Office of Learning Supports
Scott Ross, Ph.D., BCBA-D, is the Director of the Office of Learning Supports (OLS), and he will direct the activities for the State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) in Colorado (2016-2021). Previously, Dr. Ross was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation at Utah State University where he taught coursework in direct instruction, curriculum development, classroom and behavior management, coaching, and systems change. He has also worked on SPDGs in two other states, Oregon and Utah. For Oregon, he coordinated the Effective Behavioral and Instructional Support Systems (EBISS) project. For Utah, he was the lead IHE consultant for the Utah Multi-Tiered System of Supports (UMTSS) project. In addition to his extensive work in MTSS and systems change, Dr. Ross is also an award-winning, national and international expert in bullying prevention, and has published and reviewed extensively for education journals, including the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, School Psychology Quarterly, Teaching Exceptional Children, and the Journal of Positive Behavior Support.
Diane Barranco, A.A.S., has been the Program Assistant for the CDE Office of Learning Supports for nine years, serving as office manager and event coordinator. She provides fiscal, accounting, and budget monitoring. Ms. Barranco, a fluent Spanish speaker, has an Associate's degree in applied science as a sign language interpreter from Front Range Community College.
Bullying Prevention and Education Grant Coordinator
Adam Collins, Ph.D., is an MTSS Specialist and the Colorado Bullying Prevention and Education Grant Coordinator in the Office of Learning Supports. Dr. Collins most recently served as a K-5 school psychologist in the Adams 12 School District where he had first-hand experience in the development and practical application of MTSS, RtI, and school-wide bullying prevention. He received his doctorate degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in School Psychology with a focus on bullying prevention and intervention. Dr. Collins has co-authored several book chapters and presented on bullying prevention to various stakeholders including schools, companies, and organizations.
PBIS Statewide Coordinator
303-866-6768 (office) & 303-501-2067 (cell)
Lynne DeSousa, M.S., is a Multi-Tiered System of Supports Specialist and is the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Statewide Coordinator. During her more than 21 years in education, she has served as a CDE regional Technical Assistance (TA) provider, a district-level Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support Coordinator, a school psychologist, and a counselor. Ms. DeSousa previously coached LEAs in proactive, positive, and instructional discipline practices across all tiers. Areas of professional interest have included functional behavioral assessment and behavior support planning, individual and small group counseling, social emotional learning, trauma informed practices, self-regulation strategies, classroom management, and school-wide bullying prevention and intervention. She has a Master’s degree in school psychology from California State University of Fresno.p>
MTSS Specialist & Regional Implementation Consultant
Carole Pandorf, M.S.W., MTSS Specialist, previously served as a Project Manager for Early Literacy Matters (ELM) and provided ongoing Technical Assistance (TA) support to demonstration sites for Pyramid Model implementation in Florida. In Colorado, Ms. Pandorf has been a Coordinator of Regional Service Agency 4 and an Early Childhood Coordinator for Uncompahgre BOCES. She developed and facilitated professional development for early childhood practitioners, emphasizing integration of social-emotional competency into emergent literacy instructional practices. Prior to joining the CDE OLS state leadership team, she spent six years supporting local PBIS and MTSS leadership teams as a regional TA provider for the CDE OLS. Ms. Pandorf has a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of California-Berkeley.
Michael Ramirez, M.A., is an MTSS Specialist in the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) Office of Learning Supports. Since coming to CDE in January 2000, Michael has served as a consultant for Eligible Facilities, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), Special Education and Behavior. Prior to working at CDE, he developed, promoted, expanded and sustained growth in a school for at-risk youth in the Denver metropolitan area. His versatile background has situated him as a cross-systems thinker and collaborator. He has developed resources, provided trainings and Technical Assistance (TA) on a variety of topics including: practices for effective behavior supports, CDE guidance documents, implementation science, and the development of a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS). Mr. Ramirez received his Masters of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from Colorado Christian University in Lakewood, Colorado.
Samantha Swauger, M.A., is an MTSS Specialist within the CDE Office of Learning Supports, providing assistance in statewide efforts to build capacity in districts and BOCES to implement and maintain a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS). Over the past ten years, Ms. Swauger has worked in a wide range of educational settings developing, implementing, and assessing large-scale educational programs. She earned an M.A. in Educational Foundations, Policy, and Practice from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Kim Watchorn, Ed.S., has been an MTSS Specialist within the CDE Office of Learning Supports for 4 years, providing Technical Assistance (TA), facilitating Communities of Practice, and coordinating digital projects. She has developed and delivered trainings, courses, and modules on varied topics (e.g., MTSS Overviews, MTSS Implementation Workshops, Implementation Science foundations, Differentiated Instruction, Family, School, and Community Partnering, and Data-Based Problem Solving). Ms. Watchorn is Vice-Chair of the State Advisory Council for Parent Involvement in Education (SACPIE). She is in the Education Sciences Ph.D. program at Colorado State University. Prior to her time at the Department, Ms. Watchorn served in multiple roles in schools, districts, and colleges in Colorado and Missouri.