Special Education Administration & Additional Supports

 

JP Williams

 JP Williams

State Director of
Special Education


JP joined the OPI in June of 2022. JP has worked as a teacher and school leader over the past 18 years in Nevada and Montana. His passion lies in creating and celebrating student and teacher success with an emphasis on team building and positive community engagement. JP holds a master's degree in Education/Special Education, as well as a master's degree in Educational Leadership. JP’s educational philosophy is that every student, in every classroom, deserves every opportunity to learn and succeed. His favorite quote, “Don’t give up… don’t ever give up!” - Jimmy V.

406-444-4426

Danni McCarthy

 Danni McCarthy

Fiscal &
Reporting Manager


Danni McCarthy is the IDEA Fiscal and Data Reporting Manager. During her time with the OPI, Special Education Unit, she has held many positions. Before coming to the OPI, Danni was a special education teacher for seven years. She currently holds her Education Specialist Degree (Ed.S) in Educational Leadership.

406-444-0452

Kelley Brown

 Kelley Brown

Administrative
Assistant


Kelley has worked at OPI since December of 2013 and as Administrative Assistant in Special Education since February of 2015. Montana is the 7th state she has lived in and is the longest she has lived in any state having moved here in 1998. She loves to be outdoors communing with nature, she loves her puppies (they aren’t really puppies, just small) and you will never find her without a book to read or a project to knit.

406-444-5661



Ty House

 Ty House

Administrative
Assistant


Ty House is an Administrative Assistant with the Special Education Unit. Ty specializes in Discretionary Grants and Contract Payments. She has been with the OPI since 2019. Ty is an avid trail runner with a passion for serving the students of Montana.

406-444-2504

Annette Viciedo Young

 Annette Viciedo Young

Montana SSIP
Director


Annette Viciedo Young has 36 years’ experience as an educator. She has taught all grades K-12 as well as worked in the Montana university system and Embry Riddle Aeronautical Institute as higher education faculty at associates, bachelor’s, and master’s levels. Prior experience also includes valuable time as an education consultant. Annette was one of the first 10 people to be hired by the MT Office of Public Instruction (OPI) in school improvement. She is recognized as a skilled facilitator of systems change. Currently, Annette serves as the MT SSIP Director at the OPI.

406-444-0299

 

 


 

School Improvement

 

John Gorton

 John Gorton

School Improvement
Unit Manager


Currently the School Improvement Manager for the Special Education Unit of the Office of Public Instruction. John has served for 30 years in public education ranging from K-12 Special Education to School Administration as a Principal and as a Special Education Director.  He possesses background in 504, Gifted & Talented, and Curriculum. John currently works remotely with the OPI. 

406-459-4281

Mercee Cislo

 Mercee Cislo

School Improvement
Specialist


Mercee is a School Improvement Specialist and part of the compliance monitoring team for the Special Education Unit in the Office of Public Instruction. Prior to working at OPI, she spent six years as a life skills educator. Her time as a teacher included experience in transitions, alternate assessments, curriculum alignment, and coaching Special Olympics.

406-437-2369

Alicia Herman

 Alicia Herman

School Improvement
Specialist


Alicia is a School Improvement Specialist and part of the compliance monitoring team for the Special Education Unit in the Office of Public Instruction. She comes to the OPI with a background in education. She has experience in numerous educational settings, including a K-8 one-room schoolhouse, combined 4/5 kindergarten, K/1st multi-grade, and middle school special education. Her graduate studies have focused on special education, particularly student wellness, ADHD, twice-exceptional students, and MTSS structure and development. She works remotely from Livingston, Montana, where she lives with her husband and triplets (two girls and a boy). She enjoys fly fishing, gardening, rock hounding along the Yellowstone, and spending time with her family and farm animals.

406-438-1363



Chris McCrea

 Chris McCrea

School Improvement
Specialist


Chris is a School Improvement Specialist and part of the compliance monitoring team for the Special Education Unit of the Office of Public Instruction. Prior, he worked for 20 years as a teacher in Montana, Arizona and the Middle East, with 15 years in special education in the middle and high school settings. During this time, he worked primarily with students with intellectual disabilities. While overseas, he taught students with special education needs and English as a second language. His focus of instruction included differentiated instruction, transition planning, alternate assessment, and independent living skills. He enjoys spending time outdoors with his family exploring all that Montana has to offer and is also a high school and college football official.

406-444-3864

Katie Mattingley

 Katie Mattingley

School Improvement
Specialist


Katie is a School Improvement Specialist and Autism Specialist for the Special Education Unit of the Montana Office of Public Instruction.  Katie earned her Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology from Idaho State University in 2007 and worked as a school-based therapist for 10 years prior to moving into private practice and consulting. Her clinical work primarily focuses on coaching families and individuals experiencing difficulties related to autism spectrum disorders, Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder, Nonverbal Learning Disorder, and ADHD.   Through the Montana Autism Education Project and Special Education Unit, Katie continues to support school teams in best practices for behavior management, functional and social communication, and in utilizing data to drive intervention for students receiving special education services. 

406-437-3874

Desiree Johnson

 Desiree Johnson

School Improvement
Specialist


Desiree is a School Improvement Specialist and part of the compliance monitoring team for the Special Education Unit of the Office of Public Instruction. She’s earned a BS in Communications and an MAT in Special Education. Before joining the OPI, she taught special education for 14 years at Glasgow High School where she developed a strong background in transition planning and Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) and created a work experience program to serve students with disabilities. In previous summers, she has enjoyed working as a Community Rehabilitation Provider for Voc Rehab and teaching communications courses as an adjunct professor for Dawson Community College. She looks forward to serving students, families, and educators through the OPI.

406-431-1081

 

 


 

Continuing Education and Technical Assistance

 

Tammy Lysons

 Tammy Lysons

Continuing Education
Unit Manager


Tammy Lysons is the Continuing Education and Technical Assistance Manager in the Special Education Unit. While Tammy started this new position in 2022, she has been with the OPI since 2019, previously serving as the Title IV-A SSAE Program Manager in Coordinated School Health. Tammy brings 16 years of experience in Montana schools as a K-8 classroom teacher at every grade level, Title I Director, 504 Coordinator, and K-8 Principal. Tammy has a B.A. in Elementary Education and a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership, both from the University of Montana.

406-431-2309

Doug Doty

 Doug Doty

Autism
Specialist


Doug Doty is the Statewide Coordinator for the OPI Montana Autism Education Project on the Continuing Education and Technical Assistance Team. He has been with the OPI since 1994 and enjoys the opportunity to work with special educators across Montana. He has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Eastern Montana College.

406-459-5303

Kristin Snowden

 Kristin Snowden

Program Support
Specialist


Kristin Snowden is the Gifted and Talented Program Specialist and CSPD State Director on the Continuing Education and Technical Assistance Team. She joined the unit in 2022. Kristin has a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Colorado State University and a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Adam’s State University. Kristin has enjoyed more than twenty years of service in public education in a variety of roles

406-465-6661

 

 

 

Anne Carpenterame

 Anne Carpenter

Program Support Specialist


Anne Carpenter is a new Program Support Specialist for the Special Education Department. Anne holds a Master of Education Degree from the University of Montana- Missoula. Her major area of study was in special education. She also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Peru State College, NE. She has previously worked as an Early Childhood/Elementary Teacher, Inclusion/Program Specialist for the DPHHS Child Care Unit, a Developmental Disability Case Manager and recently as a Pre-ETS Specialist for the Montana Vocational Rehabilitation Program. She brings lots of experience to her current role where she is dedicated in developing training opportunities that will motivate and inspire SPED teachers, families and communities.

406-465-0922

 

 


 

Early Childhood

 

Lucy Beltz

 Lucy Beltz

Early Learning and Special Education Specialist


Lucy Beltz is the Early Learning and Special Education Specialist in the Special Education Unit. From Chicago to Vanuatu to Montana, she brings twenty years of experience in education. She has a Master's in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in Advanced Early Childhood Education and a Bachelor's in Art Education. Her passion lies in coordinating culturally responsive practice in education and health to rejuvenate culture, environment, and climate striving for a community of people appreciated for their value and supported to be active participants; moving away from a culture of helping to a culture of understanding, acceptance, and support.

 

 

 


 

Data Systems & Reporting

 

Anne Rainey

 Anne Rainey

Data Accountability
Specialist


Anne Rainey is the IDEA Part B Data Manager in the Special Education Unit. As the IDEA Part B Data Manager, Anne is responsible for overseeing all special education data – this includes data submitted to the US Dept of Education/Office of Special Education Programs through the EDFacts Reporting System, the EMAPS Reporting System, and the SPP/APR. She was instrumental in founding the Special Education Data Manager’s Affinity Group (SEDMAG) under the auspice of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) in 2015.

406-444-4430

NAME

 Kristie Sears

Data Accountability
Specialist


Kristie Sears is the Research Analyst in the Special Education Unit. She started with the Office of Public Instruction in September of 2018. During her time, she has worked within the AIM Unit and Special Education Unit providing technical support to Infinite Campus, the Student Information System for Montana. She is passionate about serving and supporting the school districts of Montana. 

406-444-0685