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Who We Are

  • Jennifer Dale, Ed.D.
    State Systemic Improvement Plan Coordinator

    Jennifer Dale joined MCIE as the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) Coordinator in collaboration with the Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services. In this role she works with local school systems to implement evidence-based practices to improve outcomes for children with disabilities. Jennifer received her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Innovation and her M.Ed. in School Counseling from Wilmington University and her B.S. in Elementary Education from Salisbury University. Prior to working at MCIE, Jennifer was the Coordinator of Instruction for Special Education, a Response to Intervention Instructional Coach, a Positive Behavior and Intervention Support (PBIS) Coach, and a fourth grade classroom teacher in Worcester County, Maryland. 


  • 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 Autism Women's 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. 


  • 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. 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, and is the recipient of the Johns Hopkins University Distinguished Alumna Award, the Top 100 MBE Entrepreneurs, and the Brava! Award for Baltimore area executives who give to their community. Carol serves on the Executive Team for the SWIFT Center, a National Inclusive School Reform Center funded by the US Dept. of Education in partnership with the University of Kansas.


  • 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

  • Treasurer

    Julia Michael

    Health Insurance Specialist,
    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • Directors

    Tricia Homer

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

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

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