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Staff Development 2016-2017



 Welcome to the 2016-2017 Horizon Montessori Public Schools staff development conference. This year's theme is "Education Builds Nations" as Horizon Montessori Public Schools strives to prepare their staff with innovative research based skills. These skills are essential in order to prepare our students to be successful in a global economy and thrive in the global workplace.


We are pleased to announce and welcome the diverse group of individuals who will be presenting throughout our staff development! Please take the time to read each presenter's biography and view the training schedule below. 

Dr. Laura Sheneman 

Cooperative Resources Training


Dr. Laura Sheneman is the Coordinator of Library Services and Information Resources for Region One Education Service Center. She provides training and support for 600+ school librarians in deep South Texas from Laredo to Brownsville, Texas.  Dr. Sheneman has been in the field of education for over 25 years. Her professional workshops and research have established many contacts in South Texas and with key personnel across the state of Texas and beyond. She has also served as an Adjunct and Clinical Assistant Professor in Library Science for Sam Houston State University and serves on various state and national committees. Dr. Sheneman's interests include instructional technology, professional development, and leadership development. She is particularly interested in how technology can be used to enhance and advance current practices including program evaluation, training opportunities, and lifelong learning. 


 Dr. Michelle Abrego 

Formative Assessment Training


Dr. Michelle Abrego is beginning her 35th year in education.  Currently, she is serving as an educational consultant with local school districts. Her previous educational experience includes teacher, elementary and secondary principal, state program director for Safe director for Safe and Drug Free Schools at the Texas Education Agency and most recently university faculty for educational leadership and teacher preparation at the University of Texas at Brownsville. Her public school experience includes serving in diverse urban school communities with large numbers of ELLs, primarily Latino students.  She has co-authored several books and published a wide variety of articles on teacher leadership, family engagement, educator preparation, mentoring new teachers, and curricular reform in higher education.  She is married to an educational leadership professor (Chuey) at UTRGV and has a 13-year-old daughter (Hannah). 


Stephanie Marullo

RTI Training


Stephanie calls the town of Friendswood, Texas home, and she brings a hefty amount of experience to her role as a relationship manager, having worked for 11 years in public education (5 years as a Life Sills teacher, 1 year as a Resource teacher, and 5 years as a Special Education Team Leader/ARD Facilitator). She also holds a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies and a MS in Curriculum and Instruction. Stephanie has worked for SuccessEd for 4 ½ years. Her favorite part of her job is having the opportunity to meet so many new people when she is training or providing on-site support. Stephanie's daily responsibilities include checking in with clients, troubleshooting and expanding customers' knowledge, training, setting up new districts and verifying migrated data, and conducting webinars to review the administrative pieces of the application for new clients.Stephanie always wanted to pursue a career in education, specifically special education, because she loves children and couldn't think of a better way to spend a day than teaching little ones. She pursued a career with SuccessEd because she loves working for a company that helps to put a teacher's focus back where it should be, which is on the students, not the intense amounts of paperwork. 


Juanita Coronado 

Bilingual Training


Juanita G. Coronado (Janie) is a retired teacher who currently works part time collaborating with school districts throughout the state of Texas, supporting the success of English Language Learners.  She received her B.S. and M.ED from Pan American University. Her 38 years’ experience in the field of education includes: teaching grades 2nd through high school as a bilingual teacher, special education teacher, and school counselor. She also worked as a program coordinator in the implementation of a Two-Way Dual Language program, as a state teacher reading academy trainer, and as Region One ESC ExC-ELL (Expediting Reading Comprehension for English Language Learners) trainer/classroom coach.  The last 14 years of her career were spent working as a Bilingual/ESL/Math specialist with the Region One Education Service Center; she retired in 2014.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading, decorating her backyard, and playing the piano. 



Sylvia Escobar 

TEKS Resource System Training



Sylvia Escobar was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley. She graduated from PSJA North High School and received a BS in Biology from Trinity University, MS in Computer Science and MEd in Educational Leadership both from the University of Texas – Pan American. Serving sixteen years in education, Sylvia has taught math, technology and engineering and been a campus administrator focusing on STEM and early college initiatives. She is currently an STEM / LRI Specialist at the Region One Education Service Center in Edinburg, Texas. 



Patricia Rendon 

G.T. Training


Patricia Rendon has worked in the field of Gifted and Talented Education for over 20 years. She has been an elementary teacher, a middle school teacher and an Instructional Coach for Teachers of the Gifted. For the past 18 years she has worked at Region One Education Service Center and currently serves as the Coordinator for the Gifted and Talented Program. She also worked as the Project Trainer for the Jacob K. Javits Gifted/ Bilingual Project and as the Gifted/Bilingual Mentor for Jacob K. Javits ESTUDIOS Project. Mrs. Rendon has been a past Executive Board Member for the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented and past member of the Commissioner's Advisory Council for the Gifted and Talented. She currently serves as a board member for the Council for Exceptional Children Talented and Gifted Division.



Phoebe Fry 

CPR Training



I am a valley native and have lived here most of my life. I worked as a licensed athletic trainer in the public school system for 14 years before getting married in 2003. During my athletic training career I was an American Red Cross instructor in order to certify my coaches in CPR and First Aid. I started working with the organization as a volunteer around 2008. I decided to branch out and start my own business in 2012. I have a passion to help people learn how to help others in emergency situations, because they could be instrumental in saving someone's life.




Beth Garza 

Montessori Training


Beth Ann Garza graduated from Emporia State University with a BS in Education. She holds a Med and EdAd from the University of Texas at Brownsville. She began her Montessori training in 1980 and is Montessori certified in Early Childhood, Lower and Upper Elementary from the Southwestern Montessori Training Center in Denton, Texas. She is currently a trainer for   SMTC. Mrs. Garza developed Montessori programs for two schools in the Diocese of Brownsville. Currently all schools in the Diocese have Montessori programs. She also helped to implement Montessori classes in various public schools.With over forty years teaching and administrative experience, she has been a director of two Montessori schools in Brownsville, a guest lecturer and educational presenter of the Montessori philosophy. She is presently working for South Texas Educational Technologies, Inc. as a Horizon Montessori teacher and consultant.



Fernando Rosa

Math & Science Connection Training


Fernando Rosa has been a Senior Math Specialist with Region I for the past 6 years, where he has provided state level professional development for teachers and administrators throughout the Rio Grande Valley. He has served as the Mathematics Coordinator for the Edinburg Independent School District for 12 years and was a Mathematics Department chair for 9 years. He has presented at numerous state and national conferences and at locally held Region I conferences. He is a long time member of the Texas Regional Math Collaborative through the University of Texas in Austin and the Texas Education Agency. As a Region I Math Specialist, Fernando Rosa seeks to continue working as a leader and team member, in order to develop,  guide and support mathematics leaders throughout the valley and sate.


 Eunice Garza

Differentiating By Scaffolding Training



Eunice Garza Zambrano is the language arts coordinator at Region One Education Service Center.  She has been in the field of education for 25 years and has a Master of Education with a specialty in reading.  As such, most of her work revolves around developing and providing professional development to teachers and administrators in  enhancing and improving  literacy instruction.  As coordinator for Region One, she provides support to districts in establishing literacy systems that help students be successful as they progress through each grade level. 



Debra Franco 

Unlicensed Diabetic Care Training



Debra Denise Franco of McAllen, TX has a B.S. in Intl’ Business with a Minor in Accounting, from the University of Houston. She lived abroad for some time working in her field and moved home to the Valley 15 years ago to take a position as the CEO of an Intl’Company out of Germany. She retired afte13 years to start the South Texas Juvenile Diabetes Association after her son was diagnosed with type diabetes at age 8. She has a great deal of experience in public speaking and is an advocate for diabetic children and their families all over the state of Texas. As a valley native she believes that all diabetic children in the Rio Grande Valley can be successful in their management with the support of their community. She became a Child Hunger Outreach Specialist with the Texas Hunger Initiative through Baylor University in 2015 and is using her influence to assist in eliminating food disparity and child hunger in her region.




 *As a reminder all training will be held at the McAllen campus with the exception of the Montessori training which will be held at the Weslaco campus.