Wabash Valley Education Center

~WVEC Special Education Conference: Teach, Love, Special Ed! (K-12) - Recorded

Are you a Special Education director, teacher, or paraprofessional in your district? This annual conference is for you! Every year, we work to support our Special Education teams with the most relevant topics in your world while supplying some of the best presenters! Region 5! Let’s have a full conference of learning with Teach, Love & Special ED! We are excited to offer you a session with Indiana’s local experts Todd Hawks & Katherine Herron! We plan to dive into UDL in the Early Childhood Classroom while joining Tim Kretchman for a session on Discovering the Tools for Effective Inclusion. Our sessions will also include work from national presenters & teachers Ms Chyna, Jenn Adams, & Whitney Lowrey! Kevin Dill will close out the conference with more tips and tricks specifically about behavior! Don’t miss out on these sessions created just for you! This is a recorded conference that will be sent to you at 7:30 AM on October 11th to view at your convenience!


Schedule for the Day


Todd Hawks:  Retribution vs Restoration

  • Participants will learn about the importance of restorative practices- understanding the 'why,' defining restorative practices, learning about very specific restorative practices. They will also engage in learning about the potential harm caused by punitive practices and how they impact people of various identities. At the end of the presentation, participants will have some concrete ideas on how to incite change that will support ALL learners


Katherine Herron :  Using Universal Design for Learning in Preschool:  Why It Matters and How to Get Started

  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an evidence-based framework designed to support the success of all learners. UDL is based on the premise that “normal” learners don’t exist and that all children come into the school environment with strengths and weaknesses. It is our role, as educators, to offer options for learning that meet the varying needs of each student. Dr. Herron will offer concrete strategies for offering options for engagement, representation (the ways children take in new information) and action/expression (the ways children show us what they know). Preschool is an ideal time to introduce these practices because it allows children to engage positively with school early on and builds learners who are confident and competent.


Melysa Mei:  Multisensory Experiences in the Classroom Through Play

  • Let’s explore the profound role of multisensory play in early childhood education, with a particular emphasis on its value in inclusive classrooms. We’ll delve into the practical strategies educators can implement to create inclusive, play-based learning experiences that cater to diverse learning styles and needs. We will focus on how multisensory play fosters self-regulation, preparing all students to be calm, focused, and ready to play. Walk away with practical tips, ideas for sensory play activities, and a renewed appreciation for the transformative power of play in the classroom.


Kevin Dill:  Special Education Directors Conference (Strengthening Executive Function)

  • Developing and strengthening executive functioning skills can significantly enhance a student's academic performance, behavior, productivity, and overall success. In this brief training, we’ll explore strategies for strengthening the most critical executive function skills that students need to exercise and develop including: Organization, Time Management, Planning and Goal Setting, Task Initiation, Focus and Attention, Working Memory, Self-Monitoring, Mental Flexibility, Emotional Regulation, and Problem-Solving.


Kevin Dill:  The Behavior-Skilled Special Education Teacher

  • Are you struggling with student behaviors school-wide across grade levels? Are you wondering how to move kids forward when they resist? Don’t despair!  Changing behavior is more crockpot than microwave! Join Kevin as he shares approaches to managing behaviors effectively & efficiently in your area of speciality! (1:12:09)


Tim Kretchman:  Discover theTools for Effective Inclusion

  • Participants will rediscover the role adaptations play in making the general education classroom appropriate for children with special needs. The talk will be focused around the following mission statement:  “By using strengths as leverage, accommodations and modifications should provide a “just right” level of support that empowers a child to engage in class, instruction, and assessment in a meaningful way by supporting them around the needs observed in a classroom.”


Melanie Brethour:  Dyslexia and Effective Intervention in Classrooms

  • 1 in 5 students are dyslexic. We have students in our classrooms who are struggling to read. With early intervention, we can rewire their brains. This workshop will address what dyslexia is, the signs of dyslexia and what these students who struggle to crack this code need. Participants will learn what effective intervention is, based on the science of reading, and practical ideas that you can take back to your classroom.




Katie Herron
Dr. Katie Herron, PhD is the Director of the Early Childhood Center (ECC) at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community at Indiana University. Dr. Herron has a background in Clinical Psychology and completed her PhD in a program that emphasized research. Her focus shifted to disability and early intervention during graduate school when her son was born with a disability. Since then, she has worked within Indiana’s early intervention system in multiple roles and has also trained families to become effective advocates. For the past decade at the ECC her focus has been on improving the quality of early intervention and early education systems using evidence-based family-centered practices, including the promotion of high-quality family engagement, the promotion of high family expectations for young children with disabilities and the importance of infant/early childhood mental health.

Kevin Dill - During his tenure in education, he has served as a special education teacher, public school Principal, and Director of Special Education.  An internationally renowned educator and popular speaker, he offers practical instructional strategies to help all students learn.  Kevin is known across the country for his innovative and researched based strategies designed to eliminate chronic disruptive behavior and improve student performance in the classroom.  He is a specialist in the area of student behavior with over 20 years of teaching experience.  Kevin has authored several education resources including the Most Powerful Solutions to Eliminating Chronic Disruptive Behavior in Your Classroom.

Kevin has trained thousands of teachers, administrators, support staff, and parents. He serves as the primary Educational Consultant for multiple school districts and corporations. With tons of humorous real-life stories and current research, he will share the most powerful and practical strategies that master level teachers use to reach and teach chronically disruptive students. 

Melanie Brethour
Melanie Brethour is a full-time resource teacher from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She is a passionate advocate for dyslexia awareness and the science of reading. Her commitment to this cause was ignited by her son Benjamin's dyslexia diagnosis at the age of 9, which fueled her personal mission to understand dyslexia and provide support for her son and her students.

Motivated by her son's journey, Melanie embarked on extensive research and pursued various training opportunities. She achieved associate-level certification in Orton Gillingham, became a CERI structured literacy classroom teacher, and was honoured as the Nessy Dyslexia Aware teacher of the year in 2023. Melanie regularly delivers presentations on dyslexia and the science of reading, sharing her knowledge with colleagues, teachers, and parents.

Driven by her desire to assist others facing similar challenges, Melanie founded Decoding Dyslexia Quebec, a grassroots movement dedicated to raising awareness and offering support. Additionally, she launched Soar With Dyslexia on social media, providing valuable resources and information to teachers and parents navigating the complexities of dyslexia and the science of reading. Melanie also volunteers for Dyslexia Canada, extending her support to parents during their often-difficult journey. Furthermore, she serves as a board member of Teachers For Reading Canada, an organization that offers free Orton-Gillingham training to Canadian teachers.

Melysa Mei
Melysa Mei, dual-certified and equipped with a rich background in special education, is the visionary behind Pre-K Spot and currently serves as a Pre-K teacher in the New York City public school system. Over her career spanning 16 years in early childhood education, she has skillfully utilized her experience as an early intervention provider and Special Education Itinerant Teacher, to foster supportive, inclusive learning environments for all children, regardless of their unique needs.

Melysa's distinctive experience, particularly in special education, has significantly influenced her current role in her Pre-K classroom. She diligently applies her in-depth understanding of diverse learning needs to facilitate play-based, child-led learning experiences that celebrate the individuality of each student. She has a deep belief in the transformative power of play, and she's committed to equipping other educators with the tools to integrate more child-led learning into their pedagogical approach through professional development and coaching. Melysa is an ardent advocate for play-based learning, consistently striving to raise awareness about its benefits in the broader education community.

Tim Kretchman

Founder, Instructional Strategist, Action Driven Education

As a result of over 24 years of experience as a Special Education teacher, K-12 Principal, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, and Director of Special Education, Tim believes that meaningful change in education comes only through action! Action Driven Education was born out of need, in an ever-changing and evolving world of education, to give teachers the simple yet effective tools they need to find success for their students and themselves.

Todd Hawks
I am a passionate, dedicated, and talented leader and educator committed to the success of all students regardless of their past performance or experiences. I serve those with whom I work to the fullest of my ability and am able to provide a variety of resources whether it is general education, arts education, special education, or teacher development. I value an environment of collaboration that is grounded in data-driven decision making, creating a shared vision, and meaningful relationships with all stakeholders. If equity is not always part of the conversation, we aren’t having the right conversation.


Date: Wednesday, October 11, 2023
Time: The link to the recorded session will be sent to you at 7:30 AM Eastern Time

Location: Recording

PGP Points Awarded: 6


Cost: $150/Service Center Member or $300/District not belonging to a Service Center*

This is a WVEC Title IV Consortium Eligible Conference!

*Cost of all workshops are based on membership in an Indiana Educational Service Center (ESC). Any registrants who are not members of an ESC in the state of Indiana will be required to pay the non-member fee.

**See cancellation policy below


Cancellation Policy

* Registrants who notify WVEC of their cancellation on or before the registration deadline date will not be required to pay the registration fee.
* Registrants who cancel after the registration deadline but before the workshop date or call to cancel on the day of the workshop will pay 50% of the registration fee.
* Registrants who neglect to call or notify the WVEC of their cancellation will be responsible for paying the full fee.
* On official school corporation weather-related cancellation days, registrants will not be required to pay registration fees.


Registration open through 10/11/2023 7:00 AM EST

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About Us

Wabash Valley Education Center
3061 Benton Street
West Lafayette, IN 47906