Dr. Lynn Sodat
Dr. Sodat provides guidance and technical assistance for Virginia’s federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) programs, and serves as the state lead for policy interpretation and compliance oversight for the multi-million dollar programs. She coordinates the efforts of the state’s Title I, Title II, Title III, Title IV, and Title V teams in their work with educators, division program coordinators, and the public. Dr. Sodat is Virginia’s primary point of contact and state plan development facilitator for the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA) federal accountability plan. Before joining the Department six years ago, she worked at the school division level as a teacher, assistant principal, Title I coordinator, and central office administrator.
Dana Yarbrough is a community supports specialist for the Partnership for People with Disabilities at the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities located at Virginia Commonwealth University. Among her roles, Ms. Yarbrough directs the Center for Family Involvement and its initiatives statewide to support diverse families of children and young adults with developmental disabilities to become effective advocates for their children and leaders for systems change. She has conducted research on best practices in working with all families to become involved and engaged in advocating for their children.
Dr. Steven Constantino
Leader, teacher, author, consultant, and entrepreneur, Dr. Constantino began his career as a teacher and moved through the ranks to division superintendent. Presently, he is Chief Academic Officer at the Virginia Department of Education and an adjunct lecturer in the School of Education at The College of William and Mary. Dr. Constantino is internationally recognized for his work with schools to increase the engagement of families, especially those that are traditionally disengaged or disenfranchised. As a result of his experiences and practical approach to engaging families, he has authored four books: Making Your School Family Friendly (NASSP, 2002), Engaging Every Family (Rowman and Littlefield, 2003), 101 Ways to Create Real Family Engagement (Engage Press, 2008), and Engage Every Family: Five Simple Principles (Corwin Press, 2015). Dr. Constantino believes that successful family engagement practices lead to the achievement of all students.