Staff

Executive Director - R. Larry Taylor, Ed.D.

Dr. Larry Taylor received a Doctorate in Education Degree from the University Louisville in the area of Educational Leadership and Organizational Development. Larry worked 23 years in local school districts serving in the role of teacher of exceptional children, school counselor, instructional supervisor, director of special education and assistant superintendent of personnel, curriculum and instruction.

In 2005, He was appointed as the State Director of Exceptional Children Services for the Kentucky Department of Education. While at KDE, he served in the role of Interim Associate Commissioner for the Office of Special Instruction Services and Director in the Division of Learning Services. July 2011, Larry accepted the position of Director of Special Education Cooperative for the Ohio Valley Special Education Cooperative and Consultant for the Center for Learning Excellence at the University of Louisville.

August of 2015, Larry was appointed as the Executive Director of the Kentucky Autism Training Center.

Email: r0tayl05@louisville.edu  

  


Assistant Director - Heidi Cooley-Cook, M.Ed.

Heidi Cooley-Cook graduated from the University of Louisville with a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and The Metropolitan State College of Denver with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Organizational Development. While in Colorado, Heidi worked with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Upon returning to Kentucky, she continued working with adults with disabilities and children with autism. Her work with autistic individuals quickly developed into a passion. Heidi brings over 15 years of experience working with individuals with disabilities and their families in various capacities including direct support, job coach, case manager, behavior interventionist, and advocate. Heidi joined the KATC in 2011 and has provided direct training and technical assistance to educators, autistic individuals, caregivers, and service providers. Additionally, she has led the KATC’s efforts training the Commonwealth’s first responders - Autism and First Responders, promotion of the Yellow Dot Program, and supporting arts groups and others in providing Sensory Friendly accommodations. In March of 2020, Heidi was selected as the Assistant Director of the Kentucky Autism Training Center.

Email: hacool01@louisville.edu

 


Program Coordinator - Michelle Bush, M.A.E.

 Michelle Bush, is a two time graduate of Western Kentucky University (WKU).  She currently holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Administration and a Master of Arts degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education.  Michelle has six years of experience in the healthcare industry where she worked as the office coordinator for a general surgeon's office, hospital, and insurance company.  Her Higher Education work experience started in the Department of Psychology at WKU in 2012and most recently for the Special Education Department at the University of Louisville, for past three years.  In both roles, she provided support to department faculty, students and staff as well as served on several college committees.  At KATC, Michelle creates and monitors the center’s website and web-based systems, coordinates webinar training programs, Professional Development and Regional workshops, develops marketing initiatives and serves as KATC's main contact for communication (social media, listserv, emails, etc.).

Michelle enjoys spending time with her family, going on long walks and being creative with her Cricut craft machine. She resides in Louisville with her husband Anthony, her daughter Ammerie, and fur baby, Max.

Phone: 502-852-2467 | Email: michelle.bush@louisville.edu


 

Family Field Training Coordinator - Mike R. Miller, M.Ed.

Mike MillerMike Miller received a BS Degree from Murray State University in the areas of elementary and special education.   He received a Master’s Degree in Special Education and holds a Rank 1 Degree and certifications in gifted education, supervisor of instruction, exceptional child consultant, and director of special education.   Mike attend Eastern Kentucky University and Murray State University  for his post graduate studies.   Mike worked in local school districts in the role of teacher of exceptional children and director of special education.

Mike was employed at the Kentucky Department of Education and served in numerous roles of programs for students with disabilities. November 2014, Mike joined Kentucky Autism Training Center, University of Louisville, College of Education and Human Development. Mike’s work at the center includes working with professionals, parents, local school districts, and university students.  He also works closely with the University of Louisville Autism Center navigating systems for families. 

Email: mrmill15@louisville.edu

  

Field Training Coordinator - Kimberly Howard, M.Ed.

 Kimberly Howard graduated from Morehead State University with an undergraduate degree in Moderate to Severe Disabilities (P-12) and Master’s Degree in Educational Counseling with a Rank 1 in Learning and Behavior Disorders (P – 12). For the past several years Kimberly has been a Field Training Coordinator for Kentucky Autism Training Center. Prior to working at Kentucky Autism Training Center Kimberly taught in a highly structured classroom in Fleming county Kentucky for students diagnosed with autism and for children that needed autism like supports. Prior to teaching in the highly structured classroom Kimberly was a special education teacher for several years teaching at the elementary, middle and high school levels in Menifee, Rowan and Fleming Counties. In her current role at KATC, Kimberly provides direct training and technical assistance to education staff, social and community personnel, counselors, job coaches and families

Email: kimberly.howard.1@louisville.edu

 

Field Training Coordinator - Enid Hurtado, M.Ed. 

 Enid Hurtado received her BA and Educational Specialist: Moderate to Severe teaching credential from San Diego State University. She served students with Autism, preschool-12th grade, as a paraprofessional and then as a special education teacher in different educational settings ranging from special day class to full inclusion. After 10 years serving in the school districts, she began working with children with Autism and their parents in the home setting as an infant developmental teacher. She then become an Education and Implementation Specialist for an assistive technology company. In this role, she trained, in-person and online, groups of teachers, direct service providers, and parents, at conferences and school districts both nationally and internationally on using visual supports with students. She returned to directly serving students as a substitute teacher for Jefferson County Public Schools and a Registered Behavior Technician as she completed her Master’s in Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis from Arizona State University. She currently lives in Louisville and provides training and technical assistance to local school districts and other community agencies as a School and Community Field Training Coordinator for the Kentucky Autism Training Center.

 Email:

Field Training Coordinator - Tracy Belfield, Ed.S.

 Tracy Belfield received her Educational Specialist degree in Administration and Supervision from Eastern Kentucky University. Throughout her sixteen-year career in education, she has supported students with disabilities and their families, especially those with the most significant disabilities and autism. While living in Tennessee, Tracy taught elementary students and gained experience in both a full inclusion setting as well as a special education classroom. When she moved to Louisiana, she took on a new challenge by supporting students at the middle school level co-teaching in the general education setting. Upon moving to Kentucky, she continued supporting middle school students in a special program setting while helping them maximize their time in the general education setting as appropriate for each individual student. She then took on the role of middle school building coach for special education and eventually obtained the position of Assistant Director of Special Education for Henderson County Schools. Throughout her roles, she has championed several initiatives, such as increasing inclusion, increasing AAC use so that every child has a voice, and helping to improve post-secondary transition outcomes. She has also served on the Board of Directors and was President of the Board for the Hugh E. Sandefur Center. She is passionate about improving opportunities for students with disabilities but also supporting educators, parents, families, and community partners. She provides training and technical assistance to school districts and other community agencies as a Field Training Coordinator for the Kentucky Autism Training Center.

Tracy enjoys spending time with her family and friends, quilting, and being active in her church and community. She resides in Henderson with her husband, Nick, and they have recently become empty nesters. Email: tracy.belfield@grrec.org 

 

Field Training Coordinator -  Heather Paige Alger, M.S. CCC-SLP

 Heather Paige Alger discovered her passion for working with individuals with communication challenges in the field of special education while studying speech-language therapy in college. She graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Master of Science degree in Communication Disorders. Heather also obtained the professional certificate for Director of Special Education from the Commonwealth of Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board. Her career spans over three decades of service in special education in Kentucky public schools as a speech-language pathologist, director of special education, director of preschool, and 504 coordinator. She is certified as a speech-language pathologist by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) having earned the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC-SLP).

As a Field Training Coordinator for the Kentucky Autism Training Center, Heather uses her experience, and ongoing professional development in the area of autism, to provide training and technical assistance to a variety of agencies, parents/guardians, and others who provide support to autistic people across the Commonwealth. 

Email: heather.alger@louisville.edu