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Special Education » SEPTA (Southern Westchester Special Education Parent-Teacher Association) SEPTA (Southern Westchester Special Education Parent-Teacher Association)

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L-r: Phyllis Rizzi, Marcela Stern, Alvin Benson, Erin Sullivan-Theison, Donna Flynn, Carol Zalenski.

It’s official: Southern Westchester BOCES has its own Special Education Parent Teacher Association.

SWBOCES Forms First Special Education PTA

 

It’s official: Southern Westchester BOCES has its own Special Education Parent Teacher Association.

With Alvin Benson, vice president of the New York State PTA presiding, members of the SEPTA’s first Executive Board were sworn in on April 8, capping an achievement nearly two years in the making.

Sitting on the Executive Board are Erin Sullivan-Theison, president; Phyllis Rizzi, vice president; Marcela Stern, treasurer; Carol Zalenski, correspondent, and Donna Flynn, secretary.

Ms. Sullivan-Theison, Ms. Flynn and Ms. Stern all are parents of special education students in Southern Westchester school districts. Ms. Rizzi is a Project AIIM Supervisor for the SWBOCES Center for Special Services, and Ms. Zalenski is a special education teacher aide at the SWBOCES Center for Career Services.

Crystallizing Parent Needs

Ms. Sullivan-Theison said a BOCES SEPTA would “crystallize the needs” of parents with similar circumstances who are in need of an organizational structure for networking and information sharing. “There was a vacuum in parent-to-parent communication. There are parents out there who feel isolated, and our hope is to join everyone with the SEPTA.”

The Executive Board, she said, will work over the summer to create a meeting and events calendar, build a Web site and prepare membership drive materials that will be mailed to parents in September. Annual membership dues will be $10 for the first person in a family, $8 for the second. Three dollars and fifty cents of the dues are returned to the New York State PTA, which splits it with the National PTA. The balance goes to the SEPTA. Future fundraising efforts will supplement the SEPTA’s resources.

Topping the list of the Board’s initial goals is the publishing of a SEPTA parent directory that lists student names, class assignments, teachers, calendars and parent contact information. The directory should help to quell parents’ feelings of isolation, allowing them to network easily, exchange information and do something as simple as arrange play dates, Ms. Sullivan-Theison said.

SEPTA Secretary Donna Flynn, a Dutchess County resident whose daughter is in the Project AIIM program in Ardsley, praised the SEPTA formation. “My local SEPTA has been an invaluable support, providing workshops and information that have helped me make the right decisions for my daughter. But a BOCES SEPTA could offer more networking possibilities and be a link to other parents here.”

With Alvin Benson, vice president of the New York State PTA presiding, members of the SEPTA’s first Executive Board were sworn in on April 8, capping an achievement nearly two years in the making.

Sitting on the Executive Board are Erin Sullivan-Theison, president; Phyllis Rizzi, vice president; Marcela Stern, treasurer; Carol Zalenski, correspondent, and Donna Flynn, secretary.

Ms. Sullivan-Theison, Ms. Flynn and Ms. Stern all are parents of special education students in Southern Westchester school districts. Ms. Rizzi is a Project AIIM Supervisor for the SWBOCES Center for Special Services, and Ms. Zalenski is a special education teacher aide at the SWBOCES Center for Career Services.

Crystallizing Parent Needs

Ms. Sullivan-Theison said a BOCES SEPTA would “crystallize the needs” of parents with similar circumstances who are in need of an organizational structure for networking and information sharing. “There was a vacuum in parent-to-parent communication. There are parents out there who feel isolated, and our hope is to join everyone with the SEPTA.”

The Executive Board, she said, will work over the summer to create a meeting and events calendar, build a Web site and prepare membership drive materials that will be mailed to parents in September. Annual membership dues will be $10 for the first person in a family, $8 for the second. Three dollars and fifty cents of the dues are returned to the New York State PTA, which splits it with the National PTA. The balance goes to the SEPTA. Future fundraising efforts will supplement the SEPTA’s resources.

Topping the list of the Board’s initial goals is the publishing of a SEPTA parent directory that lists student names, class assignments, teachers, calendars and parent contact information. The directory should help to quell parents’ feelings of isolation, allowing them to network easily, exchange information and do something as simple as arrange play dates, Ms. Sullivan-Theison said.

SEPTA Secretary Donna Flynn, a Dutchess County resident whose daughter is in the Project AIIM program in Ardsley, praised the SEPTA formation. “My local SEPTA has been an invaluable support, providing workshops and information that have helped me make the right decisions for my daughter. But a BOCES SEPTA could offer more networking possibilities and be a link to other parents here.”








Southern Westchester BOCES :: 17 Berkley Drive, Rye Brook, NY 10573 :: 914.937.3820