About the National Resource Center for Paraeducators

Who We Serve

We serve paraeducators; teachers; policymakers and administrators; other education professionals; occupational, physical and speech-language therapists; early childhood specialists; personnel developers in 2 & 4 year colleges and universities; and other stakeholders.

Our Mission

Our mission is to address policy questions and other needs of the field, provide technical assistance and share information about policy questions, management practices, regulatory procedures, and training models that will enable administrators and staff-developers to improve the recruitment, deployment, supervision, and career development of paraeducators.

What Do We Do?

  • A national conference that provides training and dissemination of materials and information
  • Online community and paraprofessional information through our website
  • Direct training for paraprofessionals and teachers
  • Keynote addresses for conferences
  • Seminars for administrators
  • Validated training materials
  • Technical assistance to facilitate the development of state and local systems and infrastructures
  • The New Directions Newsletter
  • Collaborating with federal agencies on issues related to the recruitment, training and supervision of paraeducators.

Conference Registration

Oh the Mountains We Can Climb

You can now register for the 34th National Conference for Paraeducators and Related Service providers in Washington State.

Online Registration Available thru April 29th. On sight registration will be available as well!

Conference Registration Prices:


Paraeducators - Special discounted prices

Full Conference $125
Saturday and Sunday $90
One Day $70

Teachers, Administrators, Parents, University, and Community Attendees

Full Conference $275
Saturday and Sunday $200
One Day $150

Teacher/Paraeducator Teams

Full Conference $375
Saturday and Sunday $200
One Day $150

Teacher/Paraeducator/Administrator Team

Full Conference $600
One Day $260

If you need to pay using a District P.O., please complete the registration process below, then click on the Pay by Check option. Send your Purchase Order to National Resource Center for Paraeducators c/o Emily Phillips at 2865 Old Main Hill, Logan Utah, 84322-2865 We will then invoice your district for payment.

Order Tickets Below:

Please contact us here or at 435-797-7272 with any registration questions

Paraeducator Leadership Networking Session

Oh the Mountains We Can Climb

The 8th Annual National Paraeducator Leadership Networking Session will be held Thursday, April 26th, 2018 from 4:30-7:30 p.m

The eighth annual National Paraeducator Leadership Networking Session will be held Thursday, April 26, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. This session is open to state and national paraeducator leaders and advocates who are engaged in activities that promote paraeducator leadership at the state and/or national levels. This session provides an opportunity to share and discuss state and national level accomplishments and network with other paraeducator leaders and advocates before the kick-off of the conference. All interested parties may attend. There is no registration fee associated with this event.

If you are interested in joining the National Paraeducator Leadership Group or attending the pre-conference session, please register below

Questions? Please e-mail Marilyn Likins at marilyn@nrcpara.org

Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know about updates on this years conference (including updates on this Paraeducator Leadership Networking Session)!

Conference Exhibitors

Oh the Mountains We Can Climb

We are now accepting Exhibitors Applications!

Join us at the 34th Annual National Resource Center for Paraeducators Conference on April 27-29 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Seattle Airport in Seattle, Washington. We are excited to be hosting this year’s event in the wonderful state of Washington.

This conference provides a unique opportunity for educators from Washington and other parts of the country to learn from local, state, and nationally recognized experts on some of the most critical and timely topics for paraeducators, including instructional strategies, behavior management strategies, teaming and collaboration, autism and other disabilities, and more.

We anticipate over 300 attendees, including paraeducators, teachers, administrators, policy makers, parents, and representatives of unions, colleges, universities, and professional organizations, making this an ideal opportunity for you or your organization to showcase its programs, resources or products. Table space is available at the rate of $200 per table with a special rate of $100 available for non-profit organizations.

There are also a number of ways that you or your organization can sponsor the conference. To learn more, visit our Supporting the Conference Page

Don't miss this excellent opportunity to spotlight your products or programs!


Check-in begins Thursday afternoon, April 26th, at 4:30 PM. The conference begins on Friday, April 27, 2018 at 8:00 am and continues through Sunday, April 29.

Exhibitors Fees

Table space is available at the rate of $200 per table. A special rate of $100 per table is offered for education and non-profit organizations. Exhibitor registration does not include conference registration. If you wish to attend any conference sessions you must register as an attendee.

Additional A/V Equipment is available, contact us for pricing and availability.

Please let us know if you have any questions!

Call for Papers for the 2018 National Conference

Oh the Mountains We Can Climb

We are now accepting applications for the 34th National Conference on the Training and Employment of Paraeducators

SEATAC Area, Washington State

Submit your Proposal Online

Proposal Deadline is Friday, December 15, 2017!

Suggested Topics

This year we are especially interested in the topics listed below, but as always, we encourage proposals that expand horizons.

Research Initiatives focusing on paraeducator effectiveness, training and supervision, one-on-one use of paraeducators, or other pertinent topics.

National, Statewide or Local Initiatives to set standards and parameters for:

  • Hierarchies of skill and knowledge competencies required to work in different levels of paraeducator positions.
  • Training and professional development opportunities for paraeducators.
  • Development of effective partnerships among provider agencies, 2- and 4-year colleges, unions, and other stakeholders.

Growing need for early childhood paraeducators as states expand early childhood and early childhood intervention programs.

Hands on Sessions specifically designed to strengthen the on-the-job performance of paraeducators working in Title I programs, inclusive classrooms or one-on-one job assignments, home- and center-based early childhood programs, ELL/bilingual education, after school programs and vocational/transitional services. Possible topics may include “Strategies to De-escalate Challenging Behaviors,” “Common Core State Standards”, “Assistive Technology to Support Student Learning, “ Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports,” “Improving Students Outcomes through Proactive Team Building & Communication” and “Instructional Strategies.”

Incentives for Retaining a Skilled Paraeducator Work Force (e.g. career pathways, certification, and collaborative articulated systems between provider agencies and 2- and 4-year colleges).

Standards and Professionally Developed Models for preparing teachers and administrators and other educators to work effectively with paraeducators and direct service providers in education and other human services.

Emerging Roles for Paraeducators in occupational, speech/language, physical therapy and other disciplines.


  • Audiovisual Requirements: Screens, carts and electrical switch plates will be provided in all rooms. Please notify us at para@nrcpara.org or 435-797-PARA if you require an LCD projector.
  • Session Length: Typically, the length of a session is 1-1/2 hours. However, if you require more time, please indicate your time preference and we will try to accommodate your request.
  • Proposals that promote commercially available products, services, or programs will not be selected. Such products can be displayed in our Exhibitor/Vendor space. See exhibitor information at http://www.nrcpara.org/conference/exhibitor.
  • Submit your Proposal Online

    Because the conference is self-sustaining, it is necessary for ALL presenters to register and pay the fee.

    Conference Schedule

    Oh the Mountains We Can Climb

    General Schedule

    Below is a general outline for our schedule for our 2018 schedule. You can also check out the schedule from a past conference or view some of the presentations from past conference here and here .

    Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to get updates on this years conference (including updates on the conference schedule)!

    Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday

    Thursday, April 26st, 2018
    4:00-7:30PM Registration
    4:30-7:00PM Leadership Networking Session
    Friday, April 27th, 2018
    7:00AM-5:00PM Registration
    7:15-8:30AM Buffet Breakfast
    7:00AM-6:30PM Exhibits
    8:00-9:45AM Introductions, Welcome: State Representative Steve Burquist
    Logistics, Introduction of LAC, General Session: Washington State Paraeducator Certificates Panelists: Jack Busbee, Cathy Smith, Jonelle Adams, Alexandra Manuel
    9:45-10:00AM Break
    10:00AM-11:30AM Session 1
    Paraeducator Practices in One State: Implications for Policy
    Presenter: Sarah Douglas
    Session 2
    Work Shouldn\'t Hurt - Creating a Pain Free Environment
    Presenters: Lauren Samet, Jessica Sims
    Session 3
    Social Justice Training
    Presenters: Lisa Jennings, HaSheen Wilson
    Session 4
    Supporting Positive Student Behavior Through PBIS
    Presenter: Lori Lynass
    Session 5
    “Let’s Team Up”: Strategies for Building Successful Paraeducator/Teacher Teams
    Presenters: Kent Gerlach
    Session 6
    Question and Answer Session on the Washington State Paraeductor Certificates
    Panelists: Jack Busbee, Cathy Smith, Jonelle Adams, Alexandra Manuel
    11:30AM-1:00PM LUNCH (On Your Own)
    1:00-2:30PM Session 7
    Educating the Whole Student! It Takes a Village!
    Presenters: Doreen McGuire-Grigg, Robert Browning
    Session 8
    The Importance of Education Ethics to ESPs
    Presenters: Audrey Haskell and Patty Barrette
    Session 9
    Ten High Impact Instructional Strategies to Increase Academic Performance and Promote Student Independence
    Presenter: Margaret MacDonald
    Session 10
    Canceled:The Comprehensive Training Opportunities for Paraeducator (Co-TOP) Model
    Presenter: Ritu Chopra Replaced with: To What Degree are Institutions of Higher Education Preparing Pre-Service Teachers to Supervise and Manage Paraeducators?: Preliminary Results of a National Survey
    Presenters: Sarah Douglas
    Session 11
    Providing Effective Financial Support to Paraprofessionals (Repeated Saturday 3:00-4:30 PM)
    Presenters: Gwenda Cuesta, Patricia Camacho
    Session 12
    Cultural Responsive Classroom Communities
    Presenters: Celena Austin and Gwendolyn Jimerson
    2:30-3:00PM Break
    3:00-4:30PM Session 13
    Doing the Math! Effective Paraeducator PD to Strengthen Instructional Practices in Elementary Mathematics (Repeated Saturday 3:00-4:30)
    Presenter: Karen Mutch-Jones
    Session 14
    Paraeducator Training Curricula - Current Strengths and Challenges with Available Materials
    Presenter: Sarah Douglas
    Session 15
    Tricks, Tips, and Modifications (Repeated Saturday 1:00-2:30)
    Presenters: Tina Pizzitola, Holly Fitzgerald
    Session 16
    The Trauma-Informed Paraeducator
    Presenter: Will Henson
    Session 17
    Attitude and Perseverance: Strategies for Paraeducators in Secondary Math Classrooms
    Presenter: Nancy Nelson
    Session 18
    How to Create a State Wide Initiative to Support and Enhance Paraducator Professional Development
    Panel: Jonelle Adams, Lucinda Young, Doug Nelson, Alex Manuel, Cathy Smith
    Session 19
    Canceled:To What Degree are Institutions of Higher Education Preparing Pre-Service Teachers to Supervise and Manage Paraeducators?: Preliminary Results of a National Survey
    Presenters: Ritu Chopra, Sarah Douglas
    Session 20
    Canceled Bullying:The What,Who and Why. Understanding and Responding.
    Presenter: Ashleigh Molloy Replaced with: Vocabulary Instruction for All Students. Presenter: Cara Haney
    5:00-6:30PM Reception
    Saturday, April 28th, 2018
    7:00AM-5:00PM Registration
    7:15-8:30AM Buffet Breakfast
    7:00AM-5:00PM Exhibits
    8:00-9:45AM Introductions and Welcome: Senator Ann Rivers
    Keynote: "Where We Are" Presenter: Mandy Manning
    9:45-10:00AM Break
    10:00AM-11:30AM Session 21
    Reflections,Lessons, and Setbacks: What Paraeducators Need Now
    Presenter: Kent Gerlach
    Session 22
    Canceled Implementing Behavior Intervention Plans: How Can Special Education Teachers Better Support Paraeducators?
    Presenter: Emily Sobeck
    Session 23
    Using Play to Teach EVERY Child
    Presenter: Kristin Rossi
    Session 24
    Autism 101: The What, the Why and the How (Part One)
    Presenter: Courtney Butorac
    Session 25
    Creating Digital Materials (Repeated Sunday 10:00-11:30)
    Presenter: Chris Macfarlane
    Session 26
    Taking a Stand: Creating a Safe School for LGBTQ Students
    Presenter: Joseph Bento, Frank Burger
    Session 27
    Deafblind Interveners: Building a Profession
    Presenters:Linda Alsop, Marilyn Likins
    Session 28
    Professional Growth Continuum: Advancing the Professional Growth of Paraeducators
    Presenters: Debby Chandler, Mary Ann Rivera, Mary Parrish
    Session 29
    The Cafeteria as Classroom: Cultivating Cafeteria Environments that Promote Healthy Eating
    Presenters: Mardi Solomon, Holly O'Neil
    11:30AM-1:00PM LUNCH (On Your Own)
    1:00-2:30PM Session 30
    Autism: What it Means to Us, What it Means to Them
    Presenter: Vanessa Tucker
    Session 31
    Bridging Quality Education through Assistive Technology
    Presenters: Katie Olson, Levi Benner
    Session 32
    Tricks, Tips, and Modifications (Repeated Friday 3:00-4:30)
    Presenters: Tina Pizzitola, Holly Fitzgerald
    Session 33
    Engaging Elementary Students in Small Group Instruction In ELA
    Presenters: Melissa Ryan Mary Elizabeth Gendreau
    Session 34
    Communication Strategies for Teacher/Paraeducator Teams
    Presenters: Jean Fay, Saul Ramos
    Session 35
    Ohio Partnership for Excellence in Paraprofessional Preparation: A Model for District Improvement
    Presenters: Judith Monseur, Barbara Phillips, Valerie Robb
    Session 36
    Diversity: Reacting to Differences
    Presenters: Lisa Jennings, HaSheen Wilson
    Session 37
    Small Ways to Prevent Big Behavior (Part Two of Autism 101)
    Presenter: Courtney Butorac
    Session 38
    Fighting the Privatization of Paraeducators Through Meeting the Needs of the Whole Student
    Presenters: Connie Boylan, Frank Burger
    2:30-3:00PM Break
    3:00-4:30PM Session 39
    Doing the Math! Effective Paraeducator PD to Strengthen Instructional Practices in Elementary Mathematics (Repeated Friday at 3:00-4:30)
    Presenter: Karen Mutch-Jones
    Session 40
    Providing Effective Financial Support to Paraprofessionals (Repeated Friday 1:00-2:30)
    Presenters: Gwenda Cuesta, Patricia Camacho
    Session 41
    Canceled:Building Bridges Between Paraeducators and their Teachers
    Presenter: Audrey Haskell
    Session 42
    Managing Tantrum/Meltdown Behaviors
    Presenter: Paul Bates
    Session 43
    Communication Strategies for Working with Learners with Multiple Disabilities and Severe Communication Challenges
    Presenter: Linda Alsop
    Session 44
    Strategies for Preventing Problem Behavior
    Presenter: Emily Sobeck Megan Reister
    Session 45
    Training for Paraeducators Working with ELLs is a Sound Investment for Everyone
    Presenters: Shawn Pennell, Toni Rader
    Session 46
    The Paraeducator Guide to IEPs and 504 Plans
    Presenters:  Amy Wambolt, Leslie Lindberg-Harper
    Session 47
    ESSA Two Years in: How Paraeducators Can Still Affect Change
    Presenter: Tim Barchak
    Sunday, April 29th, 2018
    7:00AM-8:30AM Registration
    7:15-8:30AM Buffet Breakfast
    7:00AM-2:00PM Exhibits
    8:00-9:45AM Welcome: Susan Enfield. General Session: Oh the Mountains We Will Climb! Putting Your Learnings Into Action Facilitators: Jennie Young, Marilyn Likins-
    9:45-10:00AM Break
    10:00AM-11:30AM Session 48
    Promoting Independence for Students with 1:1 Paraeducators
    Presenter: Vanessa Tucker
    Session 49
    Youth Suicide Prevention
    Presenter: Mark Niezgoda
    Session 50
    Creating Digital Materials (Repeated Saturday 10:00-11:30)
    Presenter: Christine Macfarlane
    Session 51
    Behavior Strategies for Paraeducators
    Presenter: Will Henson
    Session 52
    Taking the Lead - Advocating for Self as a Paraeducator
    Presenters: Carie Sauders, Debby Chandler
    Session 53
    Understanding Bullying and Sexual Harassment
    Presenters: Fran Bellingser, Richard Richardson
    11:30-11:45AM Break
    11:45-12:15PM Closing and Raffle (Must be Present to Win)

    Conference Sponsors

    Oh the Mountains We Can Climb

    Become a Conference Sponsor!

    We are now offering opportunities to promote your organization, ​agency or products as a conference sponsor!

    As a Sponsor you will receive publicity through our website, newsletter and our conference program.

    It is through the generous donation of our sponsors, that we as a non profit organization, are able to put on a long standing, unique conference.

    The NRCP Conference ​promotes the vital role paraeducators serve in instructional teams within our educational systems​; A key role tied to training, supervision and career development ultimately resulting in improved student outcomes.

    We have many levels of sponsorship, and would love to work with you to find one that will fit you and your organization. If you would like to find out more about being a conference sponsor contact us at 435-797-7272 or para@nrcpara.org for more information.

    We look forward to working with you here at the NRCP!

    Sponsorship Opportunities


    • One Conference Registration
    • One Full Page Ad in Conference Program
    • Two Large Sized Logos with links. One on the Main Page of the Conference Website and Second on the Conference Sponsorship Page
    • Free Exhibitor Booth
    • Mention in the Opening Keynote Presentation
    • Two Conference Session Presentations
    • Two Mentions in a NRCP Newsletter
    • 2 Social Media Mentions: One Facebook Status and One Twitter Tweet
    • Handout in Attendee Registration Bag

    Price: $5000


    • One Conference Registration
    • One 1/2 Page Ad in Conference Program
    • One Large Sized Logo with link on the Conference Sponsorship Page
    • Free Exhibitor Booth
    • One Conference Session Presentation
    • One Mention in a NRCP Newsletter
    • One Social Media Mention: a Twitter Tweet
    • Handout in Attendee Registration Bag

    Price: $3000


    • One Conference Registration
    • One 1/4 Page Ad in Conference Program
    • One Medium Sized Logo with link on the Conference Sponsorship Page
    • Free Exhibitor Booth
    • Handout in Attendee Registration Bag

    Price: $1500


    • One Conference Registration
    • One 1/8 Page Ad in Conference Program
    • One Small Sized Logo with link on the Conference Sponsorship Page
    • Free Exhibitor Booth

    Price: $500


    Price: $200 ($100 for Non-Profit)

    We look forward to working with you here at the NRCP!

    Thank you to our Conference Sponsors!

    The below sponsors are generously sponsoring the 34th Annual National Resource Center for Paraeducators Conference in Washington State

    Platinum Sponsor


    PSE/SEIU 1948


    National Education Association—NEA

    Interested in becoming a Platinum Sponsor? Please contact us at 435-797-7272 or para@nrcpara.org

    Gold Sponsor



    Interested in becoming a Gold Sponsor? Please contact us at 435-797-7272 or para@nrcpara.org

    Silver Sponsors

    Interested in becoming a Silver Sponsor? Please contact us at 435-797-7272 or para@nrcpara.org

    Bronze Sponsor

    Interested in becoming a Bronze Sponsor? Please contact us at 435-797-7272 or para@nrcpara.org

    Sign up for newsletter for further information about this years conference. If you are interested in advertising on our site learn more about advertising on our site here

    Become a Conference Sponsor

    Information about becoming a conference sponsor is now available at our Conference Sponsorship Page

    History of the National Resource Center for Paraeducators

    In 1979, Anna Lou Pickett founded the National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals in Education and Related Services (NRCP) with funding from the Bureau of Education for the Handicapped (currently, the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs). During these early years, federal funding was inconsistent. Policymakers at the Federal, State, and local levels paid little attention to issues that impacted paraprofessional roles, preparation, or supervision. Fortunately, Anna Lou Pickett found the resources necessary to continue the work.

    Over the year's, the Center's work has evolved. However, several key activities have remained constant. For instance, Anna Lou Pickett has connected people with one another for more than 20 years by sponsoring and organizing an annual, national conference. Anna Lou has also maintained a newsletter as well as a database of issues, models, programs and people. Furthermore, technical assistance and training is still available through the center on a fee-for-service basis.

    In January 2000, Anna Lou began her transitional retirement. She selected Dr. Marilyn Likins (Utah State University) and Dr. Teri Wallace (University of Minnesota) to follow her as Co-Directors of the NRCP. With the new millennium and the change of NRCP directors, a time of renewal and a growing awareness among policymakers, personnel developers, parents, and professional organizations is underway. This awareness is reflected in:

    • New State and Federal legislative mandates,
    • Increased need for information and assistance related to paraprofessionals and their supervision,
    • Technology-based dissemination
    • Research-based practices, and
    • Continued political advocacy.

    The NRCP Conference

    Announcing the 34th Annual NRCP Conference!

    April 27-29

    SEATAC area, Washington State

    Oh the Mountains We Can Climb

    Conference Registration

    Conference Registration is now available!

    Mark your calendars for the 34th National Conference on the Training and Employment of Paraeducators, sponsored by the National Resource Center for Paraeducators (NRCP).

    Don’t miss this opportunity to:

    • Meet and network with paraeducators, teachers and administrators from other school districts, states and countries; and
    • Discover the latest training programs and discuss models for paraeducator-to-teacher career pathways with community college and university personnel; and
    • Attend diverse workshops covering literacy and math common core, small group instruction, ELL, early childhood, supervision, writing, proactive behavior management, autism, strategies for students with significant cognitive disabilities, MTSS (Multi- Tiered Systems of Student Support), and more.

    Download the Flyer to Share!

    Be sure to sign up for our email newsletter to be notified of conference news and updates!

    5 Reasons You Will Want to Attend the 2018 Conference!

    You don't want to miss this opportunity to:

    1. Meet and network with paraeducators, teachers and administrators from other school districts, states and countries.
    2. Attend diverse workshops covering literacy, small group instructions, ELL, supervision, writing, math, proactive behavior management, autism, strategies for students with significant cognitive disabilities, and others.
    3. Learn techniques for communication & building effective teacher/paraeducator teams.
    4. Hear about model programs and systems for paraeducators, their supervising teachers and school administrators.
    5. Walk away with ideas that you can implement in your own school districts or classrooms.

    For more information, contact us here or at 435-797-7272

    Platinum Conference Sponsor


    PSE/SEIU 1948


    National Education Association—NEA

    You can find out more about being a conference sponsor here.

    Silver Sponsors

    You can find out more about being a conference sponsor here.

    Bronze Sponsors

    You can find out more about being a conference sponsor here.

    Past Conferences

    Many conference presenters from past years have graciously made their presentations available online:

    View paraeducator presentations from past years

    Conference Experiences

    Wondering whether you should attend the next conference? Here are some experiences from past attendees.

    First, from some Paraeducators from Meadowbrook Schools in Warwick, Rhode Island:

    “We attended the National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals’ 27th National Conference from April 17 through April 19, 2008. This conference was held at the Hilton Hartford Hotel in Hartford, Connecticut.

    "There were a wide variety of presentations for each session. There were 6 to 10 choices for each time slot. At times it was quite difficult to choose just one to attend, but those that we did choose were strictly educational and would be extremely important tools for us to apply at Meadowbrook School.

    "The instructors and educators were knowledgeable and motivational. We left fully energized, with new insight and a renewed pride in our positions as Paraprofessionals. We learned how different School Districts in different States view paraprofessionals. We also now understand how different school systems allow the implementation of “on–line”credits for the paraprofessional in order to gain certification without the necessity for them to attend classes during school hours.

    "One presenter, Ms. Cindy Meyers, provided valuable insight into the world of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Another, Jim Olsen, offered two sessions on relating topics: “Cultivating Positive Energy to Overcome Negativity and Adversity Which Can Drain Energy”; and another which shared ways that we would be able to put ourselves back in charge without undermining a child’s sense of security and self-worth. Finally, we attended an amazing session which developed into an open discussion on antisocial behavior. We were able to share ideas and strategies with a standing room only crowd of approximately 50 people. This information was invaluable."

    Here is another experience from Zachary Rossetti, Assistant Professor of Elementary Special Education at Providence College:

    “I think that the idea of a conference focused on paraprofessionals is incredibly important because they often are working most closely and most often with students with significant disabilities. They are ultimately responsible for actually providing the specific services outlined in student IEPs. A conference such as this recognizes this crucial role and works to prepare paraprofessionals and to alert them of the latest research and ideas around best practice. It also engenders camaraderie that helps all of us re-energize during our busy and stressful school years. I really enjoyed my first conference this past year because I met many dedicated people doing great work, especially several individuals who spoke of being the only ones in their schools or districts fighting for more inclusive supports on behalf of families and children with disabilities.

    "I would recommend this conference to all professionals working with students with disabilities (especially administrators, therapists, and teachers in addition to paraprofessionals) so that they can recognize the crucial role of paraprofessionals while learning about latest research and practical classroom strategies. Further, I feel that teams of teachers, therapists, administrators, and paraprofessionals should attend together to help develop real team cohesion that can ultimately serve families and students better.

    2015 Conference

    The Power of Educators, a Pathway to Excellence

    The 2015 Conference was held in Hartford Connecticut April 16–18 at the Hilton Hartford Hotel.

    You can view presentations from the 2015 Conference here.

    2015 Platinum Conference Sponsor

    National Education Association—NEA


    Keynote Speaker

    George Sugai

    Positive Behavior Support: Catchin' 'em Early, Positively, and Frequently

    Friday, April 17, 2015

    George Sugai

    We are excited to announce George Sugai as our Keynote Speaker. He will providing a evidence-based and practical approach to understanding and preventing problem behaviors and promoting social readiness skills in young children. A multi-tiered framework will be described as a way to organize effective behavior practices and as a system for maximizing accurate and fluent implementation by paraprofessional providers.

    Dr. George Sugai received his M.Ed. in 1974 and Ph.D. in 1980 at the University of Washington. His primary areas of interests are positive behavioral interventions and support, systems change, teacher professional development, emotional and behavioral disorders, social skills instruction, behavioral consultation, behavioral assessment procedures, and strategies for effective school-wide, classroom, and individual behavior management. Currently at the University of Connecticut, Dr. Sugai is Carole J. Neag Endowed Chair in Behavior Disorders and professor with tenure. At the present time, Dr. Sugai is co-director with Dr. Mary Beth Bruder, of the Early Childhood Personnel TA Center (ECPC) which is funded by the United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs to improve leadership and develop and implement statewide integrated and comprehensive systems of personnel development (CSPD) for all personnel serving infants and young children with disabilities across settings. Dr. Sugai also was on faculty at the University of Oregon and University of Kentucky, program director in an alternative school, and classroom teacher for students with behavior disorders. Dr. Sugai and colleagues have established the Center for Behavioral Education and Research (www.cber.org) in the Neag School of Education to improve academic and social behavior outcomes for students in schools by engaging in the systematic study of educational issues and interventions, and dissemination to preservice and inservice school personnel. As Project Director or Co-Director of major training or research grants totaling over $40 million, Dr. Sugai has experience in the implementation, operation, and supervision of grant-related projects. He has published over 100 articles, numerous monographs, and a number of college textbooks on effective teaching practices, positive behavior support, and applied behavior analysis. Dr. Sugai’s research has emphasized effective applications of applied behavior analysis principles and school-wide PBS procedures to problems found in educational contexts. The subject populations for these research areas includes students with severe challenging behavior, students with at-risk behaviors, and students described as having severely challenging behaviors. Dr. Sugai is currently co-director (with Rob Horner at the University of Oregon and Tim Lewis at the University of Missouri) of the national Center on Positive behavioral Interventions and Supports (www.pbis.org). The Center was established in 1996 by the Office of Special Education Programs, US Department of Education to give schools capacity-building information and technical assistance for identifying, adapting, and sustaining effective school-wide disciplinary practices. The Center has two foci: (a) broad dissemination to schools, families, and communities about a technology of school-wide positive behavioral support exists, and (b) demonstrations at the level of individual students, schools, districts, and states that school-wide positive behavioral support is feasible and effective.

    2015 Conference Schedule

    View presentations from the 2015 conference here

    Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday

    Wednesday, April 15th, 2015
    4:00-7:30PM Registration - 3rdfloor foyer
    4:30-7:30PM Leadership Networking Session - Hartford Commons
    Thursday, April 16th, 2015
    7:00AM–5:00PM Registration- 3rdfloor foyer
    7:15-8:30AM Continental Breakfast - Hilton Grand Ballroom Foyer
    7:00AM-9:00PM Exhibits - 2nd and 3rd Floor Foyers
    8:00–9:45AM Introduction and Welcome
    General Session: Outstanding Paraeducators: Excellence Here, There, and Everywhere! - Hilton Grand Ballroom
    9:45-10:00AM Break
    10:00AM-11:30AM Session 1:
    Tips from Teachers: Working with Paraeducators
    Presenter: Sarah Douglas
    Session 2:
    Defining Roles and the Necessary Skills for the 21st Century Paraeducator
    Presenters: Mindy Speichler, Cecelia Loughlin
    Session 3:
    Review of Paraeducator Curriculum
    Presenter: Denise Uitto
    Session 4:
    Standards Based Paraeducator Evaluation
    Presenter: Marilyn Iverson
    Session 5:
    Personality and College Success: What's the Connection?
    Presenter: Thalia Moshoyannis-Thompson
    Session 6:
    Supporting Secondary Literacy
    Presenter: MaryJo Terranova
    11:30AM-1:00PM LUNCH (On Your Own)
    Session 7:
    Using Constructive Listening Skills to Manage Difficult Conversations
    Presenter: Bill Howe
    Session 8:
    Lessons And Reflections, Accomplishments and Setbacks: What is needed now to support and advocate for Paraeducators and their Supervisors
    Presenter: Kent Gerlach
    Session 9:
    Partnerships for Comprehensive, Systematic and Sustainable Professional Development and Supervision of Paraprofessionals
    Presenter: Ritu Chopra
    Session 10:
    Paraeducators Social Power: Skills That Support a Community
    Presenter: Mary Hull
    Session 11:
    Facilitating Meaningful Friendships Through Peer-Led Inclusion
    Presenters: Laura McLelland, Sarah Tomek
    Session 12:
    Early Intervention: Unlocking the mind of ASD Students
    Presenter: Paul Bates
    2:30-3:00PM Break
    Session 13:
    Learning by Looking Back: Feedback Completes the Learning Loop
    Presenters: Jill Morgan, Betty Y. Ashbaker
    Session 14:
    Partnerships: A Quality Classroom Stems from Teachers and Paraprofessionals Working together in Collaboration!
    Presenter: Nancy Moretti
    Session 15:
    Assistive Technology to Support Students with Autism and Intellectual Disability: What Every Paraeducator Should Know
    Presenter: Nicole Natale
    Session 16:
    The Paraeducator-Parent Connection
    Presenters: Regina Moreno, Lisa Elliot
    Session 17:
    Evaluation of the Paraprofessional in Autism Resource and Achievement Project (PARA-PRO)
    Presenters: Teresa Cogar, Taryn Goodwin
    Session 18:
    Progress Monitoring in the Classroom: Easier Than You Think!
    Presenter: Kit Giddings
    Session 19:
    Helping vs. Hovering: When Paraeducators Work with Students
    Presenters: Anthony Brisson, Michelle LeBrun-Griffin
    5:00-6:30PM Reception (Drinks and Hot Appetizers Served)
    Hilton Grand Ballroom Foyer
    Friday, April 17th, 2015
    7:00AM–5:00PM Registration - 3rdfloor foyer
    7:15-8:30AM Continental Breakfast - Hilton Grand Ballroom Foyer
    7:00AM-6:30PM Exhibits - 2nd and 3rd Floor Foyers
    8:00-9:45AM Introductions and Welcome
    Keynote Speaker: George Sugai
    'Positive Behavior Supports: Catchin' 'em Early, Positively, and Frequently'
    9:45-10:00AM Break
    10:00AM-11:30 AM
    Session 20:
    Making Paraeducators a Respected Profession in your State - One State's Efforts
    Presenters: Doug Nelson, Kent Gerlach and Panel from Washington State: Reen Doser, Britta Dionne, Jean Sarcletti, Maria Pittson
    Session 21:
    Improving Students' Social-Emotional Outcomes Through Effective Teacher-Paraeducator Collaboration
    Presenters: Tina N. Barnes, Christina Crowe
    Session 22:
    Investing in Paraeducator Instructional Capacity
    Presenters: Cara Olson-Sawyer, Regina Moreno
    Session 23:
    "I do as much as any Teacher" - Role Conflict Among Educators
    Presenter: Diane Berger
    Session 24:
    Sharing and Learning from Paraeducators Around the World
    Presenters: Betty Ashbaker, Jill Morgan, Elizabeth Tatum
    Session 25:
    The Power of Learning with Wonder
    Presenter: Rachel Wenner, Mary Hull
    Session 26:
    Navigating the Labyrinth of Constant Change
    Presenter: Ashleigh Molloy
    Session 27:
    Supporting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Classroom: 5 Tools You Can Use Tomorrow
    Presenter: Christine Peck
    Session 28:
    Supporting Math Instruction
    Presenter: Donna Morelli
    11:30 AM-1:00PM LUNCH (On Your Own)
    Session 29:
    Developing a Multicultural Curriculum -Part 1
    (Part 2 -Session #37)
    Presenter: Bill Howe
    Session 30:
    Deafblind Interveners: Building a Profession
    Presenters: Linda Alsop, Marilyn Likins
    Session 31:
    MN Paraeducators' Perceptions of the Barriers to Becoming Licensed Special Education Teachers
    Presenter: Joni Burris
    Session 32:
    Supporting Indigenous Paraprofessionals
    Presenter: Katie Olson
    CANCELED Session 33:
    The Eyes Have It! How Strong Visual Motor Integration Equals Handwriting Success! - Part One
    (Part 2 -Session #42)
    Presenter: Lisa Burton
    Session 34:
    Tricks, Tips, and Modifications
    Presenters: Holly Fitzgerald, Tina Pizzitola
    Session 35:
    History of Paraeducation
    Presenter: Anna Lou Pickett
    2:30-3:00PM Break
    3:00-4:30PM Session 36:
    Developing a Multicultural Curriculum - Part Two
    (Part 1 -Session #29)
    Presenter: Bill Howe
    Session 37:
    The Role of Paraeductors in a PBIS School
    Presenters: Christine Peck, Tracey Lamothe
    Session 38:
    Talking About Collaboration: Cogenerative Dialoguing and the teacher-Paraeducator Team
    Presenter: Elizabeth Tatum
    Session 39:
    Paraedcators and Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities
    Presenter: Lisa Fiano
    Session 40:
    Collaborative and Participatory Approach to Creating and Embedding Standards for Quality Preparation for Early Intervention and Early Childhood Paraprofessionals
    Presenter: Ritu Chopra
    CANCELED Session 41:
    The Eye's Have It! How Strong Visual Motor Integration Equals Handwriting Success! -Part 2
    (Part 1 -Session 34)
    Presenter: Lisa Burton
    Session 42:
    Student Learning Styles and Implications for Teaching
    Presenter: Joanna Badara
    Session 43:
    Math Instruction and the Common Core -- How to Help your Students Master the Content!
    Presenter: Clare Wurm
    Saturday, April 18th, 2015
    7:00AM-8:30AM Registration - 3rd floor foyer
    7:15-8:30AM Continental Breakfast - Hilton Grand Ballroom Foyer
    7:00AM-2:00PM Exhibits - 2nd and 3rd Floor Foyers
    8:00-9:45AM General Session:
    'Paraeducators: Educating the Whole Student'
    9:45-10:00AM Break
    Session 44:
    Responding to Challenging Behaviors K-12 -- Part One
    (Part 2 -Session 51)
    Presenters: Maxine B. Mosley, Sharon Sparks
    Session 45:
    Current Practices and Barriers of Training Paraeducators Who work with Elementary Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Inclusive Settings: The results of a Paraeducator Training Survey
    Presenter: Emily Sobeck
    Session 46:
    Elements of Effective Teaching: Examining Basic Instructional Strategies
    Presenters: Regina Moreno, Lisa Elliot, Caitlan Freese
    Session 47:
    Knowing your Strengths to Foster Collaboration
    Presenters: Anthony Brisson, Michelle LeBrun-Griffin
    Session 48:
    Reinforcing Instruction with iPad Apps
    Presenters: Tina Pizzitola, Holly Fitzgerald
    Session 49:
    Promoting Young Children's Social and Emotional Competence
    Presenter: Anne Marie Davidson
    11:30-11:45AM Break
    Session 50:
    Responding to Challenging Behaviors K-12 -- Part One
    (Part 1 -Session 45)
    Presenters: Maxine B. Mosley, Sharon Sparks
    Session 51:
    Registered Behavior Technician Credential - A New Opportunity for Paraeducators
    Presenter: Christine Peck
    Session 52:
    Promoting Positive Social Skills During Lunch and Recess
    Presenter: Mary Hull
    Session 53:
    The Do's and Don'ts of Copyright
    Presenter: Kit Giddings
    Session 54:
    Inside Inclusion: Methods of Co-Teaching
    Presenter: Paul Bates

    Things to Do in Hartford, Connecticut

    Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art

    Museum/Gallery, Hartford

    With more than 50,000 artworks and artifacts spanning 5,000 years, the Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art is the second-largest public art museum in New England and the oldest in the nation. The first American museum to acquire works by Salvador Dalí and the Italian artist Caravaggio, the museum also houses 7,000 items documenting African-American history and culture in partnership with the Amistad Foundation. Particularly impressive are the museum's collections of baroque, impressionist, and Hudson River School artists!

    Address: 600 Main Street, Hartford, CT

    Phone: (860) 278-2670

    Cost: $10

    Hours: Wed.-Fri. 11-5 (1st Thursday of most month 11 until 8), weekends 10-5
    Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art Website

    State Capitol

    Government Building, Hartford

    The gold-leaf dome of the State Capitol rises above Bushnell Park. Built in 1878, the building houses the state's executive offices and legislative chamber, as well as historical memorabilia. On a tour, you can walk through the Hall of Flags, gape at a statue of Connecticut state hero Nathan Hale, and observe the proceedings of the General Assembly from the public galleries, when in session.

    Address: 210 Capitol Ave, Hartford, CT

    Phone: (860) 240-0222

    Cost: Free

    Hours: Weekdays: 9:15, 10:15, 11:15, 12:15, 1:15
    State Capitol Website

    Lady Katharine Cruises

    Public Cruise Line, Hartford

    Discover the endless possibilities for putting a splash of fun in your life. Whether you’re thinking of a special occasion or going out just for fun, you’ll make it a better experience when you are on the water. Visit the website for complete details regarding location, rates and upcoming event.

    Address: 600 Main Street, Hartford, CT

    Phone: (860) 278-2670

    Cost: $10

    Hours: Wed.-Fri. 11-5 (1st Thursday of most month 11 until 8), weekends 10-5
    Lady Katharine Cruises Website

    Mystic Seaport

    Museum/Village, Mystic

    The distinguishing feature of Mystic Seaport is that it hasn’t anything in common with a typical whisper-quiet, don’t touch museum environment. The complex is full of things to do, feel, climb, hear, smell and even taste.! Visitors can walk along the streets of this authentic 19th century seafaring village and talk with one of many role-players, watch boat builders, riggers and lumbermen at work, or even raise a ships sails. Mystic Seaport has the most extensive collections of vessels in the U.S.

    Address: 75 Greenmanville Ave., Mystic, CT. Mystic Seaport is located about 10 miles east of New London in Connecticut’s “Ocean Corner”, part of the Mystic Places region. (About 1 hr. 15 minute drive from Hartford)
    Phone: (860) 572-0711
    Cost: Adult (18-64) $29.95, Senior (65+) $26.95, Youth (13-17) $25.95, Children (3-12) $21.95

    Hours: Weekdays: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Mystic Seaport Website

    The Old State House

    Historic Landmark, Hartford

    Take a tour of this 1796 National Historic Landmark, one of the nation’s oldest state houses. Tour the magnificiently-restored historic rooms, experience and interactive audio tour, visit the immersive Education Center, shop in the museum store, attend a program and so much more

    Address: 800 Main Street, downtown Hartford, CT

    Phone: (860) 522-6766

    Cost: Admission is FREE for Old State House and Connecticut Historical Society Museum members and children aged six years and under.
 $6 adults, $3 seniors (65 and over), $3 students (with valid college ID), $3 youth (6-17) Free admission on the first Saturday of every month
    Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 11 am to 5 pm, Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm
    Old State House Website

    Mystic Marinelife Aquarium

    Aquarium, Mystic

    Visitors of the Mystic Marinelife Aquarium will get face to face with amazing sea creatures, enjoy a fascinating sea lion show, and touch a cownose ray the Ray Touch Pool. There is also a 30,000-gallon simulated coral reef habitat with exotic fish from around the world. Return to Titanic is another interesting exhibit, which marks Dr. Robert Ballard's historic return to the legendary wreck he discovered in 1985. The exhibit includes a breathtaking 18-foot model of the Titanic.

    Address: 55 Coogan Blvd., Mystic CT, Mystic Aquarium is off of Interstate 95 in Mystic
    Phone: (860) 572-5955

    Cost: Adults $17.50, Senior (age 65+) $16.50, Children (age 3-17) $12.50, Children (age 2 and under) Free 

    Hours: Sunday - Saturday, 9 am - 6 pm
    Mystic Marinelife Aquarium Website

    New England Air Museum

    Museum, Windsor Lock

    See the landmark artifacts of aviation which changed history - Learn about the courage and determination of famous men and women who brought aviation to where it is today. Hear firsthand the stories of veterans who lived the wars of the 20th century and fought to preserve the freedom we now enjoy. Experience firsthand the principles of flight which have challenged the pioneers of aviation for generations. Discover the impact our state of Connecticut has had on aviation and space exploration from the earliest balloon launches of 1857 to the design of space suits for the Mission to Mars.

    Address: 36 Perimeter Road, Bradley International Airport, Windsor Lock, CT
    Phone: (860) 623-3305

    Cost: Adults: $12, Children (ages 4-11): $6.50, Children (ages 3 and under): Free, Seniors (65 & up): $11

    Hours: 10 am-5 pm daily
    New England Air Museum Website

    Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

    Basketball Museum, Springfield, MA (30 minute drive from Hartford)

    The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is a fantastic destination for everyone from lifelong basketball fans to families with children who are just beginning to explore the world's most popular sport. The Hall of Fame is located in "The Birthplace of Basketball", beautiful Springfield, Massachusetts.

    Address: 1000 Hall of Fame Avenue, Springfield, Massachusetts

    Phone: 413-781-6500 or 877-4HOOPLA

    Cost: ADULTS - $21.00, SENIORS (Age 65 & Up) - $17.00, YOUTH (Ages 5 - 15) - $15.00, CHILDREN (Age 4 & Under) – FREE

    Hours: Friday 10AM - 4PM, Saturday & Sunday 10AM - 5PM
    Basketball Hall of Fame Website

    Chester-Hadlyme Ferry

    Transportation Site, Chester

    Sometimes the simple pleasures mean the most. The Chester-Hadlyme Ferry is the second-oldest continually operating ferry in the country. Although the trip across the Connecticut River to Hadlyme aboard the Selden III, the current vessel, is swift, you'll still catch nice views of the valley and Gillette Castle

    Address: 148 Ferry Rd., Chester, CT
    Phone: (860) 526-2743
    Cost: Vehicle and driver $5 walk-ons $2

    Hours: Weekdays 7 am-6:45 pm; weekends 10:30 am-5 pm
    Chester-Hadlyme Ferry Website

    Mark Twain House and Museum

    House/Mansion, Hartford

    Built in 1874, the Mark Twain House & Museum was the home of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, until 1891. While he and his family lived in this 19-room Victorian mansion, Twain published seven major novels, including Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and The Prince and the Pauper. The home is one of only two Tiffany- designed domestic interiors open to the public.

    Address: 1351 Farmington Ave, Hartford, CT
    Phone: (860) 247-0998

    Cost: Senior Citizens (65+) $15, Adults (17-64) $18, Children (6-16) $11
    Hours: Monday-Saturday 9:30-5:30; Sunday 11 am-5:30 pm
    Mark Twain House and Museum Website

    Hartford Stage

    Live Theatre, Hartford

    Now in our fourth decade of pioneering theatre, we enjoy an international reputation for artistic quality, innovation, and commitment to diversity. Over the years, we’ve launched 54 world and American premieres, sent numerous productions to Broadway and Off-Broadway, and have featured the best actors in the nation.
 Contact the website for shows, show times, and ticket prices.

    Address: 50 Church Street, Hartford, CT

    Phone: Box Office: (860) 527-5151, Theatre: 860-525-5601

    Cost: $10

    Hartford Stage

    Connecticut Science Center

    Science Museum, Hartford

    With 150 hands-on exhibits, a state-of-the-art 3D digital theater, four educational labs, plus daily programs and events, the Connecticut Science Center offers endless exploration for children, teens, and adults. From physics to forensics, geology to astronomy, visitors have the sciences at their fingertips.

    Address: 250 Columbus Blvd Hartford, CT 06103
    Phone: (860) 724-3623

    Hours: Monday-Closed; Tuesday thru Sunday: 10 am-5:00 pm
    Cost: Adult: $19, Senior $16.50, Youth (3-17) $14
    Connecticut Science Center

    Mohegan Sun Casino

    Casino & Hotel, Uncasville, CT (1 hour drive from Hartford)

    Mohegan Sun Casino is a Native American Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut and is open daily 24 hours. The casino's 300,000 square foot gaming space features 6,495 gaming machines and 300 table games. The property has twenty restaurants, seven bars and a hotel with 1,176 rooms. Mohegan Sun is your Connecticut destination for casino excitement surrounded by top entertainment, gourmet dining, premier shopping,luxury hotel including complete spa treatments. Visit the website for a complete overview of all of the exciting opportunities available to you at the Mohegan Sun.

    Address: 1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard, Uncasville, CT

    Mohegan Sun Website

    Foxwood Casino

    Casino & Hotel, Mashantucket (1 hour drive from Hartford)

    In 1986 the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation opened the original high- stakes bingo hall. Today Foxwoods comprises six casinos that collectively offer more than 7,000 slot machines and an incredible 400 tables for 17 different types of table games, including 100 for poker. There's a luxurious, high-tech Race Book, as well as the world's largest Bingo Hall. Foxwoods is the largest casino in the world, with 340,000 square feet of gaming space in a complex that covers 4.7 million square feet. More than 40,000 guests visit Foxwoods each day.

    Address: 39 Norwich Westerly Road, Mashantucket, CT

    Foxwood Casino Website

    See Connecticut’s Capital Without Going Broke

    Hartford is home to historic and cultural attractions, many of which you can see absolutely free. Whether you're planning your first visit to Connecticut's capital city or you're a resident looking for something fun and affordable to do in your own back yard, here's a quick look at 10 free things to do right in Hartford.

    1. Bushnell Park
      Between Elm and Jewel Streets, 860-232-6710

      America's oldest public park is home to more than 125 tree species, some more than 100 years old. Pick up a free Bushnell Park Tree Walks brochure at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch or at the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection--the building with the red-tile roof on Elm Street adjacent to the Park. The self-guided tour described in the brochure will take you on several different walks through Bushnell Park and help you to locate more than 40 different species of trees.
    2. Center Church and Ancient Burying Ground
      Main and Gold Streets, 860-249-5631
, Church open Thursdays, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
 The Ancient Burying Ground is the final resting place for many of Hartford's founders and early settlers. Center Church, which was built in 1807, was modeled after St. Martin-In-The- Fields in London and features stained glass windows by Louis Tiffany.
    3. Elizabeth Park
      Prospect and Asylum Avenues, 860-242-0017

      Hartford is home to the first municipal rose garden in the U.S. During the summer months, more than 14,000 rose bushes representing 900 different varieties of roses are in bloom. The park is open free daily. Elizabeth Park Photo Tour
    4. Governor's Residence
      990 Prospect Avenue, 860-566-4840

      By appointment This 1909 Georgian Revival mansion has been home to Connecticut's governors since 1945. Free tours are available by appointment.
    5. Katharine Hepburn's Grave Site
      Cedar Hill Cemetery, 453 Fairfield Avenue, 860-956-3311
, Monday - Sunday, 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.

      It's not exactly an attraction, but if you are a Katharine Hepburn fan and you happen to be in Hartford, you may want to pay your respects to the late star of more than 75 films by visiting her grave site. Hepburn was born in Hartford, Connecticut, on May 12, 1907, and following her death on June 29, 2003, she was buried in her family's plot at historic Cedar Hill Cemetery.
    6. Museum of Connecticut History
      231 Capitol Avenue, 860-757-6535
, Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

      See historical exhibits depicting Connecticut's history and heritage including the original 1662 Connecticut charter issued by the British crown, a collection of Colt firearms and portraits of state governors.
    7. Hartford Star Shuttle
      Downtown Hartford, 860-522-8101
, Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 11 p.m, Saturday 3-11 p.m.

      The Hartford Star Shuttle is a free shuttle bus service that connects the Connecticut Convention Center and the riverfront with downtown hotels, restaurants, shops and attractions. Take a free ride to reach a specific Hartford spot or for a quick tour of the city.
    8. Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch
      Trinity Street, 860-232-6710

      This Gothic brownstone monument honors the 4,000 Hartford citizens who served in the Civil War and the 400 who died for the Union. Free half-hour Arch Tours are available Thursdays only, noon to 1 p.m., May through October.
    9. State Capitol
      210 Capitol Avenue, (860) 240-0222
, Monday - Friday, hourly tours starting 9:15 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.; Saturday tours April - October only, 10:15 a.m. - 2:15 p.m.

      Hartford's spectacular gold-domed State Capitol building was completed in 1878 and is a National Historic Landmark. Free one-hour tours begin in the adjacent Legislative Office Building. Advance reservations are required for groups of 10 or more.

    You can also download this as a printable PDF version.

    The CT Transit also has a map with free downtown shuttle  it is available for download here.

    Conference Hotel and Travel

    Oh the Mountains We Can Climb

    Hotel Information

    We are pleased to announce that we have secured a discounted hotel rate of $109.00 per night, plus tax.

    General Information

    DoubleTree Seattle Airport
    18740 International Boulevard
    Seattle, Washington
    Phone: +1-206-246-8600
    Fax: +1-206-901-5923


    Special Room Rate: $109 Single or Double Rooms

    Call (800) 222-8733 and ask for the group code: NRP or the group name: NRC Paraeducators to lock in this special rate or visit this website to get our special discounted rates. Cutoff date to reserve your room at a discounted rate is April 6, 2018 .
    We know this room block is going to fill up fast, if you call to make a reservation and they tell you it is full-- please reach out to the NRCP directly, and we will do our best to work with you to get you the rooms you need at the best price! (para@nrcpara.org)


    Check in time is 3:00 PM; check-out time is 12:00 PM.


    General Arrival Directions FROM I-5 NORTH OR SOUTH: Take exit #152 (188th Ave). The hotel is located 1 mile West of I-5 on the corner of 188th and International Boulevard.
    For further transportation details, please visit the Seattle Airport Doubletree Maps and Directions Page.


    A $10 per day discounted rate is available at the hotel front desk!


    Internet will be provided to all guests on a complimentary basis.

    Get Credit for Attendance

    Oh the Mountains We Can Climb


    A Certificate of Attendance will be available for attendees. Verification of these Seat Hours or CPDU's will be provided. Certificates will be disseminated following sessions on Sunday.

    Special Event

    Oh the Mountains We Can Climb

    Saturday Night we will be having a special event, the Local Arrangement Committee and the NRCP are working together to bring a great event

    Supporting the Conference

    Oh the Mountains We Can Climb

    Supporting the Conference!

    This conference provides a unique opportunity for educators from Washington and other parts of the country to learn from local, state, and nationally recognized experts on some of the most critical and timely topics for paraeducators, including instructional strategies, behavior management strategies, teaming and collaboration, autism and other disabilities, and more.

    It is anticipated that over 300 people will attend this year’s conference including paraeducators, teachers, administrators, policy makers, parents, and representatives of unions, colleges, universities, and professional organizations.

    There are a number of ways that you or your organization can support the conference. All levels of sponsorship will be highlighted in the conference program.

    Financial Contributions:

    Financial contributions of $500 or more, will qualify you for special recognition as a bronze, silver, gold, or platinum sponsor. These levels of sponsorship come with a variety of advertisement opportunities such as conference program ad space, social media promotion, complimentary registration fee and exhibitor space, and more. Additional details on sponsorship levels can be found at our Sponsorship Page.

    Financial donations of any amount will go towards food and beverage costs, printing, supplies, key note speaker honorariums, and other related conference costs. If you choose to support a specific event such as a reception, breakfast, or break, signage will be displayed at the event recognizing your contribution. All financial contributions will receive a letter acknowledging receipt of the donation.

    Sponsor a Paraeducator or Teacher-Paraeducator Team:

    You may also want to consider sponsoring a paraeducator(s) or teacher-paraeducator team to attend the conference. You can make a financial contribution to cover the registration fee and/or hotel costs for the sponsored individual(s).

    Raffle Prizes:

    You or your organization can also donate gift baskets, gift cards, t-shirts or other raffle items. These prizes will be raffled off throughout the conference to thank attendees for their participation.

    If you are interested in supporting the conference or if you have any questions, please contact us at para@nrcpara.org or (435) 797-7272. To learn about exhibiting at the conference, visit our Exhibitors Page

    Thank you in advance for your support.

    The Local Arrangements Committee

    Thank you to our Conference Sponsors!

    Who We Are

    Marilyn Likins

    Marilyn Likins, PH.D.

    Executive Director

    Dr. Marilyn Likins serves as the Director of the National Resource Center for Paraeducators in Education and Related Services. She also directs the Mild/Moderate Alternative Teacher Preparation Program in the Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation at Utah State University in Logan, UT. Marilyn began working in the field of education, as a paraprofessional. After three years, she worked as a behavior specialist at the Children’s Behavior Therapy Unit (CBTU) in Salt Lake City teaching children with severe emotional/behavioral needs. Following graduate school , Dr. Likins led a number of statewide staff development initiatives in the areas of Least Restrictive Behavioral Interventions and development for paraprofessionals. Her efforts have centered primarily in the areas of policy, training, career development at both community college and university levels, and local/statewide networking and communication.

    Emily Ann Phillips

    Emily Ann Phillips

    Emily is responsible for NRCP Conference Registrations, filling all orders for NCRP materials, and assisting the NCRP staff in various other projects.



    Christopher manages our website and all things technical.

    Anna Lou Pickett

    Anna Lou Picket

    It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our founder, scholar, colleague and friend, Anna Lou Pickett. We are grateful for her impact and the many victories due to Anna Lou’s relentless efforts on behalf of paraeducators and the students they serve. We find peace in knowing she is most assuredly organizing others in the great beyond. She taught us that to change policy and build infrastructure, "one must drip, drip, drip away" and never give up. Thank you Anna Lou for the life lessons that you have shared and that will continue to serve us well for years to come. Anna Lou's Obituary can be found here. There is an opportunity to leave messages for the family as well.