The SUPAC has full time experienced and knowledgeable staff many who have personal and professional experience with the special education process.
Amy Zogby, Director, is a life-long resident of Central New York. She earned her B.A. in Psychology and her M.A. /C.A.S. in School Psychology. Amy has worked with children from the pre-kindergarten thru the college level, parents, as well as, professionals in helping them reach their educational goals. Her experience as a behavior specialist and working with children with disabilities inspired her to become an advocate. Amy has worked extensively in her community to develop awareness, implement programs, and train families and professionals in the area of special education. Her goal is to work herself out of a job by empowering parents and giving them the tools they need to feel like an equal partner in their child’s education. She wants parents to have the confidence to advocate for their child. Amy works tirelessly to ensure that each and every child she works with has an appropriate education through the implementation of best practices, collaboration and communication.
Kristine P. O’Brien, Parent Outreach Specialist, has been with the Syracuse University Parent Advocacy Center since 2010. She is an enthusiastic and inspiring speaker and has become the lead trainer at SUPAC. Kristine has both personal and professional knowledge as an effective advocate and partner with school districts. She has seen first hand, working with her son’s own school team, the benefits of a collaborative approach. Her passion for helping families navigate the special education process is evident in all aspects of her work. Kristine is an active member in many local community organizations including her school districts Parent Teacher Group and her long standing involvement with the Central New York Autism Society of America.
Shana Lewis, Bilingual Parent Outreach Specialist, earned a BA in Psychology and an MA in Educational Counseling before beginning her work in the field of special education. Shana worked as a School Counselor and Committee on Special Education (CSE) Chairperson and spent extensive time overseas before joining the SUPAC team. Her experience as both a CSE Chairperson and School Counselor has allowed her to see students and families through the eyes of a practitioner and an administrator. In her dual position, Shana saw the difficulties parents experienced with the special education process and desired to help them. As a parent herself, Shana understands the difficulties and confusion parents experience helping their child succeed. Shana loves being part of SUPAC and helping to empower parents to be more involved in their child’s education.
Rachael Zubal-Ruggieri, Web-Based Outreach, also serves as Information Coordinator at the Center on Human Policy. Her work continually evolves into utilizing new technologies for the coordination of informational materials for the Center and its funded projects, specifically websites, Internet mailing lists, and the design and production of promotional materials. She is also knowledgeable about web design and accessibility, and has published articles on web accessibility for people with developmental disabilities. Mother to a teenager with special needs, Rachael is enrolled in the Child and Family Studies program, with a Disability Studies Minor, at Syracuse University.