What is SPDG?

The State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG), administered through the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) within the U.S. Department of Education, assists state education agencies and their partners to improve results for children with disabilities through systems of professional development and dissemination of knowledge about best practices to educators and families.

Over the course of Tennessee’s 5-year grant, training, coaching and support will focus on helping improve academic outcomes for students with disabilities and enhancing their post-secondary opportunities, as well as increasing the alignment between early childhood programs and the K-12 system to help ensure that students enter kindergarten with the academic, social and emotional skills necessary for success.

The Tennessee State Personnel Development Grant is administered through the Tennessee Department of Education, Office of Special Populations, and works with collaborating school districts across the state.


General Information

Theresa Nicholls, SPDG Project Director
Email: [email protected]
Office: (615) 741-0572
Cell: (615) 347-1909

Kate Martin, SPDG Project Manager
Email: [email protected]
Office: (615) 253-4436

Gary Smith, Director of Early Childhood Special Education
Email: [email protected]
Office: (615) 741-9871

Donna Parker, SPDG Project Manager
Email: [email protected]
Office: (615) 476-1183

SPDG Family Partner

STEP Inc. http://www.tnstep.org

(Support and Training for Exceptional Parents)

Karen Harrison, Director
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (423) 639-0125

Gina Lynette, Director of Communications, Learning and Development
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 800-280-STEP (7837)

SPDG Logistics and Technology Partner

University of Tennessee Center for Literacy, Education and Employment

Lisa Crawford
Email: [email protected]
Office: (865) 974-6659

University of Kentucky Human Development Institute

David McKay, SPDG Evaluator
Email: [email protected]

SPDG Regional K-12 Consultants

(Supporting SPDG participating K-12 districts in each CORE region)

Current consultant contact list

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