Welcome to OPEPP​
Ohio Partnership for Excellence in Paraprofessional Preparation

OPEPP Consultants



As part of the partnering process, districts and ESCs receive a personal OPEPP consultant to support their growth throughout the three year process.  Consultants are experienced educators, administrators and specialists who are supported by OPEPP in the resources they share with districts and ESCs, their fellow OPEPP team member connections and in receiving coaching and consulting training as part of their regular OPEPP meetings.

Lisa Arthur is licensed as an Intervention specialist in the state of Ohio, and with MA in Counseling she brings a unique skillset to the field of education.  Her career in education began in 2003 as a paraprofessional after 10 years working as a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Ohio.  She is currently employed by the State Support Team Region 16 as an Autism/Low Incidence Consultant and a UDL coaching and implementation specialist.  As an SST consultant, she began working with OPEPP district partners in 2017, and in 2018 joined the OPEPP consultant team through an OPEPP/SST 16 partnership.  She continues to provide coaching, implementation support, and technical assistance for current and previous OPEPP district partners across region 16 in Southeastern Ohio. 

LaTaunya Dunn is an educator who started her career as a teacher in Springfield, Oh. After 13 years she went back to  to specialize in Math and Science and to receive my Master’s degree in educational administration.  Shortly after receiving her Master’s degree she became a supervisor  for math and science in the same district. She later became an Educational Consultant for the Ohio Department of Education with focuses on urban schools, alternative education and diagnosing schools/districts for school improvement.  Currently she is a contracted consultant with the University of Cincinnati. 

Mary Yeager is an OPEPP consultant, a wife, mother of two daughters, and grandmother of three. She began her career in education as a special education teacher in the Benton-Carroll-Salem School District. After 15 years of teaching, she moved into administrative positions, serving as a special education and preschool supervisor, and elementary principal.  Additionally she has worked as a student teacher supervisor for Bowling Green State University, and as an educational/curriculum consultant.  

Cheri Copeland-Shull has been an educator for 34 years. During this time, Cheri taught students with special needs in Gibsonburg, Ohio for 10 years and then transitioned to administration. She served as an elementary principal at Shumaker Elementary in Bellevue, Ohio for 2 years until she moved to Springfield Local Schools (Lucas County). At Springfield Local Schools, Cheri led Crissey Elementary for 10 years as the principal, served as a Special Education Coordinator for 2 years, and then led Dorr Elementary for 10 years as the principal. During her time at Springfield Local Schools, both Crissey Elementary and Dorr Elementary earned Hall of Fame designation from OAESA and Dorr Elementary attained STEAM Designation from the Ohio Department of Education. Cheri retired in July, 2022, and has served as an adjunct instructor at BGSU. 

Judith Hassel is a recent retiree from the Ohio Department of Education. Her research and expertise includes school improvement strategies with a focus on children at risk of failure.  She has taught in 3 Ohio school districts and for 2 universities.  She is currently consulting with the Ohio Department of Education on a school improvement project, she teaches several classes as an adjunct instructor at Ashland University and consults with the University of Cincinnati on their Ohio Partnership for Excellence in Paraprofessional Preparation (OPEPP) initiative. 

Judy spent her first thirty years in education teaching in the Columbus area in private and public schools as a third and fifth grade teacher, elementary library media specialist, 8th grade language arts teacher, reading teacher, and building literacy coordinator. She holds active licensures in elementary/middle grades, reading, and library science. For the last ten years Judy has worked as an educational consultant, focusing on K-12 literacy and paraprofessional support. Judy also serves as an adjunct instructor with Ashland University where she teaches several literacy courses, supervises student teachers, and conducts professional development courses. The greatest joys in her life are her two daughters, two grandchildren and avoiding the need for two putts on the golf course. 

Cathy Reed is first and foremost a mother to two sons and two wonderful daughters-in-law. She is also a proud grandmother. She is retired from Hamilton County Educational Service Center where she worked as a gifted coordinator. She had the privilege of working with several districts assisting them in creating audit documentation for ODE.

Cathy received her BA from Wilmington College. Her studies there were in education, psychology and literature. She received a Master of Educational Leadership and a Principal Licensure from Antioch McGregor University. Cathy began her teaching career working with exceptional students entering vocational education. She assessed their vocational skills and helped them enter fields that fit their interests and abilities. She also coached them through their initial experience in vocational education, while actually working in the vocational labs with them. When she left vocational education, Cathy became the first teacher of gifted for the Clinton County Schools at Wilmington College There she served students throughout the county. She spent the next 14 years with that program. She also spent those years tutoring special needs students from the Laurel Oaks. She the worked for Loveland School District for 5 years. From there she went to HCESC where she spent the last years of her career. 

Dr. Kathleen Scott received her Bachelor’s (Sociology) and Master’s (MAT, secondary education) degrees from the University of Chicago and her Ph.D. (Curriculum and Instruction) from the University of Texas at Austin. Kathleen began her teaching career teaching and coaching high school on the Pine Ridge Reservation and teaching elementary in a 3-room school in Appalachia, before teaching for 11 years in Austin, Texas. After working as a consultant and completing her doctorate in Austin, Dr. Scott was an Assistant Professor in Education Foundations at Ashland University before joining the Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio as a consultant, where she is a lead state trainer for the Resident Educator Program. Throughout her career, Kathleen has been immersed in the pursuit of equity; her passion lies in working with districts, schools, and individuals to develop and support teacher efficacy, with the ultimate goal of providing equitable access to excellent education for all students. 

Before joining OPEPP as a consultant, Kathy spent her career working in Ohio’s P-20 public education system. She was a classroom teacher in both primary and middle schools for about 15 years. The next 14 years were spent working in the field of teacher preparation at Shawnee State University and later at Ohio University as a Field and Clinical Placements Coordinator. There she worked closely with the pre-service teachers, university instructors, cooperating teachers and school administrators. Kathy supervised teacher interns in the schools, facilitated seminars for student teachers and taught education courses as an adjunct. She also served as a co-president of the Ohio Field Directors Forum.  

Prior to joining the OPEPP community, Julie Kugler-Ackley, M.Ed. served as Executive Director of Montessori Programs and a Senior Teaching Professor at the Xavier University Montessori Institute and Teacher Education Program. During her time at Xavier, Julie supported classroom teachers and paraprofessionals in both Ohio public and private schools as field coordinator and consultant. Julie was also involved with the Ohio Deans Compact for Exceptional Children and the Ohio Association of Teacher Educators.

Julie is AMS (American Montessori Society) credentialed for both EI and EII and holds an Ohio license for grades K-8. She has presented at regional, national, and international Montessori conferences, and has teaching experience at all levels of Montessori elementary levels. At Xavier, she was involved in the School of Education Community Engaged Learning Initiative. In her time away from Xavier, Julie enjoys spending time with her family, reading, attending sporting events, community arts and music performances, discovering new restaurants and neighborhoods in Cincinnati, and traveling. 

Raymond Nixon (Ray) served as a professional educator in Columbus City Schools for forty-eight years. His extensive experiences include serving as a teacher, community home mentor, sports coach, curriculum consultant, recruiting specialist, building and center office administrator. In his role as Administrative Coordinator of Student Management Programs, he facilitated staff training and activities for teachers, paraprofessionals and parents. He also evaluated related district-wide and individual school programs and provided respective resources and support.

Ray received his MA in Education Administration from Ashland University and BA from Capital University in Social Studies/Political Science. He authored two publications; An Individualized American History Program for Non-English Speaking Students and Multicultural Interdisciplinary Activities K-12. He served in different leading roles in professional associations including the Ohio and Columbus Association of Secondary Administrators, Ohio Alliance of Black School Educators and Ohio and Columbus Education Associations. Over his career, Ray received many awards and honors for his educational and community contributions. In his free time, Ray enjoys golfing, traveling and spending time with his family that includes grand and god sons.

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