Martin Becerra-Miranda, NOMC, is a certified Orientation & Mobility instructor who currently works with the adult population at the Colorado Center for the Blind in Littleton, Colorado. Martin received his NOMC (National Orientation & Mobility Certification) through the National Blindness Professional Certification Board (NBPCB) in 2018. Martin is currently attending school on a part-time basis in hopes of acquiring his Masters in Vision Rehabilitation Therapy and COMS (Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist) certificate. Martin previously served as the Director of Youth Services at the Colorado Center for the Blind. While in this capacity, Martin had the privilege to work closely with blind youth ranging in ages 5 – 21 in all aspects of blindness skills like Braille, Access Technology, Daily Living Skills, and Orientation & Mobility.
Martin was born in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico and migrated with his parents and older brother to Phoenix, Arizona in 1994. Martin lost the majority of his eyesight as a result of a retinal detachment at the age of 16. At the age of 23, Martin attended the Independence Training Program (ITP) at the Colorado Center for the Blind. Martin and his girlfriend live in Centennial, Colorado and have a one year old son.
Meghan Klassen, M.Ed., is the Executive Director of the Anchor Center for Blind Children in Denver, a center serving children ages birth to 5 and their families. She earned her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Texas, and her undergraduate degree in journalism and marketing from Creighton University. As a Jesuit Volunteer, she spent one year as the Lead Teacher of a respite program for low-income families of children with disabilities. She then taught bilingual first grade at a Title One school in Austin while earning her teacher certification, and taught for more than five years in the inclusive Rise School preschool model, before becoming its Executive Director in 2011. She remained in that position for more than 8 years before joining the Anchor Center. A Denver native, Meghan is one of seven children. She and her educator husband, Matt, have two daughters. Meghan enjoys reading, running, yoga, traveling, and spending time in the mountains. She is a great advocate of inclusion, and is honored to serve on the CSDB Board.
Teresa Raiford is a proud mother of 3 amazing teenagers, to include a son who attends the School for the Blind at CSDB. She serves as a board member for Royal Gorge Artist Association, is a member of the Canon City Noon Lion’s Club, an active volunteer her community, and literacy advocate. Teresa works summer festivals as a face painter and henna artist. She enjoys bicycling with her husband and children.
Michelle A. Samuels, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Psychology and a faculty member in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at the U.S. Air Force Academy where she has served since 1999. She is an experimental psychologist with an emphasis in behavioral neuroscience (graduated 1997-Colorado State University) and has been conducting inclusion research since 2008. Her research focuses on resilience, employability, inclusion/respect in individuals who are deaf or blind or who have a brain/spinal cord injury. She previously served as Treasurer and President of the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association (2015-2016).
Walter VonFeldt has been an active member of the Deaf community since he graduated from CSDB in 1968. After graduating from CSDB, Walter wanted to become a draftsman and earned his certification. However, driven by his passion for his community and desire to work with children, Walter changed career paths, earned his Associates Degree in Child Development and began working in the residential department where he was a role model for many children and families. His career at CSDB included supervising the support services departments, which included the residential department, health center and mental health department. Walter also served as Dean of Students before retiring in 2000. Also during his time working at CSDB, as an accomplished wrestler, Walter participated in the World Games for the Deaf and medaled several times. Walter is proud of the 30 years he spent at CSDB in a leadership role.
As a Colorado native, Walter has been actively involved with a number of Deaf organizations. He has served as an officer in the Colorado Association of the Deaf, the Colorado Springs Silent Club, the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind Alumni Association, the American Sign Language Teacher Association of Colorado, and as member the National Association of the Deaf. He has served in various roles to include: President, Vice President and Treasurer.
As a Deaf member of the CSDB Board of Trustees, Walter has the opportunity to promote educational excellence and model service and character to the Deaf and the Blind community. Walter takes great pride in being a good husband, father and grandfather. He enjoys being outdoors with his friends and family and traveling with his wife. He is committed to supporting staff and students and developing each child as an individual who will be independent and successful.
Allan Ward grew up in British Columbia, Canada until moving to Idaho in the late 70’s. He has held various positions in different industries until becoming a teacher in the mid 90’s. He taught elementary school in Texas prior to moving his family to Colorado in 1998. Allan and his wife were both school teachers. As a teacher, Allan taught general education and special education. Allan has worked for multiple BOCES and is currently the Executive Director and Special Education Director for Mountain BOCES. Allan has served as President of the local teacher association and has served on the CEA State Board of Directors. He is currently serving on the Executive Committee for the Colorado BOCES Association. When time allows, Allan enjoys fishing, camping and hunting.