The Village Community Advisory Board

 

Liz Delsandro

Gretchen Holt

Sue Dvorsky

Paul Retish

Dr. Dianne McBrien

Deb Scott-Miller

Dr. Jodi Tate

Joe Taylor

Liz Delsandro

                 has had the privilege of learning from individuals with special needs and their families for over 20 years. She is a certified speech-language pathologist who has held the roles of direct service provider, augmentative communication specialist, and autism consultant. She is passionate about promoting functional communication and social interaction skills to help provide a pathway for a high quality of life in the community. Liz is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Clinic. Liz is active in presenting at the state and national level on the topics of social interaction and best practices for individuals with autism. Since 2009, Liz has been an executive board member of the Autism Society of Iowa. Liz is highly interested in collaborating with agencies and projects in the community to benefit individuals with special needs.

Sue Dvorsky

              ’s teaching career spanned five decades working with students with multiple challenges, and their families. In 30 years in the Iowa City Community School District, she taught at Twain, Hoover, and South East. She was twice recognized by the ARC for her leadership and advocacy for students and families. Sue was also committed to the development of the profession of special education, and taught at the University of Iowa, both in the Division of Curriculum and Instruction, and in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Post retirement, Sue remains committed to advocacy efforts at the local, state and national level.

Gretchen Holt, JD

                                received her law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law in 2001.  She is licenced to practice law in the state of Iowa and is a certified professional mediator.  Prior to pursuing a legal career, Gretchen worked as an educator and consultant for more than 30 years.  She was a Special Education teacher and Area Education Agency consultant before spending nearly 20 years as an Education Consultant for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Department of Edcuational Services, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.  In this role, she consulted with parents, teachers and administrators to address educational needs of children with psychiatric disorders and developmental disabilities.  In addition, Gretchen collaborated with the Iowa Department of Education to develop a model for statewide delivery of educational service to children with Autism Spectrum disorders, and she provided technical assistance to schools to promote disabilities inclusion.

Dianne McBrien, MD

                                         is a Clinical Associate Professor at the Center for Disabilities and Development, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.  Dr. McBrien received her degree from Mayo Medical Shool and completed her Residency at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.  As a Pediatrician in the Autism and Psychiatry & Psychology Clinics and through her work at the Center for Disabilities and Development, Dr. McBrien has known and followed most of 'The Village' children since they were infants.  As her specialties include Autism, Down syndrome, and Developmental and Behavioral Medicine, she has been a great resource to many of The Village families.  Dr. McBrien's philosophy in treating her patients, "...we are going to go for everything possible, everything that has potential and I go from there."

Jodi Tate, MD

                  is a Clinical Professor and the Vice Chair for Clinical Services for the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Dr. Tate received her medical degree from the University of North Dakota and completed her psychiatry residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. She has had the privilege and honor of providing psychiatric care to adults with intellectual disability for the past 12 years. She is passionate about educating psychiatry residents, medical students and mental health professionals on how to provide comprehensive medical care to this population. She has received professional awards recognizing her work with this population. 

Paul Retish

           holds a Doctorate in Special Education from Indiana University. A Professor of Special Education with the University of Iowa for the past 46 years, Dr. Retish’s research and teaching interests include transition issues and the impact a disabled child has on families; areas in which he has been published nationally and internationally. Dr. Retish has been the recipient of the Iowa City Human Rights Commission International Award, served as Outreach Coordinator for the Iowa Non-profit/Resource Center through the University of Iowa Law School, and is professionally recognized for his outstanding work in diversity awareness and advocacy. “The core of my life is education,”Paul says, “and education to me is not just school classes but an ongoing process in terms of how you live your life. I’m a believer that where there’s a will there’s a way, but you gotta get the will going.”

Deb Scott-Miller

                            Deb is entering her 40th year of working with individuals with special needs, as well as their teachers and families.  Her career has included teaching positions at the Michigan School for the Blind, Racine, Wisconsin Public Schools, & Iowa City Schools, along with consultant positions at Child Psychiatry Service, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and Grant Wood AEA 10. Deb has served as an adjunct professor in the special education department at the University of Iowa. She has received professional awards from the Midwest Deaf-Blind Teacher Consortium, ARC, and the Autism Society of Iowa. Her passions continue to be in the fields of positive behavioral interventions and mental health supports. 

Joe Taylor

         Since moving to Iowa City in 2008, Joe has held various jobs within the special needs community including providing respite and SCL services through the Arc of Southeast Iowa, serving as Coordinator for the ARC summer camp, working as a paraeducator with the autism program at South East Junior High, as well as individually with families and their special needs children. He currently serves as a Special Education teacher and as the Special Olympics Coordinator for the Iowa City Community School District, where he was the recipient of the 2014 EC Special Olympics Coach of the Year.  Joe has had the privilege of working directly with each member of The Village Community and will be a strong advocate, collaborating with the families, to ensure their children's continued support, advancement and independence.