Nancy Corr, Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) Workgroup
Laura Gordon, Former MCPS Special Education Paraeducator, former xMinds Board President
Kristin King, General and Special Educator (MCPS), Special Olympics Coach
Monica Martinez, Special Education Advocate, former xMinds Executive Director
Karen Paul, Founder and Principal at Catalyzing Philanthropy
Kim Pinckney-Lewis, Ph.D. in Instructional Design and Technology, xMinds Educator Support Committee Co-Chair
Julie Reiley, Former Co-Chair Montgomery County Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) and former Chair and Vice-Chair of the Special Education Committee of Montgomery County Council of PTAs
Scott Robertson, Ph.D., Self-Advocate
Anne Stewart, M.A. Special Education, Special Educator (Lee Montessori, DC Public Charter School)
Sarah Wayland, Ph.D, Guiding Exceptional Parents
Molly Whalen, Special Education Parent Advocate, DCASE Executive Director, Fundraiser
Jamell White, PhD, LCSW-C, Professor, College of Education Early Childhood Education at UMD
Vice PresidentA native of Baton Rouge, LA, Melissa Montealegre Egan is the mother of a 9-year-old son with autism, who attends a Learning for Independence program in MCPS, and a typically developing 6-year-old daughter. She works part-time as the Communications Coordinator for St. Francis of Assisi Church in Derwood, MD. She is grateful to hone her advocacy skills through xMinds and help further its important work as the Events Chair.
SecretaryNora recently retired from her work as an anthropologist in international development, first at the World Bank, and more recently, as a member of the gender and social inclusion team at the Millennium Challenge Corporation (a US bilateral aid organization). She has spent many years as an MCPS parent advocating for her son (who has ADHD) and her daughter (in the Autism Resources Program) and brings that valuable experience to her work at xMinds.
TreasurerNatalia is the mother of a 5-year-old son with Autism who is currently non-speaking. He has three loving older sisters ages 7, 11, and 14. All attend MCPS in various special programs. Natalia is a trained trial lawyer and in-house counsel. She has worked in private practice focusing on employment and civil litigation and in various government roles as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Washington, D.C. U.S. Attorney's Office, and as an in-house attorney with MCPS. Natalia currently works in-house at a management consulting firm, focusing on internal investigations and employment law. She looks forward to contributing her expertise to xMinds, an organization that assisted her greatly in navigating her son's diagnosis and educational needs.
Executive DirectorSue earned a JD and MBA from the University of Chicago and practiced law at Sidley and Austin until giving it up to be home with her three children, one of whom is on the autism spectrum. Sue has spent years tutoring children with learning disabilities, served on the Board of the Edmund Burke School, and taken a leadership role in development efforts at several independent schools in DC and Montgomery County. Sue brings to xMinds her experience with non-profit governance, fund-raising, inclusive education, and her interest in promoting understanding and acceptance of neurodiversity.
PresidentJean is a parent and autistic self-advocate who has lived in Montgomery County since 2003. She has three children who have been taught in many different MCPS programs and settings. Although she has a master's degree in journalism, she currently works as Office Manager for the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, where she is able to frequently indulge in one of her special interests: filling out forms. (Yes, really.)
Board MemberKate worked in the Interior Design field for many years before the diagnosis of her eldest child with ASD. She focused her attention on specialists and therapies for her son, and was gladdened to find xMinds to provide her with support and community. She currently serves as the Family Outreach Chair, and hopes that more families in Montgomery County can find community with xMinds. In addition to her work with xMinds, Kate works as a Design Consultant on residential projects and teaches art classes.
Board MemberCarolina believes in parent involvement and collaboration between home and school to ensure the success of every child. In 2017, Carolina completed the Parents' Place of Maryland's LEADers program, a training series that provides parents with the information they need to be informed and active in special education advocacy at the state and local levels. Carolina currently works full-time with a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
Board MemberMaria is an attorney with a JD from the Catholic University of America. She also earned her MSEd from the University of Pennsylvania specializing in Intercultural Communications. After her daughter was diagnosed with autism, Maria began researching best practices in teaching nonspeakers to communicate. She also provides legal representation pro bono to students with disabilities in the District of Columbia and Maryland. Maria is the Chair of the Nonspeaking Autistic Students Committee at xMinds.
Board MemberKim Pinckney-Lewis earned a Ph.D. in Instructional Design & Technology from Old Dominion University. With over 20 years of experience in the training and education fields, she has served as an Instructional Designer and Performance Improvement Consultant for various entities within the intelligence community. She is also the proud mother of a child on the Autism spectrum and has lent her skills in instructional design to help identify needs of individual learners like her son. In addition to her experience in advocacy for inclusive learning environments, she brings her expertise in strategic needs assessments to the xMinds Board.
Board MemberA graduate of the University of Michigan, George Washington University, and University of Maryland (UMUC), with masters degrees in Political Management, Business Data Analytics, and Business Administration, Bonita has worked on Capitol Hill and in government affairs. Most recently she served as PTA president at her son’s elementary school and continues to serve on the MCCPTA’s Special Education Advisory Committee. Currently, Bonita is both a substitute teacher in MCPS and an education reform fellow with the non-profit organization Teachers Democracy Project. Bonita has a strong belief that all students are valuable and have the right to equity, fairness, and respect in the pursuit of a high-quality education.
Board MemberGayle has worked nearly 25 years as a writer and editor for various government contractors in the DC metropolitan area. Her work has run the gamut from medical editing to editing political books, recently focusing on housing policy and its effects on poverty, health, and the promotion of socially, economically, and culturally vibrant communities. Gayle is the proud parent of two daughters who have both spent their entire academic tenure in MCPS, one daughter in the Asperger’s program. In addition to her skills as a writer, Gayle brings to xMinds her long history and experience navigating MCPS Special Education for an autistic daughter, from PEP through high school.
Board MemberMarci is a clinically trained special educator with over 20 years’ experience as a case manager and special educator in Illinois and is currently teaching at the Sulam School in Rockville, MD. She is also the founder of Enhance EFS, an Executive Functioning Coaching and Academic Tutoring business. Marci shares a personal connection with the autism community as one of her children and a nephew have autism. Marci lives in Gaithersburg, MD with her husband, their four children, and two puppies.