Natasha Chase, Director
Our Director Natasha Chase keeps SLA moving forward. She meets with every new family to evaluate their case. She works closely with the Advocates, providing invaluable advice and supervision.
Natasha has two Master’s degrees, in education and social work. She is a graduate of the Wurzweiler School of Social Work of Yeshiva University. She comes to special education advocacy with an appreciation for cultural differences and an eagerness to help parents and school districts work together for the good of the children.
Natasha is a believer that you have to find humor in adversity. Armed with a sense of humor and conflict resolution skills, Natasha is ready to support parents navigating the special education maze. She has been with SLA since 2008. Back then Natasha was one of the first graduates of the course in advocacy training provided by the Council of Parents Attorneys and Advocates in 2007.
Natasha is fluent in German, French and Russian.
Ann Miller, Educational Advocate
Ann Miller joined Susan Luger Associates in August, 2015. She received her MS/Ed. at Yeshiva University and did post graduate work in testing and evaluation at Columbia University.
Ann spent 26 years at the Stephen Gaynor School in Manhattan as a teacher, the Assistant Director, a Co-Director of the Lower School, and a Co-Director of Admissions Applications.
She also spent 9 years teaching special education in the New York City Public Schools. Ann holds her New State License in both elementary education and special education and was honored to be listed in the 2004 edition of “Who’s Who of American Teachers”
Her own personal history led to Ann’s passion for attempting to create a sense of fairness for special needs children and their families. Her desire to equalize the playing field continually fuels her work. “As identification of children with learning issues continues to grow, so does the need to ensure that every child gets the education he/she needs to flourish. It is vital that this goal be met, therefore the support of families with special needs children is an on-going mission.”
Desiree Keane, Educational Advocate
Desiree Keane came to SLA with 15 years of experience teaching students with a vast range of special needs. She earned Master’s Degrees in Both Special and General Education and holds a Specialized Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders. She has been a Graduate Professor at Manhattanville College, preparing future special education teachers with IDEA laws and the most current teaching methodologies.
Desiree’s philosophy is to empower parents with the ability to make sound decisions regarding their child’s education. her commitment to advocacy is also personally driven, as she had advocated for family members and dear friends who have children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Speech and Language Impairments. She is sensitive to parents’ concerns and committed to ensuring the most proper placements and support services.
As a teacher, Desiree had years of experience writing IEP’s, attending CSE meetings, and working closely with school psychologists, speech & language/occupational therapists and many other support services. She is familiar with modified curriculum, alternative assessments, testing accommodations and appropriate placements. Desiree supports the importance of deadlines and proper documentation and joins Susan luger Associates with your child’s education and best interests in mind.
Ellen Roth, Educational Advocate
Ellen’s primary focus is providing support for the litigation process through the drafting of essential documents. Ellen’s preparation of requests for impartial hearings and related documents is aimed at maximizing our clients’ chances of settlement or prevailing at a hearing.
Prior to joining Susan Luger Associates, she was employed in a similar capacity in the offices of a special education attorney in New York City. Ellen has spent most of her professional life in education, as a classroom and remedial reading teacher in the New York City public schools and administrator at Baruch and Hunter colleges.
Ellen has a B.S. from Skidmore College, master’s degrees in remedial reading and guidance from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a J.D. from CUNY Law School.
Fredda Clark, Educational Advocate
Fredda Clark worked for the New York City Department of Education for over thirty years in several capacities, including as a special education teacher and a member of the school-based support team (the IEP team). She administered education evaluations, arranged and attended IEP meetings.
Fredda also worked at the Region 9 Committee on Special Education as a special education teacher on the review team, a special education instructional support specialist, and a school district representative for impartial hearings. Additionally, she coordinated the impartial hearing activities for the region.
Fredda is certified as a Level I Wilson reading teacher and is trained in the Orton Gillingham technique and DIR/Floortime. In addition to her special education teaching credentials, she holds a certificate as a School District Administrator.
Her decades of experience in the school system, combined with her years of working with families at Susan Luger Associates, make Fredda highly qualified and very eager to advocate for parents facing the challenges of securing the most appropriate services for their child.
Jeanne Stone, Educational Advocate
Jeanne Stone has been advocating for children for over twenty-five years. As a licensed school psychologist and speech pathologist, she has provided services for students in both public and private school settings, conducted numerous evaluations and worked with all age students from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade.
She has received extensive New York State training in the CSE process and is a recognized leader in conducting and chairing meetings as well as other related special education services. Her goal has been and remains, “Always working to do what is best for children and their special needs. We need to ensure a level playing field for all students.” Jeanne has attended years of special education law conferences and seminars, has presented on a variety of special education topics and has consulted on a number of difficult of cases where she was instrumental in collaborative decision making.
Jeanne has established and directed early childhood centers with a variety of special needs students, she has created collaborative settings for children with autism, she has served in public school settings as a district chairperson, coordinating services between regular and special education, which when combined with her speech and psychological background offers parents and children a complete range of special services.
“I want to spend this time in my career insuring that children receive the best possible services they are entitled to, so they can fulfill their potential.” Jeanne is excited to be part of Susan Luger Associates, dedicated to these same goals.
Lois Siegler, Educational Advocate
Prior to joining Susan Luger Associates, Lois was employed as a special education advocate in New York City. During this time Lois accompanied parents to CSE meetings. She has accompanied parents to visit and evaluate CSE recommended programs. Lois has assisted parents through the special education process.She was always available to answer parent questions and address their concerns.
Lois worked for the NYC Department of Education for over thirty years. She taught middle school students enrolled in general education and special education classes. Lois became an education evaluator in various schools in District 2 in Manhattan. She assessed students in public and private school in order to determine their educational needs.
The last five years of Lois’s career at the Department of Education were as a special education teacher on the special assessment team at the Committee on Special Education. She worked with a multi- disciplinary team of clinicians, parents and private school personnel in order to create IEP’s and make educationally appropriate recommendations for students with special needs.
Lois earned a Bachelor of Science degree at the State University College at New Paltz and a Masters of Science degree at Richmond College. She is New York State certified in Elementary Education and Special Education. Lois is excited to bring her years of experience helping parents through the special education process in order to obtain appropriate educational services for their children to the team of Susan Luger Associates.
Rhoda Geller, Educational Advocate
As a member of Susan Luger Associates, Rhoda Geller brings over 17 years of special education advocacy experience to the table. Rhoda has focused her career on establishing partnerships with families while providing them with the knowledge and comfort level needed throughout the special education process.
Rhoda’s educational background and training as a math teacher, experience as a math tutor, for both special and general education students, and her training in the Wilson Reading Program, all bring an added dimension to her ability to support our families. Having run her own college counseling business, Rhoda has a clear understanding as to what students need to do while in junior and senior high school as well as during their college years.
Whether accompanying parents to CSE Meetings or advising families on the next steps of a case, Rhoda’s unique combination of skills provides parents with the support and guidance they need. We are pleased that in addition to handling New York cases, Rhoda is part of our New Jersey cohort that handles cases in New Jersey.
Rhoda has a B.S. degree in Mathematics from Brooklyn College and a Master’s Degree in Mathematics, with a minor in Education, from Richmond College.
Parent Support Team
Adrienne Schorr, Parent Representative
Adrienne Schorr received a B.A. in Fine Arts and Secondary Education from Lehman College, C.U.N.Y. and an M.A. in Special Education with a focus on physical and multiple disabilities from Columbia University, Teachers College to fulfill her desire to teach art in a more therapeutic/rehabilitative setting.
Adrienne began teaching art at United Cerebral Palsy of New York City’s Brooklyn Teenage and Adult program and subsequently taught in the New York City public schools for 10 years. Her experience in New York City included teaching art to multiply disabled students 5 – 21 years of age and middle school students with a wide range of learning and emotional disabilities and speech and language impairments. She taught art in the Poughkeepsie City School District for the next 20 years. This experience included elementary school for 5 years and then high school. Throughout her years of teaching the “general population” Adrienne specialized in and advocated for those students with special needs who were mainstreamed into her art classes; working closely with their teachers, families and support professionals, and often attending CSE meetings. In addition to her teaching responsibilities she acted as Advisor and Advocate of the Gay/Straight Alliance at Poughkeepsie High School.
Adrienne was an adjunct lecturer at both Queens College and Lehman College, teaching a graduate course “Visual Arts for Students With Learning Problems”. She held summer positions teaching art to incarcerated youth, mentoring teenage gifted girls, and has given private art lessons to an autistic teenager. One of the highlights of Adrienne’s teaching career was the opportunity to share her knowledge and experience in Japan when she participated in a Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program in 2003. She is excited to now use her extensive experiences as an educator to advocate for students with special needs as part of SLA’s team.
Danielle Caminiti, Parent Representative
Danielle Caminiti has joined SLA’s advocacy team. Having a child with special needs, she understands the EI, CPSE and CSE process and can appreciate how difficult and confusing navigating the system can be for a parent. With both her professional and personal experience, Danielle empathetically guides parents through the CSE process helping them get the services their children need and deserve.
Danielle is also an attorney with a JD from Fordham University School of Law. Prior to joining SLA, she has had both civil and criminal trial experience. As a senior associate at a medical malpractice defense firm, Danielle was involved in many cases involving birth injury, global developmental delays, cerebral palsy, autism, cognitive deficits, and seizure disorders. She has vast knowledge of the services such infants and children receive and the quality medical and therapist experts who provide them.
Elizabeth Scheer, Parent Representative
Elizabeth has a B.S. in Special Education from the University Of Cincinnati and an M.A. in Deaf Education from New York University. She has 35 years of experience teaching children and adults with special needs. She worked with high school age and adult clients with physical and cognitive disabilities at United Cerebral Palsy of NYC for 5 years; at St. Joseph’s School For The Deaf with elementary school students, utilizing total communication (speaking and signing) skills to implement lessons; and then at the NYC Board of Education, working as a special education teacher for 28 years.
Elizabeth taught in the following special education programs:
- The Bronx Center For Multiply Handicapped Students, where she learned to adapt equipment, position students, and work on range of motion exercises to promote students optimum performance while working on classroom tasks
- P.S. 89, in self contained 12:1:1 K, 1st, and 2nd grade classes teaching students with mild cognitive disabilities, speech and language impairments, and emotional disabilities
- P.S.176 a school for students with Autism, working with middle school age students, developing lessons and activities to increase receptive and expressive language skills and social skills.
Elizabeth has always tried to engage and inform the parents of her students. She believes that parents are an important part of the educational planning team and are essential to implementing a comprehensive program.
Ina Miles, Parent Representative
Ina Miles holds a B.A in Early Childhood Education, an M.S. in both Early Childhood and Special Education, and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Education. She is New York State certified in Early Childhood, Elementary, and Special Education. Ina taught in the New York City school system for twenty-two years, sixteen of them teaching children with special needs. She is a Special Education docent at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is an active member of AHA – the Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Association.
As a parent of a child with special needs, Ina is very familiar with the CSE process and understands how difficult and confusing it can be. With her experience and expertise, Ina guides parents through the CSE process helping them get the services required to meet their child’s individual special needs.
Mireille Wahl, Parent Representative
Mireille has been advocating for individuals with disabilities and their families for over ten years, working for two nationally recognized non-profit organizations. As a child advocate, Mireille mentored and trained families of children with disabilities to advocate for appropriate educational services for their children including accompanying them to IEP/CSE meetings, and organized and conducted workshops to assist families in those efforts.
Through her experience as the parent of an adolescent with special needs, Mireille believes in understanding and integrating all aspects of care in order to achieve the best outcome for the families she serves. To that extent, she has been a consultant for the NJ Early Intervention System; a service provider for multiple NJ school districts and she has provided private consultations for multiple families by helping individuals from infancy to adulthood across various settings: in-home programs, in schools supports, Extended School Year (ESY) settings and in the community.
Mireille is a graduate of the Special Education Advocate Training (SEAT), a pilot program nationally funded by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) jointly with the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA). Mireille holds a master’s degree in hospitality and a bachelor’s degree in International Trade.
Tom Feola, Parent Representative
Tom Feola worked for over 20 years for the Department of Education as a school social worker where he coordinated the school guidance team and the school peer mediation program. Tom counseled students with special needs on the high school level and is NYS certified. He also has over 10 years experience working as a caseworker at the Veterans Administration Drug Treament program and was coordinator of the VA Post Traumatic Stress Disorder program.