Lauren has been a devoted and impassioned advocate for individuals with special needs, particularly Down syndrome, throughout the majority of her life. Raised alongside a dear friend with Down syndrome and trained as a pediatric nurse who would go on to care for children with varying special needs, Lauren's heart has always beat for advocacy within the disability community. Her life's mission was affirmed when, in 2012, her first child, Ellie, was born with Down syndrome.
Since 2012, Lauren has held board positions within the Down Syndrome Association of Hampton Roads (DSAHR), Chesapeake Down Syndrome Parent Group (CDSPG), and Down Syndrome Connection of Anne Arundel County (DSC). She is also a currently serving board member at Parents' Place of Maryland (PPMD) - a non-profit focused on empowering families as advocates and partners in improving education and health outcomes for their children with disabilities and special health care needs.
Lauren is a Master IEP Coach®, has completed PPMD's "IEP Series: Anatomy of an IEP" course, and regularly attends the annual Techniques for Success (TFS) conference, as well as other disability trainings on both the local and national levels. Lauren is a parent advocate and member of Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) and is also involved in her local school system’s Special Education Citizens’ Advisory Committee (SECAC).
Lauren holds a Master's in Nursing Education and has a background in pediatric nursing, giving her a unique understanding of the many ways that a child's medical diagnoses can impact educational outcomes. Her education specific degree has also benefited her greatly in her role as an IEP coach.
In her downtime, Lauren is a wife to her dedicated husband, Aaron, and the mother of three incredible children.
Since 1999, Beth has worked in a variety of roles within the educational arena. During this time, her passion for ensuring that all children have educational environments that meet their unique learning needs has gained a greater depth. Beth has her Masters in Teaching from Johns Hopkins University and is a certified special educator in the state of Maryland and also has experience as a school administrator, facilitating the academic support services for a charter school.
Beth has held a variety of leadership roles within her community in which she has worked towards ensuring that children have the academic support services that they need. Most recently, she served as the Anne Arundel County School System Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) for the Severna Park Cluster and she has also trained as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA).
Formally, Beth had completed training with the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) through their Advocacy 201 program. She has also completed the Wrights Law Program and is a Master IEP Coach®.
Over her lifetime, she has worked within a variety of settings always looking to ensure that a collaborative approach was taken to meet a shared vision. Beth uses this approach in her work with Education Team Allies to ensure that children are receiving the educational supports necessary to meet their goals.
In addition to being an ally for children of all abilities, she is a wife to her supportive husband, Ryan, and the mother of two great kids who are in elementary school.
We understand that each student's situation and needs are unique to them and that no two students are alike! Tell us more about how we can help you create a meaningful educational plan for your child. We view our services as an investment in your child's education and future.
Severna Park, Maryland, United States
Neither Lauren Ochalek nor Beth Nolan are attorneys or legal experts. Education Team Allies does not, under any circumstances, offer legal advice. Furthermore, Education Team Allies does not educate on how to file state complaints or due process. A working relationship with Education Team Allies will focus solely on strategies to support families through the IEP (or 504) process who are NOT in critical situations. We serve families across the state of Maryland as well as other areas of the country where our services are needed.
Working with Education Team Allies is specifically designed to support families who need to learn how to become an equal member of their child's educational team through positive interactions, creating appropriate paper trails, and knowing what questions to ask to get the results their child needs. Our focus is on collaborative efforts to help students achieve.