Parents, educators, administrators, and occupational and physical therapists share stories of how innovative educational approaches positively impact their lives and the lives of their students and families.
Fred Oglesby’s career has expanded 28-years with ACES, Whitney High School North. He has a B.A. from Pace University and holds a Master of Social Work Degree from Yeshiva University. In addition, he has earned a 6th Year Degree from Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) in School Administration (092). During his first two years of employment with ACES, Fred commuted from the Bronx, New York to Hamden, Connecticut. His travelled a 130 miles per day. Fred has had a range of different roles at ACES, including being the Head Coach for the Basketball and Softball teams. He is currently the Department Chair for the School’s Vocational and Transition Services team. His duties include facilitating community-based employment, vocational and educational opportunities in the form of public and private sector internships for students. These internships have the potential for direct and indirect employment. Fred has also collaborated with the Gateway High School Partnership Program to offer students free college courses. Finally, Mr. Oglesby has helped to establish a credentialing program offering the following courses: Driver’s Education Program (DEP), Safe Serv (Food Service), Information Technology (IT), and Certified Nurses’ Assistant (CNA) classes. The goal in helping students transform their lives starts with empowering them to become independent, self-sufficient young adults who can contribute to their respective communities and society at large. This begins with creative and effective school programs that offer age appropriate, interesting, challenging, and real-world experiences that allow for student growth and achievement. Fred is passionate about his work with and sets high expectations for student outcomes.
As a member of the Education Policy Fellowship Program, Dr. Mascone works to include practitioners in how education policy is developed for classroom use. She brings her knowledge and experience to ACES in her work with the physical education curriculum, Birth to 18, and ACES children and parents.
Carolyn has been with ACES for 31 years, spending her first 18 years as a special education teacher in the classroom. In her current role as Transition Coordinator for CREATE, Carolyn now works with developmentally disabled 18-21 year-old students and their families, developing individualized plans to help them prepare for life after graduation. Carolyn says the ACES staff’s dedication to their students and to each other makes ACES feel like a family.
Karen DuBois-Walton, Ph.D., President, Elm City Communities/Housing Authority of the City of New Haven. Karen DuBois-Walton currently serves as the President of the Elm City Communities/Housing Authority of the City of New Haven and is responsible for providing quality affordable housing opportunities for 14,000 low income individuals in the City of New Haven. A clinical psychologist by training, Dr. DuBois-Walton is committed to creating communities that are supportive of the development of its members and to providing opportunities for others to thrive. She is committed to closing the gap between our children’s aspirations and parents’ and society’s ability to meet those. Dr. DuBois-Walton earned her BA from Yale University and MA and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Boston University. Dr. DuBois-Walton resides in New Haven. She is the wife of Kevin Walton, Sr. (an ACES employee) and the mother of two boys, Kevin age 23 and Kaleb age 19. She is a proud supporter of ACES and has collaborated in many roles. Both of her sons attended Wintergreen Interdistrict Magnet School, one son attended the Educational Center for Arts (ECA); she’s served on the Parent committees at both schools and currently serves as a Board Member for the ACES Education Foundation.
Carol started her career with ACES in 1983 as a teacher assistant as she completed her teaching course work. She then moved on to be a special education teacher for twenty-two years in various ACES programs. She was ACES teacher of the year in 2000. Bunk went on to ACES Village School in North Haven where she served as both Assistant Principal and Principal until 2016 when she accepted the position as Human Resource Director for the agency.Carol’s experiences within the agency in various roles gave her the advantage of working with dedicated professionals across the agency and allows her to understand the many roles they serve in.Working with students and families from various communities that ACES serves has been the most rewarding experiences of her career. She was drawn to special education due to seeing first hand her special needs sibling’s exclusion from typical education.
Madeline is a secretary with ACES, and the first smiling face you see when you come to the main ACES building at 350 State Street. Additionally, Madeline is the parent of a special needs student and ACES graduate – her son attended ACES Village School and graduated from ACES Whitney High School West (now, ACES Academy) as well as the grandparent of an ACES student – her grandson Caleb attends ACES Wintergreen Interdistrict Magnet School.
Barbara’s daughter attended ACES Whitney High school North for grades 8-9. Prior to this, school had been a struggle, but ACES empowered Barbara’s daughter to make decisions regarding her education, which Barbara believes was vital to her daughter’s success. Now back at her district’s school, Barbara’s daughter is thriving. Barbara says ACES is an excellent choice!
Robyn Handy has been with ACES for 29 years, holding several titles in Behavior Services at Mill Road School including: Study hall monitor, Behavior Trainer, Behavior Technician and presently Registered Behavior Technician 2. Robyn is committed to helping her students feel loved and safe. She assists in building their self-esteem and managing their behavior with the hope that they can return back to their home district and be successful. Transformation has been a two way street; Robyn’s students have transformed her in many ways, making her a resilient person and a better Behavior Technician.
Casey Camire attended an ACES magnet school in Meriden that specialized in STEM fields, from 2004-2006. Since then, he went on to earn a degree in Chemistry, and currently works for the Henkel Corporation, where he designs and scales up household cleaning products. According to Casey, while it was his experience with ACES that set him on his current career path in the STEM fields, it was the rigorous curriculum and excellent teachers that ACES provided which gave him both the tools to succeed, and a love of learning that he hopes to carry the rest of his life.
Steve is a Teacher Assistant and Driver for ACES Village School. He has been with ACES for 16 years and enjoys working with the students individually in the classroom as well as in groups. Steve says that the ACES staff works together as a team, ensuring that all students get the support and attention that they need. Over the years, this teamwork has continued to strengthen, with the progress of the students always as the top priority.
Vin attended ACES Wintergreen Interdistrict Magnet School from 4th through 8th grade. During this time, Vin admits that he was a difficult student and credits his teachers for placing him on a better path, by turning his classroom into a family. Vin went on to become a high school math teacher and currently is the Math Instructional Coach at Eastern Senior High School, in the Washington D.C. area. Vin has also taken on significant leadership roles in organizations that serve the LGBTQ community.
Johanna Bresnick is an alumni of ACES Educational Center for the Arts and now serves as Chair of the Visual Arts Department at the school. Johanna is dedicated to creating an authentic and supportive environment for students to become lifelong learners through their passion for the arts.
Caitlin is an ACES Physical Therapist working with ACES Extension Therapy Services division. Caitlin works closely with special education students. She appreciates working with an entire team of teachers, paraprofessionals and other therapists to serve her students, and strongly believes in collaborations with other therapists, teachers and school staff. Recently, Caitlin started a running club at an elementary school for children with autistic spectrum disorders.
Rita’s son has been with ACES since he was 4 years old. He started at ACES Village School and is now matriculating at the ACES Center for Autism Spectrum and Developmental Disorders(CASDD). Rita credits the services provided by ACES with helping her son learn valuable life and academic skills.
Dr. Wagner is ACES Director of Technology Services. She follows trends in technology and looks for ways to introduce technological innovations into the classroom with the goal of equitable access to address student diverse needs.
Carrie has been with ACES for 13 years as a Behavior Analyst with ACES Behavior Services and Autism Programs division. Carrie has an extensive academic background exploring the science of behavior that has led her to develop systems to apply to educational setting to improve the performance of students with special needs. She believes that it is important to find ways to help make public schools work for special needs students so they are fully integrated into their own communities.
Deidre has been an Occupational Therapist for 20 years. She started her career as an intern in ACES Extension Therapy Services (ETS) division. As a member of ACES ETS team, Deidre has worked with a number of ACES schools including ACES Mill Road School, ACES Village School, ACES Whitney High School North and Whitney High School East / West & CREATE as well as schools in ACES partner districts.
Frank is the Director of Student Learning and Teaching for Wolcott Public Schools. Frank is committed to ensuring that teachers have what they need to carry out their work, and sees great value in educators learning from one another. ACES Professional Development and School Improvement Services (www.aces.org/pdsi) division works closely with Frank and the Wolcott Public Schools to ensure that educators and administrators are getting the resources and coaching that they need to best support student learning.