Who We Are
WSEMS is managed by a unique partnership that represents a collaborative team: A special education director, a parent, and a mediator. The WSEMS team conducts outreach activities (training, WSEMS booths, etc.) to promote the WSEMS and the importance of resolving conflict at the earliest possible stage. The team also assists with development of system materials and models collaboration statewide. The partners have been active nationally on the topic of special education mediation. Each brings a unique expertise to the system.
Director of Special Education, Cooperative Educational Service Agency # 7 (CESA #7)
Nissan Bar-Lev is the Director of Special Education for Cooperative Educational Service Agency # 7, a consortium of 38 school districts, and is one of 3 partners in the Wisconsin Special Education Mediation System.
Nissan serves on the Executive Board of the Wisconsin Council of Administrators of Special Services (WCASS), and co-chairs the Special Projects Committee. Nissan is also a member of the national Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE) Board of Directors.
Nissan serves on the Governor’s Council on Autism, and is the immediate past President of the Autism society of Wisconsin, and former member of the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance Autism Council.
Nissan also chairs the State Superintendent Blind and Visual Impairment Education Council. He is a member of the Wisconsin joint PBIS and RtI Advisory Council and a member of the National IDEA Partnership ‘Creating Agreement’ team.
Nissan served on the Wisconsin State Superintendent’s Council on Exceptional Education, Wisconsin Governor’s Council on Youth Apprenticeship, Wisconsin Governor’s Council on Work Force Excellence and the Governor’s task force on statewide assessment of Children with Disabilities. He was a member of the DPI Focused Monitoring & Special Education Stakeholders advisory group. He is a co-author of Special Education in Plain Language.
Executive Director, Wisconsin Family Assistance Center for Education, Training & Support, Inc. (WI FACETS)
Courtney Salzer is the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Family Assistance Center for Education, Training, and Support, Inc. She serves as Co-Director of the OSEP-funded Wisconsin Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) and the Director of the Region 4 Parent TA Center (RPTAC). Courtney also serves as the Parent Partner on the Wisconsin Special Education Mediation System.
Courtney received her Law Degree and Bachelor’s Degree from Marquette University. She earned her Professional Certificate in Non Profit Management from UW-Milwaukee.
Prior to her work with WI FACETS, Courtney was an attorney in private practice, where she did a variety of civil litigation including school and special education law. Courtney is currently an Instructor in the UW-Milwaukee Nonprofit Management Program. Courtney has served on several nonprofit Boards of Directors, including currently as a founding member of the National Center for Parent Leadership, Advocacy, and Community Empowerment (National PLACE). Courtney also serves on the National Advisory Board for the Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE) for Courtney and her husband are the parents of two amazing school-aged children.
President, Burns Mediation Services, LLC
Jane Burns is the System Administrator for WSEMS. She received her degree in English Composition from Beloit College, and a Graduate Certificate in Dispute Resolution from Marquette University. She has extensive experience in mediation system case management. She is the mother of three children who all attended and graduated from public K-12 schools.
Nelsinia Ramos, Multicultural Outreach Coordinator
Nelsinia Ramos is the Multicultural Outreach Coordinator for the Wisconsin Special Education Mediation System (WSEMS); she is also the Parent Services Coordinator of Wisconsin’s Parent Training and Information Center WI-FACETS and the multicultural consultant of the Region 4 PTAC, a grant funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education to provide technical assistance to Parent Centers in 8 states. Nelsinia received her B.A. in Business & Management from Alverno College; an Associate’s Degree in Social Work from Milwaukee Area Technical College and a Non-Profit Management professional certification from UW-Milwaukee. Nelsinia is the parent of a young adult with social and intellectual needs. She currently serves on the National Military Parent TA Center Advisory Board and is a former member of the Autism Society of Wisconsin Board of Directors and the National IDEA Partnership on Creating Agreement training team.
WSEMS maintains a roster of active neutrals (mediators/facilitators), all of whom are required by state law to attend a five-day introductory training and a one-day update training each year. The neutrals are located throughout Wisconsin, and also in Illinois and Minnesota. Three are bilingual in English and Spanish.