Board of Directors
Joseph Piscitelli has been in the transportation industry for 23 years. He is a graduate of Hamden Adult Education. Joseph has a sister who has been a participant with ARCGNH for many years. He continues to advocate for individuals with I/DD through his work on the Executive Board of the ARC of Greater New Haven
Vice President/Vice Chair
Ellie is a graduate of the Southern CT State University where she received degrees in Special Education. She has many years of experience working with individuals with developmental disabilities, both as a teacher in the North Haven Public Schools and as a coach for Special Olympics.
She continues to advocate for individuals with I/DD through her work on the Executive Board of the ARC of Greater New Haven.
Chelsea is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she received dual degrees in English and Psychology, and Quinnipiac University School of Law. She has been involved with individuals with developmental disabilities (I/DD) since she began volunteering in special education classrooms through middle school, high school and college. Chelsea has advocated for individuals with developmental disabilities in various roles during her legal career and continues to do so as a member of the Board of Directors of the ARC of Greater New Haven.
Susan is a Wallingford resident and the parent of a 24 year old son with I/DD who attends ARC of GNH. She has been her son’s strongest advocate, dedicated to maximizing his full potential in the educational system from early intervention services, to his many years at ACES Village/ACES WHSE. Her son’s transition to his day program was seamless, and he enjoys peer and social community interactions, thanks to the dedicated staff support at ARC.
Susan is a graphic designer and a professional caregiver, working with infants 6 weeks to 12 months fostering growth and child development. She works closely with families providing support and is dedicated to every child receiving educational fulfillment, both in and out of the I/DD community. She is a current member of the Board of Directors of the ARC of GNH as a parent representative.
Laura is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where she received a degree in Occupational Therapy and Cortland College and Johns Hopkins University where she earned degrees in Elementary and Special Education respectively. Laura has worked with and advocated for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities when she began her career as a teacher and later as an Occupational Therapist working in both Public and Private Schools. She currently works for Area Cooperative Education Services (ACES) where she serves a dual role as Director of Extension Therapy Services, a service division of ACES that provides both Occupational and Physical Therapy to schools via contact, as well as an OT service provider.
Jean is a semi-retired Region 16 (Prospect/Beacon Falls) special education teacher. She retired full time from Region 16 on 2011. Following her retirement, Jean became seriously ill in need of a lung transplant. Having a successful transplant on 6/2/12, Jean felt more than ever the “calling” to continue to work with students with special needs. Advocacy was the name of the game. She returned to Region 16 in 2014 on a per diem basis working with homebound students. What was Jean’s inspiration to get better? It was her twin sister with I/DD who attends ARC of GNH. To Joan, ARC is her heaven. It’s everything to her. And to Jean, Joan was the “wind beneath her wings” to continue to advocate. Jean is a graduate of Southern CT State University. She is a current member of the Board of Directors of the ARC of GNH as a guardian/conservator representative
I grew up right next door in Wallingford and attended Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island after high school. After working in the restaurant industry for many years, I continued my education to become a teacher. I have been a teacher for 18 years, but I am now the Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry Arts Instructor at North Haven HIgh School. Last year I joined Gateway Community College as an instructor in their Culinary Arts Program as well. I have owned a restaurant in the area for the last 12 years with my sister and hope that this experience can assist me in the Executive Board position with ARC of Greater New Haven.
Maria Cusano has held several positions in the financial services industry for over 25 years. Her current responsibilities include compliance and risk management. She is a graduate of Southern Connecticut State University and is a Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager. Maria has and currently serves on other non-profit Boards in our community for over 5 years. Maria enjoys contributing her time and talents as a board member, her belief that everyone deserves to experience respect and to lead a healthy life has brought her to ARC of Greater New Haven. She is an advocate and supporter of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Pat is a retired educator and has been strong advocate for individuals with developmental disabilities (I/DD) since high school. As a special education teacher in the New Haven Public School System, Pat helped students with I/DD develop the tools to lead fulfilling lives and achieve their dreams and goals. Pat continues to champion equal opportunities and basic rights of dignity and respect for individuals with I/DD through her role as Previous Executive Board President and as a coach for Special Olympics.
Judy is a retired Speech and Language Clinician and special education teacher form the North Haven School system.
She specialized in life skills development and speech and language skills having served as a speech clinician in the system previous to her entering the classroom
full time. She actively supports various programs for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She graduated from Boston University with a degree in
Speech and Hearing Therapy and received a masters and 6th year degree in Special Education from SCSU. She has served on the ARC board in a variety of capacities since 2004.