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PEATC, Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center
Assisting families of children with special needs since 1978
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PEATC Board of Directors

PEATC is governed by a culturally and geographically diverse Board that includes a majority membership of parents of children with a full range of disabilities. Members also include professionals in related fields, self-advocates, university representatives, legal and business experts.

If you are interested in joining the board of directors, please complete this form and email it to or mail to:

8003 Forbes Place, Suite 310
Springfield, VA 22151

Vanessa Rakestraw

Vanessa Rakestraw

, President of the Board

Vanessa is employed as a disability policy analyst with the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services. She has been employed by this Department in the position of vocational rehabilitation counselor for persons with disabilities and as a long-term rehabilitation case manager for persons with severe physical disabilities. As a person with a disability, Vanessa has experienced both sides of the disability services system. She knows firsthand about some of the issues that students with disabilities face. She also knows about the service areas that are designed to address those issues. She is also familiar with what is working and with what is not. She views PEATC as an instrument of change that will help to improve these services. She believes that she has the knowledge and skills to assist PEATC in creating that change. Vanessa resides in Richmond.

Christine Germeyer

Christine Germeyer

, Board member

Christine Germeyer is the Region 4 Parent Representative of the State Special Education Advisory Committee for Virginia. She resides in Frederick County with her husband; together, they have five children, three with special needs. Prior to moving to Virginia in 2003, Christine resided in Pittsburgh, PA where she opened The Midwife Center for Birth & Women’s Health. In 2008, Christine founded and presided over the first Parent-Teacher Organization for the Northwestern Regional Educational Programs in Winchester, VA. During that time she served on the Tri-County OIC, Apple Country Head Start Policy Council from 2009-2013 as an executive officer. Since 2014, Christine has been the Executive Director for First Night Winchester after serving three years as a board member. Christine serves on the local Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) of Frederick County and serves the community as a board member of the Winchester Host Lions Club.

Timothy Johnson

Timothy Johnson

, Treasurer of the Board

Timothy Johnson ("Tim") is an attorney in the Northern Virginia area who represents children with disabilities and their parents in special education matters. He moved to Fairfax County after working in New York city and New Jersey as a lay-advocate before being admitted to the state bars, then as an attorney representing parents and their children in special education disputes. Growing up with two siblings with specific learning disabilities, and his mother who was a member of a special education legal advocacy group, provided Tim the encouragement to remain involved in special education issues throughout his career. He has a Bachelor of Arts from James Madison University where he majored in Justice Studies: Criminology, and obtained his Juris Doctorate at New York Law School. He is married to a Fairfax County Public School elementary school general education teacher.

Troy Bryant

Troy Bryant

, Board Member

Troy Bryant is a native North Carolinian, but currently lives in Richmond, VA with his wife and four children. He has been an engineer and union representative with CSX Transportation for over 20 years. Also, he serves as a member on the SEAC for Henrico County Public Schools. His youngest son has a learning disability. He has a passion for helping parents navigate through the Special Education process. He believes all children and young adults deserve the right to an appropriate education, regardless of the challenge.

8003 Forbes Place, Suite 310
Springfield, VA 22151
703-923-0010 (phone)
800-869-6782 (toll free)

Copyright © 2019 PEATC - Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center. All rights reserved.

Content on this site was produced, in part, with grant funds from the U.S. Department of Education, under CFDA # 84.328M, #84.310A, and #84.235F. The content herein does not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Education, any other agency of the U.S. government, or any other source.

PEATC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to building positive futures for Virginia's children by working collaboratively with families, schools and communities in order to improve opportunities for excellence in education and success in school and community life. Our special focus is children with disabilities. You can reach PEATC by calling 703-923-0010 (Voice/TTY), or sending an e-mail to

Celebrating 30 Years of Building Better Futures for Virginia's Children

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