Kathleen Pfannenstiel

Senior Researcher

Kathleen L. Pfannenstiel is a senior researcher at AIR and provides technical assistance and professional development to states and school districts with an emphasis on improving results for students with disabilities. Dr. Pfannenstiel is the principle investigator for an Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) model demonstration grant. She works with middle school general and special educators to increase the use of evidence-based practices in mathematics to increase outcomes for students in special education.

Currently, Dr. Pfannenstiel also serves as the lead of the mathematics cross-state learning collaborative and the co-lead for Knowledge Utilization service area for the National Center on Systemic Improvement (NCSI). As part of this role she provides technical assistance to three states; focusing on systems coaching, strengthening core mathematics instruction, as well as Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS). In addition, she assists in providing professional development, development of materials, and reviewing mathematics curriculum for an Investing in Innovation and Improvement (I3) development grant to support the implementation of intensive interventions in mathematics for students with disabilities. In this role, she provides training in mathematics within MTSS to increase educator skills in both Tier 2 and 3 mathematics instruction.

Prior to joining AIR, Dr. Pfannenstiel was an educational specialist in special education at the Region 13 Educational Service Center in Austin, TX and a project coordinator for three grants at the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk. The three grants created and tested curriculum to improve the outcomes of Tier 2 and 3 students identified as at-risk for mathematics difficulties within a MTSS framework in elementary and middle school levels. At the university level, she has taught undergraduate and graduate classes in special education as an adjunct faculty member and currently serves as a lecturer at The University of Texas at Austin. Prior to her work at the university level, Dr. Pfannenstiel taught in public schools in Illinois and Texas at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.

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Ph.D., Special Education and M.A., Education Psychology, University of Texas at Austin;  B.A., Special Education, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb