Our Team

Leadership

Dr. Kristan Rodriguez is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer for Rodriguez profileEducational Consulting Agency, LLC (RECA). Kristan has been the recipient of numerous honors including the Ansin Intercultural Research Award from Boston University.  The book she co-authored Universally Designed Leadership is the premier title for implementing UDL in systems and schools, and was ranked in the top 50 books for Educational Administration on Amazon. Kristan has been a consultant on leadership and learning for twenty years, and has traveled internationally and nationally to share her expertise. Dr. Rodriguez draws from her experience as a Superintendent of Schools and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, where she obtained an “exemplary” rating in both positions (the highest rating given in the state of Massachusetts). She also uses her experience as a curriculum director, curriculum coordinator, professor, principal, assistant principal, and classroom teacher to enhance her work supporting systems, schools, and educators.  Dr. Rodriguez specializes her consulting in Universal Design for Learning (UDL), the application of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in the field of educational leadership and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS). Other consulting areas include strategy development, administrator mentoring and coaching; data-based decision making; literacy, and educator evaluation.

Mondra Flowers supports the accounts receivable and human resource functions of Screen Shot 2020-07-10 at 4.12.36 PMRECA. Mondra is a successful manager and brings those skills to the organization. Her experience includes being the Human Resources Manager/Business Office Manager at Claridge House Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Miami, FL as well as the Business Office Manager at the Florida Assisted Living Facility in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Ms. Flowers has her B.S. in Business Administration from Southern New Hampshire University. 

Dr. Katie Novak is a Strategic Partner to RECA. She partners with Dr. Rodriguez on katienovakthree large statewide contracts that support over 100 school teams in the areas of inclusive practice, MTSS, and tiered literacy and provides keynotes on behalf of RECA. Katie Novak, Ed.D. is an internationally renowned education consultant, a practicing leader in education, and author of 4 books published by CAST Professional Publishing. Katie designs and presents workshops both nationally and internationally focusing on the implementation of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and universally designed leadership.

Rafael Rodriguez is the Chief Financial Officer for RECA. He manages the fullsizeoutput_3investment and business arm of the company and oversees strategic operations. Rafael brings his experience as an investor and business owner to the organization. In addition, he has a keen awareness of the company’s focus on equity and shares its vision for ensuring the success of all students. This mission was lived in his many years’ experience of being a professional and volunteer coach and running youth programming for Catholic Charities in Boston.

Educational Consultants

Laurie Casna, J.D. (Focus Support Areas: Special Education, UDL & Leadership) serves as a PD presenter, technical assistance provider, and lauriegraduate  course instructor for RECA. She is an experienced special educator, administrator, and consultant as well as a licensed attorney. Laurie has extensive experience offering UDL PD to teachers and is able to provide professional learning options for UDL across all three tiers. She was a former special education teacher and team chair. Ms. Casna also provides leadership PD and planning support. She has experience as a Superintendent of Schools in Massachusetts, Director of Personnel and Student Services, and a Special Education Director. As a technical assistance provider for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Inclusive Practice Academy, Laurie is experienced at designing and delivering comprehensive planning sessions using proven and effective RECA designed protocols. Ms. Casna holds a Masters Degree and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Special Education from Bridgewater State College and a Juris Doctorate from Suffolk Law School. She is currently completing her Doctoral Studies in Curriculum and Leadership at Northeastern University.  Ms. Casna focuses her support with districts on UDL, Co-Teaching, Special Education Program Development, Human Resources, Strategic Planning, and Education Law. 

Mirko Chardin, M.Ed. (Focus Support Areas: Equity & Leadership) supports RECA with keynote presentations and onsite mirkoworkshops and technical assistance. Mirko is the Founding Head of School of the Putnam Avenue Upper School in Cambridge, MA. Mirko was a keynote speaker at the 2017 UDL for Social Justice Symposium, the 2018 Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Leading with Equity & Access Conference, the 2019 California MTSS Professional Learning Institute and was the 2019 opening keynote speaker for multiple public school districts. Mr. Chardin is also a race, diversity and cultural proficiency facilitator & leadership coach for the Aspire Institute at Boston University and is a Virtual Module Content Provider and In-Person Technical Assistance Provider for the MA Dept. of Ed.’s Inclusive Instruction Academy. He is also a principal mentor for the Perone-Sizer Creative Leadership Institute. Mirko is available to provide workshops, seminars and trainings on UDL, implicit bias, microaggressions, restorative practice, identity, courageous conversations about race and personal narrative. Mirko got a Bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College (MA) and a Master’s degree from Tufts University.

Jennifer Quinn, M.Ed. (Focus Support Areas: Literacy, UDL, & Elementary Math) has a strong knowledge base and background in leading jenprofessional development in the areas of UDL, ELA, and Mathematics. In the field of education for over 25 years, for fifteen of those years, she has been a consultant directly supporting teachers to improve instruction. She teaches graduate courses in Universal Design for Learning and provides onsite and online UDL, curriculum and educator evaluation technical assistance for RECA.

Heidi Perez, M.Ed. (Focus Support Area: English Learners) supports RECA with a focus on EL-focused technical assistance. heidiEducating English Learners in Massachusetts for over 25 years has been the mission of Heidi’s throughout her career as an ESL teacher, coach, administrator, and teacher-educator.   Her professional journey in public education has allowed her to work in the trenches alongside her colleagues to implement the rapid changes in education law and policies as related to English Learners.  She has presented at multiple conferences,  is an adjunct professor, and has served as the consultant for the Northeast WIDA network.  Providing English Learners the highest quality of instruction in MA schools, supporting schools on their journey towards cultural competency and building partnerships between families from diverse backgrounds and schools is at the center of her work.

Tara Trainor, M.Ed. (Focus Support Areas: Literacy &  UDL) serves as a technical assistance provider for RECA in the areas taraof UDL and tiered literacy. She was selected for the original CAST cohort for educators in 2007 and has been a leader and trainer in UDL ever since. With twenty years of experience in both elementary and secondary education, Tara is one of the most creative, innovative educators today. Tara has the unique perspective of practicing UDL as a special educator, a reading interventionist and a classroom teacher and can share on-the-ground strategies to support educators at all levels and in all subjects. With a strong proven track record of raising student achievement, Trainor’s experience as a reading specialist, classroom teacher and literacy curriculum coordinator have provided her with extensive experience in supporting teams of teachers in analyzing data to plan and develop educational program recommendations and implementation of UDL strategies in tiered systems of support. Trainor excels at supporting teams to track and analyze data on teacher and student performance to uncover trends and act strategically and effectively to improve student achievement results.

Kristin Osborne, M.Ed. (Focus Support Areas: Literacy &  UDL) provides technical assistance and PD support on behalf of RECA. kristin oShe is a former instructional coach and reading specialist and a technical assistance provider for the Inclusive Instruction and MTSS Tiered Literacy Academies.  Her work entails offering graduate courses, workshops, book clubs, coaching, modeling, and planning support. She focuses her instructional strategies using the UDL (Universal Design for Learning) framework. 

Marla Yarid-De La Cruz, M.Ed. (Focus Support Area: Special Education) supports RECA with a focus on UDL and special education Marlatechnical assistance. Marla is currently responsible for all professional development training needs for related service providers in her current district, including Speech-Language Pathologists, Social Workers, School Counselors, Board Certified Behavior Analysts, Occupational Therapists, and Special Educators. She uses her experience as a Clinical and Related Service Coordinator/Out of District Liaison, Team Chair, and Collaborative Middle School Principal in her work as a consultant.  Marla began her teaching career as a General Education Teacher and found her passion when she began working with special education students in the Greater Boston area. Marla earned her Bachelor and Master of Education Degrees through Leslie College.

Matt Holloway, M.Ed., M.P.P. (Focus Support Areas: Special Education & Inclusive Practice) supports the organization by offering PD and technical IMG_5894assistance. As Coordinator for Educator Development at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Matt designed the Massachusetts Guidebook for Inclusive Practice and Foundations for Inclusive Practice online courses. At DESE, Matt also supervised multiple federal and state grant programs, facilitated the Teacher and Principal Advisory Cabinets, and co-led the state’s partnership with the Collaborative for Social, Academic, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). At Texas Education Service Center Region 13, Matt supported special education for 60 school districts in central Texas, collaborating with district leadership towards progress in the general curriculum in the least restrictive environment appropriate for students with disabilities.

Pam Casna, C.A.G.S. (Focus Support Areas: Charter School Leadership and English Learners) serves as a presenter and technical assistance provider for PamRECA with a focus on supporting ELs and Charter Schools. She has extensive experience supporting English learners and is the K-8 Principal of Codman Academy Charter School, located Massachusetts. Prior to joining Codman Academy, Pam worked in the New York City Public Schools, first as an English as a Second Language teacher and then moving into administrative roles, supporting language development of all learners. Pam has also taught language acquisition and education courses at Northeastern University and Boston University. She earned her B.S. in International Relations and a minor in Spanish from Hofstra University, as well as her M.S.Ed. and TESOL from Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York and her C.A.G.S. in Educational Leadership from Endicott College

Rebecca Noon, M.S.Ed, BCBA, LABA (Focus Support Area: Special Education) Becky uses her background as a board-beckycertified behavior analyst (BCBA) and a licensed applied behavior analyst (LABA) to provide behavioral support services for districts supported by RECA. Services include Functional  Behavior Assessments, Behavior Support Plan Development, ABLLS-R Assessments, VB-MAPP Assessments, Case Consultation, Program Evaluation, a 40-Hour RBT Training Course, and BCBA, BCaBA, RBT Supervision. For over the last 15 years, Rebecca has worked throughout Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire within public schools, private schools, collaborative schools, and home environments. 

Organizational Support

  • Rafael Rodriguez supports business and program logistics for the organization along with communications support. Rafael has a Bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University and has written for a local newspaper. Rafael has recently co-authored organizational literature on equity and engagement in the workforce.
  • Xavier Rodriguez supports the organizational artwork, graphic design, as well as virtual reality project development. The company’s logo, presentation graphics, and organizational brochures are products of his work. Xavier was a 2020 recipient of a Best of Ringling Award for Virtual Reality and was part of a team selected by the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida to create a VR training simulation to educate patients with pancreatic cancer on what radiation therapy is and to show them what it is like to receive treatment in an MRI Linac machine.
  • Gabriel Rodriguez provides organizational content creation and logistics support for onsite programming. His focus is on UDL and the Humanities and Mathematics.  He has a popular social media account that provides instruction to students on early mathematical concepts. Mr. Rodriguez has co-authored organizational resource tools as well as sample lessons and templates to be used in RECA district and school outreach.