PENT Leadership Team

The PENT Leadership Team is composed of educational leaders located throughout the state of California who are highly skilled in positive behavior supports. PENT Leadership assist the PENT Directors in the design and delivery of the PENT Forums, materials, and resources.

We would like to thank and acknowledge members of the PENT Leadership Team who so graciously give of their time and expertise to assist the PENT Directors in designing materials and leading groups of PENT Cadre members at the Forums.

Project Management

Margot Johnson, M.A., BCBA

Margot Johnson PENT Project Administrator, Education Specialist
Diagnostic Center, Southern California

Margot Johnson is an education specialist at the Diagnostic Center, Southern California. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and earned her M.A. in Special Education. Margot has extensive experience working with students of all ages who have moderate-to -severe disabilities in the public school setting. Areas of expertise include curriculum and instructional techniques for students with moderate-to-severe disabilities, programming for transition-age students, and positive behavioral interventions for students who exhibit significant behavioral challenges. She is currently a member of the PENT Leadership Team and the California Association of Behavior Analysis.

Martin Miramontes, M.A., BCBA

Martin Miramontes PENT Director, School Psychologist
Diagnostic Center, Southern California

Martin Miramontes is a school psychologist at the Diagnostic Center, Southern California. He holds an M.A. in Education, and is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Since 1998, Martin has worked with individuals with developmental disabilities across home, hospital treatment facilities, school, and community settings. He has expertise in autism, applied behavior analysis, district-wide implementation of Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)/Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. He is currently a member of the PENT Leadership Team, the California Association of Behavior Analysis (CalABA), and the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI).

Austin Johnson, Ph.D.

PENT Content Consultant, Associate Professor, UCR
University of California, Riverside

Austin H. Johnson, PhD, is an Associate Professor with the School Psychology Program in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Riverside. Dr. Johnson's research interests focus on the identification and implementation of evidence-based behavioral assessment and intervention practices in order to support teacher success and equitable, positive student outcomes. He is a licensed psychologist with the California Board of Psychology (CA#29540).

PENT Leadership Team

Stacy Alvey, LCSW

School Psychologist, Mental Health Coordinator
Antelope Valley SELPA

Stacy Alvey is the Coordinator of Mental Health Services for the Antelope Valley Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA). She received her Master's in Social Work in 1997 from the University of Southern California, taking a position with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (DMH) as a psychiatric social worker, and became licensed as a Clinical Social Worker in 2003. She provided a broad range of mental health services in this position and served as the Transitional Youth Coordinator in her DMH service area. Stacy obtained a credential in School Psychology in 2006 from California State University, San Bernardino, and worked for six years as a district school psychologist prior to becoming the Mental Health Coordinator for the SELPA in 2012, where she provides support and training in the areas of mental health and behavior. She serves on a regional training committee, which developed a regional positive behavior intervention handbook and trains staff in the use of behavior intervention. Additionally, she currently serves as the Greater Los Angeles Area SELPAs (GLAAS) AB114 Transition Task Force Co-Chair. She has been a PENT Cadre member since 2013.

Laura Blackburn, M.S.

School Psychologist, Program Specialist
Placer County SELPA

Laura Blackburn, M.S. is a Program Specialist for Placer County Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) where she supports both school districts and families by delivering professional development, leading a county wide initiative to change specific learning disability identification to a pattern of strengths and weaknesses as well as supporting families and school districts through the conflict resolution process. Her training and past experience as a school psychologist in the Northern California area guides her areas of focus towards behavior, autism, psycho-educational assessment and special education compliance. Laura is currently a leadership team member of both PENT (Positive Environment Network of Trainers), and CAPTAIN (California Autism Professional Training and Information Network) which focus on implementation of evidence-based practices for students. Laura is also a regional implementation lead for CAPTAIN.

Vira Caro-Michel, M.S., LEP, BCBA

School Psychologist/Behavior Interventionist
Whittier Area Cooperative Special Education Program (WACSEP) SELPA

Vira Caro-Michel, M.S., LEP, BCBA has been an educator for 20 years, in an array of capacities such as Paraeducator, Special Education Assessment Team Assistant, Inclusion Facilitator/Special Education Teacher, School Psychologist, and is currently working at the WACSEP Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) as a Behavior Interventionist-BCBA. She is actively involved in developing and supporting behaviorally based programs within her SELPA, and conducting trainings for general and special education staff. In the continued quest to support individuals with disabilities she often finds herself in the classrooms directly supporting children and staff members. Her passion for teaching has led her to California State University Los Angeles where she is an adjunct faculty member for the Counseling/Special Education department. Vira is constantly seeking creative ways to foster a dynamic learning environment and to promote individualization to assure that every student reaches his/her potential.

Karen Coleman, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Director, Mental Health & Behavior Support Services
Stockton Unified School District

Karen Coleman is the Director of Mental Health & Behavior Support Services at Stockton Unified School District (SUSD). She received her Master's in Social Work in 1992, became licensed as a Clinical Social Worker in 1996, and went back to get her PPS Credential in School Social Work in 2010. She has been working for Stockton Unified School District since 2003. Prior to her hire at SUSD, Karen was in private practice and worked as a consultant for several school districts providing district-level and site-based consultation and staff development programs in the areas of School-wide Positive Behavioral Support and Individual Behavior Support Planning for students. Prior to her work with SUSD, she was a Chief Mental Health Clinician/Program Manager for School-Based Mental Health Services for San Joaquin County Mental Health Children & Youth Services. She has been working in the field for over 30 years and a PENT Cadre member since 2004.

Bruce M. Gale, Ph.D.

Clinical Psychologist (PSY10598)
Certified NPA Provider, CA Department of Education
Independent Educational Evaluator
Director, LUNCH Groups Social Skills Program
President, BehaviorTech Solutions, Inc.

Bruce M. Gale, Ph.D., received his undergraduate degree from UCLA and Masters/Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Florida State University. He completed his internship and advanced training at Boston Children's Hospital while a Fellow at Harvard Medical School, Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Gale is former Chief Psychologist of the Division of Inpatient Psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, previously taught Abnormal Psychology at American Jewish University, and is Past-Chair for Division VI on Media Technology and Communication of the California Psychological Association. Presently, he functions as an Independent Educational Evaluator conducting psychoeducational and functional behavioral assessments for approximately 65 school districts, mostly in the Southern California area. He is also the developer and director of LUNCH Groups, a transdiagnostic empirically-supported social skills program that has treated over 1500 individuals with internalizing and externalizing challenges, with accompanying parent support, via school year, intensive summer, and ongoing adult programs. He is currently working on a book for teens and parents based upon experiences during the past 15 years running the program.

Through his company, BehaviorTech Solutions, Inc., Dr. Gale presents locally and nationally on social skill intervention strategies, assessment and treatment of challenging behaviors, school consultation, and technology integration. He is the developer of Rapid Screener, an interactive social-emotional behavior assessment tool that allows multiple raters to report on current and retrospective student functioning along with an interactive developmental history form and other online tools. BehaviorTech Solutions, Inc. is an American Psychological Association (APA) Continuing Education approved sponsor for Psychologists and offers CE course to related professionals through the California BBS.

Joe Comiskey, NCSP

School Psychologist and Program Specialist
Trinity County Office of Education

Joe Comiskey is a School Psychologist and Program Specialist with the Trinity County Office of Education.

Luis Mendez, M.A., BCBA

School Program Psychologist
Madison Elementary School

Luis is a School Psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Since 1997, Luis has worked for various non-public and educational agencies to develop and/or implement behavior interventions for students with emotional and behavioral disorders and developmental disabilities across home, school, and community settings. Presently, as the ABA Supervisor for Anaheim Elementary School District, Luis leads Individualized Education Program (IEP) Teams in developing and implementing behavioral programming for students with severe challenging and maladaptive behaviors within the district.

Hannah Rainbolt, M.S.

Behavior Specialist
Santee School District

Hannah Rainbolt, M.S., is a Behavior Specialist for the Santee School District in San Diego County. She earned her Master's in Special Education with a Moderate/Severe teaching credential and a graduate certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Hannah began her career working for an ABA company providing early intervention for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She then taught a social/emotional program for students with Emotional Disturbance, which led to her current position as Behavior Specialist. Currently, Hannah conducts all Functional Behavior Assessments and develops all Behavior Intervention Plans in her district. She often provides direct support and modeling in general education and special education classrooms for teachers and paraprofessionals. She also provides a variety of trainings for teachers, paraprofessionals and parents. Areas of expertise and interest include developing comprehensive programs for students with Emotional Disturbance, implementing positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS), utilizing a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) and implementing Behavior Intervention Plans with fidelity. Hannah also provides trainings at the East County Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) on conducting Functional Behavior Assessments and writing Behavior Intervention Plans. Hannah is passionate about creating and supporting inclusive classroom environments where students can receive their education in the least restrictive environment.

Jamie S. Salter, Ed.S., BCBA

Co-Author of the Self & Match System

Jamie S. Salter, Ed.S., BCBA co-authored the Self & Match System; an evidence-based self-monitoring intervention that is grounded in principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. Jamie consults with teams around the globe in the development and implementation of Self & Match interventions as a Tier 1, 2, or 3 behavioral tool within the school, clinic, and home settings.

Previously, Jamie served for a decade as a Senior Program Specialist at the San Diego County Office of Education. In her role, she trained educators on writing effective and legally-defensible Behavior Intervention Plans, provided leadership and guidance to special educators, consulted with teams utilizing the Self & Match system, and supported students, families, and Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams in determining appropriate programs for students in their least restrictive environment. She received her Masters of Education, Educational Specialist degree, Nationally Certified School Psychologist status, and BCBA certification through Lehigh University. Jamie has been actively involved in supporting children with autism for over 20 years. These experiences include serving as Supervisor of an U.S. Department of Education Training Grant (focused on inclusion of students with low incidence disabilities) and presenter at multiple International Conferences. She has also operated a school-based clinic that provided an emphasis on Intensive Behavioral Interventions, led social skills groups, sibling support groups, and provided in-home behavioral intervention. Jamie has served on the state-wide PENT Cadre Leadership team since 2016.

Susan Scott, M.S., BCBA

Education/Program Specialist
San Joaquin County SELPA

Susan Scott is a Program Specialist at the San Joaquin County Special Education Local Plan Area (SJC SELPA). Susan earned her Master's degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from the California State University (CSU), Stanislaus. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Susan has worked in special education for over 20 years. She has a wide range of experience working at both public and nonpublic schools. Although she started her career working with students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), she also has experience with a variety of students with challenging behaviors. As Program Specialist for SJC SELPA, she conducts a wide variety of workshops for teachers, paraprofessionals, and other staff such as positive behavior interventions, conducting Functional Behavior Assessments, and developing Behavior Intervention Plans. In her spare time, she teaches courses at CSU, Stanislaus and Teachers College of San Joaquin.

Tracey Silveira-Zaldivar, Ph.D., BCBA

Behavior Specialist
Orange Unified School District

Tracey Silveira-Zaldivar is a bilingual school psychologist on special assignment for the Orange Unified School District. Tracey has a Ph.D. in Education, a master's in clinical and community psychology, and a School Psychology Credential. She graduated from University of California, Irvine with undergraduate degrees in psychology, Spanish, and literature. Tracey is also a Board- Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) practicing behavior skills in the school setting and private ABA setting as a divisional supervisor and parent consultant. Tracey has over 21 years of experience in the educational field, and over 10 years of experience as a county social worker and counselor. Tracey has extensive experience working with students of all ages as well as extensive experience teaching and consulting. Areas of expertise include autism, moderate to severe instructional techniques, behavior strategies, plans and Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBAs), mental health, social skills, goal development, and bilingual assessment. Recently, she has taken an invested interest in educational research. Tracey is honored to be a California Autism Professional Training and Information Network (CAPTAIN) Cadre Member and a newly minted member of the PENT Leadership Team.

Carey Twitchell-Csik, M.S.

Program Specialist
Orange Unified School District

Carey Twitchell-Csik, M.S. has been a school psychologist for the past 20 years, and worked in the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District as a special education teacher, school psychologist and program specialist since 1998. During this time, her work has focused on helping students and families with behavioral and social emotional needs, which are interfering with their ability to access their education across all grade levels. Her training in systems theory combine with her educational background has supported the use of CBT-based strategies within the school environment.

Carey Twitchell-Csik has been a Cadre member of the Positive Environment Network of Trainers since it began in 2003 and is a Senior Level CPI Instructor with training in Advance Physical Training. Carey has a Master's degree in clinical psychology and educational psychology and currently has a credential in School Counseling and School Psychology. She currently supports her district as a Member of their Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) Mental Health team providing assessment, direct service and trainings.

Shannon Vogt, M.A.

Program Specialist
East Valley SELPA

Shannon Vogt has been a Program Specialist for the East Valley Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) for 6 years. She has been working in the field of special education for the past 16 years in numerous settings supporting students with disabilities to progress behaviorally, socially, functionally, and academically. Shannon obtained a master's degree in Education, Curriculum, and Instruction as well as extensive studies in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) through Arizona State University. As a model teacher in an ABA classroom and Teacher on Assignment, she had many unique experiences which provided her the ability to manage staff, train in class, complete assessments, and individualize curriculum for students. As a Program Specialist with East Valley SELPA, her focus has been working with teachers on developing legally compliant Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals and supports the implementation of the IEP document. She works in the areas of Professional Crisis Management, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Behavioral Interventions. Shannon's passion continues to be mentoring new teachers and staff and working side-by-side with students to build their skill sets. She remains dedicated to learning the best practices in her field.

Tara Zombres, M.Ed., NCED, BCBA

Education Specialist
Diagnostic Center, Northern California

Tara Zombres, M.Ed., NCED, BCBA, is a Behavior Analyst and Education Specialist at the Diagnostic Center-North. When in the classroom, she taught students with a wide variety of disabilities, specializing in working with students with extensive support needs. She has a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction in Special Education. Her areas of expertise are providing engaging and appropriate instruction for students with complex needs, developing educational programs for students with severe emotional and behavior disorders, conducting behavior analysis and assessment for students with severe behavior problems, teaching students with Autism using Evidence Based Practices and designing comprehensive programming for students with emotional and behavioral disorders. She sits on the planning committee for the national Advancing School Mental Health conference and is a member of the California Department of Education School Mental Health Policy Workgroup. Tara is a Board-Certified Behavior Analysist (BCBA) and a Nationally Certified Educational Diagnostician and has been a PENT leader since 2017. She is currently in the process of completing her Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Her goal as a professional is to forever keep in mind that empowering a child can change the world.