2020 Poster Session Participants

Carrielynn O'Reilly
Carrielynn O'ReillyColumbia Falls School District #6
Presentation Title: Physical Activity Opportunities Leads to Social Inclusion for Individuals with Disabilities- Carrielynn O’Reilly, Columbia Fals School District

This presentation is intended to bring increased awareness of the importance of physical activity for individuals with disabilities. Physical activity for individuals with disabilities has been linked to positive long-term overall health outcomes and increased community participation, but this population faces many barriers to inclusion in community programs, events, and resources As advocates in our fields, we can become more active within our communities bringing awareness of positive inclusionary practices for individuals in recreational community activities.

This presentation will honor the past with recognizing the impact of Special and Para Olympics and the contributions these programs have provided for athletes around the world. Current statistics, barriers, and positive practices will be discussed leading into future solutions to present barriers, especially in rural communities.
I am Carrielynn O’Reilly and I grew up on the South Side of Chicago. I moved to Whitefish, Montana in 1996 and began working as a substitute teacher at the Whitefish School district in 1997. In 2008, I joined the staff at Columbia Falls High School as a special education teacher, but left in 2016 to pursue a doctorate at the University of Tennessee. I have spent the last three years working for the Tennessee Behavior Support Project as well as doing extensive hours of research in academic interventions, vocational education, life skills, independent living, recreational activities, and overall inclusive practices for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Jill Myhre
Jill MyhreBaker Public Schools
Presentation Title: Transition, K-12- Jill Myhre, Baker Public Schools.

Power point describes and elicits the transition process K-12.

Currently, I am teaching my eleventh year at Baker Public Schools as a Special Education Teacher/Director. I have earned a Masters of Science in Special Education, Generalist from MSU-Billings. I have various teaching experiences in public schools, a state school and private school. I enjoy watercolor, traveling, water aerobics and bicycling. My greatest passion is family and friends. My three daughters and their families live in Helena, MT with grand kids, so I spend most of my teaching breaks in Helena, where I plan on retiring in 2022. I look forward to enlarging my life to another career and participating in my grand kids lives as they mature. As for now, Special Education has and still gives me a hopeful outlook on life in general. Thank you for the opportunity!

MSDB TeamMontana School for the Deaf and Blind
Presentation Title: Embracing Montana’s highways to deliver services to you!

Our Outreach Team is built of dedicated professionals with vast experiences. We’ll introduce you to the many services we offer through the school year as well as our summer programs.

MSDB’s Outreach Team serves as a statewide resource center for families, school districts, and professionals who are serving students birth through age 21 who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired or deaf/blind.

MSU- Billings
MSU- BillingsSusan Gregory & Rene Rosell Yarbrough
OPI special education project: a ten year review- Dr. Susan Gregory & Rene Rosell Yarbrough MSU-B

The OPI special education endorsement project supports schools that have difficulty hiring a licensed teacher with a special education endorsement. Information will be shared about the application process and project outcomes from the past 10 years.

Susan Gregory is professor in special education at Montana State University-Billings.

Rene Rosell Yarbrough the the Project Coordinator of the OPI special education endorsement project.

Doug Doty-OPI Montana Autism Education Project
Doug Doty-OPI Montana Autism Education ProjectMontana Schools Have a New Criteria for Autism- Doug Doty, OPI
Presentation Title: Montana Schools Have a New Criteria for Autism- Doug Doty, OPI

The OPI has updated its criteria for autism for the first time since 2000. Learn about the changes and ask questions about the new criteria.

Montana Schools Recruitment Project
Montana Schools Recruitment ProjectLori Ruffier
Presentation Title: Finding Candidates with Passion

Discussing what the Montana Schools Recruitment Project is.


Lori Ruffier is a member of the Montana Council for Administrators of Special Education (MCASE). She is the Project Director for the Montana Schools Recruitment Project. This project helps school districts and cooperatives find candidates for the hard to fill special education positions needed in Montana. The project was begun in 2005 by Lori, a small committee of directors and a representative from OPI special education department. Lori has been a special education teacher, school psychologist and special education director. Presently she is the Project Director and part time school psychologist for Deer Lodge Elementary School District.

Really Great Reading
Really Great ReadingNick Goodman
Really Great Reading believes that every student has the right to appropriate, high-quality, foundational-skills reading instruction. Unfortunately, millions of students struggle to read because they have deficits in their basic reading skills.

Really Great Reading is focused on preventing and remediating decoding weaknesses in students in all grades (and even adults). We provide educators the tools and knowledge to teach all students (not just those who learn easily) to read.

The Deaf Blind Project
The Deaf Blind ProjectTheresa Baldry
Presentation Title: Montana Deaf Blind Project


All Children Can Read! Literacy for Children with Combined Vision and Hearing Loss.

Theresa Baldry is the Project Coordinator for the Montana Deaf-Blind Project, based in Miles City Montana although the project is housed at the University of Montana Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities.

Montana CEC
Montana CECMCEC Board of Governors
Presentation Title: Highlights from National CEC Conference & National CEC Leadership Conference- Lowell Long, Mandy Hickel & Melissa Hardman

Two of our Board of Governors attend the annual CEC Conference, bringing home a wealth of information each year.  Additionally, two more Board of Governor members attend the Annual Legislative Session.

Visit our session to learn what is new!


Cohesion Dance Project
Cohesion Dance ProjectJulynn Wildman
Presentation Title: Adaptive Dance and Movement in Schools and Communities

Cohesion Dance Project hosts and facilitates dance and creative movement for dancers and non-dancers with and without physical and developmental disabilities. We advocate that physical, social, cognitive and emotional benefits of creative expression should be shared with everyone, leading in-studio programming, conducting Adaptive Dance classes in schools and communities around the state, and training teachers, volunteers and community members strategies for teaching developmentally appropriate movement and facilitating personal expression.

This session is aimed toward teachers looking to understand the benefit of creative movement and dance expression for students of a wide range of physical, emotional and developmental abilities. This booth will also serve as a connecting point for teachers interested in bringing in Adaptive Dance into their classroom or organizing trainings/professional development to deepen their knowledge about incorporating movement and its many benefits into their practice.

Beyond the Chalk
Beyond the ChalkJeff Crews & Dean Phillips
Presentation Title: Use Traditional Work-Flow with a Digital Twist- Jeff Crews & Dean Phillips, Beyond the Chalk

Often we struggle to let go of how things have been done in the past. If you are one of these people, stop by and learn how these great new products can help you digitize your traditional notes and brainstorming to create a digital workflow.

Beyond the Chalk was co-founded by two educators who believe in the power of education and the need to continuously provide transformational learning experiences for our teachers and students. We feel technology, when used effectively as a tool by teachers and students, can facilitate the change from the traditional form of education to a 21st century paradigm. Beyond the Chalk is committed to providing a set of rich and diverse professional development experiences for all educators. These experiences focus on the integration of technology across grade levels, content domains, and skills levels. We offer trainings around the state and provide school-based professional development as well.