IPP Demosites

Our Team

RinaMarie Leon Guerrero, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Inclusion Specialist, IPP Demo Site Project Lead rinalg@uw.edu

RinaMarie Leon Guerrero
RinaMarie Leon Guerrero

RinaMarie has a Masters and Ph.D. in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Washington and is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). She has over 25 years of experience in the field of education and has provided direct services to students, worked with families, and supported professional development. RinaMarie has been a kindergarten teacher, practicum supervisor, and graduate course instructor. She has also worked on grants to provide training to migrant head start programs in Washington State and the Professional Development in Autism (PDA) Center for inclusive education in schools across the country. Most recently she has been in private practice teaching social skills groups and as a behavior therapist working with children ages preschool to high school. RinaMarie currently is an inclusion specialist at the UW Haring Center and works on the OSPI IPP demonstration sites project. 

Ilene Schwartz PhD, BCBA-D, Haring Center Faculty Director ilene@uw.edu

ilene schwartz
Ilene Schwartz

Dr. Ilene Schwartz has been a member of the special education faculty at UW since 1991 and the Director of the Haring Center since 2007. She is at the forefront of research and professional training in the areas of autism, inclusion, and the sustainability of educational interventions. At the intersection of these three areas is Project DATA, a model preschool program for children with autism. Ilene is the director of the program, which was created at the Experimental Education Unit in 1997. With continuous research funding from the U.S. Department of Education since 1990, Ilene is on a variety of review boards including the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and the Journal of Early Intervention. She earned her Ph.D. in child and developmental psychology from the University of Kansas and is a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA).

Ilene is also the director of the UW special education program designed to prepare Board Certified Behavior Analysts. She is committed to ensuring that all children, with and without disabilities, have access to a high quality education in their neighborhood school.

Cassie Borges M.Ed., BCBA, LBA, Inclusion Specialist caborges@uw.edu

Cassie Borges

Cassie is a passionate person devoted to supporting quality inclusive practices for all. She attended the University of Washington and received a Master’s degree in Education, Washington State teaching certification with a Special Education Endorsement, and fulfilled required practicum to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Prior to joining the team Cassie worked as an Early Childhood Educator at the Experimental Education Unit, a parent trainer for the Down Syndrome Community of Puget sound, and a BCBA in a home and clinical. In addition to these professional appointments Cassie has also had the privilege of presenting at state and national conferences promoting the work of early intervention and inclusion. Cassie is thrilled to be working with the OSPI and Haring Center to disseminate and advocate evidence based, quality inclusive practices to professionals and the community.

Molly Lyman, MAL, Project Coordinator mlyman2@uw.edu

Molly Lyman
Molly Lyman

Molly Lyman has a master’s degree in nonprofit leadership and a background in working in higher ed administrative work. Her professional experience includes communications and process improvement. Being the parent of a child with special needs, she has also developed a strong passion for inclusive education and has become a fierce advocate for inclusive practices in her community. 

Cassie Martin, PhD, Inclusion Specialist, Demonstration Sites Project Founder cassiem@uw.edu

cassie martin
Cassie Martin

Dr. Cassie Martin, Ph.D. is the Demonstration Sites Lead at the UW Haring Center.  Cassie specializes in implementation and sustainability of inclusive practices in public schools and has worked across the nation in public school districts to implement inclusion for over 25 years. Cassie is the Inclusion Expert for a variety of districts in Washington State where she provides professional development for everyone responsible for student growth, including: administrators, teachers, para-professionals, and families. After more than a decade of consulting on inclusion programs across Washington state, Cassie facilitated the creation of a model-school demonstration site for inclusive education in Highline School District, and with the removal of that school (McMicken Elementary) from the Focus School list for Special Education, is now in the process of scaling this process statewide as lead of the demonstration sites project. Her teacher-preparation and in-service programs focus on best practices in inclusive education. Cassie regularly presents on how to support discourse around disability, creating inclusive cultures, and high leverage inclusive practices for elementary and secondary schools. 

Elizabeth (Beth) Kelly, PhD, BCBA, Inclusion Specialist, empowers@uw.edu

Beth Kelly

Beth is a research scientist at the Haring Center and instructor in special educator at UW. She earned her PhD in special education from UW in 2021. Her research focuses on coaching to support the implementation of new practices in classrooms, ethical decision-making, and family-school partnerships. She started her career in education as a paraeducator working in the Tukwila School District. 

Beth has been an advocate for inclusion for over a decade, working with families to advocate for their children’s access to inclusive environments and coaching educators to build and sustain inclusive environments. Her own two children, (now 7 and 10), attended a fully inclusive preschool. Beth is thrilled to use her training and research experience to support inclusion on the IPP Demonstration Project. 

Christina Nowak, M.Ed., Inclusion Specialist cnowak@uw.edu

christine nowak
Christina Nowak

Growing up in Santa Barbara, California, Ms. Nowak attended the University of California, Santa Barbara for both undergraduate and graduate school. While at UCSB Ms. Nowak was a member of both Division 1 volleyball and track & field programs. Inspired by her brother Michael, who has Down syndrome, Ms. Nowak received her Masters in Education and Education Specialist Credential. Ms. Nowak has spent the last 6 years serving as an Education/Inclusion Specialist in Santa Barbara, San Diego, and Los Angeles working with students ages 3 through 22. Ms. Nowak has a passion for the development and implementation of inclusive practices. Most recently Ms. Nowak was integral in the founding of WISH Academy, a fully inclusive high school in Los Angeles, modeled after the CHIME Institute. Ms. Nowak has served as a partner with local universities in order to provide mentorship for new teachers and deliver lectures about inclusive practices. Ms. Nowak is excited for her next adventure in Washington supporting the movement to bring inclusive education to all.

Jill Locke, PhD, Implementation Scientist jjlocke@uw.edu

Jill Locke

Jill Locke, PhD, joined the Speech and Hearing Sciences faculty as a Research Assistant Professor in 2015. She completed her doctoral training in Educational Psychology at UCLA in 2010 and her postdoctoral training in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania in 2013. 

Dr. Locke’s research has focused on the implementation and sustainment of a social engagement intervention for children with ASD in school settings. Her research has highlighted the importance of the context in the successful implementation of evidence-based interventions and laid the foundation for her current work. She is now the principal investigator on a NIMH Career Development Award that uses quantitative and qualitative methods to examine individual- and organizational-level factors (i.e., culture, climate, and leadership) as predictors of implementation of an autism evidence-based intervention in public schools. The goal of this study is to develop a school-level implementation intervention to support schools in their use and sustainment of autism evidence-based interventions. Her experiences have emphasized the importance of collaborating with public schools and the reality of working within the constraints of publicly funded systems, their timeline (e.g. school calendar year), and with their personnel.