Debbie is a community advocate for families, children, and creative learning. She is the Education Manager at LeMay America's Car Museum. Previously, in her 13 years at the Children's Museum of Tacoma, she worked to provide families who have children with special needs access to informal learning environments. She joins the Board to strengthen its strategic plans and community engagement to ensure success in our mission. Debbie has actively volunteered in the athletic, academic, and artistic lives of her children in Tacoma and with her husband. She enthusiastically joined the Board to provide families with children with special needs opportunities to support the growth and learning of their children.
Angela Allison - Board Treasurer
Angela is a Pharmacy Technician at
Group Health Cooperative. She's had an interest in Bookkeeping and Marketing for some
time, and has been watching the work of the Exceptional Families Network for several years. After becoming educated on the many things the organization has accomplished and is working toward achieving, she knew she wanted to help provide budgetary and financial oversight. Angela is excited about the possibilities for the nonprofit, and has a strong desire to help our constituents by working as a Board Member. She lives in Tacoma with her family.
Corinne Dutton - Board Co-Secretary
Corinne was a Medical Records Director for a nursing home facility. She has an Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology and is nationally certified as a Registered Health Information Technologist. Before working in healthcare, Corinne enjoyed her role as an Assistant Children's Pastor. She also worked in several school districts as a Para-Educator, spending most of her time with children diagnosed with autism, as well as children who experienced multiple disabilities. In addition, she did work as a sign language interpreter. Corinne lives in Shelton.
Miranda Owen - Board Co-Secretary
Miranda is an Administrative Coordinator at the Children's Museum of Tacoma. Her relationship with the museum began as a volunteer, and she has enjoyed gaining professional experience while working with children, especially in the "Play to Learn" program, and also with the Exceptional Families Network's monthly support group meetings. Miranda has a passion for children and wants the community to have access to services that cater to children in Pierce County and beyond, from every background and ability. Miranda lives in Tacoma with her family, which includes 3 children ranging in age from newborn to 7 years old.
Denise Walk - Parent Advisory Council Chair
Denise is passionate about helping others, which is displayed by her dedication to ensuring that all of her children - biological, adopted or foster - receive the care and attention they need. She is continually looking for ways to help others gain access to appropriate services while sharing her knowledge. Denise is eager to participate in activities that will further the education of others. She is a stay-at-home mom who has had the privilege of being the caregiver for over 100 foster children, most of which were children with special needs. Denise and her husband live in Tacoma and currently have three children - two on the autism spectrum and one that is developmentally delayed. They are able to provide and share their expertise with the support of their older children, friends, and a network of great providers.
Helen Caldart - Director of Advocacy
Helen was blessed with a special needs son in the middle 1990’s. Her life changed in many wonderful, and yes, difficult ways. Little did she know her unique and successful twenty plus year business career would give her some of the necessary tools to advocate for her son. It is through the growth of her son that her passion bloomed as a Special Education Advocate. Helen describes herself as Not An Attorney (NAA) but someone who is sharing her experiences working as a Special Education Advocate. Helen has extensive experience and knowledge in the development of effective educational programs for students with disabilities, addressing their individual and unique needs. She has an excellent working knowledge and understanding of Special Education Law/Regulations including the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). She actually loves to read them! Helen loves what she does and loves the families she works with throughout the United States. She is continually humbled by the trust that families put in her to come alongside them and assist in the overwhelming process of special education. You will find Helen knowledgeable, caring, extremely organized, dependable, open, and honest. She has a unique understanding of people, and is also an exceptional communicator that's supportive and realistic.
Angela Fish - Executive Director
Angela became involved in the special needs community when she was struggling to raise her two young boys, who were both later diagnosed with autism. Her goal was to create the help she so desperately needed, and she hoped that others would join her for the journey. As a result, she founded the SPECIAL Families of Pierce County support group in 2008. Angela joined various committees and began serving as both the Board Secretary and Director of Community Outreach with the Wyatt Holliday Foundation (now known as the Exceptional Families Network). She took over the leadership of the nonprofit as Executive Director in 2011. Angela has turned her family's challenges into a passion for helping the entire community. Angela was selected as the "Hometown Hero" in 2015 by KIRO Radio and WSECU, and her story was shared on MyNorthwest.com. She was recognized in 2013 as an "Unsung Hero" by the Washington State Department of Early Learning and her story was featured on the Seattle's Child Magazine website. Angela is the author of the "Caffeinated Autism Mom" blog, which was awarded "BEST Parenting Blog" through the Best of Western Washington contest in 2012. She was honored as the "Community Advocate of the Year" by FEAT (Families for Effective Autism Treatment) of Washington in 2011. Angela is a contributing author in the book, Sensational Journeys: 48 Personal Stories of Sensory Processing Disorder. Angela is also involved with the Pierce County Interagency Coordinating Council and South Sound Autism Partnership. She has a Master’s degree in Business Administration and has a diverse professional background in several different industries.
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