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An Arizona native, Kristen Plamondon, graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Elementary Education. After teaching for four years, she stayed home with her three children for fifteen years and is currently working as a Foster Family Specialist, journeying the foster care system with Arizona families. Kristen has expertise in various neurological deficits including Autism, Down syndrome, substance exposures, and trauma behaviors. Kristen, along with her husband and three children, love Saturday mornings on the couch sipping coffee, jumping waves with sandy toes, and can often be found rocking a Finding Nemo Ukulele during their nightly family dance parties.
Amanda “Mandy” Rivas is a Tucson Native and a graduate of the University of Arizona with degrees in Political Science and Spanish. After working as a paralegal for 7 years, Mandy transitioned to a career in real estate. Mandy, her husband Brian, and their two girls currently live in Chandler, Arizona. They enjoy the beach, going to Pinetop, visiting Disneyland and attending events within their Down syndrome community.
Dena Berg is a Speech-Language Pathologist who works with kids and adults with developmental disabilities. She received both her bachelors and masters degrees from Arizona State University and has loved continuing to work in Arizona. Dena has worked with advocacy groups to further identify children with feeding disorders and to promote better feeding and social outcomes in the schools. In her free time, Dena enjoys listening to podcasts, working out, and walking her dogs. As the Professional Advisor to the SEPAC Board, Dena will serve as a professional bridge between parents, the schools, and the community.
Social Media Specialist
Julie has been a CUSD parent since 2011 and has two students in the district. She is a 2020 graduate of Pilot Parents of Southern Arizona, a leadership training program for parents of children with disabilities and for young adults with disabilities who want to further themselves as self-advocates. She is passionate about helping children with invisible disabilities be successful in the public-school setting. Her areas of interest include adoption, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, and Dyslexia. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, yoga, and traveling to the beach.
Laura Busby has been working with and advocating for students who have dyslexia since 2007, and is proud to say she is dyslexic herself. Helping students with dyslexia achieve all their goals and feel good about themselves is Laura’s passion and life calling. In 2009, Laura earned a bachelor’s degree in education and history from Arizona State University, and earned a masters degree in education from Arizona State University in 2013. While she was earning her masters degree, Laura served as Assistant Executive Editor on ASU’s education research journal, Current Issues in Education. In her free time, Laura loves to garden, spend time with her husband and their two dogs, Kayla and Annabelle.
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