Dena D. Slanda

Senior TA Consultant

Dena D. Slanda is a senior TA consultant in the Education and Instruction division at AIR. Dr. Slanda provides technical assistance and professional development to states and school districts with an emphasis on improving results for students with high-intensity needs. She does this by strengthening educator and administrator professional learning and development in High-Leverage Practices (HLPs) for inclusive settings, Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), early intervention, and evidence-based literacy instruction. She also works with the Center for Great Teachers and Leaders. In this role, she collaborates with center partners supporting technical assistance and research related to recruitment, retention, and diversifying the educator workforce. Dr. Slanda provides professional development and site coaching to local education agencies (LEAs) in Alabama, Georgia and Connecticut, as well as serves as a content area expert in asynchronous module development. 

Prior to joining AIR, Dr. Slanda was a co-principal investigator for three grants from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) from the U.S. Department of Education related to interdisciplinary educator preparation grounded in data-based decision making and intensive intervention. In addition, she served as a project coordinator for two OSEP grants including a leadership grant focused on preparing special education administrators within a social justice model to implement the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act with fidelity.

Dr. Slanda also served as a professor-in-residence and project coordinator for a Teacher Quality Partnership grant from the U.S. Department of Education. In this role, she provided on-the-spot, job-embedded coaching in social emotional learning, culturally responsive practices, mathematics instruction, and disciplinary literacy to teacher candidates in Title 1 schools in the 8th largest school district in the nation. As previous university faculty, she worked in the Exceptional Student Education department at the University of Central Florida where she taught synchronous and asynchronous graduate and undergraduate courses. She created modules focused on data-based individualization, MTSS, early intervention, mentorship, and leadership development designed for synchronous, hybrid, and asynchronous delivery.

Dena Slanda headshot

Ph.D., Exceptional Student Education, University of Central Florida; M.A., Exceptional Student Education, University of Central Florida; B.A., Government and International Politics, Minor History, George Mason University