’d like to thank Curry for all it did to help prepare me for the position.” Twitter: @MichaelCIrani

Eric Bredder (M.Ed. ’13 IT) was featured in Charlottesville Tomorrow‘s Meet Your Educator series. He is an engineering teacher at Sutherland Middle School. “I hope that in five years students can take their own approach to learning and that the teacher’s role will become more of a facilitator of learning while providing resources to create and build new ideas.” Read more of Bredder’s interview.

Joe P. Sutton (Ph.D. ’89 Spec Ed) and colleagues published a paper in Rural Special Education Quarterly (“Building Special Education Teacher Capacity in Rural Schools: Impact of a Grow Your Own Program”) that  received the 2014 RSEQ Outstanding Article Award for the research article with the most potential to impact rural special education. In addition, the American Council for Rural Special Education (ACRES), which sponsors RSEQ, has selected CREATE, the 12-year-old program which Joe directs, for the Exemplary Special Education Program Award. Both awards will be presented at the annual ACRES Conference in New Orleans on March 19, 2015.

Through a collaborative partnership with school districts and 13 of South Carolina’s leading colleges and universities, CREATE assists qualified individuals in obtaining (a) add-on, alternative, or initial licensure in special education, (b) advanced certification in speech-language pathology, or (c) national certification as a board certified behavior analyst. Joe works for the So. Carolina Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Services.

Dave Morgan (B.S.Ed. ’74 English Ed; M.Ed. ’79 Admin & Supv) Dave and Donna Morganwill be inducted into the national high school athletic directors Hall of Fame in December 2015. The Hall of Fame is sponsored by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. The induction will take place at the NIAAA National Convention in Orlando, Fla. Dave retired from Fairfax County Public Schools, where he was the athletic director at South Lakes, Oakton and J.E.B. Stuart during his career. He was previously inducted into halls of fame for Arlington County, South Lakes High School and the Virginia High School League. Dave served as president of both the state and national associations. He and his wife of 39 years, Donna, currently live at Lake Anna, Va.

Grant Azdell (Ph.D. ’10 Higher Ed)  

Grant AzdellBehavioral Assessment and Intervention Teams: Going Beyond Threat Assessment
by Greg Nayor (Ph.D. ’10 Higher Ed) and Grant Azdell (Ph.D. ’10 Higher Ed).

Paper Clip Communications Press (2014).

The interactive book and companion CD offers campuses a “how-to” guide to establishing, improving and maintaining Behavioral Assessment and Intervention Teams on Campus.

Grant is Vice President for Student Affairs at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va. Greg is Vice President of Student Affairs at Daemen College in Amherst, N.Y.

Scott Lephart (M.Ed. ’86, Ph.D. ’89 Health & PE) , a nationally recognized scholar in sports medicine and the physical performance of military personnel, has been named dean of the University of Kentucky’s College of Health Sciences. Lephart is currently a Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh. He will take over as dean at UK on March 1, 2015. Read more in the University of Kentucky news.

Marie White (M.T. ’08 Spec Ed) Marie Whiterecently earned the designation of National Board Certified Teacher for Exceptional Needs Specialist/Early Childhood through Young Adulthood.

William McDermott (B.S.Ed, ’72 , M.Ed. ’76 Soc Fdns) Wiliam McDermott and Janet Maupinand Mate-for-Life JANET MAUPIN recently celebrated our fifth anniversary. All is well (just a bit behind schedule) at our Madison County farmette, where Janet is a bee keeper — keeping all our family members supplied with natural raw honey. First grandson will have his first birthday party late this month.

Katie (LaPointe) Robison (M.T. ’01 Soc Studies Ed) Katie Robisonrecently went back to teaching after a 9-year break. “Originally I was a high school history and government teacher in Fairfax County, but I have now decided to pursue a career in special education. This change came after becoming the mother of five children, two of whom have disabilities. I felt that I could be of better use to the education community in the field of special education. I am thrilled that I was just hired to be a learning disabilities teacher at Franklin Sherman Elementary School in McLean, Va. What’s even more exciting is that two of my children attend the school.”

Katie (LaPointe) Robison's Curry Memory

“I had a wonderful experience at the Curry School from 1999-2001 where I completed my Masters in Teaching in History. The strong foundation I got at U.Va. has been critical to my success as a teacher over the years.”

Elizabeth Mulcahy (M.T. ’06 Soc Studies Ed) , a social studies teacher at Western Albemarle High School, was featured in the Charlottesville Tomorrow’s Meet Your Educator series: “The most challenging aspect of my job is having to wear so many different hats. In one day I may talk about Alexander the Great, Napoleon and Abraham Lincoln as an instructor, tutor a student on essay writing, plan a collaborative project with a colleague, supervise fundraising as a faculty sponsor, write a college recommendation, or create a professional presentation on education. This is outside the normal lesson planning, grading, parent communication, and meetings. I find it very rewarding to meet and work with so many people from teenagers to adults, but keeping all the roles organized is a challenge.” Read more about Elizabeth.

Carly Nicholson (M.T. 05 English Ed) , an instructional coach at Charlottesville High School, was featured in Charlottesville Tomorrow’s Meet Your Educator series: “This is an amazing time to be in education because we’re getting back to the good stuff. We’re putting opportunities in place for students to return to the incredible questioners they were as preschoolers. Inquiry-based learning, unleveled classes, essential questions, project-based learning, AVID, and STEM settings are just a few of the seeds being planted now that will have dramatic results in five years.” Read more about Carly.

Rob Dent (M.T. ’00 Soc Studies Ed) , a career and technical education teacher at Jack Jouett Middle School, was featured in Charlottesville Tomorrow’s Meet Your Educator series: “I cannot count the number of times people have said how difficult it must be to teach middle school students. I remember that when I was applying for a job, a pair of recruiters from Atlanta were incredulous that I was actually looking for a job in middle school rather than high school. Adolescence can certainly be a difficult time, but the reality is that middle schoolers have the same basic emotional needs and desires as everyone else: they want to feel successful, they want to have fun, and they want to know that we really care about them. When you keep this in mind, they become easier to understand, easier to work with, and easier to reach. And you will see that they are not such a difficult bunch after all.” Read more about Rob.

Nancy Bowen (M.Ed. ’74 Math Ed) , a math teacher at Murray High School, was featured in Charlottesville Tomorrow’s Meet Your Educator series: “I love the fact that there are so many digital resources to help students and teachers with learning. But frankly, I think there will always be a demand for math teachers who will help explain concepts.” Read more.

Christine Jacobs (M.T. ’01 Spec Ed) , a math teacher at Jack Jouette Middle School, was featured in Charlottesville Tomorrow’s Meet Your Educator series: “The most common misconception about my job is that I am a saint for teaching middle school. All too often people say, “You must have so much patience” or “Wow, I could never do that.” But I love it! I find adolescents to be at such a critical developmental age where all they want is for people to listen. They have the same needs as you or me. They are open, warm, funny and enjoyable to be around. I don’t consider myself a saint, I consider myself lucky. They teach me something everyday about patience, persistence and empathy.” Read more.

April Keck DeGennaro, Ph.D. (M.T. ’89 Elem Ed) April DeGenneroreceived the 2015 Gifted Program Teacher of the Year Award from the Georgia Association for Gifted Children. She is the Enrichment Teacher at Peeples Elementary School in Fayetteville, Ga., and chair-elect of the National Association of Gifted Children’s Global Awareness Network. DeGennaro was in the first class to graduate from the Curry with a post-graduate Masters in Teacher degree.

Emily Ely (Ph.D. ’14 Spec Ed) received the 2014 Dissertation Award from the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children in November 2014 at the annual conference in Indianapolis, Ind. The paper on which the award was based is titled “Improving instruction of future teachers: A multimedia approach that supports implementation of evidence-based vocabulary practices” and was published in the journal Teaching and Teacher Education, Vol 44. Ely is an assistant professor at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Va.

She also won the The Brenda Loyd Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Virginia Educational Research Association in September 2014. The paper on which that award was based is “Use of instructional technology to improve teacher candidate knowledge of vocabulary instruction,” published in the journal Computers & Education, Vol. 75.


Mary McManaway (M.Ed. ’57 Reading)  

Prince’s Cat Tale
by Mary McManaway,
Vantage Press (English: 2006; Spanish: 2011)

This book has been extremely popular with elementary age school students, as well as lovers of CATS! In many schools I have presented a PowerPoint slideshow presentation, through my book, to help children learn the importance of developing acceptable writing skills created by SOL standards.
Prince’s Cat Tale is the story of one of my cats, Prince, who was washed into a culvert during a summer rain storm. It tells of his survival along a creek bank. After many weeks he met an abandoned cat, Cocoa. They concluded they must figure a way for humans to find them. An incredible true story! Please read to discover their ingenious plan….
Northside High School, Roanoke, VA Spanish Club translated Prince’s Cat Tale from English to Spanish as class project.
This book now available, and can be used as a teaching tool English – Spanish : Spanish – English.

Mary McManaway's Curry Memory

“Sharing ideas during the many courses involved in learning to teach to learning styles of the CHILD. We had many good Laughs as we set up pretend classroom situations!!!”

Kitty Boitnott, Ph.D., NBCT (Ed.S. ’00 Admin & Supv) is founder of Boitnott Coaching, LLC, a coaching service dedicated to offering personal and professional coaching, professional development workshops, and break out programs for conferences and conventions around the country. Kitty speaks on topics related to stress management for busy professionals along with speaking to the importance of intentionally creating work-life balance in today’s busy, information over-loaded world. Kitty has coached dozens of individuals from all over the world either through her private practice or as a career coach consultant with CareerHMO.

Kitty also offers programs related to job search strategies and the problems individuals in their 40’s and 50’s typically run into as they attempt to find new work, switch careers, or find work that is more satisfying after being chronically under employed since the economic meltdown of 2008-2009. (more…)