PENT History

The Positive Environments, Network of Trainers (PENT) was co-founded by Diana Browning Wright and Deborah Holt in 1998 in a joint effort between the Diagnostic Center, Southern California Link opens in new window or tab. and the Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) External link opens in new window or tab..

Diana served as the PENT Director until 2009 and Deborah, as the Director of the Diagnostic Center, was the PENT Project Manager. Since that time both Diana and Deborah have retired from the Diagnostic Center, Diana now has a private practice and can be reached at

  • 1998 - California was the recipient of a five-year federal state improvement grant following the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1997. In conjunction with this grant, the Diagnostic Center, Southern California Link opens in new window or tab. formulated a five year statewide training plan to disseminate training in the area of positive behavior support. Between 1998-2003 Diana Browning Wright traveled throughout California training over 20,000 educators on a series of four training topics related to positive behavioral supports.
  • 2001 - SELPA created a PENT Behavior Support Taskforce to meet with Debbie and Diana to develop a plan for more systemic dissemination of training at the local level.
  • 2002 - PENT Leadership Team was formed. Diana selected educators throughout the state who were skilled in positive behavior supports to assist in the design and delivery of the PENT Summit and subsequent Forums.
  • 2003 - Taskforce decided to host a trainer of trainers PENT Summit for SELPA selected representatives, who would become the PENT Cadre. SELPA Directors nominated staff skilled in positive behavior supports from the pool of PENT members in their regions with apportioned representation based on student enrollment. All Cadre members were required to attend pre-requisite statewide training in 2002. The 2 ½ day Summit was held in the winter of 2003 in both northern and southern California. The content focused on behavior plan development, consultation, and training.
  • 2004 - PENT website launched in December 2004.
  • 2005 - PENT Research Team was formed to conduct research on evidence based positive behavior support plans, primarily using the plans submitted by PENT Cadre members at each Forum. Articles were subsequently published inpeer reviewed journals.
  • 2004-Present – The SELPA collaborates with PENT Leadership on field needs through the SELPA Behavior Committee. Annual PENT Forums for PENT Cadre members are hosted in northern California by the San Joaquin SELPA and in Southern California by the West End SELPA. Each Forum focuses on disseminating evidence-based information and resources to address the behavioral and social emotional needs of students. The Forums provide a venue to sustain and enhance the research base of Cadre members as well as provide an annual networking opportunity for this community of practice. New Cadre members are nominated each year by SELPA Directors to replace those who have left.