Ruth Poage-Gaines has served the network for 11 years as a regional coordinator, lead coach, area wide instructional leader and network capacity coach in the Northern Region of Illinois. Ruth received her Master in School Psychology from Loyola University (1994), then continued her education with General Administration endorsement (2007), and most recently Director of Special Education endorsement (2013) from Aurora University. Ruth worked at the Special Education District of McHenry County as a school psychologist with general education, students with autism, emotional, and multiple disabilities. During her time with the cooperative, Ruth was a special education coordinator of Autism and Transition programs (18-22 y/o) at the community college. Her responsibilities included administration team member, fiscal management, conducting member district program evaluations, RtI and PBIS external coaching, supervisor of county-wide school psychologists, social workers, and EIS coaches, Non-Violence Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI) Instructor and principal of the county alternative school of middle and high school populations.
Ruth has coordinated county wide professional learning and provided trainings requested by member districts on various topics including classroom management, student engagement, functional analysis of behavior, behavior intervention plans, and data collection and analysis. Ruth participated in the Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor certification through the IL MTSS-N.