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Our Team

We believe that our work is fundamentally about finding ways to help others be more successful…

DIRECTOR

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Patti Slobogin, PhD

Patti has led district and school improvement efforts and provided professional development to educators and families for over 25 years. Her proudest accomplishment as Director of the Lower Hudson RSE-TASC has been the development of a highly effective team that is recognized across the region and the state for the quality of the professional development and technical assistance they provide. Prior to joining the RSE-TASC Patti was a professor in graduate programs at New York University, Long Island University and New York Medical College. She directed the Assistive Technology department at Westchester Institute for Human Development, a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, and worked as a school psychologist, reading specialist, resource room teacher and classroom teacher.

REGIONAL SPECIALIST EDUCATION TRAINING SPECIALISTS

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Laurie Levine, MA, MS

Laurie has provided leadership support in creating effective Committee on Special Education (CSE) systems through the Lower Hudson RSE-TASC for almost 15 years. She trains building and district leaders on New York State Special Education laws and regulations through regional roundtables, colloquia, and workshops. She provides training and support for educators and families on CSE topics including IEP development and progress monitoring, the continuum of special education services, and assessment practices. Prior to joining the RSE-TASC, Laurie was an associate director of a Regional School Support Center and Leadership Academy, an assistant director of special education, a resource room and special education classroom teacher, and an educational evaluator. Laurie has also served as an advisor to the government of Bhutan on special education services and has published articles on cultural sensitivities in delivery of professional development.
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Ann Quinones-Narcisse, MS

Ann provides support to regional educators in Special Education laws and regulations, and has also shared her extensive knowledge of evidence-based instructional practices for students with disabilities through the Lower Hudson RSE-TASC in response to multiple requests from the field for this topic. She offers a series of trainings and Institutes on explicit and specially designed instruction. Prior to joining the Lower Hudson RSE-TASC Ann was a supervisor of Special Education in a small city school district, a bilingual teacher of the speech and hearing impaired, an assistant director and educational coordinator of a preschool, and a Bilingual Special Education Specialist at the Mid-Hudson RSE-TASC. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Long Island University.

TRANSITION SPECIALISTS

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Kit Casey, MA, LMHC

Kit provides leadership in transition planning for students with disabilities as a specialist in the Lower Hudson RSE-TASC. Through trainings, on-site consultation and presentations at national and regional conferences, she shares her expertise on topics ranging from transition assessments, work-based learning, community agencies, graduation options, Career Development and Occupational Studies and Skills Achievement credentials, IEP transition goals, and transition planning for families. She has organized Transition Fairs for staff, students and families to learn about adult agencies and training programs. Prior to joining the RSE-TASC, Kit was a coordinator of clinical and support services at a school for the deaf, a vocational rehabilitation counselor, a coordinator of transitional services, and a deafness employment specialist. She has been published in the Journal of Rehabilitation and The Silent News.
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Stephanie Wozniak, MS, LMHC

Stephanie is a certified New York State Work-Based Learning Coordinator and she supports educational staff and leaders through the Lower Hudson RSE-TASC by providing both training and on-site support in transition planning, transition assessments, graduation options, Career Development and Occupational Studies and Skills Achievement Credentials and work-learning options. She is continually updating and delivering new trainings on web-based transition tools. Prior to joining the RSE-TASC, Stephanie was a guidance counselor at a specialized secondary school setting for students with disabilities where she supported students in their future planning and was vocational manager in a country store vocational program.

BEHAVIOR SPECIALISTS

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Sara Fienup, MA, BCBA

Sara has been a Lower Hudson RSE-TASC Behavior Specialist for seven years, and has provided leadership in developing and sustaining Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) technical assistance networks for district leaders and coaches. She has also provided multiple trainings and on-site consultation to districts on the PBIS framework at the Universal, Secondary and Tertiary levels. She was invited to speak about this work at the New York Association of School Psychologists and the New York Consortium for Special Act and Approved Private Schools. Prior to joining the RSE-TASC, Sara was a school psychologist and presented at national conferences on teaching social skills and supporting students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
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Dale Langley, PsyD

Dale shares her extensive behavioral expertise through the Lower Hudson RSE-TASC by developing and delivering trainings on Functional Behavior Assessments and Behavior Intervention Plans, classroom management and proactive discipline systems using the PBIS framework. She co-facilitates the PBIS Coaches' Forums and provides on-site technical assistance to schools and districts that are implementing PBIS. Dale is a licensed psychologist and prior to joining the RSE-TASC she was a PBIS coach at a children’s psychiatric center and a school psychologist and PBIS director in a specialized school setting. Because of her work in PBIS, she has been an invited speaker at regional and national conferences.
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Erin Leskovic, MS, BCBA, SBL/SDL

Erin has established herself as a leader in the region on behavioral supports and systems for preschoolers with disabilities. She develops and provides trainings on PBIS at the preschool level and on developing behavioral support plans for preschoolers. She started regional forums for preschool administrators to learn about social-emotional supports and to share best practices, and she provides on-site consultation to preschools looking to improve their systems. Prior to joining the Lower Hudson RSE-TASC, Erin worked as a staff developer and BCBA supervisor, an educational supervisor, a lead teacher and a classroom teacher in preschool settings. She was also a therapist and data analyst at Princeton Child Development Institute.

Bilingual Special Education Specialist

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John Boniello, MS

John supports districts and schools in building systems to support students with disabilities who are also English Language Learners. He provides an array of trainings on critical topics that include distinguishing between learning disabilities and language differences, specially designed academic instruction, vocabulary instruction and New York State regulations. Prior to joining the RSE-TASC, John taught bilingual students with disabilities at the secondary level in New York City.

SPECIAL EDUCATION SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT SPECIALISTS (SESIS)

Putnam Northern Westchester

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Andrew J. Ecker, EdD, MA

Andrew supports individual schools and districts in the Putnam Northern Westchester region, by facilitating teams in an intensive quality improvement process that improves academic and behavioral outcomes of students with disabilities by developing and strengthening evidence-based practices and systems in those schools. Prior to joining the Lower Hudson RSE-TASC Andrew worked in a specialized school setting, advancing from teaching assistant to lead teacher to Director of Development and Advancement. He has been invited to present at national and international conferences on the work of these teams, and is currently working on his dissertation on schools’ readiness to implement the Interconnected Systems Framework, at Manhattanville College where he is also an adjunct graduate professor in the Department of Special Education.

Rockland

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Nicole Scariano, MS, EdM, SBL, SDL

Nicole supports individual schools and districts in Rockland County, by facilitating teams in an intensive quality improvement process.  Nicole guides teams through this process to develop and strengthen evidence-based practices and systems that improve academic and behavioral outcomes of students with disabilities.  Prior to joining the Lower Hudson RSE-TASC, Nicole supported over 25 schools across New York City as a special education teacher, special education coordinator, instructional coach with New Visions for Public Schools and a school leader.  She has been a consultant to public schools on school improvement, mentored teachers and supported principals across a variety of programs in upper Manhattan and the Bronx and has extensive research in school-based leadership development, presenting at the National Coalition of Essential Schools Fall Forum.  

Southern Westchester

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Denise Jaffe, MA, CCC-SLP

Denise supports individual schools and districts in the Southern Westchester region, by facilitating teams in an intensive quality improvement process that improves academic and behavioral outcomes of students with disabilities by developing and strengthening evidence-based practices and systems in those schools. Prior to joining the Lower Hudson RSE-TASC, Denise worked as a special education training specialist, an adjunct professor of communication sciences, a teacher of the speech and hearing handicapped, and a speech-language pathologist. She has been an invited speaker at national conferences on speech-language and special education issues.
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David Luhman, MS, SDL

David supports individual schools and districts in the Southern Westchester region, by facilitating teams in an intensive quality improvement process that improves academic and behavioral outcomes of students with disabilities by developing and strengthening evidence-based practices and systems in those schools. Prior to joining the Lower Hudson RSE-TASC David was a high school Humanities Department Chair, a Supervisor of Special Education, a Supervisor and Coordinator of Secondary English Language Arts, and a teacher in both special education and English. He has also been an adjunct professor at Long Island University and has presented at a number of state-wide and regional conferences.

Specialized Settings

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John McCabe, MS, SDL, SBL

John supports individual Special Act, Approved Private, State-Supported and State-Operated schools in Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties in developing evidence-based practices and systems that improve the academic and behavioral outcomes of students with disabilities by facilitating school staff in a quality improvement process, providing on-site technical assistance and conducting regional trainings. Prior to joining the Lower Hudson RSE-TASC John held administrative and social work positions in a high school for students with significant emotional and behavioral difficulties and in community mental health and juvenile/adult correctional facilities. John has been an invited speaker at regional mental health conferences.
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Francesca Fernandez, MS

Francesca supports individual Special Act, Approved Private, State-Supported and State-Operated schools in Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties in developing evidence-based practices and systems that improve the academic and behavioral outcomes of students with disabilities by facilitating school staff in a quality improvement process, providing on-site technical assistance and conducting regional trainings. Prior to joining the Lower Hudson RSE-TASC Fran was an Achievement Coach, Unit Coordinator and teacher/peer coach in District 75 in New York City.  She has been an Adjunct Professor at Pace University and presented in a poster session for the Council for Exceptional Children's Division of the Autism and Developmental Disabilities International Conference.  

Yonkers

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Martha Trujillo-Torp, EdD

Martha supports individual schools in the Yonkers Public School district, by facilitating teams in an intensive quality improvement process that improves academic and behavioral outcomes of students with disabilities by developing and strengthening evidence-based practices and systems in those schools. Prior to joining the Lower Hudson RSE-TASC, Martha was a program facilitator for a model work-based learning program, a reading teacher, a bilingual special education teacher and a general education teacher at the elementary level. Her dissertation examined the effectiveness of different models of inclusion and co-teaching.
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Randy Ascher, MA

Randy supports individual schools in the Yonkers Public School district, by facilitating teams in an intensive quality improvement process that improves academic and behavioral outcomes of students with disabilities by developing and strengthening evidence-based practices and systems in those schools. Prior to joining the RSE-TASC, Randy was a special education teacher at the elementary level for 34 years. She has been a mentor and provided training support to new teachers.

Our Essential Office Support Staff

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Leslie Zedlovich, Administrative Assistant

Leslie manages the Lower Hudson RSE-TASC office, performing multiple critical tasks like maintaining the website, publishing our newsletter, managing the grant budget and purchasing systems, and overseeing office procedures so that we can meet the needs of students, families and educators efficiently and effectively. Prior to joining the Lower Hudson RSE-TASC Leslie served as assistant to the CSE Chairperson in a local school district. Before entering the world of special education, her career was in the corporate world as an executive assistant.
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Felecia Morris, Senior Office Assistant

Felecia manages our student interns, our travel, our office space and our inventories, while also preparing, organizing and advertising multiple workshops during the year. Without Felecia we could not provide the amount of professional development and technical assistance to families and educators that we do each year. Prior to joining the Lower Hudson RSE-TASC Felecia was an assistant in the PNW BOCES Center for Educational Leadership where she ran the fingerprint and private investigation divisions while also offering assistance to users of the OLAS and MLP systems.
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Megan King

Megan King, Workshop Organizer, has managed multiple Lower Hudson RSE-TASC workshops.  Her expertise in communicating with professionals in the region, advertising trainings, problem-solving the on-line registration system, organizing workshop set ups and preparing extensive workshop training materials and binders ensures that trainers have what they need to meet the needs of participants.  Prior to joining the Lower Hudson RSE-TASC, Megan worked as a marketing and membership representative, and in sales, customer assistance and photo services.  
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