Conference Presenters

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Pre-Conference Presenters

Gene Komondor is a FEMA-certified Master Exercise Practitioner.  He is the Emergency Management Coordinator in North Huntingdon Twp., PA and co-chairs the Norwin School District Safe Schools Committee.  An instructor in the University of Pittsburgh’s Emergency Medicine program, he holds bachelor’s degrees in Public Administration and Human Resources Management and a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction.

Gary Sigrist has a unique background because of his work in both the K-12 system and law enforcement. He was an educator and Safety Director for South-Western City Schools for 30 years.  Gary is a police officer and has over 24 years of experience working with schools throughout Ohio.  His company currently serves, K12, higher Education, healthcare, and businesses throughout the United States.

Conference Keynote

Frank DeAngelis, Retired Principal, Columbine High School

Frank DeAngelis was a staff member at Columbine High School in the Jeffco School District in Littleton Colorado, since 1979, starting as a Social Studies teacher and filling the roles of Head Baseball Coach, Assistant Football Coach, Dean of Students, and Assistant Principal, before becoming the Principal in 1996.

Frank is a Colorado native, completing his K-12 education in Denver-area schools, proceeding to graduate from Metropolitan State College and subsequently from the University of Colorado with a Masters Degree in Secondary Education and Social Studies, his Principal’s License and Masters Degree from the University of Phoenix.  Frank has been involved in numerous professional activities and associations, and has received multiple awards for his teaching, leadership and coaching skills.

He has also been called upon to speak about recovery after a school tragedy at a variety of conferences, and has assisted as a consultant after a number of other violent school events.  He was selected as Colorado High Principal of the Year was one of the three finalists for National Principal of the Year.  He recently received the Jefferson Country Lifetime Achievement Award and the Gandhi, King, Ikeda Community Builders Award.

He retired in June of 2014 after 35 years at Columbine High School.  He is presently serving as a consultant for safety and emergency management for the Jeffco School District and continues to deliver speeches around the country.”


Conference Featured Speaker

Jason Schechterle, Retired Phoenix Police Officer

Jason’s journey chronicles his fight for life, his triumph over tragedy and the inspiration that enables him to continue to overcome unimaginable adversity. His personal narrative exemplifies that the power of the human spirit can never be underestimated or extinguished. His story is one of life, rebirth, and transformation. Jason represents the human experience at its very best, and will guide the audience, whether it be schools, response agencies, or the communities in which we live, encouragement for all.

Growing up, Jason had one dream – to serve as a Phoenix Police Officer. Inspired by his brother and the tragic loss of a local law enforcement hero, Jason worked persistently towards his dream. After serving four years in the Air Force, at the age 26, Jason achieved his goal to work on the streets of Phoenix as a rookie police officer. Then, only 14 months into what was supposed to be a life-long career, Jason’s life took an unexpected tragic turn.

On the night of March 26th, 2001, a taxicab crashed into the rear of Jason’s patrol car. Upon impact, Jason’s car burst into flames, trapping him inside. Through a series of miraculous and fateful circumstances, Jason survived the crash and ensuing physical and emotional catastrophe. He suffered severe burns to over 40% of his body, which drastically altered his appearance. He has undergone more than 50 surgeries just to have the ability to accomplish simple daily tasks we often take for granted.

His story is also a testament of true love and the dedication Jason and his wife have in their commitment to honor their family and the vows of marriage in good times and bad.


Conference Presenters

James Dorer has served as the Scottsdale Unified School District’s Chief Security Officer since 2010 after retiring from a 20-year career with the Scottsdale Police Department.  In addition to his role at SUSD, Mr. Dorer is an adjunct instructor for the State of Arizona’s Division of Emergency Management, and a member of the Arizona Department of Education’s School Emergency Response Advisory Council.

Jeff Coleman is the Director of School Safety and Security for the Tucson Unified School District.  In that role he oversees the District’s Emergency Management Functions.  Jeff also served 27 years with the Tucson Police Department where he held a number of assignments, retiring with the rank of Lieutenant. He holds a degree in Public Agency Service from NAU.

Robert (Bob) Kuhn, his wife Cheryl, and their two daughters are Flagstaff natives.  Bob graduated from Northern Arizona University in 1983 with a BS in Industrial Supervision.  He received a MA in Educational Leadership in 1998 from NAU.  His experience includes 6 years in project management for a private developer, 8 years as an Industrial Technology teacher, and 4 years as a district construction/energy manager.  Additionally, in the field of education, he has 5 years’ experience as a high school principal, 3 years as a middle school administrator, and has been for the past 6 years and is presently the Assistant Superintendent of Operations for the Flagstaff Unified School District#1.

Dan Landers is the Cenpatico Integrated Care Emergency Response & Business Continuity Specialist.  He is charge of the coordinating mental and behavioral health response and recovery activities for the eight Southern Arizona counties that Cenpatico Integrated Care serves.  Dan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and a Certificate in Public Health Epidemiology from Arizona State University.  Formally, as the ADHS Disaster Behavioral Health Branch Chief from 2009 to 2015, Dan managed the State’s behavioral health response activities to several major emergency events.

Debi LaVergne served as a police officer in Arizona, specializing in DUI Enforcement and Drug Recognition. She holds degrees in Criminal Justice, Business Administration and Counseling. Debi has enjoyed 20+ years of educating adults and is currently contracted with the University of Arizona as a Safe and Supportive Schools Grant Coach.

Jim Lee is an Emergency Preparedness Advisor for the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) where he provides technical assistance to Arizona schools districts on the development of comprehensive multi-hazard Emergency Operation Plans.  Prior to joining ADE, Jim served as a principal and director of student services for the Paradise Valley Unified School District in Phoenix where he oversaw both district and school EOP plan development.

Sam Martin, after serving his country for 26 years, which included multiple combat tours, and working with Law Enforcement agency on Counterdrug Operations for ten years, Samuel Martin retired from the military as a Master Sergeant E-8.  Since his retirement from the military, Samuel has worked for the Tucson Unified School District in Tucson, Arizona.  Most currently he is a school safety officer for Emergency Management for the largest district in Southern AZ. Samuel holds a degree in Criminal Justice.

Debi Neat has recently retired after 34 years as an educator and as the coordinator and trainer of prevention and intervention programs.  Currently, Debi is an independent educational consultant providing training as a FEMA certified trainer for Multi-hazard Emergency Planning for Schools; as a Certified Adolescent Health Trainer and works as PBIS Learning Systems Facilitator and Coach for KOI Education.

Ruth Reynoso has been sharing her passion for education with students and colleagues for more than thirty years. Before signing on with KOI Education as a PBIS Trainer/Coach, she spent eighteen years in the classroom teaching General, Honors, and AP Chemistry. For the remainder of her time in public education she became a teacher mentor and staff developer, helping teachers to improve their teaching in order to assist their students in learning more effectively. During her tenure, she was recognized as an Arizona Master Teacher and looks forward to sharing this expertise with educators to enhance the learning experience for all.

Vicky Rozich joined the Parent Training and Information team in the summer of 2008. Her journey with Raising Special Kids began in 2003 as a Parent to Parent volunteer. She has participated in many Parent Panels for Raising Special Kids presenting a family perspective on raising a child with a disability to students and postgraduate professionals in special education and medicine. She enjoys helping parents and professionals understand the physical and emotional demands of raising a child with severe multiple disabilities. Prior to joining the staff of Raising Special Kids, Vicky had an extensive history of leading adult education classes at her church and the Area Agency on Aging. She deeply values her new role in educating, training and supporting parents through the special education process.

Kaylee Sorensen has worked for the Arizona School Risk Retention Trust (the Trust) for over three years. She is the emergency response specialist at the Trust and has worked closely with schools all over the state. She has helped create plans, drills, exercises, programs and more for both school districts and private companies.

Vicky Rozich joined the Parent Training and Information team in the summer of 2008. Her journey with Raising Special Kids began in 2003 as a Parent to Parent volunteer. She has participated in many Parent Panels for Raising Special Kids presenting a family perspective on raising a child with a disability to students and post graduate professionals in special education and medicine.

Ray Morris, founder/CEO of Dads 4 Special Kids, fire service for over 30 years, wife Kelly, sons Zach: autism & sever cognitive delay & Tyler.  Ray’s father was a quadriplegic and raising a son with profound disabilities motivated him to create an emergency/disaster preparedness program to assist individuals and their families in creating a plan around their specific needs.

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