GOAL OF THE DIVERSITY SPECIALIST:
The Diversity Specialist provides information, training, and technical assistance on the pre-referral, referral, disability evaluation, and provision of instruction to culturally and linguistically diverse students with suspected and/or identified disabilities, consistent with State and field practice guidelines. The Diversity Specialist also conducts district data reviews to inform district planning.
ABOUT DR. MARILUZ GENAO:
Where the passion to address disproportionality comes from:
English is MariLuz’s second language. She was retained a year and placed in special education services in second grade due to cultural differences and typical second language learner characteristics that were confused for a disability. After protesting to be removed from special education in fifth grade, she was re-tested out of services and went on to graduate high school a year early with a regents endorsed diploma and the highest English regents score of her class. She quickly entered the education field with hopes to prevent similar situations.
After receiving four NYS teaching certificates through her undergraduate studies in 2008, MariLuz began her graduate studies at St. Joseph’s College where she studied Child Development and become a developmental specialist in 2011. She earned an Advanced Graduate Degree in Educational Leadership from Stony Brook University in 2013, a TESOL extension through Molloy College in 2017, and a doctoral degree at St. John’s University in 2018. MariLuz has classroom and administrative experiences in the following areas: Bilingual Special Education, Early Intervention, General Education, Special Education, and ENL across Long Island schools. She also has practicum hours working in the neonatal unit at Stony Brook University, as well as working with a variety of intervention service providers (e.g. vision therapists, OT, SLP, PT), and working in Syracuse inner city schools, reading first schools, SIOP programs, and specialized pre-schools. MariLuz’s passion and expertise is in addressing disproportionality through building culturally and linguistically informed leadership, instruction, intervention, and evaluation systems.
Aside from working directly or indirectly with most of Long Island’s school districts and other regions in NY over the last 7 years MariLuz has also presented for:
The Department of Health (DOH) of Suffolk and Nassau County
The Long Island Association of Special Education Administrators (LIASEA)
Regional Bilingual Education Network (ENL Coordinator’s Meeting) (RBERN)
Regional Special Education Technical Assistance Support Network (RSE-TASC)
The Long Island Speech-Language-Hearing Association (LISHA)
Stony Brook University (ENL dept.)
Farmingdale College (Psych. dept.)
The Long Island Parent Center
Through SUFFOLK BOCES MariLuz has provided hundreds of professional development opportunities regionally based on culturally and linguistically appropriate leadership, instruction, and evaluations; including the Evaluators Implementation Support Network and the East End Bilingual Special Ed. Consortium. Her workshop participation ranges anywhere from 10 (small in district teams) to 200 people (conferences and regional meetings) depending on the type of work and location. Workshops can be delivered both in person or online.