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APBS 2019 Award Winners

Dr. Renee Bradley, 2019 APBS Leadership Award Winner

Dr. Renee Bradley, 2019 APBS Leadership Award Winner

Renee Bradley, Ph.D., has over thirty years of experience in special education. She began her career as a teacher of students with emotional and behavioral disabilities. During those eight years she worked in a variety of settings from self-contained to an inclusion program to providing homebound services working with children preschool through high school. Renee worked at the South Carolina Educational Policy Center for two years prior to joining the University of South Carolina Special Education Program as a Clinical Instructor in the Graduate School. During her time there she coordinated the master’s student teaching experience and taught a variety of courses. As an experienced consultant and trainer on a variety of education issues including: behavioral supports and interventions, juvenile justice, instructional strategies, teacher training and school leadership. Renee has a reputation as an effective deliverer of research based and practical information with a strong sense of the real world. In 1997, Renee joined the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs as a program specialist on the National Initiatives Team. In 1998, she became the Special Assistant to the Director of Research to Practice and now serves as the Deputy Director. Among her responsibilities she is the project officer for the National Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions. She coordinated the OSEP LD Initiative and served as the project officer for the National Research Center on Learning Disabilities and the IDEA Partnership Project. She has written and contributed to numerous publications, serves on several professional publication boards, and is a frequent presenter on special education issues. Renee has a bachelors and masters in special education from the College of Charleston and her Ph.D. in Leadership and Policy from the University of South Carolina.

Dr. Blair Lloyd, 2018 Ted Carr Early Career Researcher Award Winner

Dr. Blair Lloyd, 2019 Ted Carr Early Researcher Award Winner

Blair Lloyd, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Special Education at Vanderbilt University. Her research focuses on individualized assessments and interventions for students with persistent challenging behavior and methods to improve direct observation measures of behavior and behavior-environment contingencies. Dr. Lloyd is currently a principal investigator on an IES-funded project to develop a decision framework to support special educators and behavior specialists incorporate hypothesis testing in functional behavior assessments. She is also a co-principal investigator on a technical assistance grant funded by the Tennessee Department of Education to build capacity for multi-tiered systems of behavior support in schools across the state. She teaches courses on the experimental analysis of behavior and single case research design.

Jim Finch, 2019 Ted Carr Early Career Practitioner Award Winner

Dr. Jim Finch, 2019 Ted Carr Early Career Practitioner Award Winner

Jim Finch, Ed.D., is in his 12th year as the principal at Mary Persons High School and has been in education for 25 years. Dr. Finch received his Bachelor of Science in Education from Georgia Southern University in 1994 and a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from Georgia College and State University in 2001. Dr. Finch received his doctorate from Valdosta State University in 2015.

Dr. Finch sits on the state Board of Directors for the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders (GAEL) as well as on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals (GASSP). Dr. Finch is the GASSP President-elect for the 2018-2019 school year. Previously, Dr. Finch served as State Coordinator for GASSP and the state of Georgia’s advocacy delegate to NASSP during the 2014-2017 school years. He is a member of the PAGE Principal Leadership Network and serves as the AAAA representative for the Georgia High School Association’s (GHSA) Board of Trustees.

Dr. Finch helped lead the Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports initiative in his district at a time when few were implementing PBIS in high schools. Through support from local and state PBIS personnel, Mary Persons High School is considered a model school for PBIS in Georgia. Dr. Finch has also helped lead the statewide PBIS strategic plan in Georgia and has also consulted with the Georgia Professional Standards Commission to help develop the first PBIS endorsement to certificated personnel in Georgia.

Dr. Finch’s wife, Kelli, is a real estate agent in the middle Georgia area. They have four children – Kennedy, a 2018 graduate of Mary Persons and freshman at Georgia Southern University, Jimbo, a junior at Mary Persons, Carli, a 2nd grader at TG Scott, and Max, a kindergarten student at TG Scott.

Ruth Payno-Simmons, 2019 Ted Carr Early Career Practitioner Award Winner

Dr. Ruth Payno-Simmons, 2019 Ted Carr Early Career Practitioner Award Winner

Ruth Payno-Simmons, Ph.D.,, (formally Ruth Riddle) provides consulting and technical assistance for various state and local educational entities. Her work involves collaborating with a team of experts at the state and national level in developing and delivering professional learning content and resources to address significant disproportionality involving discipline, race, and ethnicity in PBIS schools. Additionally, Dr. Payno-Simmons supports educators in centering equity in their work as they recognize institutionally oppressive and supportive practices that shape school climate and the identities of students they serve. Dr. Payno-Simmons’ experience as a researcher, teacher, principal, and central office administrator has provided her with a broad depth of knowledge and expertise in culturally sustaining practices, multi-tiered systems of supports (MTSS), school-wide positive behavior supports (SWPBIS), and implementing sustainable equitable educational systems. In her past role as building principal, Dr. Payno-Simmons worked with her staff to implement sustainable systems that focused on promoting equitable learning which earned the state designation of Rewards School for closing the opportunity gap between the top 30% and bottom 30% students performing on the state assessment. Dr. Payno-Simmons leadership experiences over the last decade include coordination of K-12 educational programs, instruction, curriculum, staff professional development at all levels, school improvement, district accreditation, and evaluation of systems, assessment, and processes.

2018 Ted Carr Outstanding Poster Winners

At each year's International Conference for Positive Behavior Support, the Association for Positive Behavior Support awards two scholarships to students who present scholarly work at the Reception/Poster Session. These awards are given to students who present original research or original research-based practitioner or teacher education information.

Sara Estrapala, Ashley Rila, and Tim Knoster

Is it Working? Using Data and Technology to Improve Behavior
Sara Estrapala, Ashley Rila, and Allison Bruhn, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

We will describe the results of a recent study examining the effects of technology-based self-monitoring and data-based individualization on students’ behavioral outcomes and teacher perceptions of usability and feasibility.


Angus Kittleman, 2018 Ted Carr Outstanding Poster Winner, and Tim Knoster, APBS Executive Director

Diffusion of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports within School Districts
Angus Kittelman and Kent McIntosh, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR

Presenters will share results from a national study examining the rate of change in the diffusion of PBIS in over 600 schools districts during their first five consecutive years of PBIS implementation.