Dr. Arnold has worked as an education specialist (special education teacher) in Marin County for over ten years in both the nonpublic and public sector. Dr. Arnold received her Doctorate in Special Education at University of San Francisco, as well as her general education and special education teaching credentials, and Master’s Degree from Dominican University.
She worked as a professor at Dominican University and University of San Francisco, with comprehensive teaching experience at the university level specializing in special education and Autism Spectrum Disorder. She taught courses in behavior, curriculum, as well as assessment for future general education and special education teachers. She has acted as a supervisor for new teachers, conducting classroom observations providing them with both feedback and support.
Dr. Arnold is also a curriculum consultant for Cypress School, a school specifically tailored for students with autism and other complex support needs with a focus on behavioral success and community engagement. She works with Cypress to ensure students have access to high-quality instruction that has been individualized to fit their learning style.
Collectively, with her hands-on experience in the classroom in addition to her extensive supervision of new educators, she has become passionate about ensuring that families know their rights and are able to be active members of the Individualized Education Program team. She has worked with strong, collaborative IEP teams, and she feels that spreading this group approach across the Bay Area through Arnold Advocacy is critical to supporting families and ensuring that students with disabilities have strong advocates.
Danielle Mansfield is a passionate advocate for youth with learning differences and mental health challenges. Danielle spent seven years teaching in Bay Area public schools, with the majority of her time as a department chair for a high school on the Peninsula. She received her Master’s Degree in Learning and Instruction and an Education Specialist Credential from the University of San Francisco.
Having specialized in working with students with mental health needs at the high school level, Danielle is especially interested in creative education solutions that allow an individual to thrive while also building a foundation for success after high school. Danielle loves working collaboratively with youth and their parents to identify goals inside and outside of the classroom.
In addition to her work in public schools, Danielle has spent time at behavioral health startups to help scale access to digital therapeutics and mental health treatment. When she’s not working with youth and their families to support their educational journey, you can find her spending time with her husband and toddler, or out on a Marin hiking trail with her dog.
Michelle Gehman is a well-rounded, compassionate educator of ten years serving as both an education specialist (special education teacher) and general education teacher in grades K-8. Throughout her time in Marin, Michelle received her Master’s Degree in Education, as well as her general education and education specialist teaching credentials from Dominican University of California.
Specializing in academic goal writing, Autism Spectrum Disorder, social/ emotional needs, and behavioral needs, Michelle has experience with students both in the self contained classrooms as well as students who are mainstreamed in general education classrooms. With a desire to support others, she has served as a Mentor Teacher for undergraduate students trying to obtain their special education credential. Michelle was also a member of the CATS (Collaborative Autism Training and Support) team that provided families with children on the Autism spectrum respite care through Sonoma State University.
Due to her work in the public school system, Michelle is well versed in administering assessments, interpreting reports, as well as special education law (IDEA, Section 504, Etc.) and parent rights. Michelle is passionate about making sure that family and student needs are met. She loves making strong connections and relationships with families to help her better understand the child as a whole person and provide support. Her goal is to make sure families feel they are an active participant of the team when it comes to creating IEPs, transitioning their children to schools and adulthood, as well as determining what their child needs are in terms of assessments and more.
I have always recognized your integrity and have keenly appreciated how you support clients and problem solve in challenging situations.
On Thursday, my daughter will begin her freshman year at our local High School.
Never thought I'd actually write that sentence. I'm writing it because of you. I am SO ETERNALLY GRATEFUL for the work you did on behalf of my daughter. You've given my beautiful and brilliant kid something to believe in, something to fight for, something to dream about. THANK YOU.
I just wanted to thank you for offering the Wilson tutoring this summer. I am so happy we did that with you ! It placed my son right where he needed to be. He is super confident with his reading class in school now and he is excited to read the story in the reader. It is actually even a bit easy for him. Today, when his teacher told the students they would read the story together he started reading it on his own while he waited for others to get their books. He was flipping the pages and eager to read what was next and he got so excited when he saw he actually read the page by himself and he was excited to read what happened next. It was such a joy to see that and he would not have that confidence if it was not for your class.
We hired Colleen for her special education and advocacy background and experience, her innovative approach to negotiations, and her results oriented approach. What we did not anticipate was how much we would grow as parent advocates while working alongside her. Or how she would become our rock through a very emotional and difficult time. We cannot recommend Colleen highly enough for her work as an advocate. She has repeatedly exceeded our expectations. She also helped us to understand the process better and opened our minds to the possibilities for our child. We are beyond thrilled that we decided to work with Colleen.
Without Colleen as our advocate we would not have gotten an IEP for our son. We have been working with the school since our son was six years old trying to get him services for dyslexia. We called Colleen after three years of what we call fighting the school system to get services for our son. Within one meeting the school tested our child and nine weeks later we had an IEP on the books. Without Colleen it could've been years before this happened. Our only regret is not hiring her earlier in the process.
Again, we thank you for all you do. Truly you are a blessing to us. It has been a great experience working with you. Ever since you become part of our son's IEP team, we feel that our voice has been heard. You have helped us get our points across the table and have been a real advocate for our son in the truest meaning of the word. You have helped us from understanding testing, creating goals to making sure everything we think he needs are contained in his IEP. We can never thank you enough Colleen! We are now confident that our son will get what he needs for his education as long as we have you on our team.
We were absolutely blessed (one of the chosen few!) to have Colleen as our son's teacher for 3 amazing years. She has the insight and compassion to help individuals with all kinds of special needs. Colleen is truly one of the most dedicated and inspirational educators I've met.
I cannot say enough good things about Colleen Arnold. She is such a dedicated educator and she cares deeply about her students. She has made such a difference in my son’s life. He came to her special ed class in 3rd grade with many challenges. She was always patient but firm, and helped transform my son into a real student! By the end of 5th grade, my son was given the Consistent Achiever Award, which is given to the student who has shown exceptional citizenship, and has worked to his or her highest academic potential. My son was given this award over 75 other 5th grade students, regular ed included. Without Colleen’s guidance, he never would have been able to get to where he is today. I will always look back on my son’s elementary school years and remember what a positive impact Colleen has made in his life. She is a true gem! Parent of a student with disability