Meet Your Team

  • Julie Riley

    Project Director

    Hi y’all!  I’m the LASARD Project Director, and I’m also the Director of K-12 Initiatives at LSUHSC Human Development Center.  I’m a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and I may be a little obsessed with data.  I have been working with individuals with disabilities over the past 20 years and have a passion for inclusive practices, increasing social interaction, and solving challenging behavior issues.  I have been with LASARD for 11 years, and prior to that I worked as a consultant to schools and families, school counselor, and special education teacher.  I love living in New Orleans and partaking in all the food, music, and festivals – especially Mardi Gras!

  • Melinda Luna


    Hello! I’m a LASARD facilitator in the New Orleans area. I have a duel certification in Elementary Education and Mild/Moderate Special Education. I have been working with individuals with disabilities since 2011 and working closely with other educators on supporting student needs in the school setting. I absolutely love creating visual supports for the students and teachers I work with….almost to the point that I would consider it a unique hobby. I’m really “on cloud nine” when I get to incorporate the student’s special interests into the support and observing their reaction when they see the visual for the first time. Outside of work, I love spending time with my family and many pets!

  • Chris Champagne


    I have been designing and implementing projects to support teachers of students with disabilities for over 20 years.  I have a passion for equity and love problem solving solutions and supports to help teachers succeed in providing students with disabilities the opportunities they deserve to thrive in the classroom.  When I am not working I love exercising, spending time outdoors, and hanging out with my cats.

  • Donna Hammons


    Hey everybody!  When it comes to work experience, I have worked as a director of training and case management programs for youth and adults with developmental disabilities, a director of children/youth programs, a special educator, and for the past 11 years as a LASARD facilitator. Each career experience has allowed me to continually gain on-the-job training and real life application.  One of the most valuable tools in my toolbox is my ability to be flexible and practical when working alongside the adult learner to tackle changes in practice and implementation.

    In addition to a full work life, I have been married for over 32 years and have 2 beautiful daughters, Morgan and Meagan. David and I are empty nesters now—except for Thor and Sadie (a Shar-Pei and miniature Dachshund).

  • Amy Dakin


    Hey everyone! I’m one of the LASARD facilitators located in North Louisiana and am a certified special education teacher. I have been working with students with disabilities for 10 years. I also have experience as a classroom teacher, testing coordinator, and school administrator. My first degree is in accounting, so working with Excel and creating schedules are my jam! I love hanging out with my family and spending time planting flowers in my backyard.