Welcoming New NYS DCDT Board Officers

Please welcome the newly elected Board Officers starting in July 2020!

New Board Officers

Cathy Pantelides:

I have worked in the field of special education for over 35 years. I served, Region 1 Long Island, as a Transition Specialist for 10 years in the RSE-TASC network. I am presently a Transition Associate for the Technical Assistance Partnership (TAP) for Transition that supports the NYSED OSE Educational Partnership. The past 11 years of my career have afforded me the opportunity to learn and grow in the area that I am most passionate about, improving post-school outcomes for students with disabilities through a variety of means, but mostly through the development of self-determination for students and adults.  Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to continue this work as President of NYS DCDT.

Matthew Jurgins:

As a special educator for 15 years, I have dedicated my entire career to working on behalf of youth with disabilities. Specifically, I have worked at every level of K-12 education and served as a professor for several colleges where the focus of my coursework has been on increasing positive outcomes for students with disabilities. With regard to transition-age youth, my current position is serving middle and high school students with disabilities and it has allowed me to lead a department of nearly 200 staff members. Before my current role, I served as a Transition Specialist for the former RSE-TASC in the Long Island region and in this position, I worked among several professionals who provide regional training and technical assistance to Special Educators, administrators, and transition agency personnel that universally targeted improving programs and practices for transition-age youth.  Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to continue as the Vice-President of NYS DCDT.

 Kimberly Arruda:

As an educator and administrator, I have spent the last several years honing my practice in service of meeting the needs of some of our most vulnerable students. For the last 15 years, I have worked with students on the Autism Spectrum, those with Intellectual Disabilities, Other Health Impairments, and Multiple Disabilities. In that time, I have developed a passion for improving outcomes for these students, in areas such as the acquisition of academic and functional skills, but my strongest passion has become working with high school students with disabilities, their teachers, and the programs that serve them.  I have extensive experience developing and expanding my school’s Transition and Work-Based Learning Program and aligning it with the NYS Blueprint for Improved Results for Students with Disabilities as well as with overall regulations set forth by NYSED, the NYS Work-Based Learning Manual, and NTACT evidenced-based practices. Additionally, I have dedicated much of my time advocating for the needs of students with disabilities and increasing opportunities for these students to gain work-based learning experiences.  Thank you for this opportunity to be the new Secretary of NYS DCDT.

 Colleen Crisell:

I remember being in high school, volunteering in a special class for medically fragile students, and knowing that this was the career path I needed to pursue.  Since that time, I have been lucky enough to teach students with disabilities at the secondary level and learn first-hand what transition is all about.  Transitioning students with disabilities into college, the world of work, etc. has been one of my greatest joys.  I was a Transition Specialist is the Mid-State Region for six years before taking on my current position as a Special Education Trainer for the Southeast Regional Partnership Center.  In the past five years as an NYS DCDT member and treasurer of the organization, I have grown to love the vision, fortitude, and warmth of the team.  Thank you for allowing me to continue as the Treasurer for NYS DCDT.

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