Jessamyn Putnam is a non-attorney special education advocate with ten years of advocacy experience. Born and raised in the Texas Hill Country, Putnam has lived and worked all over the U.S. and the world as a U.S. diplomat with the U.S. Department of State, an import development manager with H-E-B, and as the senior manager for trade finance analytics with Nike, before returning to Texas to own and run a trio of funeral homes with her husband prior to 2022. Putnum has a M.A. in international trade and investment policy from George Washington University, a dual B.A. in economics and foreign service from Baylor University, and a certificate in funeral directing from Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service. She is also a certified mediator and has completed COPAA’s Special Education Advocacy Training (SEAT) 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0. Putnam is fluent in English and Spanish.
In addition to being married to Dr. Chris Putnam since 2013, living in Spicewood, and parenting and homeschooling her three neurodiverse children, she is heavily engaged in local, state, and federal organizations and is a member of the Llano Uplift Chapter of the Daughter of the American Revolution, the Horseshoe Bay Business Alliance, the Highland Lakes Interagency Committee, Mothers Connect about Autism, the Texas Dyslexia Coalition, the Texas Organization of Parents Advocates, and Attorneys, Epsilon Sigma Alpha, the FAPE Defense League, and the Council of Parents, Advocates and Attorneys.
In her free time, Putnam enjoys hiking with her family, reading science fiction and fantasy, and playing Pokemon Go.
Closing the Gap Between Parents and Schools: Facilitating Meaningful Parental Participation in the IEP and 504 Process with Socioeconomically Challenged Families in Rural Areas
For her capstone project, Putnam will create a replicable model in which for-profit advocates can partner with non-profit organizations. The non-profit organizations will obtain and administer educational, health, and other grants to pay for the services of advocates to support socioeconomically challenged families with students with disabilities in navigating the 504 and IDEA process in the public school system to ensure students educational needs are being met.