SPEDCO Consulting Team Members
Deborah Spark, Program Specialist
Deborah retired from Granite School District in 2012 after 20 years of service. She has vast experience in Special Education where she has worked as a Teacher of self-contained students in Granite County, Special Education Director /Title l Supervisor in Wayne County, Program Specialist in Assessment and Monitoring with the Utah State Office of Education and as Associate Director in Granite School District. She is currently contracted by the Utah State Office of Education working in Compliance and Monitoring. In addition, she working with 3 Charter Schools and with her extensive knowledge in compliance, coaching and instructional needs, she has successfully implemented programmatic systems. Deborah earned her B.S. in Psychology and Child Development from Utah State University.
Janet Gibbs, Program Specialist
Janet has worked in the Special Education field for 35 years. She was a classroom teacher, teacher leader, assistant coordinator for related services and an education specialist for Utah State Office of Education, Special Education Services. Her professional work experiences include supervising classroom teachers and school psychologists, providing education services at a mental health facility working with juvenile offenders, working with adult learners in both a correctional setting and adult education program. She has expertise in curriculum development, assessment and eligibility for Specific Learning Disabilities and English language learners, instructional interventions, Utah Core Standards, and response to intervention (RTI)/tiered system of support (MTSS). She has been responsible for developing technical assistant documents for Specific Learning Disabilities, Traumatic Brain Injury and tiered instruction in both mathematics and reading. Janet is also trained in conducting appraisals for schools who access title one funds and implement programs for at risk students. Janet has a B.S. from Weber State University, Master of Education from the University of Utah and her Administrators License from Idaho State University.
Peggy Swensen, Program Specialist
Peggy retired from Granite School District in 2014 after 37 years of service in Special Education. She has extensive experience in Special Education with an emphasis on Secondary education. Peggy started as a severe teacher and then was a mild/moderate teacher at a Jr. High School for 17 years before working in Special Education Administration. Before retiring and joining the SPEDCO team she was a Secondary Coordinator for Granite School District in Utah. Peggy served as a compliance specialist, trainer for Para-Educator’s, on going professional development, instructional coaching and scheduling. Peggy earned her B.S. in Social Studies and an endorsement in Special Education from the University of Utah.
Tiffanie Owens, Program Specialist
Tiffanie Owens is the Chief Compliance Officer at edXponential (edX), a worldwide educational reform consulting firm. She has 15 years of public education experience teaching students with disabilities and adults. Tiffanie has over 7 years of experience in state-level educational leadership with expertise in management, and monitoring of public special education programs. While at the Utah State Office of Education, she successfully developed and implemented a nationally recognized Results Driven Accountability system for program and compliance monitoring, which resulted in positive changes in the outcomes of students with disabilities. Tiffanie led a team of over 20 education experts in evaluating the effectiveness of special education and youth in custody programs throughout Utah. Additionally, she was the program leader on the team that developed Utah’s Program Improvement Planning System web application. She also led the development team for the web-based system used for tracking and evaluating professional development provided to public education personnel. Tiffanie currently works as a consultant for several education agencies, providing expertise and professional development to assist them in improving their educational programs.
Glenn A. Dyke, Behavior Specialist
Glenn began working with children and adults with severe and mild/moderate disabilities in 1992. He has been a Special Education teacher at the elementary and secondary levels, a behavior specialist for Davis school district, a District Coordinator for 40 highly specialized self-contained programs, an adjunct instructor for USU’s teacher preparation program, and a private consultant. He currently provides technical assistance and behavioral support to school administrators and classroom teachers throughout Utah, Nevada, Colorado and Wyoming. Glenn earned his B.S. in Psychology from the University of Utah, Masters of Education from the University of Utah, Special Education Teaching Certification and Administrative/Supervisory License from Utah State University. In addition, he is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, a PBIS Coordinator for Utah and a SWIS Data Facilitator.
Nicole Broberg, Transition and Credit Recovery Specialist
Nicole has worked in Special Education for the past 7 years. She has sat on the State Board for the Council for Children with Behavior Disorders for the past five years as well as the State Board for the Council for Exceptional Children. She is a certified Mandt trainer for the Utah State Office of Education, representing Charter Schools. She provides trainings for the USOE in the area of building positive relationships and positive behavior support. She currently sits on the steering committee for the USOE Special Education Transition Department. She is currently the Special Education Director and Consultant to the Administration at East Hollywood High School. Nicole earned he B.S. from Utah State and has an endorsement in Mild’s & Moderates from Weber State.
Jennifer Johnson Howell, Ed. D. , Program Specialist
Jennifer Johnson Howell, Ed. D. is the Chief Financial Officer at EdExponential, a worldwide educational reform consulting firm. She has 18 years of public education experience teaching across the lifespan, including early intervention for infants and toddlers, preschool through high school, and university. Dr. Howell has over 10 years of experience in educational leadership, including school director, Superintendent, and state level (i.e., Ministry of Education) responsibilities. Dr. Howell’s expertise is in the management and monitoring of educational data and finance systems, program analysis, school accountability, and low-incidence disabilities. In addition to an award-winning dissertation on the topic of effective literacy instruction for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, Dr. Howell has researched itinerant teaching, exemplary teaching practices, caseload sizes for teachers serving students with low-incidence disabilities, statewide assessment programs, and educational needs within the field of low-incidence disabilities. Dr. Howell completed the doctoral program at the University of Northern Colorado, and the M.Ed. in Special Education and B.A. in Linguistics both at the University of Utah.
Tom VanGorder, Program Specialist
Tom recently retired from the Park City School District after serving as the district Special Education Director for 27 years. As the Associate Superintendent for Student Services he was responsible for overseeing Special Education, Title 1, Title III, Career and Technical Education, Nursing Services, Counseling, Alternative Education, Preschool and Homeless Education. Tom also served as Interim Superintendent three times over the course of his career. HIs experience in Special Education began as a teacher for self-contained LD/BD in New Mexico for 5 years. He then became the Special Education coordinator operating out of the NUES program in Heber City. Tom was the special education director for 5 rural school districts during that time. He became the Special Education and Human Resources Director for Park City 1994. Since that time he has utilized his knowledge and expertise in managing special education programs including compliance, programming, budgets, and staffing, PreK through transition. His passion for providing appropriate programs and services for at-risk populations has been the hallmark of his professional career. He received his B.S. Degree in Social Work from Colorado State University and a Masters in Learning Disabilities from the University of Northern Colorado.
Nicole Stewart, Program Specialist
Nicole has worked in Special Education since 1999 as a para-professional, teacher of a self-contained Special Education classroom, behavior specialist, school psychologist, alternative high school principal, and special education director in Park City School District. She has vast experience with all disability categories, services for English Language Learners, as well as RtI procedures and appropriate referral, evaluation, and identification procedures for students with disabilities. Additionally, she is passionate about serving students with emotional and behavior disorders that make their participation in general education challenging. She has worked with students from age 3-21. She obtained her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Utah in 2010 and is pursuing her license in clinical psychology.