Special Education

15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA  92128
Phone: (858) 521-2800  Ext. 2216, Fax: (858) 485-1501

Meet the Program Specialists

Lori Abraham
Sunset Hills, Westwood, Willow Grove, Black Mountain

Lori's passion for serving students began at a therapeutic day school on the west side of Chicago in 2007. She absolutely loved helping students and families overcome obstacles in order to be successful in school and in life. Lori was an inclusion teacher and case manager for 6 years before being accepted into the New Leaders for New Schools principal preparation program. Lori served as an assistant principal at Chicago Public Schools for the past 6 years. Through her special education lens and school leadership experience, Lori has been successful in creating inclusive school practices and ensuring ALL students have equitable access to a rigorous education. In her free time, Lori enjoys reading, spending time with her husband and puppies, and playing ice hockey. 

Eren Clark
Meadowbrook, Poway

Eren is a San Diego Native who began his career in education as an instructional assistant in San Diego area public schools. He is an SDSU graduate and completed his professional training in school psychology at the University of Virginia.  As a school psychologist he has served at the elementary and secondary levels (in San Diego and in Virginia), supporting comprehensive school sites, alternative schools, and specialized programs. He is an advocate for early identification and prevention to help guide students to early successes.

Sarah Cushing

Creekside, Garden Road, Rolling Hills, Shoal Creek, Tierra Bonita

Sarah developed a passion for working with students with disabilities at a young age and knew a career in special education was her dream at the age of 15. She has been a moderate to severe special education teacher for 8 years and has a Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis. She has worked with individuals with autism ranging from ages 3-22 across schools, community, clinical, and home settings. She is excited to use her enthusiasm for behavior intervention and social-emotional learning to best support staff, students, and families at her school sites. Outside of work Sarah enjoys traveling, trying new restaurants, cheering on the Dodgers, and frequenting Disneyland.

Megan Harkins-Mobarak

Canyon View, Design 39 Campus, Stone Ranch, Extended School Year

Megan currently works as a program specialist with Canyon View Elementary, Design 39 Campus, Stone Ranch Elementary, and PUSD's Extended School Year summer program.  Her background is as a resource specialist as well as working within residential treatment facilities.  Megan is married, has a son and a French bulldog.  She loves traveling, spending time with family and friends, being crafty, and baking.

Trish James

Del Sur, Highliand Ranch, Los Pen, Midland, Pomerado

Trish has been an educator since 1997. She graduated with a BS from Creighton University and received a MS from the University of Nebraska. She has taught general education and special education both as a resource specialist and a mild-moderate special day class teacher working with students grades K-6. When not at work, Trish enjoys attending sporting events with her husband, son, and daughter. Her hobbies include reading, spending time outside with her family, and movie night.

Michelle Jilly
Mesa Verde, Westivew, Extended School Year

Michelle earned her Bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts and Masters in Special Education at California State University, San Marcos.  She also holds credentials in K-12 Special Education: Mild/Moderate and Moderate/Severe, K-8 Multiple Subjects, Single Subject English, and in Administration.  Michelle was a Special Education teacher for 8 years in Escondido High School District before becoming a Program Specialist for Poway Unified.

Anna Klin

Oak Valley, Del Norte

Anna was born and raised in San Diego. She was educated in Poway Unified and is thrilled to come back to the district that taught her the value of education, hard work, and discipline. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Human Development with an emphasis in Child Development and Masters in Special Education at California State University, San Marcos. Anna holds credentials in K-12, Special Education: Mild/Moderate and K-8 Multiple Subject. She also received a credential in Administration from San Diego State University. She has been an educator for over a decade in a variety of roles in San Diego Unified School District. Anna has always advocated for inclusion practices and research based interventions for all students in all educational settings.  In her free time, Anna loves going to the beach, camping, and running. 

Judy Monday
Adobe Bluffs, Connect Academy, Deer Canyon, Painted Rock, Park Village

Judy brings more than 20+ years of expertise including program development, staff training, conflict resolution as well as education and administration for students with disabilities from preschool to adult.  Since 2002, she has worked as a Program Specialist supporting elementary and secondary schools in addition to the Preschool Assessment Team. Her training and research interests include inclusive preschool and elementary programming for high functioning students on the autism spectrum. In her free time Judy likes to hike and create new Vegan dishes.

Laura Mueller

Laura has worked in Poway Unified School District since 2005. She began work in the District as a Piano Accompanist before moving on to become an Instructional Aide, Substitute Teacher, School Psychologist, and Behavior Specialist. With her doctorate in Educational Psychology, she also serves as an adjunct professor for Alliant International University in the California School of Education.  She is the proud mom of eleven grown children, including five who were adopted from the County of San Diego and one who received Special Education services right here in our District.

Marco Samaniego
Chaparral, Monterey Ridge, Morning Creek, Sundance, Turtleback

Marco Samaniego joins Poway Unified after 26 years of service in the education profession serving in the roles of a school site custodian, classroom aide, elementary teacher, middle school [Eng./History], English learner support teacher [district office], Associate Principal middle school, program manager special education [district office] all in San Diego Unified School District. He has a strong belief in inclusive practices and ensuring every student learns. Marco is an active member of the La Mesa Sunrise Rotary Club and an Executive Board member of the Bell Middle School Foundation. In his free time, he enjoys playing saxophone, golf, swing dancing, and attending SDUSD basketball and football games. 

Juan Treminio
Valley, Bernardo Heights, Twin Peaks

Juan has been working with students with disabilities for 8 years and in that time has worked as a Resource Specialist, Case Manager, and Higher Education Teacher. He is passionate about working with students transitioning to the next steps in life and finished his Doctorate earlier this year with that focus in mind. He is excited to use this knowledge to enter this new position ready to serve and support his sites. He loves all things pop culture and loves watching European Soccer.

Stephen Whittaker
Mt. Carmel, Rancho Bernardo, Alternative Programs, Extended School Year

Stephen's interest in education began with seeing his brother, who had an IEP, struggle to find success in school. Starting when he was 12 years old he volunteered his summers working in special day classes, worked as an instructional assistant for several years as an adult, and taught a variety of classes for students with special needs including classes for students with emotional disturbances, students with mild to moderate disabilities, and students with moderate to severe disabilities. He's passionate about school and community inclusion and finding the path to make students successful.

The Poway Unified School District (PUSD) is an equal opportunity employer/program and is committed to an active Nondiscrimination Program. PUSD prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, national origin, nationality, immigration status, ethnicity, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or gender expression or association with a person or a group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. For more information, please contact: Title IX/Equity Compliance Officer, James Jimenez, Associate Superintendent of Personnel Support Services, Poway Unified School District, 15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA 92128, 1-858-521-2800, extension 2121, jjimenez@powayusd.com. For students, you may contact Title IX Coordinator/ 504 Coordinator Jamie Dayhoff, Director of Attendance and Discipline, Poway Unified School District, 1-858-521-2840, jdayhoff@powayusd.com

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POWAY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT | 15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA 92128 | (858) 521-2800