Volunteers:

The Pilot House and its members and staff have greatly appreciated and benefited from professionally trained volunteers who participate alongside our TPH members in many of our programs. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please complete our Volunteer Application (link below) and drop it off or mail it to us: 240 Colony Street, Fairfield, CT 06824. Once we have received and reviewed your application, you will be contacted by a staff member so that you can attend a scheduled training session.

Volunteer Application

Staff:

Rachel Benson
Rachel is a certified and licensed speech pathologist with over 15 years experience. She earned her Bachelor and Masters degrees from the College of St. Rose in Albany, NY. Rachel has worked in the San Francisco Bay area with children and adults with a wide range of disorders. She has worked in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals, and private practices. Rachel has also worked in collaboration with occupational therapists, physical therapists, psychologists, teachers, and parents.

Laurel Carey
Laurel is a Developmental Psychologist who was the Director of Behavioral Science at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons Family Practice Residency at Stamford Hospital for fourteen years. She completed graduate work at New York University and was also on the faculty of Albert Einstein Medical College where she followed the development of premature and high risk babies for the first six years of life. She was the Chief of Psychologist at the Pre-Schoolers Workshop, a school for special needs children in Long Island, and, in addition to evaluating children, she led support groups for parents and siblings. Laurel teaches medical students and Family Practice residents with particular emphasis in the recognition and management of behavioral problems in children and adolescence. She is a published author and has led parenting groups and support groups for twenty years.  

Kerri J. Cybulski
Kerri is a certified and licensed Occupational Therapist. She received her degree in Occupational Therapy from Quinnipiac College in 1998. She has been practicing and specializing in pediatric occupational therapy for over 14 years. Kerri has extensive experience in working with children with various medical and educational diagnosis; including but not limited to Autism Spectrum D/O, Sensory Processing D/O, ADHD, Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, developmental delays, learning disabilities, TBI/ABI, and other neurological impairments. She has worked in various settings including medical outpatient clinics, early intervention through the Connecticut Birth to Three Program, as well as, working over a decade within the public school systems (Easton Public Schools, Fairfield Public Schools, and Schools throughout New Haven County). In 2007, Kerri became S.I. Certified. She completed a Comprehensive Program In Sensory Integration and earned her sensory integration certification through the University of Southern California/Western Psychological Services.

Melissa DeMartin
Melissa is a senior designer project manager and account rep with over 20 years experience in graphic, web, illustrative and industrial design. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1987. Melissa currently works at Designsite, a design and marketing communications firm in Fairfield, Ct. She is also co-owner of The Painted Bird, an art, design and crafts business that runs workshops and after school programs for kids in Fairfield, Ct.  Melissa is currently a board member and Creative Director for The Pilot House and teaches a painting class there once a week. Melissa and her husband Michael reside in Fairfield, CT with their 13 year old twins, Madeline and Michael John (MJ). MJ was born with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome and has been diagnosed with high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Steve Epstein
Steve Epstein is a musician, performer, songwriter, piano/guitar instructor and early childhood music educator. He is a recording engineer of classical music and has contributed to over 250 recordings including the 1999 Grammy winning HornSmoke. Steve was a classical guitar major, who also played in several rock bands as well as various rock roots and folk ensembles.  In 2008 Steve and The Enablers debuted their cd of original songs called Something For Everyone and  is currently available on iTunes! He holds Certification Level 1 in an internationally recognized early childhood music program. Steve resides in Fairfield and is the proud father of two children Leah, 15 and Kyle, 12.

Peter Hinckley
Peter is special education teacher who specializes in teaching students who have autism spectrum disorders (ASD’s) or have challenges similar to those students with an ASD. Peter received his Bachelors of Arts in English with a concentration in Journalism from the University of Delaware in 2007. Peter received his Special Education Certification from Southern Connecticut State University in 2011 and is currently working on his Master’s Degree in Autism Spectrum Disorders from Southern Connecticut State University (anticipated graduation 2012). Prior to becoming a Special Education Teacher Peter worked at Fidelity Investments in Merrimack, NH as a 401 (k) and pension specialist. Peter relocated to Connecticut in 2009 and began working in a self-contained ASD classroom as a long term substitute teacher for one-and-a-half school years at the Caesar Batalla School in Bridgeport. Following his service as a long term substitute teacher, Peter began teaching in his own flexible resource classroom at the Geraldine Johnson School beginning in 2010. Peter has also worked at The Pilot House since 2009 and worked in a variety of capacities. Some of his responsibilities included helping to facilitate the homework club, basketball and other social skills groups. Peter has also been a camp counselor in the summer at The Pilot House along with assisting with teen night.

Mary Imperioli
Mary is a Special Education Teacher with over thirty years of experience. She received her Bachelor and Masters Degree from Southern Connecticut State University in the field of Special Education, with a concentration in Autism Spectrum Disorder.  She has taught all levels and disabilities over the span of her career, with the last 15 years specializing in the field of Autism. Currently she is working on her Board Certification in Behavior Analysis.  Mary has worked with various Birth to Three Agencies, Coordinator of Home Behavioral Programs, Behavioral Consultant for CREC- River Street Program and Special Education Teacher for the district of Westport.

Jim King
Jim King is the Master Instructor of the family owned and managed King Academy of Martial Arts & Self-Defense located in Monroe, CT (www.kamaskarate.com). Master King has been training in the martial arts for more than 18 years and currently holds a 4th Dan in Tang Soo Do, a 1st Dan in Tae Kwon Do, and is actively pursuing a rank in Hapkido.  His passion for teaching martial arts is fueled by the connection it provides to his wife and two children, both of which hold advanced ranks in Tang Soo Do, and the joy watching the 100+ students currently enrolled in his school grow as individuals and martial artists.  He volunteers his time to teach martial arts at The Pilot House in addition to maintaining a full-time career as a corporate executive in the healthcare communications industry.

Samuel Rotini
Sam is a seasoned special education teacher whose career spans over 25 years. He received his Bachelor of Science in Special Education from Southern Connecticut State University in 1997 and his Master’s Degree in special education with a concentration in Autism from Southern Connecticut State University in 2007. Sam has his 6th year in School Administration from Southern Connecticut State University as well as a Board Certified Behavioral Analyst from the University of Massachusetts. He has served as a teacher, diagnostician, and case manager with Birth to Three/Child and Family Network (Derby, CT) and Aces Cooperative School (North Haven, CT). Sam has works for Bridgeport Public Schools both as the case manager for a self-contained classroom for SED students and, most recently, as the case manager for a self-contained elementary school classroom for children with autism. His work has included designing and implementing discrete trial and behavioral programs, creating differentiated curriculum, and training and supervision of paraprofessionals.

Stacy Ruttenberg
Stacy is the Founder and Artistic Director of Slant of Light Theater Company.  She has worked behind the scenes, directing, stage managing, and producing shows for many theaters.  Stacy spent five years in an educational environment, working individually with students exhibiting learning difficulties, teaching reading and comprehension.  Stacy holds a BA in theater and psychology from Smith College.

Leslie Waddell
Leslie is the founder and owner of Kindermusik at Music for Little Hands in Monroe, Connecticut and has been a Maestro Educator for ten years. She began her love of music as a flute student at the age of ten and went on to earn her Bachelor of Music Degree in flute performance at the New England Conservatory. Through her experience as a chamber music coach, director of music festivals and camps, and a performer, Leslie was led to realize that her true passion is using music to connect with children and families at the most basic level and to meet the needs of every child by supporting healthy development, helping to nurture the bond within a family and a community, and fostering a love of music to reach through the generations.

Amy L. Young
Amy is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.  She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology and an Elementary Education Certification from Connecticut College, and with a Masters in Social Work from University of Connecticut.  She has worked with families and children for over 20 years, providing therapy, behavioral strategies, support and education in group and individual settings.  Her work has ranged from “typical” children in need of well-care to those with special cognitive, behavioral, and emotional needs.  She has a strong interest in creating support systems for families with special needs children and has attended a wide range of trainings specific to children with special needs, particularly in the area of autism spectrum disorders.  She is a certified Sibshops leader and trainer.