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 ten 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.
MTSS Research and Evaluation Coordinator
Andrew Schaper, Ph.D., is the Multi-Tiered System of Supports Research and Evaluation Coordinator. Andrew has a doctorate from the University of Oregon’s Department of Educational Methodology, Policy, and Leadership. He also conducted a post-doctoral fellowship with the Center for Developmental Science and the Department of Quantitative Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andrew’s major areas of interest are implementation science and the dissemination of evidence-based practices to improve student outcomes. Andrew’s work with the Office of Learning Supports will consist of conducting research and evaluation across office projects.
PBIS Statewide Coordinator
and 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 23 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.
Jason Harlacher, Ph.D., is an MTSS Specialist in the Office of Learning Supports with over 15 years of experience in education. Dr. Harlacher previously worked as a school psychologist in Oregon, Nevada, and Utah, and as a consultant on schoolwide tiered models at both the district- and state-level. Most recently, he worked as a researcher with Marzano Research. He authored Designing Effective Classroom Management and coauthored Practitioner’s Guide to Curriculum Based Evaluation in Reading. He presents nationally on various topics and is an adjunct professor within the Denver metro area. Dr. Harlacher earned his master’s degree in School Psychology from Utah State University, and his doctorate degree in School Psychology is from the University of Oregon.
Samantha Lyon, 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.
Sean Taylor, M.Ed., MTSS Specialist, has over 24 years of experience in education. In Texas, he served as a Special Education teacher, as well as an Assistant Principal for both elementary and high school. In Colorado, he has served as: middle school Special Education teacher, elementary school Principal, Director of Assessment, and Director of Academics. He has developed many structures for Colorado school districts, led professional development, and co-chaired the Post-Secondary Workforce Readiness Committee in partnership with Colorado higher education. His work in a variety of educational settings has given him an opportunity to implement and facilitate a variety of MTSS strategies at the classroom, building, and district levels.
Kim Watchorn, Ed.S., has been an MTSS Specialist within the CDE Office of Learning Supports for over 5 years, providing Technical Assistance (TA), facilitating Communities of Practice (CoP), coordinating digital projects, supervising consultants, creating resources, composing guidance documents, and collaborating internally within the Office and across CDE. 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 and Decision-Making). 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.