Parent Advisory Committee (PAC)

The Lapeer County Intermediate School District Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) is a group of educators and parents representing our local school districts. Our primary focus is to stay informed regarding Special Education plans, changes, and current trends in Special Education at the county, state, and federal level. We also assist and promote partnerships among parents and educators that benefit students with disabilities.

PAC brochure                          PAC Meeting Dates              Bylaws

 Your Local Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) Representative

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Almont Community Schools

My name is Anne Wilson. I am a mom to two great boys Adam and Vinny ages 10 and 7, who both attend Almont Orchard Primary. My oldest son Adam has special needs, and has had complex health issues since birth. Even with all of his challenges he is a very sweet and happy kid. My youngest Vinny has a big personality and is very social, and loves his big bro. He is already a great little advocate for his brother. They have a very special relationship with each other. I’m married to my high school sweetheart Mark, and as a family we love staying active. 

I’m a gradate of Almont, and Western Michigan University where I received my degree in Social Psychology and Social Work, but I think I’ve always been a “helper”. As a child in school I was always the kid that liked to help the other kids who needed a little extra help, so I guess I was destined to go into the field I chose, and am well suited to be the mother to a child with special needs.

Due to Adam’s complex health needs I have been a stay at home mom for the last six years. Prior to that I worked with adults with special needs, and their families in a variety of community placements. I always felt like I was empathetic to my clients and their families struggles and needs, but it wasn’t until I became a mother to a child with special needs that I really had a true understanding of their struggles. I learned so much from the families and clients I had the privilege of working with. Hopefully some of my experience will be useful to PAC, and I can be a help to others.

During my work as a Social Worker I really started to see the value and importance of integration. When integration is possible whether it be in school, a community placement or employment I think it should always be pursued. My clients that were the happiest with the strongest supports were the ones who received an integrated education and remained active in their community after graduation. I am also passionate in seeing that students with special needs receive a fair, and equal education to what their neurotypical peers receive. Through PAC I hope to learn more about special educational services and supports, and use my knowledge to help in anyway I can. I look forward to meeting and working with everyone soon.

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     Anne Wilson
     (586) 531-4330






My name is Melissa Bordogna and this will be our third year in Almont!. I have 4 children, 2 that are in the Almont School District and both receive special services for different reasons. Each one of my kids has had a mix of private, public and home education. I have been at stay at home mom for 16 years. In the beginning of my special needs story, I thought someone was going to come and give me all the answers, but I quickly learned that special needs/special education is a journey, individual to each of my children. There are many people that help along the way and I have found that some of the best information has come from a parent that has had some experience with special education. I think this opportunity will give me the chance to pass on some of my knowledge and help someone on their journey. I also look forward to learning some things that I can use to help my own children to become productive people in our community.






Dryden Community Schools:

“Although I live in Dryden my son attends Almont Schools through the Consortium.  We began in the Early On Program and have been navigating the educational system for 8 years now.  I am available to answer any questions you may have or help you explore opportunities for the benefit of your special needs child.  The PAC is here as a resource for you…don’t hesitate to call on us!”

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  Melanie Starr
  (
810) 895-6449


 



I
mlay City Community Schools:


My name is Rachel Pratt. I have 3 amazing young men. They are all in the Imlay City School District and love it there. My oldest has ADHD and also deals with anxiety and depression. My middle child, while no official diagnosis, deals with anxiety and some OCD.  We have been at the Imlay City schools since my oldest was in kindergarten and cannot imagine having our kids go anywhere else. I am a Inpatient Medical Coding Supervisor that works remotely (from home) for the University of Utah Health Hospital. I love working from home because it allows me to be able to be more involved with my sons' lives as well be able to help them with their anxiety and OCD. My husband and I are new to the obstacles that come from having children that need more attention and more reassurances than what would be considered normal.

Our biggest goal is to help all three of our boys to become Godly young men who are productive members of society in spite of their "disabilities". It has been a struggle, but we never give up. I love to help others as well. This comes from my own background when I was younger. I was never officially diagnosed with anything until I was much older, but I suffered from anxiety and depression as a child as well as OCD and ADHD. Learning how to deal with it, in myself has helped me to be able to help my boys and other children when they are having a difficult time. Now, as an adult, I know it is okay to say I don't know, to take longer to do something, to still be proud of myself, even if it isn't as good as someone else. The biggest thing I have learned is to not compare myself to others. We all are dealing with something in our lives and need someone to lean on on occasion.

Thank you for thinking of me to join the PAC. I feel that is will be an amazing adventure and one where I will be able to not only help others but also help myself and my children. I love to learn new things and make new friends. Have a wonderful day!!


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    Rachel Pratt
    (810) 721-0548







 My name is Heather Brown. My husband and I both grew up in Imlay City and are thrilled to be raising our family there as well. We have 3 boys. Our youngest is on the spectrum and started Early‐On when he was 2. We have made great strides and he is now a thriving 1st grader. I will always continue to grow with him and educate myself with any resource I can find. It's a journey that I wouldn't have any other way.

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 Heather Brown
 (810) 614-4746
  








Denise Kipp (Rossen)
(810)-721-1342



L
apeer Community Schools:

Hi, I am 
Kim Hall and I have seven children in Lapeer Community schools. In Elementary School, Middle Schools and the High school.  Some of my children have special needs.  I would like to encourage you to call me if you have any questions.  I know how overwhelming and confusing it can be sometimes to be the parent or caregiver of a special needs individual.  You are NOT alone. Please feel free to call me, I would like to help if I can.  Kindest Regards!! 

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Kim Hall 
  (810) 664-4743

 


 
North Branch Area Schools:

Hello, My name is Rebecca Baksa. I am married to my husband, Brent Baksa, and we have three boys. Our middle son, Jackson is going into the third grade this year and he has cerebral palsy. He has always been in the general education classroom, and we are extremely proud of all that he has accomplished in his young life. My husband and I both teach in North Branch as well. I am the art teacher for grades 5-8, and my husband in a science teacher in the high school. I look forward to helping anyone that I can. I am passionate about helping the kids in our community with "different abilities" and would love assist in any way that I can. 

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  Becky Baksa
 
(989) 245-7308


 















Lapeer County Intermediate School District:

My name is Patricia Smith (Patti) and I have 3  wonderful young adults, one of which is my nephew.  All three are in the Lapeer County school district and have special needs (Fragile X). We moved out to Imlay city coming up on 8 years now. I did work as a medical assistant before moving here. I now am a stay at home mom. 

Although not my career choice the benefits of staying home to raise these crazy, lovable kids far outweighs any career.  I am new to a lot of obstacles that come with special needs territory, like social security, guardianship, placement after high school, etc.  However, I managed to muddle through and I love helping others.  I believe it stems from needing help myself when I was younger.  I too was in special education and struggled my whole school career. It wasn’t until later in life that I learned it was ok to take longer than the person sitting next me. And most importantly it’s ok not to know the answer right out of the gate. If you don’t know the answer it’s ok to do the research and find what works for you. In short I’m just like everyone else. Trying to live my best life and be the best mom, wife and respected adult. 

Thank you for thinking of me to join the PAC. I feel like this is an awesome adventure and one where I’m sure I’ll always be learning something new. I may even meet a few new friends. Have a wonderful day and God bless.  

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Patti Smith  586-322-4576

 


     
 Regina is the President and Founder of Forever Friends Network. Regina's son, Brandon, was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 4 years old. Bran-don is now 18 years old, and Regina continues to help spread awareness for Autism. She has been an advocate for individuals on the Autism Spectrum for the last 8.5 years. Regina has provided her efforts to various Autism organizations throughout Michigan. She is respected, and supported by The Lapeer County Intermediate School District, and The Lapeer County Community of Mental Health. Regina has been instrumental in bringing Autism Safety train-ing specialists from the Autism Alliance of Michigan to Lapeer County, and to surrounding areas. “Autistic kids are such extraordinary individuals — there’s always some-thing different that makes them stick out because each child is so unique. These kids are socially inept and they just want to fit in, they pick up things so quickly they are like sponges, we just want to pave the way for them to make connections.” Regina Starr The County Press 4-03-2016 Regina Starr resides in Lapeer Michigan with her son Brandon, and supported by her partner of 9 years, Michael.

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  Regina Starr
   (810) 623-2041

shellie