Dia Davis – Technical Assistance Team Director, Middle TN

Dia is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of South Florida, she holds a master’s degree in Varying Exceptionalities. Día has worked as a consultant on Tennessee Behavior Supports Project, Florida’s Positive Behavioral Interventions & Support Project, served as a District Coordinator for PBIS, a District Multi-Tiered System of Supports Facilitator, and a special education teacher. In her time as a local and state-based consultant she has worked with over a hundred schools in designing prevention-focused systems and interventions at all three tiers for academics and behavior. Dia has a strong passion for systems change and implementation science as it relates to improving policies, systems, and practices to support all learners. She has worked over the past decade to help support putting research into practice and truly believes that the greatest impact comes from building relationships between all key collaborators.

Tara Axelroth – Technical Assistance Consultant

Tara earned a Master’s degree in Comprehensive Special Education from Vanderbilt University and is a board-certified behavior analyst. Before joining the TSC team, she was a special education teacher in Middle Tennessee. Tara served on her school’s leadership team to develop their school-wide positive behavioral support program. While teaching, her focus on providing behavior support to students and staff led to an interest in aligned tiered supports for both academics and behavior and an overall model for prevention. 

Iris Caro – Technical Assistance Consultant

Iris earned a doctoral degree from Lipscomb University in Learning Organizations and Strategic Change. Her research focused on access to books for economically disadvantage students to mitigate the learning loss during the COVID slide and summer slide. She brings a master’s in Special Education with a concentration in Deaf Studies. As a previous Instructional and Intervention Coach she led efforts to create infrastructures and systems that resulted in a successful RTI2-A implementation in four different elementary schools. As a District Literacy Specialist, she led the implementation of research-based ELA curriculum with flexible entry points for all learners and provided support for the professional development of educators and leaders in Florida. She has a keen interest in analyzing root causes to enhance and improve the learning experience for students of all backgrounds and diverse needs.

Emily Castaneda – Technical Assistance Consultant

Emily earned a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of North Texas, and a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies EC-6th grade with a focus in English as a Second Language. During her years in public education, she served in a large school district in Maryland and Texas in the capacity of a Classroom Teacher, Instructional Coach, and School Administrator. She supported the school district in Curriculum Writing and RTI District Leadership Team. While working at a Title 1, Dual Language campus she led the implementation of multi-tiered systems of support that transformed the professional capacity for staff and resulted in significant student’s growth. Her area of focus is to provide equitable access to instruction and nonacademic areas for all learners through system changes.