Meet our Administrative Team

While not advocates or attorneys, these staff members are vital just the same.

2211, 2016

Arthur Luger

Arthur Luger is SLA’s Business Manager. While it is true he got his job through nepotism, there have been no regrets about hiring him.

After obtaining a Ph.D. In Physics, Art worked for many years as a consultant on Wall Street, specializing in Risk Management. In 2007, he thought it might be a good time to retire and take it easy. His wife (Executive Director Susan Luger) had a better idea. In need of a business manager for SLA, Susan realized she knew the perfect candidate. And the rest is history.

Art is an essential member of the SLA Team. With his skills in project management, he has done a masterful job of organizing the business side of SLA. He and his business office team keep everything humming on the third floor so the advocates on the second floor can better serve our clients.

2211, 2016

Annie DeLeon

Annie DeLeon is a certified paralegal with years of experience in special education and dealing with the NYCDOE. Annie works with both the Business Office Team and the Settlement Team. Annie holds a certificate as a Paralegal and an Associates Degree in Human Services. With Annie’s help, we have improved the efficiency of our hearing and settlement processes. As Annie will gladly tell you, her greatest achievement has been the birth of her beautiful daughter Julia in December 2015.

2311, 2016

Anny Lyan

Anny joined the SLA family in 2014 and is currently an Administrator for the Advocacy team. She is responsible for scheduling parent advocates to accompany clients to CSE Reviews and school site visits as well as managing other administrative and clerical tasks. She has a M.S.ed in Childhood Math and Science from Hunter College and has 10 plus years of teaching experience including teaching students with special needs. She is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese, therefore, she often acts as a liaison between the SLA team and potential/current Chinese clients.

2311, 2016

Bonnie Lam

Bonnie returns to SLA after becoming a recent mother to an awesome 3 year old boy. She graduated with an English B.A. from SUNY Buffalo and is a professional people pleaser. She works closely with our Impartial Hearing Manager and provides support to our administration staff as well.  When she’s not talking your head off, you can spot her hanging in Queens sipping on bubble tea and stuffing her face with the latest food trend.  In that order. Bonnie is fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin.

2311, 2016

Erica Wellington

Erica Wellington-London has joined Melissa and Annie in the Business Office.  She will be handling many tasks related to Impartial Hearings and serving as a back-up to Louis. Before joining SLA, Erica was our peerless case manager at the Impartial Hearing Office of the DOE.  Their loss is certainly our gain.

2211, 2016

Ira Kushin

Ira Kushin is a valuable member of the Settlements Team. Before joining SLA, Ira worked for several corporations and legal firms as a Legal Records Manager. His skill in managing and collecting records has been very useful in his work here at SLA.

2211, 2016

Jennifer Shaw

Jennifer Shaw comes from a large family and is very used to being at the hub of activity. This makes Jennie a perfect fit for managing our front desk. When she’s not directing calls at SLA, you’ll find her either in the park with a good book or pursuing her passion for illustration and graphic design by doing commissioned work for various publications. While not a native New Yorker, Jennifer has thoroughly enjoyed transitioning from suburban life to the faster pace of the city.

1201, 2017

Jessenia Ortiz

Jessenia comes to us with a background in early childhood. She has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Manhattan College. She has also studied Multicultural Education at the College of Mount Saint Vincent and the City College of New York. She has taught various subjects across grades K-6 and she has also coached other educators on testing strategies and differentiated instruction. She has a dedication to childhood development and a new found interest in special needs children.

She is a mother to twin girls, and very familiar with parental roles in the Committee on Special Education both in upstate New York and New York City. She comes to SLA with a passion for advocacy and for empowering children with special needs. She hopes to continue her education in advocacy in the near future.

2311, 2016

Kate Vasquez

Kate Vasquez is an important member of the Settlements Team.  As the mother of twin boys, she understands the school process very well.  Kate has a background in the medical field with strength in the patient relations department.

Since joining SLA’s Settlement  Team, she has developed many ways to make the process more efficient, ensuring that parents receive their payments as soon as possible. Additionally, Kate speaks fluent Spanish.

2211, 2016

Louis Chi

Louis Chi has been the Impartial Hearing Manager at SLA since 2009. In addition to serving as Impartial Hearing Coordinator, Louis is now actively assisting Art with tasks relating to client reimbursements. Louis is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese.

2211, 2016

Melissa Machado

Melissa Machado in the anchor of the Business Office Team. She works closely with Art, SLA’s Business Manager, offering administrative assistance at every turn. Melissa can be relied on to offer support whenever and wherever it is needed.

Before coming to SLA, Melissa worked for the DOE’s Impartial Hearing Office for 10 years as a Senior Case Manager. Her work included helping parents who were going through the hearing process without an attorney. The insight into the process that Melissa provided often resulted in a better outcome for these families.

Now Melissa uses her skills in helping families at SLA. Her dedication to helping our clients is an essential part of what makes SLA work.

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