About Dr. Arnold and Arnold Advocacy

Dr. Colleen Arnold founded Arnold Advocacy to support families as they navigate the complex special education landscape. From the beginning, Dr. Arnold has always believed that a child first, individualized special education approach with a focus on school collaboration will lead to improved outcomes.

colleen arnold education specialist founder arnold advocacy special education solutions

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 education specialist arnold advocacy

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 education specialist arnold advocacy

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.

Client Testimonials