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Kristin M. Bell
NCCASE Executive Committee
NCCASE Full Board of Directors
Executive Director, Exceptional Children’s Department
Durham Public Schools
Region 3
Years in Education: 27 years

 Dr. Bell began her career as a special education teacher in Indiana. She also served as a coordinator for special education programs at the elementary, middle and high school levels in Indiana and in North Carolina. Dr. Bell worked at The Hill Center in Durham, NC as a teacher/Director of Studies and then as an Outreach Coordinator who developed and provided professional learning for educators in NC and abroad. Dr. Bell’s current role is as the Executive Director for Exceptional Children with Durham Public Schools, where she has led the department since 2010.  She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Special Education from Southern Connecticut State University, a master’s in Special Education from Ball State University, a master’s in School Administration from Indiana-Purdue University at Fort Wayne, and her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from North Carolina State University.


Sandra Albert

NCCASE Executive Committee

NCCASE Full Board of Directors

NCCASE Professional Development Committee

Mooresville Graded School District

Executive Director of Student Services & Exceptional Children’s Programs

Region 6

  • Innovative and collaborative educational professional with over 25 years of experience providing comprehensive educational programming for a diverse population of students.  

  • Throughout my career I have worked closely with teachers, administrators, parents and related service providers to provide high quality specialized instruction to students with disabilities 

  •  Work with a student services (school counselors, social workers, and nurses ) team to provide  services for all at-risk students

Previous Experience includes: 

  • Director of Exceptional Children: 2015 to 2017, Rowan Salisbury Schools System

  • Director of Exceptional Children: 2012-2015, Mooresville Graded School District

  • EC Program Coordinator/Specialist: 2007-2012, Mooresville Graded School District

  • Principal, Coordinator, Program Specialist 1997-2007, Southeastern Cooperative Educational Program (SECEP), Norfolk VA

  • Foster Care Social Worker: 1990-1997 New York Foundling Hospital, NY

I hold the following degrees: Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Ed.S. in Educational Leadership, Licensure add-on Curriculum Instructional Specialist, an MS.Ed in Special Education & a BS in Psychology


Mike Marcela, Ed.D.

NCCASE Past President

NCCASE Executive Committee

NCCASE Full Board of Directors

NCCASE Conference Committee

Exceptional Children Program Director   Watauga County Schools

Region 7

Years in Education: 34.5


  1. BA from Wake Forest University in Psychology and Elementary Education (1984)

  2. MA from Appalachian State University in Special Education (1988)

  3. Ed.D. from Virginia Tech in Administration and Supervision of Special Education and Public School Administration (1996)

Work History:

  1.  Special Education teacher for 10 years (1984-1996):  Three years as In-school suspension

teacher at an all special education high school in Winston-Salem, Two years as a self-contained IDMO teacher in at Patrick County High School, Patrick County, Virginia and five years as a self-contained cross categorical classroom teacher at Tharrington Elementary School in Mt. Airy, NC.

  1. Graduate Assistant at Virginia Tech (1995-1996)

  2. Exceptional Children Program Director for Wilkes County Schools, Wilkesboro, NC from 1996-

December 2003

  1. Accountability Specialist for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools in Charlotte, NC from January 2004

to July, 2012.In charge of compliance, parent complaints, state complaints, mediations and due process.

  1. Exceptional Children Program Director for Watauga County Schools, Boone, NC from July 2012



  1. President Elect: 2014-15

  2. President: 2015-2018

  3. Immediate Past President: 2018-current


Julie (Askew) Varnam

Immediate past NCCASE President

NCCASE Executive Committee

NCCASE Full Board of Directors

Assistant Superintendent for Student Support Services

New Hanover County Schools

Years in Education:     22

Region 2

  • Currently serving as Assistant Superintendent for Student Support Services which includes Special Education and Related Services

  • Member of Board of Directors for NC Association of School Administrators (NCASA)

  • Previous Executive Director for Special Education and Related Services in New Hanover County Schools

  • Prior to New Hanover County Schools, served as Director for Exceptional Children and Student Support in Pender County Schools

  • Following teaching (students with emotional and learning disabilities), served as district behavior specialist, safe schools coordinator, and high school assistant principal before taking on the director role. 

  • K-12 licensed in EC-Behaviorally/Emotionally Handicapped, School Administration, Program Administrator Special Education


Teresa Owens
NCCASE Treasurer
NCCASE Executive Committee
NCCASE Full Board of Directors
NCCASE Higher Education Representative
NCCASE Professional Development Committee (conference co-chair)

Clinical Instructor, Specialized Curriculum High Point University
Years in Education: 40

I earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Special Education from Appalachian State University.
I began my career in Lexington, NC as a teacher of preschool students with disabilities.  I was employed by High Point City Schools and Guilford County Schools as a special educator at Ferndale Middle and Northwood Elementary Schools. During the years I worked in the classroom, I was selected as Outstanding Young Educator by the High Point Jaycees, Educator of the Year by the ARC of High Point and Teacher of the Year by Northwood Elementary School.
I moved from the classroom into a supervisory position as a Program Facilitator for Exceptional Children Services and then a Program Administrator for Special Education Services.  From 2005 through 2013 I served as Coordinator for Exceptional Children Services in Guilford County Schools.  In this capacity I was responsible for the development and support of short and long-range goals and objectives for the improvement of system wide instruction for students with disabilities.  
I served as an Ex-officio member of the Exceptional Children’s Parent Advisory Committee, with Guilford County Schools from 2005 – 2013.  I served on multiple project teams for the Guilford County School district including PACE (Personalized Achievement, Curriculum and Environment), School Reform, and BAT (Building Advisory Team) for Haynes-Inman Education Center, CJ Greene Education Center, Herbin-Metz Education Center and the Allen Jay Preparatory Academy.
After serving students with disabilities and their families for 34 years as a teacher and an administrator for special education services, I retired from Guilford County Schools in August of 2013 and joined the Stout School of Education at High Point University as a Clinical Instructor.   I am also the  faculty advisor for Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Student Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). I also serve on the Board of The Piedmont School in High Point as a member of the Trustee Committee.

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Glenda Starr
NCCASE Executive Committee
NCCASE Full Board of Directors
NCCASE Membership Chair

Director of Exceptional Children Programs
McDowell County Schools
Region 7
Years in Education: 37 years

Glenda is the Exceptional Children Programs director for McDowell County Schools. She has been in this position since the spring of 2011. Glenda received her Bachelor of Science in Special Education, Cross Categorical and her Master of School Administration from Appalachian State University.
Prior to becoming the director, Glenda was an educational diagnostician and EC program specialist in McDowell. Before working in the EC office, she taught public school for 19 years. Her teaching experience in special education includes middle school, preschool and elementary where she received the honor of being named teacher of the year.
Glenda is a member of the Council of Administrators of Special Education, the Council for Exceptional Children, and the Autism Society. Glenda has represented region 7 on the Director’s Advisory Council 2013-2015, as well as serving on several state stakeholder committees.
Glenda is a resident of Marion, North Carolina living in the North Cove community.

She loves family, children, music and special education.


Jill McKenna
NCCASE President Elect
NCCASE Executive Committee
NCCASE Full Board of Directors
NCCASE Policy and Legislation Committee
Senior Director, Special Education Services
Wake County Public School System
Region 3

Christy Grant
NCCASE President
Director, Special Education
Nash Public Schools
Region 3

Sam Dempsey
NCCASE Executive Committee
NCCASE Full Board of Directors
NCCASE Legislative Committee

Sam Dempsey served as an EC Director/ Special Education Director in NC and TN for over 30 years. He taught at the Elementary, Middle, High School, and University levels. His undergraduate work at Warren Wilson College was followed by graduate level at UT Knoxville and Doctoral studies at Vanderbilt. He has been a member of CEC and CASE for 42 years. He and his wife Dee live in Winston Salem.







Name:                                     Amy E. Ashbrook Wilson

Regular Board Member        Region 7/Northwest Representative

School District:                     Catawba County Schools

Position:                                EC Director

Years in Education:              Educator since 1997 

Educational Background:

May 1998-                   Bachelors of Science Degree in Psychology/Sociology

                                    Minor & Certification in Special Education- Cross Categorical

                                    University of Virginia- Wise, VA

May 2004-                   Masters Degree in Education Administration

                                    Appalachian State University- Boone, NC

May 2012-                   Education Specialist Degree

                                    Appalachian State University- Boone, NC

December 2018-         Doctorate in Educational Leadership

                                    Dissertation Title: Constructing the Role of the Secondary Special 


                                    Appalachian State University- Boone, NC

Professional  Background Summary:

Amy has taught special education at all grade levels, as well as serving students with a variety of abilities. She served as an Assistant Principal and Principal for approximately 6 years combined. Additionally, she served as an EC Program Specialist for two years and Assistant EC Director for two years before taking her first EC Directorship in May 2014. She has been an active member of NC CASE since 2006 and served on the board since 2015. 


Personally, Amy is the proud mother of two adult sons, one of which has an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Amy credits this personal experience as providing her with a better understanding of the personal and academic challenges that students with disabilities face and the importance of capitalizing on an individual’s strengths in order to foster growth. Likewise, this kept her grounded in looking at policy and practices from both a practitioner and parent perspective. 

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