LYNWOOD E. BEEKMAN (Lyn) - Born November 16, 1943, Lansing, Michigan.
Attended Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan. Graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering with honors in 1965. Member of Chi Epsilon, Civil Engineering Honorary.
Attended University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Graduated with J.D., 1968.
Passed Michigan Bar examination December 1968. Joined firm of Foster, Swift, Collins & Coey, P.C., Lansing, Michigan, in 1968. Named shareholder in 1974. Served as President (Managing Partner) from 1979 to 1987. In February 1988, helped establish the firm of White, Beekman, Przybylowicz, Schneider & Baird, P.C. and served as its President. In January 1995 helped establish the firm of Beekman & LaPointe, P.C. and served as its President. Its practice was devoted to the representation of over 250 school districts regarding matters involving special education and Section 504. Previously, practice included representation of parents/students with disabilities for over 15 years and the Michigan Education Association and its members for over 25 years on matters relating to special education and Section 504. In 1998 left the practice of law to establish Special Education Solutions, a dispute resolution and training center focusing on the resolution of problems between parties in the field of special education.
From 2008 to 2009 provided technical assistance to and evaluated the special education hearing officers of the Office of the State Superintendent of Education for the District of Columbia. Thereafter, from 2009 to 2010 served as its Chief Hearing Officer. Since 2009 served as the Chief Training Officer and Assistant Project Director for the Illinois State Board of Education’s special education hearing officers.
Served since 1979 in over 600 matters as a special education due process hearing officer and as a state review officer in three states. Served as a private arbitrator, mediator, neutral evaluator and compliance investigator of disputes under IDEA in over 350 cases. Served as Adjunct Professor at Michigan State University from 1978-1984 teaching special education law and since as a guest lecturer at various universities and law schools on special education law. Provided trainings and presentations at a variety of forums on various topics relating to special education on both the national and state levels, e.g., the National Academy for IDEA Administrative Law Judges and Hearing Officers, LRP’s National Institute’s Pre-Institute Symposium for Hearing Officers, administrator and parent conferences, and SEA trainings of IDEA hearing officers and mediators for 46 states, the District of Columbia, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
In 1968 proposed the idea of utilizing an initiative petition drive to enact mandatory special education legislation in Michigan; in collaboration with Dr. Charles Mange of Michigan State University, drafted the Mandatory Special Education Act (Act 198 of the Public Acts of 1971); received in 1971 the “Award for Distinguished Service to the Handicapped of Michigan” from the Michigan Association of Retarded Citizens.
In 1972 received the “Certificate of Award for Development and Passage of Michigan’s Mandatory Special Education Law” from the Michigan Council for Exceptional Children; consulted with the Michigan Department of Education in the development of the initial rules regarding the delivery of special education programs, primarily drafting those regarding the educational planning and placement committee concept, due process procedures, the intermediate school district plan and the concept of parent advisory committees.
In 1974 served as counsel to the Michigan Association for Retarded Citizens and other plaintiffs in their suit against the Departments of Education and Mental Health to obtain special education programs and services for the mentally retarded and mentally impaired residents of state institutions--the litigation prompted the State Board of Education to adopt a rule defining residency, a policy and procedures regarding petitions for noncompliance and policies which in effect constituted the first interagency agreement between the Departments for the delivery of special education programs and services.
In 1975 founded the Citizens Alliance to Uphold Special Education (CAUSE) as a coalition of consumer and provider groups, the primary purpose of which is to provide information and support to parents and teachers regarding the delivery of special education programs; served as its President until 1988; served on the initial Board of Directors of the Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service for Persons with Disabilities from 1974 to 1983; consulted with the Michigan Department of Education regarding the first revision of the rules governing special education programs and primarily drafted the process for filing complaints.
In 1976 was appointed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to the Task Force on Special Education and primarily drafted new or revised rules which the Task Force proposed in the areas of “an independent” IEPC, arbitration of disputes, clarification of the role and function of the parent advisory committees, procedures to object to ISD plans and clarifications of the complaint process.
In 1981 was appointed to the State Board of Education, Special Education Advisory Committee, serving six years and as its Chairperson; primarily drafted the amendments to state statute and policy to expand the Committee so as to include a broader base of consumers and providers through-out the special education community, which legislation was enacted in 1983; presented the “President’s Honor Role Award” for leadership in education by the Michigan Association for Retarded Citizens, an outstanding service award by the Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service for Developmentally Disabled Citizens and an exemplary service award by Grand Valley State Colleges.
In 1985 received the “Distinguished Volunteer Award” from Child and Family Services of Michigan; also received a Legislative resolution of tribute for efforts on behalf of persons with disabilities.
In 1986 received the “Distinguished Volunteer Award” from the Ingham County Bar Association; also received the “Carnation Award” for volunteer activities from the Tri-County Volunteer Action Committee; served on the State Board of Education’s Referent Group on Students and Staff With AIDS.
In 1988 received the “Volunteer of the Year” Award from CAUSE and a Legislative resolution of tribute for his 13 years of service as President of CAUSE. In 1991 and 1992 served on the State Board of Education’s Committee on the Future of Special Education, and its Inclusive Education Committee.
In 1994 received the Lansing Educational Advancement Foundation’s Distinguished Alumni award. In 1995 received the “Power of One” award from the Physically Impaired Association of Michigan for contributions to the education of students with disabilities. In 1996 served on the Michigan Department of Education’s Committee on “Lovaas/Style” (and other) Interventions.
From 1993 to 1999 served as Chairperson of the State Board of Education’s Special Education Delivery System Task Force involving 68 organizations and as consultant to the Michigan Department of Education regarding implementation of its recommendations.
In 2005 received State Bar of Michigan’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Section’s “Distinguished Service Award” in recognition of his significant contributions to the field of dispute resolution in the special education area.
In 2006 received the “Marjorie A. Moore Make-A-Mark Award” from Moore Living Connections for improving the lives of persons with disabilities.
Other activities have included: Member of the Council for the Labor Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan, 1977-1983; Member of the Board of Directors of Family and Child Services of the Capitol Area, Inc., 1978-1984, including President; member of the Board of Directors of Child and Family Services of Michigan, 1985 to 1990, including President; member of the Board of Directors of the Nokomis Learning Center, 1988 to 1994, including President.
Married in 1965 to Karen J. Heffner of Lansing, Michigan. Karen is a graduate of Michigan State University, 1965, with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering; currently engaged in operating “Thymes Past,” a business involving the sale of antiques. The Beekmans have two children: Mark, born 1/24/69, attended Michi-gan State University, now employed in a marketing management position; and Ryan, born 4/13/72, attended the University of Michigan School of Medicine and currently practicing orthopedic (hand) surgery. They currently have five grandchildren.