Within The Framework Webinar
For State Leaders, By State Leaders: Implementing, Scaling and Sustaining the Pyramid Model Statewide with Fidelity

Within The Framework Webinar Series


November 30, 2021
Duration: 66 min



This webinar will focus on implementing, scaling and sustaining high fidelity Pyramid Model statewide. Panelists from three states will share their experiences and resources they use to address State Leadership Team structure and membership, policy decisions, strategies for funding, and supporting high fidelity implementation of the Pyramid Model.

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Barbara Smith

Barbara Smith, University of Denver

Barbara Smith’s areas of interest include policies and systems in early intervention, early childhood special education and early care and education, as well as leadership, professional development, and collaboration. She has been an early childhood teacher; Executive Director of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC); Policy Specialist, CEC; and Program Specialist, US Office of Special Education Programs. Barbara has worked with NAEYC and other early childhood leadership organizations to help shape quality inclusive early childhood environments and the policies and guidelines that support them. She has published widely on the topic of EC policy and systems, presented testimony to state legislative and Congressional committees and has provided consultation to states on state policy. She served as faculty on CSEFEL and TACSEI, and currently on the National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations (NCPMI) as well as the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA Center). Barbara is on the Board of Directors for the Pyramid Model Consortium and is co-author of The Preschool Inclusion Toolbox: How to Build and Lead a High Quality Program.

Ben Riepe

Ben Riepe, University of Denver

Ben Riepe, MA is an Inclusion Coaching Specialist for the Positive Early Learning Experiences (PELE) Center at the University of Denver. In addition to supporting the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA), Ben is staff on the National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations. Ben has 13 years of experience as a Head Start teacher, coach, and trainer. Here he supported high fidelity program-wide implementation of the Pyramid Model with families of diverse backgrounds in Denver, Colorado. He then worked at the Colorado Center for Social Emotional Competence and Inclusion for 6 years supporting communities in their efforts to embed practices into their systems and classrooms.

Dawn Meskil

Dawn Meskil, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Office of Early Learning

Dawn Meskil, MSW, Ed.D, serves as a Preschool Exceptional Children (Part B 619) Co-Coordinator with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Office of Early Learning. In this role she supports cross sector state collaborations and provides support to local school districts to ensure all young children with disabilities have access to high-quality educational opportunities. Dr. Meskil began her career serving as an Early Head Start teacher and home visitor and as a program coordinator. She later served as a state consultant and as the assistant director of a regional office with the North Carolina Part C program. Most recently, Dr. Meskil served as the Preschool Program Director with a local school district, spearheading the creation of the first public Montessori primary school in Western North Carolina during that time.

Catasha Williams

Catasha Williams, Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center

Catasha A. Williams is a TA Specialist with Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center and is a co-PI on the NC Early Learning Network Project and co-chair of the International Early Childhood Inclusion Institute. In addition, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Pyramid Model Consortium. Her work centers on supporting early childhood leadership teams to deliver evidence-informed practices for promoting healthy social and emotional development, inclusive opportunities and culturally responsive practices for children and families.

Hope Beissel

Hope Beissel, Minnesota Centers of Excellence for Young Children with Disabilities

Hope Beissel is an Early Childhood Special Education Professional Development Facilitator and the Pyramid Model Content Lead for the MN Centers of Excellence for Young Children with Disabilities (MNCoE). Hope has been working in the field of Early Childhood Special Education since 1996. She began her career in Georgia working in the state’s Part C system. Hope then moved to Minnesota in 2009, joining the Minnesota Department of Human Services in a Part C Interagency role. She has been in her current role with MNCoE since it launched in 2010 and enjoys supporting Pyramid Model implementation sites in scale up and sustainability. In addition, Hope also facilitates the State Implementation Team, statewide trainers, and scale up of the Pyramid Model throughout MN.

Sally Hansen

Sally Hansen, Minnesota Centers of Excellence for Young Children with Disabilities

Sally Hansen is a Region 11 Early Childhood Special Education Professional Development Facilitator. She has been working in the field of early childhood education and children’s mental health since 2001. Currently, Sally supports Early Childhood programs as an external coach. Sally meets with internal coaches, implementation teams and data managers to help programs install evidence-based practices throughout their program. Sally is also the Content Lead for the Classroom Engagement Model and Practice Based Coaching in Minnesota, coordinating the state-wide systems for training, coaching, and data collection.

Julie Betchkal

Julie Betchkal, Wisconsin Pyramid Model State Coordinator

After 20 years as a classroom teacher, Julie “lucked” her way into a Pyramid Model Trainer of Trainers in 2005. The content, strategies and ideals were a perfect fit for her personal philosophy of thinking, teaching and supporting others. In 2019, she helped to write Wisconsin’s CSEFEL State application proposal as a co-coordinator with Lana Shklyar Nenide. As a staff member with the Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health, Julie continues to serve as the State Coordinator for Wisconsin’s implementation of the Pyramid Model for Social Emotional Competence by holding a talented team of Regional Pyramid Model Leads who, in turn, hold regional trainers, coaches, programs and consultants.

Lana Nenide

Lana Nenide, Executive Director at the Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health (WI-AIMH)

Lana holds a master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Wisconsin and is a graduate of the Napa Infant-Parent Mental Health Post Graduate Certificate Program, where she received specialized training in infant-parent mental health. Lana joined WI-AIMH in 2006 to oversee professional development efforts of the agency. Lana is a member of the Fussy Baby Network and provides training and consultation on the FAN framework. Lana is a faculty at the Wisconsin Infant, Early Childhood, and Family Mental Health Capstone Certificate program and holds Infant Mental Health Endorsement. Lana is appointed to serve on the Governor’s Early Childhood Advisory Council and the Early Care and Education Committee for the City of Madison. Lana is a ZERO TO THREE Academy fellow.

Sherri Britt Williams

Sherri Britt Williams, UNC Chapel Hill Frank Porter Graham (FPG) Child Development Institute's Technical Assistance Division

Sherri Britt Williams is the Division Lead for UNC Chapel Hill Frank Porter Graham (FPG) Child Development Institute's Technical Assistance Division and a member of the Leadership Team for the Trohanis Technical Assistance (TA) Projects at UNC FPG Child Development Institute. She is a Senior Technical Assistance Specialist and member of the Leadership Team for the Early Childhood TA (ECTA) Center with lead roles on multiple teams focusing on providing support to state (and U.S. territory) early childhood programs in developing high-quality early intervention and preschool special education service systems, including implementing evidence-based practices and enhancing outcomes for young children with disabilities and their families. Sherri is also the Principal Investigator and Director for the NC Early Learning Network, a project supporting Pyramid Model implementation in North Carolina. NC Early Learning Project builds capacity for state leaders in NC to develop and improve the essential support structures for implementation and program improvement. The project also provides implementation support for all structures and manages and provides the state's professional development support system for public preschool programs. Sherri specializes in supporting state programs to implement successful and sustainable initiatives using an implementation science framework and essential implementation support structures. Other specialty areas include: using evidence-based adult learning and learning design principles to design, develop and provide content for professional development support; providing leadership coaching and consultation for individuals and teams; training and providing ongoing TA support to practitioner coaches; and providing TA support for improving racial equity in early childhood education. Sherri has completed multiple international certification programs including Group Facilitation, Consultation, Change Management, Expert Professional Coaching, and Master Instructional Designer.