Special Education State Advisory Council

​The Maryland Special Education State Advisory Committee (SESAC) is established in accordance with the provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (Part B). The mission of the SESAC is to advise and assist the Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services in administering, promoting, planning, coordinating, and improving the delivery of special education and related services to assure that all children with disabilities, three through 21 years of age, and their families have access to appropriate education and related services.

Click here for SESAC Bylaws.

Membership: The SESAC membership conforms to the requirements of federal and State regulations. The majority of the members shall be individuals with disabilities or parents of students, ages birth through 21, with disabilities.

SESAC Members

SESAC Chair - Parent/PTI - Kelly Meissner (Howard County, Parents' Place of Maryland)
SESAC Vice-Chair - Parent/Agency – Kathy Kaufman (Carroll County, Carroll County Public Schools)

Parent – Joyce Abbott (Carroll County)
Parent – Vittoria Aiello (Montgomery County)
Parent – Kathleen Barazotto (Frederick County)
Parent – Leanne Carmona (Anne Arundel County)
Parent - Samantha Carter (Anne Arundel County, Military)
Parent - Yvonne Hu Cotto (Howard County)
Parent – Marjorie Guldan (Carroll County)
Parent – Elisa Hartman (Baltimore County)
Parent/Agency – Neal Lichter (Baltimore County, Pathfinders for Autism)
Parent – Karleen Spitulnik (Baltimore County, Decoding Dyslexia Maryland)
Parent/Agency– Audra Cherbonnier (Talbot County, Maryland Coalition of Families)
Parent – Pamela Talley (Prince George's County)
Agency - Ty Blackwell (Department of Juvenile Services, DJS)
Agency – Brian Fausel (SEED School)
Agency – Dori Flynn (Maryland Association of Nonpublic Special Education Facilities, MANSEF)
Agency – Gaston A. Gamez (Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Bilingual Outreach Sp.)
Agency – Sarah Farr (Cecil County Public Schools)
Agency – Rachel London, Esq., (Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council)
Agency - Diane McGowan (Queen Anne's County Schools)
Agency – Frank Nanton (Department of Human Resources, DHR)
Agency - Jill Pierce (DORS)
Agency – Jamie Stoner (The ARC Northern Chesapeake Region, Inc.)
Agency – Maura Taylor (Maryland State Education Association, MSEA) (DESIGNEE)
Agency – Tiombe Olumiji (Juvenile Services Education System)
Agency – Valerie Ashton-Thomas (Homeless Education and Neglected & Delinquent Specialist)

MSDE Staff – Carmen Brown (Maryland State Department of Education, MSDE)


Meetings: SESAC general meetings are open to the public. Special needs requests, including interpreter and translator services, should be requested at least 2 weeks prior to a scheduled meeting to allow adequate time to secure a service provider. For meeting information or to request special accommodations, contact the SESAC staff liaison at MSDE: 410-767-7197

SESAC Meeting Schedule   September 2017 - June 2018Revised September 28, 2017
(meeting dates are subject to change and will be updated as necessary)


Meeting Agendas



Contact Information
Carmen A. Brown, LCSWC, Branch Chief, Interagency Collaboration Branch
Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services
Maryland State Department of Education
Phone: 410-767-7197
Email: carmen.brown1@maryland.gov