Board of Directors
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
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.