ASHA Schools Virtual Town Hall 2019

2019 ASHA Schools Virtual Town Hall

Attract, Prepare, and Retain School-Based SLPs

Monday, December 9, 2019 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. EST 
(5:30 – 7:00 p.m. CST, 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. MST, 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. PST) 

The 2019 ASHA Schools Virtual Town Hall will feature a moderator and panel charged with addressing the need to expand the school-based SLP workforce. Panelists will consist of decision makers from school districts, higher education institutions, and state departments of education.

The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) developed a framework for exploring focused strategies to expand the number of special education practitioners in school settings. The OSEP framework will be used as a context for discussing efforts underway to attract, prepare, and retain school-based SLPs. Attendees will be provided a document that synthesizes these strategies.

Learning Objectives

After participating in this town hall, you will be able to:

  • Obtain information on mentoring students and locate career resources that highlight the benefits of entering the profession of speech-language pathology that can be shared with high school and college counselors and other relevant stakeholders. 
  • Identify federal, state, and district level tuition assistance programs to aide in pursuing a degree in speech-language pathology and loan forgiveness programs to aide in addressing student loan debt.
  • Identify ASHA, state and school district resources, programs and supports to utilize and share with stakeholders in support of retention of school-based SLPs


The moderator for the event is Judith K. Montgomery, PhD, CCC-SLP, 1995 ASHA President and Editor-in-Chief for Communication Disorders Quarterly, and retired chair of the Communication Sciences and Disorders program in Chapman University in Irvine, California.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Applicable travel, lodging, per diem and mileage costs paid by ASHA
  • Receives annual royalties as an author of four books and other SLP publications
  • Receives compensation as the Communication Disorders Quarterly journal editor

Non-Financial Disclosures:

  • Certified ASHA member
  • Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology (CFCC) member
  • Committee on Clinical Specialty Certification (CCSC) member
  • Board Certified Specialist in Child Language and Language Disorders
  • Special Interest Group 1, Language Learning and Education and Special Interest Group 16, School-Based Issues Affiliate

Charles H. Carlin, PhD, CCC-SLP, associate professor and graduate program coordinator at The University of Akron of Ohio.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Faculty member at The University of Akron
  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Non-Financial Disclosures:

  • No nonfinancial relationships to the content of this presentation

Katherine A. Hoffman, MS, CCC-SLP, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction for the Arizona Department of Education.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Receives a salary as an employee of the Arizona Department of Education
  • Travel reimbursement from ASHA for this presentation

Non-Financial Disclosures:

  • Arizona State Board of Education – Board member – 10 mo.
  • Arizona State Charter School Board – Board member – 10 mo.
  • Arizona Board of Regents – Board member – 10 mo.
  • Democratic party – elected official – 10 mo.
  • ASHA member – 5 mo.
  • Arizona Federation of Teachers – member – 2.5 yrs.

Jerrold Jackson, MA, CCC-SLP, owner and Special Services Director of Roundtree Group, PLLC which provides consultation, mentoring, speech-language, assistive technology and educational evaluation services to a variety of agencies

Financial Disclosures:

  • Travel reimbursement from ASHA

Non-Financial Disclosures:

  • Member of ASHA Council for Clinical Certification in Speech-Language Pathology/Audiology
  • Member and former co-chair of Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association's Public School Committee 

Joneen Lowman, PhD, CCC-SLP, associate professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in the College of Health Sciences at the University of Kentucky, and former special education teacher and school speech-language pathologist.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Employee of University of Kentucky
  • Grant funding from OSEP and NIDCD
  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Non-Financial Disclosures:

  • SIG 18 Telepractice Committee Chair
  • Telepractice Topic Chair for 2020 ASHA Convention

Jeffrey C. Meeks, EdD, CCC-SLP, Director of Special Education for Holbrook Unified School District in northeastern Arizona, and Assistant Clinical Professor and SLPA Certificate Coordinator at Northern Arizona University

Financial Disclosures:

  • Travel expenses were reimbursed for participation in this event
  • No other relative financial relationships exist

Non-Financial Disclosures:

  • Jeff Meeks is a former President of the Arizona Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ArSHA) and he currently serves as the Chair of the Government Affairs Committee. He receives no compensation as a member of the ArSHA board.

John T. Riley, MA, Senior Policy Analyst in the Education Policy & Practice Department at the National Education Association (NEA).

Financial Disclosures:

  • Employee of the National Education Association
  • No financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Non-Financial Disclosures:

  • No nonfinancial relationships to the content of this presentation

Laurie VanderPloeg, MA, director of the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), in the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), at the U.S. Department of Education

Financial Disclosures:

  • Employed by the U.S. Department of Education

Non-Financial Disclosures:

  • None

Course Information

  • CE credit: 0.15 ASHA CEUs (1.5 PDHs)
  • Event date: December 9, 2019
  • Type of course: Live event (in person and online)
  • Instructional Level: Intermediate
  • Content Area: Related

Continuing Education Credit

To earn continuing education credit, you must submit the completion form on or before December 17, 2019. Instructions for accessing the completion form will be provided at the conclusion of the event. If you are a member of the ASHA CE Registry, credits will be reported to the Registry within 72 hours after you submit the completion form and receive the certificate of completion.

Continuing education credit is available only for registered participants of the live in-person and online event. Recordings may be available for viewing after the event, but recordings are not eligible for CE credit.

ASHA Approved CE Provider

This program is offered for 0.15 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level; Related area).

Past Events

2018 ASHA Schools Virtual Town Hall

ASHA Schools Virtual Town Hall 2018

The 2018 ASHA Schools Virtual Town Hall meeting was held on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, to discuss the following longstanding issues faced by school-based members:

  • Diminishing school funding and accompanying personnel shortages
  • High caseloads
  • Excessive paperwork and documentation
  • Limited ability to vary service-delivery methods

The town hall slides are available [PDF] and the recordings of the town hall are below:

The moderator for the event was Gail J. Richard, PhD, CCC-SLP, ASHA's  Immediate Past President. The following are the panel of experts who provided feasible solutions to the concerns and questions from school-based members who registered for the town hall:

  • School-Level Decision Makers
    • Ann Allen, Masters, Educational Administration; Middle School Principal, California
    • Jennifer Van Tress, M.S., Speech Pathology; Elementary School Principal, Nevada
  • District-Level Decision Makers
    • Lou Malerba, MA, CCC-SLP; Former Assistant Superintendent for Special Education, New York
    • Richard Fry, EdD, Educational Leadership; Superintendent of Schools, Pennsylvania
  • State-Level Decision Makers
    • Evelyn Dixon, MS, CCC-SLP, Ed.S., Curriculum and Instruction; Education Program Specialist, Georgia
    • Marie Ireland, MEd, CCC-SLP, BCS-CL; ASHA's Vice President of Speech-Language Pathology Practice; Specialist, Virginia
  • Union Representative
    • Carol Fleming, MS, CCC-SLP; ASHA Fellow; Speech-Language Pathologist, NEA Director, Arkansas 

If you have questions about the town hall, please contact ASHA's Schools Services team by e-mailing

ASHA Corporate Partners