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Workshops and Professional Development

Professional development opportunities are offered to both general and special educators, as well as specialists, administrators and paraprofessionals

Workshops and Professional Development

A variety of different types of workshops or professional learning opportunities are available both through live online workshops and in our digital media library. Workshops and professional learning opportunities are also available upon request for staff and faculty at schools or organizations that work with students with learning, language, and behavior challenges and for educators who work with general education student populations.


bonnie robb

Bonnie Robb, Ed.D.

Bonnie Robb is a Portland native, began her teaching career in 1995 after graduating from University of Portland. Over the past 25 years, she has been a first grade teacher, second grade teacher, reading specialist, and district-wide math elementary math teacher leader and trainer. Dr. Robb holds Reading and ESOL specialty endorsements.

After seeing a growing achievement gap between children diagnosed with special learning needs and general education students in the classroom, Dr. Robb began collaborating with Dr. Ellyn Arwood to more effectively reach all learners by understanding Neuro-Semantic Language Learning Theory (NLLT) and implementing Viconic Language Methods™ (VLM). These inclusive strategies were very effective in helping Dr. Robb guide all students to academic success. Educators from throughout the country visit her classroom to observe these innovative and inclusive strategies. This collaboration produced a teaching manual titled Make It Visual in the Classroom, and article published in ESL Magazine as well as numerous trainings, presentations, consultations and continued publications.

In 2008, Dr. Robb’s classroom success garnered the notice of the Oregon Department of Education and the Milken Family Foundation who named her Oregon Teacher of the Year. She was honored again as one of only 25 educators nationwide in 2011 to be awarded the Kappa Delta Pi Teacher of Honor award. In 2016 she earned a doctorate from the University of Portland with a focus on neuroeducation as it pertains to language and literacy acquisition. Currently, Dr. Robb is a full time educator in Portland Public Schools where she is a mentor to teacher candidates. She also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the School of Education at the University of Portland where she was recognized with the 2018 “Difference” award for her academic work with student athletes.

Robert Cantwell 2018 Profile Photo Headshot

Robert D. Cantwell, Ed.D.

Robert D. Cantwell is Principal and Director of Head Start at Portland Public Schools. Robert started his teaching career in remote, rural Alaska living in a Yup’ik Eskimo village. He has supported children with disabilities from birth through high school in Alaska, Germany and now Portland, Oregon. Robert was a special education teacher for 19 years prior to moving into administration in 2011. He has a passion for inclusiveness, equity, and excellence in teacher education. Robert has served as an adjunct faculty member with the University of Alaska system and at Lewis and Clark College. Robert is now an instructional leader for almost 200 staff and 760 students and families in Head Start. Robert holds a B.S. in political science and philosophy from the University of Scranton, a M.Ed. in Special Education/Deaf and Hard of Hearing from Lewis and Clark College, and a Doctorate in Learning and Leading with a concentration in Neuroeducation from the University of Portland. His dissertation focused on examining preschool teachers’ beliefs about early literacy within a neuroeducation framework. Robert’s post-doctoral work is focused on the application of neuroscience to education. One of his primary professional goals is to help bridge the research to practice gap for preservice and inservice educators. He is especially interested in the neurosemantic acquisition of language in young children.

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Wesley Hsue

Wesley Hsue was born in Hong Kong and was shuttled between Hong Kong and the United States during his childhood. He was trained in many Tibetan and Chinese disciplines and is a certified Lineage holder in many Forms of Tibetan Qigong and energy principles. Through his teachers, he was empowered with the knowledge and energy of many disciplines. It is through the constant learning of these and other disciplines that he brings these teachings to his students in the United States. He is gifted with many awareness skills that were trained into him. Using this and his ability to ask the right questions to get people to think instead of just answering a question, he works with his students to explore many concepts and realities. The challenge is to unlock your abilities. He has trained with teachers of many cultures and work upon what we agree upon and what we differ. He believes all people can grow it, is a matter of practice and learning to understand what it is going to take. He says, “I can help people maximize their potential, but it is going to need a shift that most people have not gone through yet. Thank you for listening.”

maryjane sander sq

Maryjane Sander (Pudlitzke), M.Ed.

Maryjane Sander (Pudlitzke) is a special education teacher who has been teaching in a self-contained special education classroom for over 14 years, and is a part time consultant with INSL. She has three sons, the youngest of whom has autism and a cognitive delay. Maryjane received her master’s degree in Education at the University of Portland with a focus on Neuroeducation.

louise debreczeny

Louise Debreczeny, Ed.D.


Louise Debreczeny is Owner/CEO and Consultant at The Institute for Neurosemantic and Sociocognitive Learning LLC (INSL LLC). Dr. Debreczeny completed her Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree with an emphasis in Neuroeducation at the University of Portland in 2019 and was supervised by Dr. Ellyn Arwood (creator of the Neurosemantic Language Learning Theory) through that process. Dr. Debreczeny is both a general education and a special education teacher specializing in working with students, parents, and educators using the Neurosemantic Language Learning Theory.