Our Team

SCA Advocates below have completed at least thirty hours of in-house Special Education Advocacy Training. We have assembled a strong team of former public school professionals and seasoned parents of children with disabilities to guide our clients through channels we know well. If you feel qualified to join our team, we want to meet you, too. Please contact us.

Dr. Jana Macias, CEO, Founder of Special Children Advocacy (SCA)

Dr. Jana Macias, CEO, Founder of Special Children Advocacy (SCA)

M.S. Special Education, University of Tennessee
PhD, Vanderbilt University. The mother of an adult son with ASD, Jana was a special education teacher before moving into administration.  Having served as an elementary, then middle school principal, she later entered district administration as an assistant superintendent and  special education director, serving in that capacity for over thirty years. 

"Moving into the role of advocate was natural for me, and I truly enjoy my work with parents, helping them to become stronger as advocates for their child."

Rebecca Howell, Educational Advocate

Rebecca Howell, Educational Advocate

A graduate of Vanderbilt University's Peabody College, Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education. Her experience includes teaching special education for several years, then leading a church ministry for individuals with disabilities. Rebecca has considerable experience in providing educational support to families in and around the Norfolk area.

Ketsia McClease, Educational Advocate

Ketsia McClease, Educational Advocate

Ketsia holds a Bachelor of Arts in French from Randolph-Macon College, and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership (MSED).  Ketsia is at ABD status in their PhD program for Health Psychology. She has been an educator for over 10 years including roles as tutor, substitute, and teacher with Norfolk Public Schools. She has a 5 year old son on the Autism Spectrum, who has inspired her interest in advocacy and in assisting other families with special needs children.

Ashley Jenkins-Jones

Ashley Jenkins-Jones

Hailing from California, Ashley holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Sonoma State University with concentrations in autism and behavior analysis. She has worked with children on the spectrum (and other disabilities) for over a decade, in various roles.
Ashley believes families struggle with their school districts because they are unaware of the special services and resources guaranteed them under FAPE and IDEA, and she seeks to aid and empower parents through advocacy.

Stephanie Hyleman, Educational Advocate

Stephanie Hyleman, Educational Advocate

Stephanie earned her Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from Limestone College and Master of Education in Counseling and Development from Winthrop University. Stephanie is a certified K-12 School Counselor and has a special needs son with Cerebral Palsy. Her experience includes serving as a Substitute Teacher and a counselor for several years, counseling special needs children in the private sector and advocating for her son in the public school setting. Stephanie serves as an educational advocate in the South Carolina area.  

Sabrina Thomas, Special Education Advocate

Sabrina Thomas, Special Education Advocate

Sabrina is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in Psychology. She is a passionate about advocacy, and is the founder and creator of Especially Loved, a Facebook community where families with special needs can connect, support and encourage each other.  Sabrina’s inspiration comes from her two sons, one of whom who has Cerebral Palsy as well as an Intellectual Disability. Sabrina worked in the hospitality field for almost twenty years, and is currently an Autism Speaks Volunteer. She is a contributor to two recently published e-books Moments in Life; The Caregiver’s Story and You Need It, I Got It! 

Yolanda Boyd, Educational Advocate

Yolanda Boyd, Educational Advocate

Ms. Yolanda Boyd retired from the United States Navy in 2011. She is the mother of a teenage daughter with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  She has worked with special needs individuals ranging from ages five to sixty-five. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services, and completed an internship with Eggleston Services. 

Charmaine Claiborne, Educational Advocate

Charmaine Claiborne, Educational Advocate

Charmaine Claiborne is a native of Surry County Virginia, currently located in Hampton. She has served as Assistant Executive Director for United and Empowered Care, Inc. for the last 7 years. Charmaine received her Associates Degree in Medical Assisting from ECPI in Newport News VA, and is pursuing a Bachelor's degree. She volunteers locally and is currently a Qualified Mental Health Professional (QMHP) and Red Cross CPR/First Aide Instructor.

Ethel Hebert, Educational Advocate

Ethel Hebert, Educational Advocate

Ethel holds a Bacheor of Arts from Richmond College. and a Master's degree from New York University in Learning Disabilities. Ethel has taught in both self-contained and inclusion classes for students with learning disabilities for over thirty years. She recently retired from teaching twenty five years in Virginia Beach Public Schools.

Jean Berrier, Educational Advocate

Jean Berrier, Educational Advocate

Jean earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Randolph Macon College and Masters of Arts from Virginia Tech.  She earned a special education endorsement from ODU, and her K-12  Teaching Certificate from Norfolk State University. Jean taught elementary classes for 17 years at Rosemont Elementary in Va. Beach, and was 2005 Teacher of the Year. She continues to serve as a substitute special education assistant for VBPS.

Norma Young, Educational Advocate

Norma Young, Educational Advocate

Norma has over 36 hours of advocacy training, and as a mother of two children with special needs, has long advocated for her children. She currently works with the Community Services Board and is very knowledgeable about parent resources in the area, including services for children and adults with disabilities. Norma serves as an advocate in Hampton, Newport News and Chesapeake, VA.

Carmen Brooks

Carmen Brooks

Mother of three boys, Carmen retired from the Air Force in 2015.  She holds a Bachelor of Science, and  is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Special Education through Liberty University.  Having lost a disabled child, Carmen understands how difficult it can be for parents to understand all the intricacies involved in seeking appropriate supports and services for their children. She became a special education advocate in order to help parents become effective participants in the IEP team meetings.

Jennifer Izzo

Jennifer Izzo

Jennifer holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Strayer University, as well as an Associate’s Degree in Computer Electronics Technology from ECPI College of Technology. Having a child with disabilities opened her eyes to the challenges faced by families of children with special needs.

Beverly Thomas, Educational Advocate

Beverly Thomas, Educational Advocate

Beverly holds a bachelor's degree in Health and Physical Education from Norfolk State University.  She is active in the Behavioral Health Care Board (CSB) and volunteers her time to the Medical Reserve Corp of Portsmouth. Beverly recently retired from her position of Recreation Manager for the city of Hampton, where activities for the disabled community are developed. Beverly also taught in the public school system, and is the parent of a child with a disability.

Tiffanie Bashay, Educational Advocate

Tiffanie Bashay, Educational Advocate

Tiffanie earned a Bachelor's degree in Public Policy Administration from UNC - Chapel Hill, and Masters of Business Administration from Strayer University.  Tiffanie's work experience has been in private & public Human Resources. Tiffanie is the mother of a special needs child, and was raised in a family of educators.  Her active volunteer schedule focuses on women & children, as well as the Tidewater Autism Society. She has been a member of the Junior League of Norfolk-Virginia Beach for eight years. 

LaTonya D. Slade, Educational Advocate

LaTonya D. Slade, Educational Advocate

LaTonya earned a Bachelor of Science in Health Science from Trident University during her 20-year Coast Guard career,  and has completed graduate level courses in special education and applied behavior analysis (ABA). She has personal and  professional experience working with children who have behavioral and learning disabilities, both in-home and in public school. She currently works part-time as a Registered Behavior Technician.