Special Education Department Staff
Dr. Amy Lambert, Assistant Superintendent
Dr. Lambert has worked in education for 29 years, and prior to joining the Tustin Unified School District, she served as assistant superintendent of special education for the Glendale Unified School District, while she was also the Special Education Local Plan Area director for the Foothill SELPA in Los Angeles County.
Dr. Lambert started her career in education teaching vocational and applied academics curriculum to at-risk students and students with developmental disabilities at the Southern California Regional Occupational Center (ROC). Over the following years, she served as an instructional coordinator for the center, administrator of instructional programs for North Orange County ROP, Assistant Superintendent of the Southern California ROC, and Director of Student and Special Services for the Beverly Hills Unified School District. Dr. Lambert has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Pepperdine University, a master’s degree in occupational studies from California State University, Long Beach, and a doctorate in administration from the University of Southern California.
Dr. Gloria Olamendi, Director
Gloria Olamendi has worked in public education for the past 20 years and joined Tustin Unified School District in 2017. Prior to her role as Director of Special Education and previous Coordinator 1 for TUSD, she was a general education teacher, special education teacher, curriculum specialist and special education coordinator in the Santa Ana Unified School District.
“Gloria’s unique experience and expertise in both general and special education, and her positive approach to working with students, staff and parents will continue to serve the District well,” Superintendent Dr. Gregory Franklin said.
Olamendi has bachelor of science degrees in political science and history from the University of Southern California (USC), a master’s degree in cross-cultural teaching methods from National University in Costa Mesa and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California School of Education.
In addition to her role in TUSD, Olamendi lectures in general education credential courses at the University of California, Irvine, and has served as a presenter on special education topics for the California School Boards Association Conference and OCDE Special Education Series.
“I am so honored to serve the staff, students, and families within TUSD as the Director of Special Education,” Olamendi said. “I look forward to our shared work in supporting the academic and life achievement of all students.”
Dr. Jennifer Solano, Coordinator I
Dr. Jennifer Solano has worked in special education for more than 18 years – all in the Westminster School District. She has served as a special day class teacher, speech/language pathologist, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) coach and, most recently, program specialist. Prior to Westminster, she worked as a speech/language pathologist for the House Ear Institute, a nonprofit foundation for hearing-related scientific research, in Los Angeles.
“Jennifer’s background and skillset will strengthen our special education team,” Assistant Superintendent of Special Education Dr. Amy Lambert said. “We are very pleased to have her join the District.”
Solano has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communicative disorders from the University of Redlands and a doctorate in educational leadership from California State University, Long Beach.
“I’m honored to be part of TUSD and look forward to meeting the staff, students and parents, as well as getting to know the District’s special education community,” Solano said.
Jeanette Andrews, Coordinator
Jeanette Andrews has worked in public education for the past 18 years. She began her career as a Special Education teacher with the Los Angeles Unified School District. She then moved into Charter Schools serving students as a Special Education Coordinator and Principal. Most recently, she served as Assistant Principal at McFadden Institute of Technology in the Santa Ana Unified School District.
Jeanette has a bachelor’s degree in Child Development from California State University, Los Angeles and a master’s degree in Special Education, an education specialist credential and administrative services credential from California State University, Dominguez Hills.
“I am honored to become part of the Tustin Unified School District family and look forward to serving the district’s special education community. I look forward to the opportunity to share my passion and work collaboratively with families, students, and staff”
Bianca Guillen, Coordinator
Bianca Guillen has worked in special education for eight years in the Santa Ana Unified School District. Most recently, she served as a school psychologist at John Muir Fundamental Elementary School in Santa Ana. She has also helped Tustin Unified by serving on the Ladera Elementary School Preschool Summer Assessment Team.
“Bianca has considerable knowledge and vast experiences in special education, and is a collaborative and supportive leader,” TUSD Assistant Superintendent of Special Education Dr. Amy Lambert said. “She will make a strong addition to the District’s Special Education team.”
Guillen has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and an Educational Specialist Degree in School Psychology from California State University, Long Beach.
Additionally, Guillen has served as a presenter of inclusive collaborative practices and programs at local and state conferences.
"I’m excited about the opportunity to share my passion in education and deeply honored to be joining the Tustin Unified community,” Guillen said. “I believe in supporting the teachers and staff, and I want every student to achieve their personal best.”
Diane Nicholas, Coordinator
Diane has worked in special education for more than 14 years. She began as a special education teacher in La Habra City School District for 7 years before coming to Tustin Unified School District. During her years in La Habra, Diane also served as a PBIS TOSA. During her time in Tustin Unified, Diane has served as a Special Education Teacher, Inclusive Schooling TOSA, Special Education Facilitator, and Special Education Coordinator.
Diane earned her bachelor's degree in liberal studies and her master's degree in curriculum and instruction from San Diego State University. She has a multiple subject credential and education specialist credential. She also holds an administrative services credential.
Diane is passionate about working with students with special needs and ensuring their needs are met. She is also focused on sharing UDl strategies and allowing access to the curriculum to all students.
Rae Rice, Coordinator
Rae Rice has worked in special education for more than 22 years. She began as a special education teacher in Durham Public Schools in North Carolina and in 2000, came to California as a special education teacher for the Santa Ana Unified School District. During her years in Santa Ana, Rice also served as a Resource Specialist teacher, Special Education Department chair and Program Specialist.
“Rae has a strong background in special education and will be a valuable resource for our school district,” Assistant Superintendent of Special Education Dr. Amy Lambert said. “We are happy to have her join the TUSD Team.”
Rice has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from California State University, Long Beach, and a master’s degree in special education from North Carolina Central University.
“I’m excited to be part of Tustin Unified and look forward to getting to know the District’s special education community,” Rice said.
Dana Crawford, Facilitator
Dana Crawford has worked in public education for over 20 years. She started her career as a general education teacher within elementary and middle school settings. After teaching in inclusive settings, Crawford pursued her special education teaching credential and joined Tustin Unified in 2010. Crawford has served as a special education teacher, an inclusion TOSA, and as a facilitator within TUSD.
Crawford has a bachelor's degree in liberal studies with an emphasis in intercultural studies, and a master's degree in elementary curriculum from Biola University. She is passionate about providing all individuals with opportunities to grow and succeed.
|Marie Sanchez||Administrative Secretary||Secretary for Assist. Superintendent||714-730-7301 ext 51336|
|Juana De La Torre||Secretary II||SEIS, CALPADS||714-730-7301 ext 51313|
|Diana Markstrum||Secretary II||Records, Support for Coordinators||714-730-7301 ext 51386|
|Adriana Mendez||Secretary II||Autism Support, Transportation||714-730-7301 ext 51363|
|Sandy Yawata||Secretary IV||Mental Health Support||714-730-7301 ext 51391|
|Clarissa Silva||Technologist||714-730-7301 ext 51621|