Leadership

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Lori Riti

Principal

Mrs. Riti brings a wealth of experience in special needs education to De LaSalle Academy, with over twenty years in private and public education. She holds a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Notre Dame, a master’s in Special Education from Barry University, and a bachelor’s in Elementary Education from the University of South Florida. Her excellent reputation is based on the ability to assemble the best possible team of professionals and selecting cutting-edge, research-based programs to achieve results for students with special needs. Mrs. Riti has prior experience as a founding administrator for a special needs school, coordinator for a special learning needs program in an inclusion setting, and classroom teaching experience in elementary and middle school. Mrs. Riti is proud to bring De LaSalle Academy to Southwest Florida. She knows that her shared vision of bringing this “beacon of light” to the community will benefit the under-served and marginalized students of our area.

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Sarah Barrow

Assistant Principal

Born in California and raised in Monmouth County, NJ, Mrs. Barrow is a highly experienced professional specializing in exceptional student education.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education and a Master of Education, Autism Studies from Georgian Court University.  She is certified as an Assistive Technology Specialist, Teacher of the Handicapped, Teacher of Elementary School, and Wilson Reading System Level 1 Specialist.  She has worked in the classroom in a variety of capacities including as a Special Education Department Leader, Assistive Technology Specialist, Middle School Language and Learning Disabled Teacher, Middle School and High School Multiply Disabled Teacher, Middle School In Class Support Teacher, and Second Grade Resource Room Teacher.  Mrs. Barrow is rated Highly Qualified in Middle School Language Arts.  In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, going to the beach and exploring new places.  Mrs. Barrow believes in Margaret Mead’s statement that “Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.”

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Bonnie Ross

Director of Operations

Mrs. Ross is well known in our Southwest Florida community as a person with a passion for protecting the right to a quality education for all students, regardless of their learning differences. She has over ten years of experience in program development, public relations, marketing, and fundraising. Mrs. Ross has a strong background in identifying resources and putting them to work for the benefit of a non-profit entity, including prior experience in local educational institutions. She has a clear vision for the future of De LaSalle Academy and works miracles to bring its mission to life for to the children of our community.

Board of Directors

 

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Karen Nathan, Ph.D.

President

Dr. Nathan grew up in Cincinnati.  She received her B.S. and Master’s degrees from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, and her Ph.D. from the University of South Florida in Tampa.  Dr. Nathan has worked with a variety of age levels as a teacher, consultant, and volunteer in both public and private schools.  Many years ago, while teaching at the branch campus of USF here in Fort Myers, she had Principal Lori Riti as a student!  (Dr. Nathan says Mrs. Riti was an outstanding student.)  Utilizing research she did for her dissertation, Dr. Nathan wrote a book, Dyslexia with Gifts and Talents.  Dr. Nathan lives with her husband Jim and their labradoodle and tabby cat.  (They all cheer for the Cincinnati Reds and the Bengals.)  They have two grown sons and a six-month old grandson.  She enjoys hiking, kayaking, reading, traveling, spending time with family and friends, and watching a good mystery.  Dr. Nathan states, “De LaSalle Academy is dear to my heart.  It is a special place where students with learning differences are truly welcomed, respected, encouraged, and provided a pathway to success.”

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Roger O’Halloran, Esq.

Vice-President

Mr. O’Halloran is married, a father of three sons and grandfather of four, all of whom reside in Fort Myers.  He has practiced law in Lee County since 1974 after his service in the United States Army.  As an attorney, his work has centered on representing families in every aspect of their lives, from adoption through death, with emphasis on separation, divorce and disability issues.  Currently, he works in the field of Elder Law planning which includes the possibility of guardianship and other forms of protecting people with disability.  He is most interested in helping families prepare themselves, and their children with disability, to manage their affairs in an atmosphere of supported independence.  He recognizes the importance of families in working with educators and other professionals in satisfying their children’s needs and reaching goals.  He believes that De LaSalle Academy provides an atmosphere where individuals can gain not only academic success but also develop skills leading to independence, meaningful work and happiness.

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Sara Henry, MA, LMFT

Secretary

Mrs. Henry is honored to serve on the Board of De LaSalle Academy.  She is the Director of the Henry Neurorelational Center, where she specializes in assessing and treating children with special needs.  Mrs. Henry has worked as a psychotherapist for 22 years in her private practice, and in school, agency and home-visiting settings.  Along the way, she has been recognized as a master clinician by groundbreaking research and training organizations including the Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning.  She created and led the clinical outreach of the Collier HUGS program, serving underprivileged children and families of Collier County for 5 years.  Mrs. Henry believes that deep creative thinking, empathy and going the extra mile in our community efforts are necessary to nurturing the precious gleam in a child’s eye and the potential theirin.

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Jim McCaughan

Treasurer

Mr. McCaughan holds a degree in Economics from the University of Notre Dame.  With 48 years of mortgage banking experience, he operates his own business in Fort Myers, McCaughan Home Lending.  Mr. McCaughan and his wife of 40 years, Ann, have two grown daughters and three grandchildren.  He is involved in several charities including the Special Olympics and the African Caribbean American Catholic Center (AFCAAM).

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Becky Antonucci, MS, OTR/L

Director

Mrs. Antonucci is a licensed occupational therapist with a specialty in pediatrics early intervention and social thinking.  She has a BS in Occupational Therapy and an MS in Health Science with a concentration in Administration and Management.  Her volunteer activities include working with Habitat for Humanity, Golisano Children’s Hospital, St. John XXIII Catholic Church, the Junior League of Fort Myers, and Lakes Park Enrichment, Children’s Garden, and Master Gardener Program.  Her hobbies include biking, gardening, and reading.  Mrs. Antonucci and her husband Dr. Lawrence Antonucci are the proud parents of three daughters.

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Kellie Burns

Director

Ms. Burns anchors NBC2 News at 5:00, 5:30 and at 6. She started at NBC2 in 1994 as a reporter, working her way up to Collier County Bureau Chief, weekend anchor and finally primary anchor in 1996. Originally from upstate New York, Kellie graduated from the State University of New York at Geneseo with a bachelor’s degree in both Communications and Political Science, and a minor in International Relations.  Her television career began at the age of nine as an anchor on an award-winning children’s show, “Action News For Kids” in her hometown of Binghamton, New York. Kellie’s award-winning career includes two Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards and several awards from the Florida Associated Press. In addition to De LaSalle Academy, Ms. Burns lends her expertise to many non-profits in Southwest Florida including Neighborhood Health Clinic, the American Heart Association, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, the Southwest Florida Children’s Charities, Children’s Advocacy Center, and Florida Gulf Coast University Athletics.  Ms. Burns splits her time between Fort Myers and Chicago with her husband Ed, son Jack, daughter Elle and step-daughter Kara.

Vickie Gelardi

Director

Mrs. Gelardi has been a Fort Myers resident for 38 years.  She has more than 40 years of experience working with and advocating for children with learning disabilities.  She started an organization in the 1970’s that worked with the New York City Board of education to revolutionize school lunches to include food that is natural and nutritious.  She is a nutritional consultant whose clients include autistic children.  Mrs. Gelardi sits on the Board of St. Martin de Porre, a ministry that feeds the hungry and is President of the St. John’s Women’s Guild, which is dedicated to helping those in need.  She is the proud mother of three and grandmother of six.

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Rachelle Isaacson

Director

Mrs. Isaacson has been involved with various community organizations as well as her children’s schools in Fort Myers for 20 years.  She has served on the Boards of Temple Judea Pre-School, Temple Judea and the Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties.  She has also volunteered her time and talents to the Lee County Medical Society and the Canterbury School Volunteer and Parent Board.  In her free time, Mrs. Isaacson enjoys spending time with her children, boating and running.

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Mary Katin

Director (Past President)

Mrs. Katin graduated from Immaculata University with a B.A. in Biology.  After graduation, she worked in Philadelphia at the Charlotte Drake Cardeza Foundation.  She was research assistant to Dr. Thomas Gabuzda whose project was the treatment and cure of Sickle Cell Anemia.  Mrs. Katin moved to Florida in 1981 where her growing family required all her attention.  She volunteered at St. Francis Xavier School for many years.  She is currently a volunteer at AFCAAM where she tutors Math and English.  She has served on De LaSalle’s Board of Directors since its inception and is its most recent past President.  In her spare time, she is a loving grandmother to Finley and Ellis.

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Gayle Reynolds

Director

Mrs. Reynolds was born in West Seneca, New York and relocated to Florida in 1980.  She received her undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of South Florida as well as her MBA with a concentration in Management Science. She is a licensed CPA in Florida and recently retires as a CFO in the healthcare industry.  Mrs. Reynolds is a member of the AICPA and FICPA.  She is the past Treasurer of the Project Perfect World Foundation.  Mrs. Reynolds and her husband john are the proud parents of two children.

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Deborah Coe Silver, Psy.D., ABPP, NCSP

Director

Dr. Silver served as the Co-Director of the Silver Psychology Center from 1984 until 2015. She is a Licensed Psychologist and School Psychologist, as well as Board Certified in Clinical Psychology and a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. Before becoming a clinical psychologist, Dr. Silver was a teacher, rehabilitation counselor, then a guidance counselor and school psychologist. Dr. Silver has served as Vice President of the Association of Family Law Professionals and President of the Florida Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. She is a founding board member and formerly served as the Secretary of the school board of De LaSalle Academy and is a founding member of the professional advisory board of the Lee County Chapter of Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder. Dr. Silver currently is focusing her efforts exclusively on collaborative and cooperative law endeavors, as mental health coach and parenting facilitator, while previously her focus was assessment and treatment of children’s learning and behavior problems, family therapy, and marital and couples counseling. Dr. Silver is the recipient of various awards including the Hugh E. Starnes Second Annual Thinking Outside the Box Award, the Volunteer Award from the Florida Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, the First Annual Dr. Deborah Coe Silver Pinnacle Award on behalf of the Family Resource Center of Southwest Florida, Inc., the President’s Award from the Florida Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and the Ambassador’s Medal by the Board of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. Dr. Silver has co-authored various documents with members of the Parenting Plan Taskforce of the Florida Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Bench Bar Supplement 2014-Empirically Based Parenting Plans: What Professionals Need to Know, Florida’s Shared Parenting Statute,  with Dr. Robert B. Silver several journal articles including contributing to the Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice, the Conflict Resolution Quarterly, the Colorado Psychologist and the Family Mediation Quarterly.

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Jerry Snyderman

Director

Bio

 

 

 

 

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