In this episode, Dr Jill Rentmeester-Disher, a manager in the Minnesota public school system, talks with Katie Widestrom-Landgraf about how she finds joy and balance in her work. Not only does she work on the management side, she is also hands-on with a caseload.
Jill speaks of her interest in implementation science and using evidence-based practices to work with diverse caseloads and multilingual communities. She also talks about the importance of professional growth for practitioners from a managerial perspective, along with current staffing issues within the SLP field.
Discussion & Reflection Question
- Are you thinking about moving on to a doctorate? If so, what original research topic could you explore and add to the field?
- Do you have managerial skills? If so, have you thought about roles or positions where you could lead teams to deliver services in education settings?
- If you’re in a school setting already (or medical), what tools and resources can you utilize or suggest to your managers to help with higher caseloads?
- If you’re considering a school setting, how familiar are you with the diversity you might encounter daily – the diverse needs, identities, abilities, and types of services you will potentially be delivering?
- How and where can you keep up with the current evidence-based practices for the type of work and needs of the populations that you serve?
“With speech and language, my heart always goes towards connection. That is the beautiful thing about this job. It’s the connection with staff, as a manager, that I love. It’s the connection with students and their caregivers that I love when I carry caseload, and what therapists love who carry a caseload every day. It’s the connection to something that we believe in and the connections every day that bring meaning and joy.”
– Jill Rentmeester-Disher
Jill Rentmeester-Disher (she/her/hers) PhD, CCC-SLP
As a Manager of Speech-Language Pathology Services in public schools, Jill Rentmeester-Disher has the privilege and honor of cultivating genius in 110 SLPs, who in turn, cultivate genius in their students (Gholdy Mohammad, 2020). Jill leads and partners with SLPs to implement equity-based, evidence-based practices (EQEBP) in Birth-21 settings where our SLPs believe:
- Educational evaluations and services should not be predicted by a student’s race.
- The status quo must be challenged to ensure all learners achieve their greatest potential.
- Relationships with our students and their families must be prioritized.
- Identity joy must be centered.
When not managing, Jill has taught courses in higher education institutions, and is actively involved in speech-language pathology advocacy issues at the state level. As a hands-on manager, Jill jumps into Birth-21 caseload when needed and continues to benefit from the joy of serving students and their families.
Outside of this role, Jill spends time with her brave and kind daughter, educator husband, and snuggly boxer Tipper.
Contact Jill Rentmeester-Disher:
Katie Widestrom-Landgraf, MS, CCC-SLP
Katie is a speech-language pathologist who has worked in both medical and educational settings for over 20 years. She presently works with adolescents in a large suburban high school.
Katie is a past president of the Minnesota Speech-Language Hearing Association (MNSHA). She has collaborated with the MN Dept. of Education to expand the understanding of oral language as critical neurodevelopmental infrastructure for academic achievement processes.
Katie is most passionate about helping students develop their language skills as a tool for thought, wonderment, questioning and curiosity…and of course communication. When Katie is not working with the students on her caseload, she is still working with students to develop their communication and self-expression as a high school forensics coach.
Katie enjoys great conversations and connections where one loses a sense of time, fabulous dining experiences, transcendent cups of coffee and books that are so good she negotiates with her alarm clock so that she might finish just one more chapter.
Contact Katie Widestrom-Landgraf
“Connection, to me, is always the first step, it’s never wasted time, and that’s been a through line through this whole series.”
– Katie Widestrom-Landgraf
Mattie Murrey Tegel, MA, CCC-SLP, L, CPC, CLSC
Medical Speech-Language Pathologist and Founder of Fresh SLP
Mattie Murrey-Tegels is the founder and SLP behind Fresh SLP and The Missing Link for SLPs Podcast. She’s been “in-the-trenches” as a medical SLP around the world for over 25 years and now an Assistant Professor for 3 years. She is thrilled to be adding this dream of a podcast because paying her experiences forward is something she is very passionate about. If you ask her patients and students, one thing they will remember is how much she loves her job! She may not look like it but she is a huge introvert and when she is not actively working as an SLP, she is almost always reading, writing (writing over 1,000,000 words a year), or listening to amazing Chicago Blues bands. She also loves being outdoors and definitely enjoys soaking up the sun at her home in Minnesota, where warm and sunny days can be limited. She’s ridden motorcycles for many years, raced sled dogs, hiked huge mountains yet she cherishes the quiet moments of climbing into a hammock to nap or timeless conversations with friends and family.
The Missing Link for SLPs podcast and Fresh SLP is her legacy, giving back to a career that has so richly rewarded her.
Thank you for listening to The Missing Link for SLPs podcast! If you enjoyed the show, I’d love you to subscribe, rate it and leave a short review. Also, please share an episode with a friend. Together we can raise awareness and help more SLPs find and connect those missing links to help them feel confident in their patient care every step of the way.
Not a substitute for a formal SLP education or medical advice for patients/caregivers.