Loyola University Chicago

School of Education

Program Faculty

School Discipline Reform Certificate

The faculty in this program bring interdisciplinary expertise in evidence-supported approaches to school discipline at the School of Education and the School of Law.  Students benefit from a faculty whose experience spans research, policy and practice related to school discipline in various settings.  They are committed to helping students attain a deeper understanding of the complex issues involved in school discipline reform and to develop sound strategies to address them.

Faculty members in this program include:

Dr. Pamela Fenning is a Professor of School Psychology at Loyola University Chicago School of Education and served as the director of the Doctoral School Psychology Program from 2001-2015. She was a principal investigator on an evaluation study of multi-tiered behavior support in six large high schools. Her research and clinical interests focus on multi-tiered academic and behavioral interventions at the high school level, equity in school discipline policy and competency training in school psychology professional preparation programs. She has published widely in the area of school discipline and equity in behavioral approaches in educational settings. She is currently the chair of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Child and Professions Committee and on the NASP Graduate Program Approval Board. She is a licensed clinical and school psychologist in Illinois. Dr. Fenning holds a Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Miranda Johnson is a Clinical Professor of Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law and the director of Loyola’s Education Law and Policy Institute.  She teaches experiential learning classes in education law and supervises law students in the representation of parents and students in school discipline and special education cases.  She has presented in various settings on prevention-oriented approaches to school discipline and organized training programs for school administrators on school discipline issues.  Prior to working at Loyola, she was a staff attorney at Advocates for Children of New York, an organization promoting access to better educational services for New York City school children.  She holds a JD from New York University School of Law and a Master in Public Affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.  Before law school, she taught social studies at a residential high school in Colorado and conducted research in Tanzania on a Fulbright Scholarship.   

Kathleen Hirsman is faculty at Loyola University Chicago School of Law and teaches courses on education law. She has 25 years’ experience in school law practice, representing and counseling school districts in board governance issues, student issues, special education, labor and personnel matters, collective bargaining, general litigation, and in general corporate advisory capacity. She is currently serving on the school board of Hinsdale Township High District 86.  She received her J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Prior to law school, she taught English-as-a-second-language in public schools and at the university level. 

Sarah-Bess Dworin is Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Umoja Student Development Corporation. Since joining in 2011, she oversees Umoja's professional development offerings and the design and production of Umoja’s extensive curriculum, including a 75-lesson text supporting In School Disciplinary Interventions and Umoja's 4-year long daily Seminar course. She is currently responsible for the continuous revision of the curriculum, the training and support of coaches for Seminar instructors, and overseeing programming and evaluation for Umoja's Social Emotional Learning and Restorative Justice teacher fellowships. Ms. Dworin brings over 15 years of instructional and curriculum development experience. A former youth outreach worker in Chicago, Ms. Dworin received her MAT from the Teacher's College at Columbia University and went on to teach in a high school in Bronx, NY for 5 years. Other curriculum and youth development publications include "Adolescent War Trauma and the Path Toward Healing in Northern Ireland," 2001, and "Khmer Youth Association Women’s Empowerment Experiential Curriculum," 2011. 

Jennifer J. Rose is a nationally certified school psychologist (NCSP). Dr. Rose has provided psychological services for students in diverse settings including traditional k-12 buildings, juvenile corrections, alternative schools, and psychiatric facilities. Dr. Rose completed her internship in New Orleans within the Louisiana School Psychology Internship Consortium (LASPIC). Prior to becoming a school psychologist, Dr. Rose was a classroom teacher in Chicago Public Schools for nine years. As the former Tertiary Research and Evaluation Coordinator for the Illinois Positive Behavior Supports Network (IL-PBIS Network), Dr. Rose consulted with schools to address issues related to school climate and student social-emotional needs, and behavior. During her tenure with IL-PBIS Network, she assisted schools in implementation of universal screening using standardized instruments (e.g., Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, SDQ; and the Systematic Screener for Behavior Disorders, SSBD). Universal screening is an efficient process to help identify students with social-emotional, or behavioral concerns that may benefit from early intervention.

Dr. Rose believes that the provision of academic equity for minority and low-income student is a powerful demonstration of social justice. Her efforts in this area are focused on consulting with public schools to assist in the engagement and empowerment of families of color; the implementation of interventions to help reduce the disproportionate application of exclusionary discipline for students of color and students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs). Dr. Rose’s has also co-authored several articles on educational equity including, The Overrepresentation of African American Students in Exclusionary Discipline: The Role of School Policy. She has also delivered numerous presentations on the topics of equity and disproportionality.

Dr. Rose earned her Ph.D. in School Psychology and her M.Ed. in Educational Psychology from Loyola University Chicago. She received a M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning from DePaul University and a B.S. in Communication Studies from Northwestern University.

From a participant in a training conducted by Sarah-Bess (SB) Dworin:

"SB is simply a phenomenal teacher. She instantly connected with our administrative team and met each of us right where we were at in terms of our understanding of the restorative justice model. The combination of SB’s warm, approachable style and undeniable expertise in the area of restorative justice sets her apart."

Dr. Mary Kalogeropoulos Gorr
Principal, Westbrook School
Mt. Prospect School District 57