Skip to main content

About California CEC


The worldwide mission of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is to improve educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities.

CEC accomplishes its mission, which is carried out in support of special education professionals and others working on behalf of individuals with exceptionalities, by advocating for appropriate governmental policies, by setting professional standards, by providing continuing professional development, by advocating for newly and historically under served individuals with exceptionalities, and by helping professionals achieve the conditions and resources necessary for effective professional practice. CEC is a non-profit organization concerned with the education and well-being of exceptional individuals was founded in 1922. There are now over 24,000 members representing state units, Canadian providences, university students, divisions, as well as countries throughout the world.


California CEC Board of Directors 2023-2024
Matthew Love

Matthew Love, PhD
San Jose State University

Dr. Matthew Love is a researcher and co-coordinator of the SPARTANS Program at San Jose State University. Dr. Love's work and research focus on supporting the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in inclusive environments in schools and the community. As President of California CEC, Dr. Love is committed to realizing the CACEC Mission of developing a robust professional network for educators serving people with disabilities across California. 

Jude Wolf

Jude Wolf, Ed.D.
Visiting Assistant Professor / MMSN EdSp Cal TPA Coordinator
San Francisco State University

Dr. Jude Wolf is a Visiting Assistant Professor at San Francisco State University in the
Special Education Department. She teaches Assessment, Adolescent Literacy, and Student Teaching. She is also the MMSN Coordinator for the Ed Specialist CalTPA for SFSU. Dr. Wolf has over 23 years of experience working with students with high-incidence disabilities, specifically dyslexia, speech and language impairments, ADHD, autism, and emotion dysregulation. She is a certified Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) teacher from Stanford’s CCARE organization and the Compassion Institute. Her research focuses on cultivating compassionate leadership, teacher burnout prevention, and executive function-based interventions for students with disabilities. You can learn more about her at

Sudha Krishnan

Sudha Krishnan
Assistant Professor
San Jose State University

Sudha Krishnan, Ed.D. is an assistant professor at San Jose State University, with over 18 years of experience as a middle school special education teacher for students with extensive support needs. Her research interests are focused on promoting inclusion for students with extensive support needs, examining the use of constructivism, disrupting deficit thinking, and examining teacher perceptions of ability in students with extensive support needs. Sudha is also interested in aligning the teacher preparation program content with a focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice for all students.
At the CACEC, Sudha would like to be involved in organizing informational webinars for educators and promoting active communities of practice.

Rachel Shahrivar, MA

Rachel Shahrivar, MA
Academic Community and Transition teacher and Instructional Coach
Fremont Union High School District

Rachel has been a member of the California Council for Exceptional Children since 2016 and has served as a student representative, Membership Chair, and Secretary during that time. She has additionally served a term on the Yes I Can Awards Committee.
Rachel has been a teacher at Cupertino High School in the Academic Community and Transition (ACT) program serving students with extensive support needs since 2016. Additionally, she provides support as a Special Education Advisor for new teachers and is an 
Instructional Coach serving ACT teachers throughout the Fremont Union High School District with instructional and curricular support. 

Orange County Chapter Representative 
Debra Cote, Ph.D.

Debra Cote, Ph.D.
California State University Fullerton 

Dr. Debra Cote is a professor in the Department of Special Education at California State University Fullerton. Her research interests include autism, positive behavior supports, culturally responsive pedagogy, self-determination, cognitive behavioral supports, transition, evidence-based practices and teacher preparation. She served as Far West Region Member for the national Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities (2010-2016) and past president to the Greater Orange County (OC) Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Chapter 188. She is the OC Chapter 188 Representative to the CA CEC Executive Committee. Dr. Cote is Associate Director of the California State University Fullerton Center for Autism Education Core and serves on the Grandparents Autism Network Board of Directors.



Last Updated:  16 January, 2024

© 2023 Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). All rights reserved.