U.S. public schools enrolled 1,258,182 children and youth experiencing homelessness during the 2012-2013 school year.
(Source: National Center for Homeless Education)

Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Dana Scott, President, is the State Coordinator for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth at the Colorado Department of Education. Dana works with school districts and community agencies statewide to remove educational barriers and to provide educational and support services to children, youth, and their families who experience homelessness. Dana has thirteen years of experience working with homeless issues in the public and nonprofit sectors and was principal writer for Denver's 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness. She has an additional seven years of experience as a grant program officer at the Daniels Fund, LMC Community Foundation, and El Pomar Foundation.  Dana serves on Governor Hickenlooper’s Pathways Home Advisory Committee on Homelessness and the Colorado Advisory Committee on Homeless Youth.  She also co-leads Colorado’s Taskforce on Higher Education for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth.  Dana has served on the NAEHCY Board since 2007.

Frank Migali, Vice President, currently serves as the Arizona State Coordinator for Homeless Education and Refugee Education and has been with the Arizona Department of Education since the fall of 2003. During his time at ADE, he has worked extensively with many special populations including Indian Education, Migrant Education, Gifted Education, Refugee Education and Homeless Education. Frank serves as an appointed member of the Governor's Interagency Coordinating Council for Infants and Toddlers. Frank has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.

Denise Ross, Secretary, has been employed with the Prince George’s County Public School System in Maryland since 1984. She has served as the Supervisor of the Homeless Education Office for Prince George's County Public Schools for the past seven years. Under her leadership, over 1,500 homeless students are receiving McKinney-Vento services during the current school year. While in her current position, Denise implemented programs in which parents/students were provided with gift cards/certificates/vouchers to purchase clothing, uniforms, shoes, and personal hygiene items from various vendors. She is responsible for initiating an afterschool tutorial program at an elementary school where a significant number of students residing in a transitional housing program are enrolled. Tutorial programs also were established at local homeless shelters and residences where families are doubled-up.

Denise participated in a meeting with staff from the White House Domestic Policy Council and Office of Public Liaison to discuss issues related to homeless children, youth, and families as well as HUD’s definition of homelessness. Denise had the honor of testifying on behalf of homeless children and youth before the Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee (HELP) at hearings related to the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Her testimony identified areas that needed to be strengthened or included in the reauthorization of the McKinney-Vento Act.

One of the homeless families that Denise previously worked with was featured on CNN programming which highlighted the plight of a single homeless mother with two school-aged children. Denise has a heart for those who find themselves in need of a helping hand and it is that type of dedication that makes her an advocate for Prince George’s County Public Schools’ homeless students.

Denise is married and has one daughter. She enjoys exercising, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Grace Whitney, Treasurer, serves as the Connecticut Head Start State Collaboration Director. Grace provides valuable information and leadership in NAEHCY's efforts to promote access to early education programs for young homeless children.

At-Large Members

Lorraine Allen

Deborah Boone, At-Large Member, has served as the McKinney-Vento Coordinator in Richland County School District One for nearly 19 years. The Parents and Students Succeed (PASS) Project is Richland One’s homeless initiative. PASS is a comprehensive program that utilizes district and community resources to help students succeed. Under her capable leadership, the needs of students and families experiencing homelessness are being met on a daily basis. Deborah has served on numerous state, community and district-wide committees/advisory boards. She is the past chair of the local HUD Continuum of Care and serves on the Board of Directors for two area homeless shelters.

Diana Bowman, At-Large Member, directs the National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) at The SERVE Center at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro, North Carolina. NCHE is the U.S. Department of Education’s technical assistance center for the Education for Homeless Children and Youth program. Diana has presented workshops on meeting the educational needs of homeless children and youth (preschool aged through high school) at national and state conferences and has conducted trainings for local homeless education liaisons and other service providers across the nation for over 15 years. She has authored a variety of practitioner-oriented publications and articles in the areas of homeless education, collaborative program planning, and meeting the needs of children at risk.  Diana also oversees the North Carolina Homeless Education Program.

Shirley Fan-Chan

Kenya Haynes

Larissa Parrott-Dickinson, At-Large Member, is a social worker with the Mobile County Public School System's Homeless Education Program in Mobile, AL.  Larissa also serves as Co-Homeless Liaison for the District. She began her social work career in her hometown of Athens, GA.  While interning and later working for a local homeless shelter, she discovered her love and compassion for the homeless population.  Larissa earned her BA and MA degrees in Social Work from the University of Georgia.  She occasionally teaches master’s level social work courses for the University of Alabama's School of Social Work and serves as a Field Placement Supervisor for MSW Interns.  Additionally, she serves as Board Secretary for the Family Promise/Interfaith Hospitality Network of Coastal Alabama.

Kerry Wrenick, Local Conference Chair, is the McKinney-Vento Liaison with Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools. Kerry strives to assist youth in accessing educational services to ensure they are college and career ready. She is a firm believer that education is the foundation for a strong future. Kerry is an advocate for homeless services within the Kansas City community and serves as the Vice-Chairman for the Wyandotte Homeless Services Coalition.

Committee Chairs

Carie Bires, Early Childhood Education Committee Chair, is currently a Policy Specialist at the Ounce of Prevention Fund in Chicago. As a member of the Illinois Policy Team, she works to improve the quality of and access to early learning programs and services for at-risk children, with a special focus on issues related to child care, community systems development, and vulnerable populations. She is active in several statewide early care and education initiatives, including the Illinois Early Learning Council. Prior to her work at the Ounce of Prevention Fund, Carie held the position of Systems Integration Manager at Heartland Health Outreach, and also previously managed a program for children at a long-term transitional housing program. Carie holds a B.A. in music therapy from Western Illinois University (2004) and earned her graduate degree in social work from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2009. Carie also serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors for the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign School of Social Work Alumni Association.

Barb Dexter, LeTendre Scholarship Committee Chair, is the Secondary Specialist with the Anchorage School District's Child In Transition/Homeless Project. She has been with the program since 1993, working as a McKinney-Vento Liaison in a school district of nearly 50,000 students. She began her career as a social worker in Oregon and continues to work with youth experiencing homelessness, as well as youth in the child welfare system in the Anchorage, AK, community. She has provided trainings at the national, state, and local levels on unaccompanied youth, homeless children and youth in the child welfare system, migrant and homeless youth, as well as statewide trainings for local liaisons on McKinney-Vento legislation. Barb is co-founder of Partners In Homeless Education, a fund to support educational and recreational opportunities for homeless children and youth. Barb earned a BA in Classics at the University of California, Berkeley, and an MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) at the University of Alaska, Anchorage.

Jennifer Martin, Higher Education Committee Chair, is Director of Content Management at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA). Her job duties include researching regulatory questions and developing training materials for NASFAA members. Prior to her work with NASFAA, Jennifer worked in the financial aid offices at the University of Maryland and the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, a graduate division of the Johns Hopkins University. 

Jennifer holds a B.A in Political Science from Colorado State University and a M.A. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland. In addition to advocating for students experiencing homelessness, her special professional interests include early awareness and issues affecting individuals with disabilities.

Bettye Poole, Conference Committee Co-Chair, serves as the Local Homeless Education Liaison for the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation in Evansville, Indiana. In her role as Local Liaison,  Bettye works closely with school personnel, including school counselors and social workers,  to coordinate  assistance for homeless students in the areas of transportation, freeschool lunch, clothing and school supplies, and shelter assistance.  She works closely with community resource partners that offer specialized instruction to homeless students according to each student's need. Bettye serves as President for Boom Squad Inc., a non-profit organization serving homeless and at-risk students. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Southwestern Behavioral Healthcare Organization, as Chairperson for the Evansville Homeless Prevention Coalition, as a Board Member for  The Homeless Services Council of Southwest Indiana, on the Board of Directors for the  Commission on Homelessness within  the  Mayor’s Office, and as Vice President of the University of Evansville African-American Alumni Association.  Bettye is a licensed real estate agent. She also holds a BA in Liberal Studies and an MS in Public Service Administration.

Joseph P. Sanchez, Awards Committee Chair, is the Program Operations Director at the University of New Mexico's College of Nursing. He holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from New Mexico Highlands University and is currently a graduate student at the University of New Mexico pursuing a PhD in Family Studies. He has over 12 years of experience in working with the New Mexico Public Education Department. In specific, he was the New Mexico State Coordinator for Homeless Education for 8 years. His work has included program/operational management, finance, contracting, and analytical work (both programmatic and legislative). In addition, he has been an entrepreneur and also served six years as a Supply Officer in the United States Navy. He holds a certificate in Logistics from the Naval Supply Corps School in Athens, GA. His personal work philosophy comes from Abraham Lincoln: “Whatever you are, be a good one.”

Dave Schrandt, Conference Committee Co-Chair, serves as the Local Homeless Education Liaison for the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District in Houston, TX.

Dorothy Watkins

NAEHCY 2015 Conference
Phoenix, AZ | November 15-17
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