Michigan’s MTSS TA Center is excited to host a two-day hybrid summer symposium for educators and administrators in Michigan. The symposium focuses on creating and sustaining safe, predictable, engaging environments for all learners. The first day will focus on Early Childhood settings, and day two will focus on K-12 settings.

Participants may register for one or both sessions and attend in-person or virtually. Participants will learn from various national speakers each day, including topics such as family engagement, addressing anxiety, considering the function of behaviors, prevention and de-escalation strategies, and more!

When: June 26-27, 2023
Where: Crowne Plaza Lansing West or Virtual
Cost: $10/day per-person, or $20 for both days. Virtual attendance is free.



See all of the learning session descriptions.

June 26, 2023 (Early Childhood Focus)

Creating Safe, Predictable, Engaging Early Childhood Environments

8:00 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. Registration and Check In

8:45 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Welcome and Introductions

9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.mOverview of Early Childhood PBIS: Voices from the Field, Staci Reed, Cortney Last, Michelle McQueen

10:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Break

10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Building and Sustaining Strong Partnerships with Families, Dr. Noel Kelty, Ph.D.

11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Lunch

1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Strategies to Improve Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Early Learning Environments, Dr. Tessa Kranski, Ph.D.

2:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Break

2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.mSupporting Staff so They Can Support Families, Dr. Mary Mackrain, Ph.D.

3:45 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Closing and Wrap-Up

June 27, 2023 (K-12 Focus)

Creating & Sustaining Safe, Predictable, Engaging K-12 Environments

8:00 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. Registration and Check In

8:45 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Welcome and Introductions

9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Using Evidence-Based Interventions to Reduce Anxiety for Students & Staff Across the Tiers, Dr. Stephanie St. Joseph

10:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Break

10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Behavioral Function: It’s Not Just for Tier 3, Dr. Sarah Pinkelman & Dr. Kathleen Strickland-Cohen

11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Lunch

1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Tier 2 Supports for High School Students, Dr. Christopher Pinkney

2:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Break

2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. De-escalating Student Behavior in the Classroom, Dr. Kathleen Strickland-Cohen

3:45 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Closing and Wrap-Up

Hotel Information

A room block is available at the Crowne Plaza Lansing West.

Rate: $139.00 per night
Cut-Off Date: Friday, May 6, 2023
Book a room online or call (877) 322-5544.

The Hotel will accept reservations directly from the group’s guests. In order to receive the Group Rate, the individual must identify themselves as a member of your Group. The  Group Code is SCM.


Dr. Noel Kelty, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Teacher Education, Saginaw Valley State University

Dr. Kelty is an Assistant Professor of Teacher Education at Saginaw Valley State University focused on family engagement/family literacy, early childhood special education, and multi-tiered systems of support for early childhood. Prior to this position, Dr. Kelty was the Director of Early Childhood Development and Family Education at the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). Dr. Kelty also has experience supporting the MDE as the IDEA/Part C program coordinator and the Early Literacy and Family Engagement Consultant. Dr. Kelty has experience as a program administrator, classroom teacher, early intervention specialist, home visitor, and consultant. Dr. Kelty completed her PhD in 2020 in Early Childhood with a focus in Special Education from Oakland University.


Staci Reed, Early Childhood Specialist, Monroe Intermediate School District

Staci Reed is an Early Childhood Specialist at Monroe Intermediate School District. She supports the Great Start to Readiness Program (GSRP) as a classroom coach in her region. Staci has implemented EC PBIS/Program-Wide Pyramid Model Approach for the past two years, supporting the social and emotional competencies of the children she serves through embedded coaching of teaching teams and as a member of the EC PBIS Leadership Team.

Cortney Last, Early Childhood Contact at Monroe Intermediate School District

Cortney Last is an Early Childhood Contact at Monroe Intermediate School District. She is the county’s Great Start to Readiness Program (GSRP) supervisor in her region. Cortney has been the data coordinator and lead facilitator for the EC PBIS Leadership Team for the last two years. She supports the training and coaching of her staff and the development of social and emotional skills needed for the children.

Michelle McQueen, Early Childhood Implementation Specialist, MiMTSS Technical Assistance Center

Michelle McQueen is an Early Childhood Implementation Specialist at the MiMTSS Technical Assistance Center. Michelle is a Leadership Team Coach for Model Demonstration sites implementing EC PBIS in Michigan. She supports the site’s leadership team in supporting implementation efforts throughout the program. Her work ensures that programs are attending to both the implementation of EC PBIS practices and the development of the infrastructure to support the durable implementation of those practices leading to increased child outcomes in their social and emotional competency.


Dr. Mary Mackrain, Ph.D., Managing Director, EDC

Mary Mackrain, PhD, IMH-E®️ (IV) has over 25 years of experience developing and managing improvements of state and national projects aimed at advancing maternal, infant, and family outcomes focusing on infant mental health and relational wellness. Currently, through her work at EDC she is the Managing Director of a portfolio of early childhood health and quality improvement programs including the HRSA funded Maternal, Infant andEarly Childhood Home Visiting Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network and TA Resource Center. Additionally, Mary supported the SAMHSA funded IECMHC Center of Excellence as a senior advisor and serves as a member of the RAINE group, a think tank dedicated to the advancement of early childhood mental health consultation (ECMHC) practice, policy, and research. In addition to her work at EDC Mary, for over 20 years, has consulted with the MI Department of Health and Human Services where she co-developed and provides leadership to the statewide, evaluated Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) program. She also serves as a TA liaison to Early On’s social and emotional efforts . Additionally, through her work with the Devereux Center for Resilient Children she co-authored an infant-toddler program (DECA-I/T) to support adults in nurturing the social and emotional well-being of themselves and their young children birth to age three. Mackrain is an Infant Mental Health Mentor and serves as an advisory member to the National Home Visiting Resource Center.


Dr. Tessa Kranski, Ph.D., Research Coordinator, Florida Embedded Practices and Intervention with Caregivers

Dr. Kranski earned her Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in school psychology from the University of Denver in 2015. Knowing she wanted to work with young children she continued her studies at the University of Colorado Denver earning a doctor of philosophy degree in 2019. Her major area of study was early childhood education/early childhood special education.

Dr. Kranski’s scholar-practitioner interests are focused on practical methods for eliminating racial disproportionality in exclusionary discipline practices, promoting more culturally competent public education settings, and effective training and utilization of school psychologists, particularly in early childhood settings. Her dissertation included developing a professional development program inclusive of a workshop on culturally responsive practices in early childhood followed by Practice Based Coaching (PBC). Prior to completing her dissertation, Dr. Kranski was involved in the Prevent, Teach, Reinforce for Young Children (PTR-YC) efficacy trial, a Tier 3 intervention for the Pyramid Model.

In addition to her academic work, Dr. Kranski has 7 years of combined experience providing early intervention services to infants and toddlers and working as a school psychologist in public Pre-K programs. Some of her work in the field has included contributing to the development and implementation of a preschool-wide professional development plan to promote inclusive classrooms and building a virtual toolbox of video models, scripts, and processes for preschool teachers to engage in peer-to-peer PBC focused on Pyramid model practices.


Dr. Sarah Pinkelman, Associate Professor of Psychology at Western Michigan University and the Behavior Analysis Program Chair

Dr. Pinkelman is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Western Michigan University and the Behavior Analysis Program Chair. She entered the field as a special education teacher and has over 20 years of experience working with children with disabilities in school, home, and community settings. Dr. Pinkelman earned her M.S. in Behavior Analysis from the University of North Texas in 2010 under the mentorship of Drs. Shahla Ala’i and Jesús Rosales-Ruiz, and she received her Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Oregon in 2014 under the mentorship of Dr. Rob Horner. An overarching theme in Dr. Pinkelman’s research and applied work is bridging the research-to-practice gap in public education. She is interested in (a) socially and ecologically valid approaches to improving teacher and staff implementation of behavior analytic interventions, (b) scaling-up effective and equitable programming in school systems, (c) school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports (SWPBIS), (d) implementation science as it relates to evidence-based practice in schools, and (e) research ethics and single-case research methodology.

Dr. Kathleen Strickland-Cohen, Assistant Professor, Department of Special Education, University of Utah

Dr. Kathleen Strickland-Cohen is an Assistant Professor within the Department of Special Education at the University of Utah. Dr. Strickland-Cohen has extensive experience training preservice and in-service district- and school-level personnel in the application of targeted and individualized positive behavior support in inclusive settings. Her research interests and scholarship focus on designing inclusive educational environments to promote success for students with extensive support needs, training school personnel to design and effectively implement individualized function-based behavior support plans for students with Tier 3 needs and enhancing family-school partnership within a PBIS framework.

Dr. Stephanie St. Joseph, Behavior Clinical Consultant, The May Institute

Dr. Stephanie St. Joseph is a behavior clinical consultant for The May Institute. She has been a nationally certified school psychologist since 2008 and has spent much of her career working with state and district leaders on the implementation of Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS) as well as being a leader in her school district for working with children with autism spectrum disorders, and special education law. She has experience working with the National PBIS Technical Assistance Center and is continuing research with the National TA Center regarding PBIS and equity. Stephanie is especially passionate about behavior, mental health and working with children with disabilities, especially children with autism spectrum disorders. Stephanie received her master’s degree in School Psychology from the College of Saint Rose, and her Ph.D. in special education from the University of Oregon.

Dr. Christopher Pinkney, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Special Education, Portland State University

Dr. Christopher Pinkney, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Special Education Department. He has a BA from the University of Hawaii and an MA in special education from California State University Stanislaus. His doctorate is in special education from the University of Oregon.