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Who We Are

  • Tyi-Sanna Jones, Ph.D
    Professional Learning Facilitator

    Tyi-Sanna became a Professional Learning Facilitator for the Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education in 2018. Previously, Tyi-Sanna was with Urban Teachers as Special Education Clinical Faculty, teaching at Johns Hopkins University.  She has taught in several school districts including Baltimore City Public School, Alexandria City Public Schools, and Prince George’s County Public School. She has also been faculty for Peace College, now William Peace University in Raleigh, NC. Tyi-Sanna received a Bachelor’s in Special Education at North Carolina Agricultural &Technical State University, a Master’s in Special Education with an emphasis on Autism from the University of Kansas, and a Doctorate of Special Education from University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She was also a fellow with Education Pioneers working with the School District of Philadelphia.  An avid scholar of history as well as an artist, Dr. Jones comes to this work with a clear vision of the past and creative solutions to impact the trajectory in the field of education for students and leaders that have been historical underserved.


  • Audry Gagnon
    Administrative Assistant

    Audry Gagnon plays a key role in the day-to-day operations of MCIE. Originally from Georgia, she received a B.A. in International Affairs and a B.A. in Religion from the University of Georgia. Prior to coming to MCIE, she worked as the intern for mission at the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland through the Episcopal Service Corps.


  • Nolan Taylor, M.Ed
    Professional Learning Facilitator

    Nolan hails from the Pacific Northwest. He received his undergraduate in Elementary Education from Linfield College and his Master in Education from Concordia University-Portland in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Equity Ethics and Justice. Before joining the team at MCIE, Nolan worked as an elementary teacher in rural Oregon. In the 2017-2018 school year, Nolan raised over 10k in grant donations to outfit his classroom with active seating and necessary student support items.  Nolan also worked as the professional development coordinator for his district. Under this role, the school district began to implement improvement science techniques and teacher-led relevant professional development. He prides himself on dynamic student-led environments, equity in all discussions, humor, and supporting our educators to be the best. As the late Rita Person said: “Every child deserves a champion—an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.”


  • Barb Gruber, Ph.D.
    Professional Learning Facilitator

    Barb Gruber received her B.A. in Sociology and Psychology from Alderson-Broaddus College, her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from West Virginia University, and her Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to MCIE, Barb worked at the May Institute in Massachusetts, providing behavioral interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and was an instructor at the University of Maryland, College Park, teaching a course on inclusive practices in the Department of Special Education.


  • Elissa Lockman Turner, M.S.
    Professional Learning Facilitator

    Elissa Turner received her B.A. in Education from Pepperdine University and her M.S. in Education from Portland State University. Prior to MCIE, Elissa was a teacher at the Chime School in California, where she collaborated to educate students with severe disabilities in inclusive classrooms. She has worked as a special education teacher in a variety of instructional settings.


  • Kit Mead, B.A.
    Communications Specialist

    Kit Mead is an Autistic disability rights advocate who has a B.A. in history from Agnes Scott College. As part of their work for MCIE, they develop and implement social media and communications strategies. Since 2015, Kit has volunteered with the Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network (AWN)'s social media team. Previously, they held positions at the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) and at the Agnes Scott College Accessible Education office. Kit has also had experience working with ASAN as an intern in communications and policy, and as a local chapter leader. 


  • Kaitlin Mills, M.A.
    Secondary Transition Technical Support Consultant

    Kaitlin Mills received her B.A. in Psychology from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC, and her M.A. in Special Education/Higher Education from the University of Maryland, College Park. Kaitlin worked as a learning specialist for the University of Maryland’s football and Olympic sports teams while in graduate school. While a learning specialist, she worked with college student-athletes with learning disabilities to ensure they received the proper accommodations and assistance throughout their college careers. Kaitlin was responsible for multiple student-athletes to foster their self-advocacy, study strategies, and test taking skills. Kaitlin specializes in self-advocacy skills for secondary and post-secondary students with disabilities to use both in the classroom and in the workforce.


  • Nichole Parthemore
    Office Manager

    Nichole Parthemore performs a key role in the successful organization and day-to-day operations of our organization. Prior to coming to MCIE, Nichole worked in an administrative capacity at W.B. Harris Builders, Builder Resource Supply Corporation, and American Lumber Company.


  • Carol Quirk, Ed.D.
    Chief Executive Officer

    Carol Quirk is one of the founders of MCIE. She received her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Connecticut, and her Ed.D. from the Johns Hopkins University. Over the last several years, Carol has been key member of the national Professional Development in Autism Center and the SWIFT Center, a national school reform center based at the University of Kansas where she is an adjunct faculty member. Prior to MCIE, Carol was the Executive Director of an adult services agency in Baltimore City, a consultant to Philadelphia Public Schools, Early Intervention Specialist for MSDE, Director of Technical Assistance to Early Intervention Programs in North Carolina, and a special education teacher in Connecticut. Carol served on the TASH Board of Directors and the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. She is the recipient of the Johns Hopkins University School of Education Distinguished Alumna Award, named as one of the Top 100 MBE Entrepreneurs, and the Brava! Award for Baltimore area executives who give to their community. Carol works with the University of Kansas on research on the implementation of the Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction, continues to support state and local education agencies in inclusive school transformation, and works internationally to promote inclusive practices.


  • Tom Robbins, M.A.
    Professional Learning Facilitator

    Tom Robbins received his B.A. and M.A. from Washington College, and a graduate certificate in Career Planning and Placement for Youth in Transition from the University of Maryland. During his fifteen years as a teacher prior to joining MCIE, Tom worked with students age 7 to 70, teaching a variety of subjects in public, non-public, private and adult education settings. Most recently, he served as a transition specialist for a Maryland school district and as the chairperson of the State’s Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services steering committee on Secondary Transition. Additionally, Tom has experience in curriculum development for secondary and post-secondary classes, as well as professional development experience in de-escalation techniques, Universal Design for Learning, and secondary transition.


  • Steve Smith, Ed.D.
    Professional Learning Facilitator

    Steve Smith, Ed.D. became a Professional Development Facilitator for the Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education in 2017. Previously, Steve had experience as a paraprofessional, special education teacher, behavior specialist, and statewide instructional coach. Educationally, Steve has received his Bachelor’s in Psychology from Washington College, a Master’s in Special Education from Wilmington University and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Wilmington University. Dr. Smith has experience in the areas of professional development, behavior support, IEP development, and Universal Design for Learning. Dr. Smith is also a member of the CAST National UDL Cadre and an adjunct faculty member for the Wilmington University Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership.


  • Elizabeth Tornquist, Ph.D
    Professional Learning Facilitator

    Betsy Tornquist received her B.A. in Special Education from the University of North Carolina Charlotte, her M.A. in Special Education from the University of Maryland, and her PhD in Special Education from George Mason University. Betsy worked as a transition specialist in two school districts in the Washington Metropolitan area, assisting students and families with the transition planning process. Prior to MCIE Betsy was a Professional Development School Coordinator at the University of Maryland, where she coordinated with local school systems to provide student teaching internships and supervised University of Maryland students in their internships as well as taught in the College of Education.


Who We Are


Join Our Board!

Would you like to join our Board of Directors? MCIE is looking for applicants who are passionate about inclusion! Please call 410.859.5400 or e-mail mcie@mcie.org  for more information.  

To apply, review the job description and complete and return the application.

Board of Directors

  • Legal Advisor

    Gabrielle Shirley

    Assistant Public Defender,
    Maryland Office of the Public Defender, CINA Division

  • President

    Jacques Smith

    Consultant, Jacques Smith, LLC

  • Vice President

    Alisha Dixon

    Senior Manager, Operations and Technology
    Fannie Mae

  • Directors

    Tricia Homer

    Executive Coach,
    R.H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland

  • Catherine "Kate" Gilbert

    Former Regional Assistant Superintendent, Retired from Anne Arundel County Public Schools

  • Dr. Shaunna Payne Gold

    Associate Director of Assessment and Student Development, University of Maryland

Join our contact list

and stay up-to-date on news and events

Join Now!

6810 Deerpath Rd, Suite #300, Elkridge, MD 21075 / 410.859.5400 phone / 410.859.1509 fax / mcie@mcie.org

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