Evolve & Effect, LLC, was founded in 2019 to collaborate with schools and districts who are asking hard questions and seeking significant change in the education of all students, especially those with disabilities and those who have been historically marginalized. Our collaboration draws on the expertise from staff members on the Evolve & Effect team as well as partners who are national leaders in their fields.
Manager and Consultant
Michael is the company’s owner and lead consultant. A national leader in education and systems change, he is recognized for his exceptional skills working with school and district teams to implement multi-tiered system of support (MTSS); improve outcomes for all learners, including learners who have been historically marginalized; solve challenging problems; build capacity with leaders to evolve their education systems; and create lasting positive effect for learners.
Michael leads the team in applying methods, strategies, and tools from implementation science to help educators and administrators use and sustain practices that are both values-based and research-based. As an implementation specialist, Michael helps education agencies prioritize and align practices and initiatives to achieve their goals.
Michael is a co-developer of a model that fully braids MTSS with Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and a trainer of Team Initiated Problem Solving (TIPS). Among his many activities during his nearly twenty years with the University of New Hampshire, Michael co-led the Center on Inclusive Education at the Institute on Disability; served as the coordinator of technical assistance for the School-Wide Integrated Framework for Transformation (SWIFT) Education Center; co-developed The Beyond Access Model: Promoting Membership, Participation, and Learning for Students with Disabilities in the General Education Classroom (Brookes, 2009); and collaborated with the New Hampshire Department of Education to develop and implement a tiered instructional model for academic and behavioral supports (NH RESPONDS).
Michael serves on the Inclusive Education Community of Practice for the international disability organization TASH, where he collaborates with university researchers and teacher pre-service faculty, school administrators, educators, families, and individuals with disabilities to examine national policy, identify gaps in implementation, and come up with innovative strategies to scale up equity-based learning for students with complex support needs.
Mary Schuh, Ph.D.
Mary provides schools and districts with technical expertise and consultation on issues related to equity-based education for all students. She is a research associate faculty member with the University of New Hampshire’s Department of Education. Mary leads with a values-driven and person-centered approach with a focus on best educational practices to prepare future teachers and education leaders. She directs the UNH graduate certificate program in trauma informed policy and practice as well as the UNH Center on Inclusive Education, overseeing the center’s research, technical assistance, and professional development portfolio. As a former special educator with more than thirty years of experience researching and providing technical assistance and professional development related to education for all learners, Mary has worked to coordinate educational systems change and family and consumer leadership. Mary was an original member of the SWIFT Center, and she spent 2017-18 in Washington, D.C., as the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Disability Policy Fellow working with Senator Patty Murray on education policy issues. Mary served as an advisor on Dan Habib’s award-winning documentaries Including Samuel, Who Cares About Kelsey?, Mr. Connolly Has ALS, and Intelligent Lives and has authored a variety of publications related to education and disability.
Director of Communications
Mary coordinates the team’s efforts in writing and editing project reports, guidance documents, educational materials, and other external communications to ensure clarity, correctness, coherence, and consistency. She is a professional writer and copyeditor with extensive experience as a writing professor, college administrator, and writing consultant. Much of Mary’s own writing is related to parenting her now-adult autistic son and her own journey in understanding and using neurodiversity-affirming practices. Her work has appeared in books, magazines, and the web, including on Huffington Post.
Nichole "Nikki" Guntz
Nikki manages the creation and production of company project reports, guides, and training materials to ensure high quality, engaging, and accessible products. She has been working in communications roles for more than fifteen years as a graphic artist, designer, product developer, webmaster, writer, editor, and photographer, as evidenced in her portfolio. Nikki has created direct mail pieces, annual reports, educational guides, training manuals, and display materials for state and national organizations including the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability, Saint Anselm College, Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation, and films such as Who Cares About Kelsey?, Mr. Connolly Has ALS, Intelligent Lives, and My Disability Roadmap.
Loui Lord Nelson, Ph.D.
Loui consults on Evolve & Effect projects that incorporate Universal Design for Learning (UDL). She is a global leader in UDL implementation and the president of RAISE, Inc., The UDL Approach. A former special education teacher and district-wide UDL coordinator, she completed her postdoctoral fellowship at CAST, the creators of UDL. She is part of the Universal Design for Learning Implementation and Research Network leadership council and has facilitated focused work with educators internationally. Loui has three books, including the best-seller Design and Deliver: Planning and Teaching Using Universal Design for Learning, 2nd edition (Paul H. Brookes Publishing, 2021). She also hosts the popular podcast UDL in 15 Minutes and created the card game Go Fishing with UDL. Loui is co-developer of a model that fully braids UDL and MTSS. Using coaching structures and systemic design proposals grounded in implementation science, Loui brings the UDL framework to life as an effective decision-making tool to enhance the educational outcomes of all students.
Amy Laurent, Ph.D. & Jacquelyn Fede, Ph.D.
Amy and Jac, co-founders of Autism Level UP!, consult with Evolve & Effect on the development of neurodiversity-affirming practices, tools, and educational programming for autistic learners. Amy, an autism sensory and learning consultant, is a developmental psychologist, registered pediatric occupational therapist, and co-author of the SCERTS® model, a developmental framework for supporting autistic people. She has served as an adjunct faculty member for the School of Education and Department of Psychology at the University of Rhode Island. Jac is a developmental psychologist and an autistic neurodivergent consultant. She is a former assistant research professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Rhode Island. Through Autism Level UP!, Amy and Jac support autistic people and their partners through the development of creative, useful, and accessible tools and supports.
Erin collaborates with Evolve & Effect to provide instructional coaching for teachers that is purposeful, practical, and personal. A classroom teacher for twenty years, Erin has taught diverse classrooms, mentored teachers, and helped lead school and district initiatives. She has also led professional development across the United States for the past 14 years, both as a Responsive Classroom presenter and through Erin Moore Education Consulting. She has presented at conferences, given keynote talks, and facilitated customized professional learning for K-12 educators in diverse settings.
Cathleen, who holds triple certification as an elementary educator K-8, special educator K-12, and reading and writing specialist K-12, brings a depth of understanding of the classroom experience to her consulting work with Evolve & Effect. She has worked in education for twenty-five years. For three years, Cathleen served as a distinguished educator for the New Hampshire Department of Education and traveled the state supporting teachers who were developing alternate assessment portfolios. Throughout that work, she coached teachers on optimizing access to and engagement with grade-level curriculum for students with complex support needs. Cathleen currently serves as the reading and writing specialist at Winnisquam Regional Middle School.
Mike, founder of Leading Great Learning, LLC, collaborates with Evolve & Effect on designing quality instruction that engages all learners and consults with the team on projects involving teaching social-emotional learning through academics. He is an award-winning teacher and consultant as well as a best-selling author. A prolific writer, Mike publishes a regular newsletter and blog. His latest book is Tackling the Motivation Crisis: How to Activate Student Learning Without Behavior Charts, Pizza Parties, and Other Hard-to-Quit Incentive Systems (ASCD, 2021). Mike has consulted and presented to schools and teachers across the United States and internationally and authored many books. He formerly led program development for Northeast Foundation for Children, writing and developing Responsive Classroom workshops that are used nationally and internationally.
Susan consults with Evolve & Effect on the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework and how teachers can use it to build access and agency for every student. Susan's full-time job is as an implementation specialist at CAST, the nonprofit organization that developed the UDL Guidelines. Susan was previously on the faculty at Plymouth State University, where she designed and coordinated a graduate teacher certification program and taught graduate and undergraduate courses about inclusive elementary education. For over twenty-five years, Susan has consulted with in-service educators to design learning for all students, with specific attention to those with disabilities. Her earliest jobs were in public elementary schools where she worked as a special educator, general education classroom teacher, and one of New Hampshire’s first inclusion facilitators.
Stephanie, a nationally recognized consultant, educator, and coach consults with Evolve & Effect in the area of literacy development. She is the associate dean in the Graduate School of Education at Lesley University. Her research and teaching focus on literacy instruction for students across the disability continuum, assessment of reading and writing, and using technology to support literacy instruction. Through Stephanie Spadorcia Consulting & Coaching, she works in private and public schools to conduct literacy assessments and design literacy programs for students with a range of disabilities. She provides comprehensive evaluations and observations to refine literacy instructional plans considering classroom, small-group, and one-to-one work as well as recommendations for materials, resources, assistive technology, and web-based tools.