Beverley Holden Johns has 40 years experience working with students with learning disabilities (LD), and/or behavioral disorders (EBD) within the public schools. She supervised LD and EBD teachers in 22 school districts, was the founder and administrator of the Garrison Alternative School for students with severe EBD in Jacksonville, Illinois, and later the coordinator for staff development for the Four Rivers Special Education District. She is now a learning and behavior consultant, and Professional Fellow for MacMurray College (where she teaches courses on Special Education Law, on EBD, Adaptations, and on Diverse Learners ). She also has taught a class on Autism at Illinois College.
She chaired the 10th Biennial Conference of the International Association of Special Education (IASE) held June 10-14, 2007, in Hong Kong, served as President from 2006 until January 1, 2010, and presided over the 11th Biennial Conference in Alicante, Spain in 2009. She presented the Inaugural Marden Lecture at The University of Hong Kong in January, 2006.
Johns is the lead author of 14 non-fiction books (and co-author of 4 others) including Your Classroom Guide to Special Education Law, 15 Positive Behavior Strategies to Increase Academic Success, 401 Practical Adaptations for Every Classroom, Reduction of School Violence: Alternatives to Suspension (4th edition); Techniques for Managing Verbally and Physically Aggressive Students (4th edition); Surviving Internal Politics Within the School (2nd edition); Safe Schools; Teacher’s Reflective Calendar and Planning Journal; Special Educator’s Reflective Calendar and Planning Journal; Effective Curriculum and Instruction for Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders; Students with Disabilities and General Education: A Desktop Reference for School Personnel; Getting Behavioral Interventions Right (2nd edition); Preparing Test-Resistant Students for Assessments: A Staff Training Guide (Second Edition); Ethical Dilemmas in Education; Motivating the Unmotivated Student; and The Many Faces of Special Educators. She has written the workbook to accompany the video entitled: Paraprofessional’s Guide to Managing Student Behavior, and over 40 education and special education articles.
She has also written two books of fiction, Secrets of the Teachers’ Lounge, and Secrets in the School’s Emails. She has also co-authored the book, Acting on Clutter with Dr. Kammie Richter and Marilyn Myers.
She wrote and appeared in a DVD for ASCD, Conducting an Effective IEP Meeting Connecting to the Common Core, and wrote an on-line course for ASCD, Role of the Classroom Teacher in Implementing the Common Core for Students with Disabilities.
She is co-author with Janet Lerner of the seminal college LD textbook, the 13th edition of Learning Disabilities and Related Disabilities.
She is the 2000 recipient of the CEC Outstanding Leadership Award from the International Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), Past International President of the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders (CCBD), Past President of the CEC Pioneers, Past Secretary and Governmental Relations Chair for the Division for Learning Disabilities (DLD), and the 2007 Recipient of the Romaine P. Mackie Leadership Service Award.
For 3 years, Johns served as Chair of CEC’s Advocacy and Governmental Relations Committee.
She is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who in American Education and Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. She has chaired ISELA, the Illinois Special Education Coalition (whose membership includes 12 Statewide organizations) for 38 years.
Johns is a Past President, Past Drive-in Chair, and current Governmental Relations Chair for Illinois DLD. She is the President-Elect of the Learning Disabilities Association (LDA) of Illinois and has been the National State Presidents’ Representative on the Board of LDA of America.
She has served Illinois CEC as Past President, as Past Governor to CEC, as past PAN and CAN Chair, and past Fall Convention Chair and past Governmental Relations Chair. She is the ILCCBD liaison to Illinois CEC.
She currently serves as a Regional Coordinator for the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders and is chair of the annual drive in conference for Illinois CCBD.
She was Jacksonville Woman of the Year in 1988, co-chaired the Business Education Partnership Committee and the Jacksonville Truancy Task Force.
She has presented workshops across the United States and Canada; in San Juan, Puerto Rico; Sydney, Australia (keynote); Warsaw, Poland; Wroclaw, Poland (keynote); Hong Kong, China; Lima, Peru; and Riga, Latvia.
She is a graduate of Catherine Spalding College in Louisville, Kentucky, and received a fellowship for her graduate work at Southern Illinois University (SIU) in Carbondale where she received an M.S. in Special Education. She has done post-graduate work at the University of Illinois, Western Illinois University, SIU, and Eastern Illinois University.
Jacqueline (Jackie) Bjes is a Dual Language Special Education teacher. She graduated from Lewis University with an Early Childhood Special Education degree with a Bilingual and ELL endorsement. She is the mother of three children, two of which have disabilities. She is committed to making a positive impact in the lives of young children. She became an Early Childhood Bilingual Special Education teacher when she realized what a void there was in this specific field. Her teaching allows her to work with a variety of culturally and linguistically diverse students and parents. Her goal is to empower parents to help support their children and help them reach their highest potential.
Pat Brown is the new Recording Secretary for LDA of Illinois. Prior to serving as secretary, Pat served as Regional Director and a Chapter President. She has been a member since the 1980s. Pat was an educator for many years having retired in 2015 after 51 years of teaching. She also subbed until 2020. She served as an educator in K-12 schools, teaching general education, gifted, and language arts and also served as a cross categorical special educator.
Pat belongs to a variety of U of I Booster Clubs and attends basketball, football and tennis games. She also serves on the Illini Rebounders Board of Directors. She is a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, honorary women educators’ society, Xi Chapter, and serves as her chapter’s parliamentarian and arrangement chair. Pat is the Vice-President in charge of Arrangements for the Champaign County Retired Teachers Association.
She loves dogs and is the Recording Secretary/Show Chair for the Champaign, Illinois Kennel Club and is the recording/corresponding secretary for the Danville, Illinois Kennel Club. She rings stewards at dog shows.
Pat also serves on the Retired and Senior Volunteer Advisory Board and is a Friendly Caller. She is as well an ACS Reach to Recovery Volunteer. Pat is a very busy lady with a wealth of experience that she brings to LDA of Illinois.
Judy Larson is a parent of three daughters, two of whom have learning disabilities. She has been a member of LDA since 1984, when she joined the local chapter Orland Area CHILD while working as a secretary for her local elementary school district.
During the 80s and early 90s, Judy was active at the local level by producing and mailing the chapter newsletter and participating in chapter presentations and fundraisers. At the state level she served as Newsletter Director, prepared conference publications, and helped computerize the registration process. Throughout the years she has compiled the financial reports for LDAIL. Judy came back on the LDA board in 2021, following the retirement of long-time Treasurer Nancy Murphy.
Judy says that, as a parent, she had received so much support from her local chapter that she has been involved off and on for all these years. She has been blessed with friendships that she has cherished since the beginning.
Margaret (Meg) Kelly Carroll, Ed.D., is a professor of education at Saint Xavier University, teaching courses in special education and instructional methods. She directs the graduate special education program and the undergraduate early childhood program at Saint Xavier University.
Meg earned her Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction at Loyola University of Chicago with minors in special education, reading, higher education, and philosophy of education. She earned a master’s degree in learning disabilities from Chicago State University and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and intellectual disabilities from University of Illinois in Urbana.
Meg has published five books, including What Did You Do at School Today? A Guide to Schooling and School Success. She has published more than 35 articles and written dozens of newsletters for families of students in schools where she consults. Meg has presented at over 150 conferences and provided more than 1,000 professional development workshops for teachers. She also acts as a consultant for several Chicago area public and private elementary, middle and high schools. She is recording secretary and newsletter editor for the Learning Disabilities Association of Illinois and is the Professional Advisory Board of Learning Disabilities Association of Illinois.
Julieta Rosales Pasko is a licensed bilingual psychologist with nearly five decades of experience serving individuals with disabilities.
She served as a bilingual school psychologist in Chicago Public Schools for 30 years and as a bilingual school psychologist consultant to many districts in Illinois. She has taught at Loyola University of Chicago, DePaul University, University of Illinois at Chicago, Landivar Jesuit University in Guatemala, and San Carlos State University in Guatemala.
She served as a Special Education Consultant for the Minister of Education in Guatemala and as a researcher for the El Valor Corporation on a State of Illinois Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Grant.
She has made more than 500 presentations to professional organizations, teacher groups, and parent groups in Illinois, California, Ohio, Indiana, Florida, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Costa Rica, San Salvador, and Guatemala. She presents annually at what has come to be called the Multilingual Conference now combined with the ESSA Conference as well as the ISBE Annual Bilingual Parent Summit.
She has offered pro bono services to families, especially bilingual families, who are challenged as they try to navigate the special education systems in school districts.
She is a graduate of Landivar Jesuit University in Guatemala City with a degree in Clinical Psychology and received a Master of Arts from Loyola University of Chicago in Social Psychology. She also completed a graduate program in Bilingual Special Education at DePaul University. Julieta has participated in many additional trainings, gaining expertise in teen suicide prevention and Rational Emotive Therapy.
Mrs. Stephanie Zych received a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders and Sciences and a Master’s degree in Multi-Categorical Special Education/Learning Behavior Specialist from Saint Xavier
University in Chicago, Illinois. Her teaching experience includes over 20 years as a paraprofessional, teacher, tutor, advocate, learning specialist, and speech pathology assistant. Being a strong advocate for inclusion and specialized instruction, she involves her students in various academic experiences using multiple methodologies to help them achieve positive growth. Her professional interests focus on Autism, Learning Disabilities, Behavior and Emotional Disorders and Dyslexia. She is fully qualified as an independent Dyslexia practitioner and tutor. In addition, she volunteers as a girl scout leader for Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, a catechist at Our Lady of Mt Carmel Church and is a member of various Special Education and Dyslexia associations.