South East Consortium for Special Education                                       Special Education Local Plan Area


The Positive Environments, Network of Trainers (PENT) is a California Positive Behavior Initiative designed to provide information and resources for educators striving to achieve high educational outcomes through the use of proactive positive strategies. 

PENT was co-founded by Diana Browning Wright and Deborah Holt, in a joint effort between the Diagnostic Center, Southern California (DCSC) and the Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) in the belief that "none of us is as skilled as all of us!" PENT is currently under the leadership of Valerie Johnson (PENT Leadership Team Director) and Clayton Cook (Director of PENT Research).

The PENT Leadership and all membership groups are committed to achieve:

Positive supports available for all students that are evidence-based and lead to lasting behavioral change

Environments that use positive methods to achieve high outcomes for students in districts, schools, and classrooms

Networking that supports the exchange of evidence-based practice and materials among all PENT groups

Training opportunities, guidelines, and materials made available to educators to assist in the establishment of positive environments and individual student support

Annual PENT Forums for PENT Cadre members are hosted in northern California by the San Joaquin SELPA and in southern California by the West End SELPA. The Forums provide a venue to sustain and enhance the research based practice of Cadre members as well as provide an annual networking opportunity for this “community of practice.” 

The South East Consortium SELPA has three cadre members committed to training/coaching/consulting within the SELPA. Cadre members regularly consult and/or train staff on evidence-based practices in the area of behavior. Members maintain their cadre status by completing the following commitments each year:

1) Attend annual PENT forum.

2) Participate in local quarterly South East Consortium SELPA PENT Cadre collaborative meetings.

3) Provide at least one training (individual or collaborative) at the SELPA level during Spring or Fall quarter after attending the annual PENT Forum.

PENT Cadre members are nominated by the SELPA Director with input from Special Education Directors. Current PENT Cadre members for South East Consortium SELPA are:

Helen Huynh (Program Administrator, South East Consortium SELPA)

Michele Villarreal (Program Administrator, South East Consortium SELPA)

Nicole Wesson (School Psychologist/Behavior Specialist, Alum Rock Union School District)

The South East Consortium SELPA established a joint training project with CAPTAIN (see CAPTAIN tab for more information) and PENT Cadre members in 2015. As a result, PENTAIN was established to provide a series of rigorous training workshops in the area of evidence-based practices for autism and behavior. Each year, a select group of classroom professionals are nominated by district directors to attend a series of professional development opportunities to enhance skill sets through explicit instruction, hands on practice, collaboration, observational feedback, and mentorship.

For additional information or inquiries, please contact Helen Huynh at (408) 223-3777.

You may also visit the PENT website at

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