The Power of Reflection: How One School District Transformed Education for All Learners

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About The Guest(s):

Dr. Kristin Burnette is an Assistant Professor of Special Education at ECU. She has 17 years of experience working with students with extensive support needs and 11 years of classroom experience. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of NC Greensboro, focusing on inclusive education for students with extensive support needs. During her doctoral program, she was a graduate assistant for the TIES Center, the OSEP national technical assistance center focused on inclusive education and systemic change.

Christine Bechtel is the Supervisor of Special Education for Carroll County Public Schools and has been in the field of Special Education for 28 years. Mrs. Bechtel is dedicated to equity particularly for students with disabilities, earning a Post-Baccalaureate Certification in Equity and Excellence in Education from McDaniel College in 2019. Among many other roles within CCPS, Mrs. Bechtel currently serves as the chair of CCPS’s District Inclusion Team.


Kristin and Christine discussed Carroll County’s journey toward inclusive education. They started with targeted technical assistance from the National TIES Center and gradually expanded inclusive practices to multiple schools. Their commitment to collaboration and a mindset shift has led to positive outcomes for both students with disabilities and their non-disabled peers.


Thank you to Brookes Publishing for sponsoring this episode!

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Key Takeaways:

  • Inclusive education requires multiple layers of leadership at the building, district, and state levels.
  • The district’s focus on content areas like science and social studies has led to meaningful inclusion and improved outcomes.
  • Reflection and action planning are essential for sustainable systems change in education.
  • The district has positively impacted school culture and student engagement through inclusive practices.
  • Non-disabled peers have benefited from inclusive education, becoming role models and improving their behavior.

TIES Roadmap:



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