University of Minnesota
Check & Connect Student Engagement Intervention | Institute on Community Integration
Institute on Community Integration CEHD

Photo of mentor with student, representing Check & Connect Student Engagement Intervention.

Check & Connect Trainers

Joseph Angaran, M.A.
612-626- 0335

Joseph Angaran, M.A., is a program specialist and national trainer for Check & Connect at the Institute on Community Integration (ICI), University of Minnesota. Mr. Angaran provides training nationally on the implementation of Check & Connect for schools and community-based organizations. He also provides follow-up training in the form of fidelity of implementation workshops for sites already implementing Check & Connect. As a national trainer, he assesses the needs of sites and customizes training to meet those needs.

Prior to his work at ICI, Mr. Angaran began his teaching career in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan (MN) public schools as an elementary teacher. Most recently, he worked as a Peer Leader with both special education and general education staff ranging from early childhood to high school. Trained in Cognitive Coaching℠, Mr. Angaran conducted observations and conversations with educators about their practices and worked to build the capacity of all to be self-directed and reflective. Mr. Angaran's undergraduate degree is from the University of Northern Iowa in Elementary Education. His graduate degree is from the University of St. Thomas in Educational Leadership and Administration. In addition, he currently holds an administrative license in Minnesota.

Jana Hallas, M.Ed.

Photo of Jana Hallas
Jana's ICI staff page

Jana Hallas, M.Ed., is a project coordinator for the Institute on Community Integration, Universityof Minnesota where she provides training and technical assistance to districts on Check & Connect around the country. Prior to working at the University, Ms. Hallas taught special education for ten years in Cy-Fair ISD in Houston, Texas. She trained district personnel on creating meaningful, Standards-Based goals and objectives to ensure student success throughout high school and into post-secondary life. Additionally, she created and conducted annual school-wide training on collecting data on student progress on academic and behavioral IEPs, facilitated data collection for each grading term, and provided technical assistance and support for individual teachers when needed. Ms. Hallas assisted personnel in implementing IEP programming in the general and special education classrooms as well as served as a facilitator in parent/teacher communication to ensure the needs of students were met for all students with disabilities throughout the campus. Ms. Hallas has a Master's Degree in Education with an emphasis in Low Incidence Disabilities from Texas A&M University. Her undergraduate degree was completed at Coe College, where she double-majored in secondary education and history.

Eileen Klemm, M.A.

Sharon Mule photo
Eileen's ICI staff page

Eileen Klemm, M.A., is the project coordinator for Check & Connect. Her education and early career background is in school-based speech-language pathology. Currently, she provides leadership and support in the overall development and training on Check & Connect. Ms. Klemm provides training nationally on Check & Connect, including implementation training and mentor training for schools and sites that want to implement Check & Connect. She also provides follow-up training in the form of a reflect/renew workshops for sites already implementing Check & Connect. She assesses the needs of sites and customizes training to meet those needs.

Prior to her work ICI, Ms. Klemm provided statewide training on the implementation of federal regulations and Minnesota rules and statutes regarding special education services for children birth through age 21 for the Minnesota Department of Education. She also worked as a peer leader with both special education and general education staff ranging from early childhood providers to high school teachers and parent educators. In this capacity, she provided job-embedded professional development, including cognitive coaching for reflective practice, preceding and following staff observations.

Ms. Klemm is presently pursuing a Ph.D. in organizational leadership, policy, and development with an emphasis in evaluation studies at the University of Minnesota.

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