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Allison Mayernick, Group Leader at Autism on the Seas
Volunteer from Florida

Alley is a full time Group Leader for Autism on the Seas. Prior to that, Alley was an ABA Therapist with Autism Home Support Services in Chicago, Illinois. She was an Elementary Teacher for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder for 6 years. Alley also volunteers for Nathaniel’s Hope working with Special Needs children, and she was also a Respite Worker in homes and schools for individuals with Special Needs for the past 10 years.  Alley holds a B.A. In Education as a Learning Behavior Specialist 1 from Illinois State University and an Autism Endorsement from the University of Central Florida.



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Alyssa Soohoo, Special Education Teacher
Volunteer from New York

Alyssa worked the last two years teaching ELA at Cooke Center Academy, a private school for high school students with special needs.  She previously taught second and third graders with autism in Piscataway, NJ.  She currently lives in NYC and in her second year of a PhD Program for Autism and Intellectual Disabilities at Columbia University.  Her most recent research highlights the importance of vacation respite for caregivers of children with special needs (http://www.mhnews-autism.org/back_issues/ASN-Summer2016.pdf) and video modeling intervention for teenagers with autism (http://thenadd.org/nadd-bulletin/archive/volume-xii/).  Alyssa holds a Masters of Art in Teaching Special Education.  She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and elementary education, along with a double minor in communication disorders and deaf studies. 



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Amanda Storer, Physical Therapist Assistant and Professor
Volunteer from Texas

Amanda has been a licensed physical therapist assistant since 2007, having worked primarily in outpatient and home health pediatrics.  She earned her Associate of Applied Science for physical therapist assistant from Kilgore College, her Bachelor of Applied Science for physical therapy from Centenary College of Louisiana, and her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from The University of Texas at Tyler.  Amanda joined the Tyler Junior College Physical Therapist Assistant program faculty in 2015.  She serves as a mentor through the Mentoring Alliance, president and adapted tricycle liaison for Tyler Area American Business Clubs (AMBUCS), and member of the Disability Review Board for the City of Tyler and the Disability Rights of Texas Board.



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Chris Lewis, Supervisor of Educational Programs and Services
Volunteer from Pennsylvania

Chris has been a volunteer with Autism on the Seas since 2018. At The Intermediate Unit 8 in Central PA,  she supervises ABA classrooms, Itinerant Autistic Support Teachers, Life-Skills classrooms, and Multiple-Disability programs. She has a Master's Degree in Education, graduate Certification as a Special Education Supervisor, and has her PA Certification as a Behavior Analyst. She previously worked as an Educational Consultant, Autistic Support Teacher, Learning Support Teacher, and First Grade Teacher.  Chris also volunteers with the Central PA Autism Community (CPAAC).


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Donna Edberg, Behavioral Therapist
Volunteer from Massachusetts  

Donna previously worked as a Behavioral Therapist and Lead Behavioral Therapist for Behavioral Development and Educational Services in New Bedford Massachusetts. She worked in a public school setting with students aged pre-K through 5th grade. She also worked as a home therapist for pre-K students with Children Making Strides. Donna holds a BA in Psychology and Sociology from UMASS Amherst and an M.Ed. from the University of Delaware.



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Eddie Williams, Special Education Teacher
Volunteer from Pennsylvania   

Eddie works as a 2nd Grade Teacher in Pennsylvania. He also works as a Children and Youth Ministries Director for a church in Springfield, Pennsylvania. Eddie loves to volunteer with Autism on the Seas and has done over 10 cruises. Eddie holds a Bachelors degree from Rowan Univeristy, a Masters degree in Education from Cabrini College, a Masters degree in Special Education from Neumann University and is currently working on his Reading Specialist certification. Eddie is CPR/First Aid qualified.  

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Janet Josephson, Professor of Exceptional Education
Volunteer from Pennsylvania   

Janet Josephson holds a B.S. in Music Education from New York University, a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education and in Special Education from Hunter College. She completed her a Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Delaware in 2014. Janet is currently a professor of exceptional education at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. She worked as a special education teacher for nine years in New York City and Philadelphia with students in grades K-8 with various developmental disabilities and challenging behaviors. She is thrilled to be playing a part in the Autism on the Seas magic!.


Katina Gibb, Special Education Teacher
Volunteer from New Jersey

Katina has been a volunteer with Autism on the Seas since July 2014. When she is not volunteering, Katina works as a Special Education teacher for an ABA-based autism classroom at the Y.A.L.E. School in Marlton, New Jersey. Katina has a variety of teaching experience ranging from grades five through eight in a private school setting and Kindergarten through second grade in a public school autism program. Katina received a dual degree in Elementary Education and Psychology from Rider University in 2009. She is currently pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis at Temple University. 



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Lindsey Tedesco, Special Education Teacher
Volunteer from New Jersey

Lindsey is a Pre-k self-contained Special Education Teacher in Bayonne, NJ.  She has also taught Kindergarten and first grade Inclusion as a Special Education Teacher in Bayonne, NJ, and was a Preschool Disabled Teacher in South Jersey.  Lindsey worked at Twin Oaks Community Services as a Residential Counselor assisting children and adolescents with Autism.  She has worked as an Educational Assistant at HollyDELL School for students with Cerebral Palsy and other Brain disorders.  Lindsey has a B.A. in Early Childhood Education from Rowan University, a B.A. in American Studies from Rowan University and she has a certification of Teacher of Students with Disabilities (TOSD) from Rowan University.



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Michael Marcal, Special Education Advocate
Volunteer from Florida

Michael has been a volunteer with Autism on the Seas since June 2019. When he is not volunteering on cruises, Michael is an advocate for parents of children with disabilities in Orlando, Florida. Previously, he has worked in various special education settings including a PreK Autism class, a K-5 Autism class, and as a special education teacher in a middle school. Michael has experience working with children with Autism, Cognitive Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, Visual and Hearing Impairments, and various other disabilities. Michael also volunteers as a Crisis Counselor to help people during crisis situations. He holds a B.A. in Education from the SUNY College at Brockport and a Master's Degree in Education from the University at Buffalo.  


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Sandy Grizzard, Elementary School Assistant Principal
Volunteer from Georgia

Sandy works as a part time Assistant Principal in Snellville, GA. She has experience and passion for special needs students in many areas (Interrelated, Developmental Disabilities, Preschool, SDD, MI, Autism, EBD, HI, TBI, and medical needs.) Sandy enjoys teaching special needs adults each Sunday and volunteers in a monthly Respite program for adolescents and adults. She also volunteers at the Aurora Theatre that features Autism friendly programs for children and adults. Sandy holds a B.A. and Master’s Degree from Georgia State University and Leadership Degree from West Georgia University.


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Sarah Chieffo, Occupational Therapist
Volunteer from New Jersey

Sarah is currently a school based occupational therapist.  She is in her 10th year at a public special ed school that services students in middle school, high school and beyond.  During that time, she has volunteered for a local baseball organization called the Miracle League, coached volleyball for the Special Olympics and received recognition as related service provider of the year within her school district and the state of New Jersey.  Sarah is a former early childhood/special education teacher, and prior to that spent 2 years as a live-in nanny for a family that traveled extensively.   

Sarah holds a master’s degree of Science in Occupational Therapy from Stockton University and received her bachelor’s degree in early childhood/elementary education and special education from Temple University.  She is a registered and license Occupational Therapist in the state of New Jersey.  Sarah is currently certified in CPR/AED, BLS and Safety Care by QBS. 

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Sarah Hoffman, Life Skills Teacher
Volunteer from Texas

Sarah is an Elementary LIFE Skills Teacher in Houston, Texas.  She is also employed by the Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District working with children with various disabilities.  She has a younger brother with Autism and has grown up working in various classrooms and camps.  Sarah has a bachelor’s degree in Special Education (EC-12) and a bachelor’s degree in general education (EC-6) from Texas Tech University.


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Sarah Wright, Therapeutic Staff Support
Volunteer from 

Sarah began as a volunteer with AotS in Aug 2014 and since then has completed over 10 cruises. She is working towards her BCBA at George Mason University and works as a Registered Behavior Technician at Verbal Beginnings in Columbia, Maryland.  Sarah has her bachelors of science in clinical psychology from Marywood University and masters of arts in clinical psychology with a certificate in autism spectrum disorders from West Chester University.  She has worked as a babysitter for individuals of all ages, a job coach for young adults and as a 1:1 in school, daycare, and home settings.  Sarah has a brother with autism.



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Victoria Nelson, Behavior Therapist
Volunteer from 

Victoria is currently a Behavior Therapist for a residential treatment facility and works with children with autism and cerebral palsy. Prior to that, Victoria worked as a Behavior Facilitator for the local school system, a Registered Behavior Technician at an ABA Therapy center, and worked with adults with various disabilities. Victoria holds a Bachelors in Human Services from Grace College and Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis from Ball State University.