Staff Members

The Center for Exceptional Families provide services to the entire state of Arkansas with the help of our amazing staff!

Loreena Hegenbart

Parent Mentor – North Central Region

Counties Served: Carroll, Boone, Marion, Baxter, Fulton, Sharp, Izard, Stone, Independence, Cleburne, Van Buren, Conway, Searcy, Faulkner, Newton, White

[email protected]

Loreena Hegenbart has first-hand experience working with a wide spectrum of physical and mental disabilities. Having a sibling and a child with a disability, she has a passion for obtaining the most inclusive education possible and improving her loved one’s quality of life. She is a board member of the Arkansas Empowering Families with DeafBlindness (AEFDB) and serves on the Arkansas Council for Military Children. Loreena is the TCFEF representative on the Military Liaison, connecting military families to services locally and abroad, helping them find Parent Training and Information Centers and providing other supports as the families’ transition from state to state. Loreena and her family live in Stone County.

Coming Soon!

Parent Mentor – Northwest/River Valley

Counties Served: Benton, Washington, Madison, Crawford, Franklin, Johnson, Pope, Sebastian, Logan, Yell, Scott, Polk, Montgomery

[email protected]

Please contact Mrs. Loreena Hegenbart as we search for the perfect parent mentor to serve the Northwest Arkansas and River Valley Area!

Karen Lutrick

Parent Mentor – Southwest and Central Region

Counties Served:  Garland, Hot Springs, Clark, Pike, Howard, Sevier, Little River, Hempstead, Nevada, Ouachita, Union, Columbia, Lafayette, Jefferson, Grant, Bradley, Cleveland, Dallas, Calhoun, Miller, Saline, Pulaski, Lonoke, Prairie, Perry

[email protected]

Karen Lutrick has advocated for children and adults with disabilities for more than 20 years as an educational advocate and resource provider. Karen enjoys sharing information and empowering individuals to achieve equality. She is a parent to three adult children, the youngest an individual with a disability. Karen is the TCFEF representative for the Independent Futures That Work (IFTW) project to expand resources for teens and young adults with disabilities in Arkansas. She and her family live in Pulaski County.

Teresa Hendrix

Curriculum Specialist and Parent Mentor – Northeast and Delta

Counties ServedRandolph, Clay, Greene, Lawrence, Craighead, Mississippi, Poinsett, Jackson, Crittenden, Woodruff, Cross, St. Francis, Lee, Monroe, Phillips, Arkansas, Lincoln, Desha, Drew, Ashley, Chicot

[email protected]

Teresa Hendrix is a retired educator and special education director. Having an aunt with a disability who spent much of her time in their home allowed Teresa to see the unique challenges facing students with disabilities and their families. Her personal and career experience have made her invaluable to families and schools when working together to meet the needs of kids with disabilities. She is the TCFEF representative on the State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) Core Management team where she functions as the Family and Community Liaison. Teresa and her family live in Poinsett County.

Candie Corona

Parent Mentor & Hispanic Community Outreach

Serves all counties in Arkansas and supports TCFEF Staff Members.

[email protected] (501)-398-1646

Candie is from Fort Worth, Texas and has called Conway, Arkansas her home for over 20 years. She graduated from UCA with a B.A. in Spanish, is a certified Family Support Specialist, and a Certified Education Interpreter. She has worked for non-profits for over a decade. She currently works at Choosing to Excel, where she connects young parents to support, resources, activities, and education during their pregnancy and their child’s early years. She is a parent and passionate about connecting Hispanic families to resources and support through The Center for Exceptional Families!

Michele Lappin

Technology & Media Coordinator

Serves all counties in Arkansas and supports TCFEF Staff Members.

[email protected] (888)-360-9654

A native of Louisiana, Michele Lappin has years of experience advocating for persons with disabilities, including time spent advocating for children and adults to the Louisiana legislature. Michele is married and has three children with varying disabilities including Autism and ADHD. She has a bachelor’s degree in education. Michele is an avid researcher with focus on behavioral and mental health, disability laws, neuroscience, LGBTQIA+ issues, and psychology. Michele was a panel member on the Arkansas DHS Medicaid Client Voice Panel for 2 years. Michele and her family live in White County.

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