2017 Leadership Conference

Beyond Special Education:
Inclusion in the Christian School

Held August 3–4, 2017
Trinity Christian College, Palos Heights, Illinois



Presented by CLC Network

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Special thanks to Calvin College Graduate Studies in Education for serving as our speaker sponsor.

Calvin College  |  Graduate Studies in Education


Thank you, Western Theological Seminary, for sponsoring Barbara J. Newman's presentation, "What do we believe?"

Western Theological Seminary


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Trinity Christian College

601 West College Drive
Palos Heights, IL 60463


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Featured Speakers

Doug Bouman headshotDoug Bouman, S.Psy.S., L.M.S.W.

Doug has served as the director of evaluation services at CLC Network since 1986. Every year, he helps countless struggling students (and their parents and teachers) understand themselves in light of God’s gifts to them. After a comprehensive evaluation, students often share how his encouragement gave them hope and understanding, equipping them for future success and service to the Kingdom. He holds a bachelor of arts in psychology from Calvin College and master of arts and specialist degrees from Central Michigan University in school psychology. He is credentialed as a nationally certified school psychologist and a licensed masters social worker.

Elizabeth Dombrowski headshotElizabeth Lucas Dombrowski

Elizabeth is the executive director of CLC Network, where she serves as a champion for inclusion in schools and churches. Beginning at a young age, Elizabeth experienced the beauty of communities that recognize and celebrate the diverse gifts of all. After serving at the Adler Planetarium for nine years in fundraising and operations, she joined CLC Network in 2012, returning to an organization tied to her own history. Her calling to CLC Network and lifelong advocacy for places of belonging are the backbone to her thoughtful and creative leadership of an organization that is transforming communities nationwide. Elizabeth has a bachelor’s degree from Valparaiso University and is currently studying for her master’s degree at Grand Valley State University.

Barbara Newman headshotBarbara J. Newman

Barbara is the director of church services and teacher consultant for CLC Network. Her deep passion shines through her writing and speaking and inspires audiences to include persons with disabilities in church and school communities. In addition to publishing materials through CLC Network, she has written for Joni and Friends, Faith Alive Resources, and Friendship Ministries. Her classroom at Zeeland Christian School allows her to stay on top of best practices to share with both schools and congregations nationwide. Barbara received her teaching certificate (cognitive impairment endorsement) from Calvin College and her master of arts degree in early childhood education and early childhood developmental delay from Grand Valley State University, and she has a concentrated study in the field of autism spectrum disorder.

Becky Tubergen headshotBecky Tubergen

Becky is the director of school services at CLC Network, where she helps Christian schools implement best practices in inclusive education. Over the past 17 years, she has served as an educator and consultant, transforming communities to include students of all abilities. Becky enjoys coming alongside Christian schools to help them develop the God-given gifts of each student and create support plans for individuals with unique needs. She received her teaching certificate (cognitive impairment endorsement) from Calvin College and her master of arts degree in emotional impairment from Grand Valley State University.

Betsy Winkle headshotBetsy Winkle, S.Psy.S.

Betsy combines her passion for education and reconciliation in her role as a school psychologist at CLC Network. Fueled by a passion for helping each child flourish and develop their God-given gifts, Betsy enjoys walking alongside parents and teachers to help them understand how each struggling child thinks and learns. She is particularly intrigued by the impact of present and past life circumstances on a child’s educational success. Betsy received her bachelor of arts in psychology from Calvin College and her master of arts and specialist degrees from Lehigh University.

Featured Guest Speaker

Scot Danforth headshotScot Danforth, Ph.D.

Scot is professor of disability studies and inclusive education at Chapman University in Orange, California. The second edition of his most recent book, Becoming a Great Inclusive Educator (Peter Lang Publishing), has just been released. He has spent three decades working with families, schools, and teacher education programs to improve the quality of inclusive education in US schools.

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Thursday, August 3

9:30 a.m. What do we believe?
A biblical vision for inclusive education
Barbara J. Newman
10:30 a.m. Break  
10:50 a.m. Knowing Kids Most Excellently
A three-step framework for understanding and responding to students’ gifts and needs
Doug Bouman, S.Psy.S.
12 p.m Lunch (provided)  
12:50 p.m. Video
Understanding the history and landscape of inclusive education in Christian schools
1 p.m. Unpacking Challenging Behaviors
An approach and practical strategies for planning and responding to students with challenging behaviors
Barbara J. Newman
2 p.m. Break  
2:15–3:45 p.m. What does disability mean, anyway?
An exploration of useful and hopeful ways of thinking about disability and inclusion based on disability study scholarship and conversations with Scot’s nondisabled daughter about her questions and learning experiences in inclusive schools

Scot Danforth, Ph.D.

3:45–4:30 p.m. Going Beyond Special Education
A reflection on the opportunity before faith-based schools
Elizabeth Lucas Dombrowski and Becky Tubergen

Friday, August 4

Participants will have the opportunity to attend two breakout sessions. Please select the sessions you would like to attend when you register.

8:15 a.m. Opening  
8:30–10 a.m. Autism Spectrum Disorder: What It Is and How to Help
The common differences in persons with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and practical strategies for including each one
Becky Tubergen
8:30–10 a.m. ADHD: Hidden in Plain Sight
The subtypes of ADHD and strategies to support students with ADHD and attention differences
Doug Bouman, S.Psy.S.
8:30–10 a.m. Helping Students Influenced by Trauma
Gain an understanding of the impact trauma has on the brain, as well as how to respond and care for students
Betsy Winkle, S.Psy.S.
10–10:15 a.m. Break  
10:15–11:45 a.m. Repeat sessions  
11:45 a.m.–12 p.m. Closing Becky Tubergen

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