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2016 Presenters

Dr. Gerald Cox

Dr. Gerald CoxDr. Gerald Cox is a licensed psychologist who has practiced as a mental health professional for 36 years. He has been in private clinical practice in St. Charles, Missouri for 28 years and has served as a consultant to the school districts in St. Charles and St. Louis counties for 24 years. Dr. Cox received his clinical training at Baylor University in Waco, Texas and Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. He has worked with both adult and child clinical populations for most of his career. Dr. Cox was the Assistant Clinical Director of the Behavioral Treatment Unit at St. Louis University Medical Center and an Instructor and then Assistant Professor at St. Louis University Medical School before starting private clinical practice.

Currently a full-time school consultant, Dr. Cox assists school districts with staff training and development, development and coordination of mental health and wellness programs, violence risk assessment and management, supervision of district mental health and behavior specialists, development of systems to better serve students at risk for academic underachievement and/or school adjustment issues, assessment of district mental health programming needs and effectiveness, and liaison services between school districts and community mental health providers. For the past four school years, Dr. Cox has assisted districts in understanding the impact of trauma on student behavior and learning, as well as to help implement trauma-informed practices in buildings and classrooms.

Dr. Cox is currently a member of a countywide school mental health committee in St. Charles County and a part of a regional effort to promote trauma-informed schools sponsored by the St. Louis Regional Health Commission. He is also a member of a Governor's task force on the prevention of sexual abuse of children that recommended the implementation of statewide trauma-informed practices in Missouri's public schools and a member of a newly formed workgroup to help the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education begin the development and implementation of trauma-informed school practices.


Dr. Beverly A. Baroni

Dr. Beverly A. Baroni

Beverly A. Baroni has a doctorate in Educational Policy and Leadership and is a licensed clinical social worker. Her dissertation focused on the identification of facilitating factors and barriers related to the development of a unified service delivery system for special education services as perceived by urban school educators and parents of students with disabilities.

As clinical social worker, she founded Baroni Family Counseling where she also provided direct service to children, adolescents, and adults. She established active collaborations with numerous agencies including school systems and provided consultations with staff and facilitated professional development opportunities. Feeling she could have more impact on students, she sought employment within school systems and had the opportunity to be involved in three distinct school systems where she remained for 20 years, in addition to her role as school social worker, she became the District Crisis Response Coordinator.

Beverly became a regional then state president of the Michigan Association of School Social Workers (MASSW). She was an adjunct professor at Madonna University, Wayne State University, Eastern University, and University of Michigan-teaching graduate students in the schools of Social Work and Education. In the field of education, one of her courses was overseeing the internship coursework for teachers seeking administrative positions.

In her desire to work with at-risk students, she became active with special education and eventually served as Chairperson of The SEAC (The State of Michigan Special Education Advocacy Committee.) which led to a position in the Michigan State Department of Education as Assistant Director of one of the special education initiatives. Since 2010, Dr. Baroni has served as principal for Clara B. Ford Academy where she feels her dreams of making a difference for our at-risk students is becoming a reality.


Stephanie Chang

Stephanie Chang

Stephanie Chang, is a State Representative for the Michigan's 6th House District, which comprises the cities of Ecorse and River Rouge and part of the city of Detroit.

Before serving in the Legislature, Chang worked as a community organizer in Detroit. She served as the state director for NextGen Climate Michigan, the alumni engagement and evaluation coordinator for the Center for Progressive Leadership in Michigan, the community engagement coordinator for the James and Grace Lee Boggs School, the deputy director for the Campaign for Justice, an organizer for Michigan United/One United Michigan and an assistant to Grace Lee Boggs. She is a co-founder and past president of Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote-Michigan and served as a mentor with the Detroit Asian Youth Project.

Chang was raised in Canton and is the daughter of parents who emigrated from Taiwan to pursue greater opportunities. Chang is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a bachelor's in psychology and a master's in public policy and a master's in social work. Chang and her husband, Sean Gray, live in Detroit.


Lauren Kazee

Lauren Kazee

Lauren Kazee received her BSW in 1993 and her MSW in 1994 both from University of Illinois in Chicago, Jane Addams College of Social Work. As a licensed professional, she worked in inner city Chicago as a therapist for children in foster care. While living in Ohio and then later in Michigan she worked as a school social worker and continued as a therapist part-time. Her work in the school system, lead her to an administration position where she currently serves as the Mental Health Consultant for the Michigan Departments of Education and Health and Human Services. She coordinates school climate and mental health initiatives, including trainings, practice and policy development.


Mindy Nathan

Mindy NathanMindy Nathan became a high school teacher in 2003 because she wanted to work with kids who, for whatever reasons, did not fit in traditional high school settings - the "alternative ed" kids. In 2007 she became the Dean of the Tri-County Educational Center in the Berkley School District in Michigan, for the next nine years, where she was able to assemble a fabulous team of professionals. This program served 250 urban youth each year in a positive, loving, learning community that was a safe place for kids to earn their diplomas and also develop into caring and competent young adults. Although the school was closed in June of 2015, they spent the last school year working with both the U-M School of Social Work and the School of U-M Education as a field site for graduate level interns. The worked together with teachers and students to understand what trauma-informed teaching and learning could look like. Though they only had the one year, it was action-packed, revealing and affirming. In her current work with the Education Achievement Authority (EAA) she continues to use what she learned during the partnership to educate colleagues and kids about the nature of trauma, how it presents in children, and what kinds of teacher behaviors and practices can actually help heal some of our most seriously traumatized kids. When she began her work she did not have the language for trauma, but knew she was seeing it. The learning done together with her great partners from U-M was life-changing, and by extension the children from whom she learns every single day.


Peri Stone-Palmquist

Peri Stone-Palmquist

Peri Stone-Palmquist, the Executive Director of the Student Advocacy Center of Michigan since 2012, has a master's in social work and public policy from the University of Michigan. She has advocated for education for more than 10 years. She has received certification as a trauma specialist, been trained in and implemented an evidence-based education mentoring model shown to decrease truancy, and implemented a home-based intervention program that is used to address absenteeism. Stone-Palmquist is considered a statewide expert in school discipline and the educational rights of homeless children and youth, after leading Washtenaw County's McKinney-Vento Homeless Education project from 2006-2012. Previously, she served as the Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at the Michigan Association for Children with Emotional Disorders and was a newspaper reporter at several papers.


Adam Zemke

Adam ZemkeAdam Zemke is a State Representative serving his second term representing Michigan's 55th House District, which includes the northern part of the city of Ann Arbor, a portion of the city of Milan, and the townships of Ann Arbor, Augusta, Pittsfield and York. He sits on the Appropriations Committee, and serves as minority vice chair on the Education Committee.

Before serving in the Legislature, Zemke worked as an engineer in the aerospace, defense and automotive fields. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees from the College of Engineering at Michigan State University. Zemke has served on the Dexter Township Public Safety Advisory Committee, the city of Ann Arbor's Housing and Human Services Advisory Board and the Washtenaw County Community Action Board.

A fifth-generation Washtenaw County resident, Zemke graduated from Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor and has lived in the community his entire life.

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