Dr. Paula Crawford is the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Exceptional Children Division’s Section Chief for Program Improvement and Professional Development. Her background in education spans over 30 years with experience providing instructional programming for students Kindergarten through adult. As the Project Director for the NC State Improvement Project (NC SIP), which currently partners with 77 Local Education Agencies, eight Institutions of Higher Education, and the Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center, she provides the leadership to build North Carolina’s capacity for improving student outcomes through support of educators’ professional learning in the areas of evidence-based reading and math instruction, adolescent literacy, co-teaching and coaching. Her previous service in the field of education includes work in Wake Co. Public Schools in Special Education Programs and Human Resources Beginning Teacher Support Programs. She has worked in public and private Institutions of Higher Education and in educational publishing. Dr. Crawford first experienced the KU SIM professional development and implemented SIM Strategies with adolescents in her classroom in the early 90’s. She earned her Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction, Special Education, as well as her Doctorate in Adult and Higher Education from North Carolina State University. In 2018, she was presented the Gordon R. Alley Partnership Award.