LaChan V. Hannonis the Director of Teacher Preparation & Innovation and an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice in the Department of Urban Education at Rutgers University-Newark. LaChan received her Ph.D. from Montclair State University in teacher education and teacher development with a focus on parent engagement and culturally responsive school practices. Her scholarly work investigates the intersectionality of race, disability, and parent involvement as they relate to the professional development for school leaders and educators. Her research and teaching interests include culturally responsive school/parent partnerships, teacher self-study, and teaching for social justice. Her TEDx Talk titled Young, Gifted & Black with Autism was released in 2016. LaChan has published articles and chapters in academic texts including: International Handbook of Self-Study of Teaching and Teacher Education Practices, Contemporary Justice Review, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, and Self-Studies in Urban Teacher Education.
After spending seven years as a high school teacher and desiring to broaden her professional skill set, LaChan transitioned into early intervention services as a teacher for preschool children with developmental disabilities. She would then become the behavioral health and rehabilitative services program director that provides behavioral and mental health services to children and adolescents with diagnosed disabilities between the ages of 3-19. In 2012, LaChan returned to the classroom with a professional focus on increasing teacher confidence and knowledge working with students with disabilities in general educational settings. In 2013, she completed a master’s degree in Educational Leadership/Teacher Leadership from Pennsylvania State University. LaChan graduated from the University of Delaware in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in sociology. LaChan has special education certificates in Educating Individuals with Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis from Pennsylvania State University, which have impacted her both professionally and personally.
Currently, LaChan presents at both local and national conferences on topics of autism education, culturally responsive school practices, and educational leadership. LaChan and her husband Dr. Michael D. Hannon co-founded the 501c3 non-profit organization Greater Expectations Teaching and Advocacy Center Inc (GETAC) as a means to support families with children with developmental differences in addition to education professionals through parent workshops, professional development, and advocacy support. LaChan is an advocate for equitable access to quality education, a supporter of teacher learning, and a believer that schools improve when they intentionally engage families and communities in the education of their children.