Executive Director and CEO
Danielle has served as Executive Director and CEO of NAPSEC since 2018. She leads the organization’s advocacy efforts in shaping public policy to positively impact individuals served in member programs while supporting the growth of a collaborative membership network of nonpublic special education and adult service programs. Danielle is a government relations professional and former congressional staffer with a decade of experience working with elected officials and private sector clients in Washington, DC. She has counseled heads of state and cabinet-level officials and has played a leadership role in directing influential advocacy campaigns for education, human rights, and global health issues. She holds a master’s degree in diplomacy from Norwich University, a graduate certificate in intelligence studies from American Military University, and a bachelor’s degree in international studies from the University of South Carolina.
Board Of Directors
Dr. Linda Myers, President
Kennedy Krieger School Programs
Dr. Linda Myers is a Vice President of School Programs for the Kennedy Krieger Institute. She holds faculty positions as an assistant professor in the School of Education at the Johns Hopkins University (JHU), and with the Wendy Klag Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Dr. Myers holds a master’s and a doctoral degree in Special Education and School Administration from the Johns Hopkins University. She has over 25 years of experience in the field of special education with expertise in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). She currently serves on Maryland’s Advisory Committee for the Home and Community Based Services Autism Waiver, on the National Association of Private Special Education Centers (NAPSEC) Board of Directors, and on the Board of Directors for the Maryland Association of Nonpublic Special Education Centers (MANSEF).
Chris Tabakin, Past President
Potential Inc. and Springtime School
Chris has spent his career combining vision with action, engaging in activities that promote the well-being of people with disabilities in the United States, and around the world. A summa cum laude graduate of West Chester University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Special Education and minor in Psychology, and Eastern University with a M.S. in Non-Profit Administration, Chris has developed diverse skills in nonprofit leadership. Chris has worked for nonprofit organizations in leadership positions, and has 15 years of experience in a variety of programs and continues part-time work with nonprofit human service organizations. Chris also serves as the President and CEO of iHi International, Inc. a nonprofit organization that supports VIPs (vulnerable international people) in countries such as Uganda, Malawi and Iraq. Chris is an active member of multiple professional associations, and has served on several nonprofit boards, including in leadership positions. Chris is a board member of Potential Inc. and The Springtime School. Through his leadership and accomplishments, Chris has earned a number of awards and recognitions including West Chester University, as well as Delaware County Christian School Distinguished Alumni award, Main Line Chamber of Commerce Emerging Leader of the Year in 2013, Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disabilities Advocate of the Year in 2012, Pennsylvania Council for Exceptional Children’s John Wilson Memorial Award of Excellence in 2007, and International Council for Exceptional Children’s National Outstanding Children’s Action Network Coordinator Award in 2007. Chris is a Chester County native and involved member of Calvary Fellowship Church in Downingtown.
Dr. Rachel Tait, Vice President
Eden Autism Services
Dr. Rachel Tait joined Eden Autism Services (Princeton, NJ) in 2000 and is currently Chief Program Officer. In this capacity she has oversight for all programs and services, including the Eden School, Extended Day, Respite, Adult Day and Employment Services, Adult Residential Program, Speech and Language Services and Outreach Services.
Ms. Tait holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, Master of Arts degrees in Special Education and Educational Administration and a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Special Education. In addition, she completed a post‐graduate certification program in Applied Behavior Analysis and holds certificates in Elementary Education and Special Education, along with both Supervisor and Principal certifications.
Ms. Tait has been an active member of NAPSEC since 2005, where she has served as the Chair of the Conference Planning Committee, and was elected to the Board in January, 2015. Ms. Tait is currently serving as Vice President for the NAPSEC board. In addition, she is currently an NCASES commissioner, where she serves as Vice-Chair. She was also was elected to the Executive Board of ASAH (New Jersey Private School Association) in February, 2016 and is currently serving as Treasurer.
Dennis Morgan, Treasurer
Dennis Morgan is a well-respected and innovative leader in Education, with expertise in educational transformation, program design, vocational and residential services for children and adults with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Since joining Bancroft in 2009 as the Senior Clinical Director for education and Director of Curriculum, Morgan has been dedicated to nurturing the growth opportunities for individuals served within the organization and the community. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Early Education and Psychology from King’s College and a Certification in Special Education from West Chester University. Additionally, Morgan has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from St. Joseph’s University and most recently finished his MBA at Villanova University.
In addition to his fervent commitment to achieving excellence in his field, Dennis has proudly served for the past 17 years and is currently a Captain in the 111th Attack Wing, Horsham Naval Air Station, of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard. He was named the 2008 & 2009 Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year, entered the officer’s core and received his commission in 2011. In 2016, Dennis was the recipient of the Philadelphia Business Journal; Veterans of Influence Award and is the recipient of a Commendation Medal from the United States Air Force for his services in various military operations.
Marty Matheson, Secretary
Marty is the Executive Director of ScenicView Academy in Provo, Utah, which is a nonprofit that serves young adults with Autism and other neurodiversities. In addition to the NAPSEC Board, Marty also participates on other local and national committees and associations. Prior to his appointment as Executive Director, he was the Clinical Director at ScenicView for 7 years. Marty is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and was a therapist and administrator for 14 years in community mental health prior to joining ScenicView. Marty is an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University, teaching graduate and undergraduate students in Social Work and Behavioral Sciences. Marty enjoys providing therapy to adults through his own private practice and he loves training and supervising new therapists. Marty has visited 30 countries and has been to all 50 United States with his own travels and with several performing groups. He enjoys his hobby of acting in plays, films, and television productions.
Marty is very happy to be serving on the NAPSEC Board. He loves the opportunity to connect with professionals from many schools and programs. ScenicView Academy has benefited in many ways from being associated with NAPSEC including being accredited with NCASES.
Elizabeth D.R. Becker, Esq., CASA Chair
Massachusetts Association of Approved Private Schools (MAAPS)
An attorney by profession with a career devoted to consensus-building, Elizabeth Dello Russo Becker was named in the spring of 2019 as only the third Executive Director in the 40-year history of the Massachusetts Association of Chapter 766 Approved Private Schools (MAAPS). She oversees all aspects of MAAPS’ operations and strategy and serves as MAAPS’ top liaison to state, local, and federal officials, regulators, and policymakers. Prior to MAAPS, Elizabeth served as senior legal counsel and Director of Community Relations and Government Affairs for the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport), the 1,300-employee, $900M (annual revenue) quasi-public agency that operates Logan International Airport and airport and port facilities in Boston, Bedford, and Worcester. Prior to Massport, Elizabeth served for 6 years as a senior attorney and major project negotiator for the City of Boston in the administration of Mayor Thomas M. Menino. She earned her juris doctor from Suffolk University Law School, where she focused on special-education law, and her bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College. A Boston native, Elizabeth as a girl attended MAAPS member Landmark School, which serves students in grades 2-12 with dyslexia and language-based learning disabilities. Elizabeth and her husband live north of Boston and are parents of three young children.
Jonathan Evans, Conference Chair
Jonathan Evans has been teaching and working with students with developmental disabilities including autism since 2001. Jonathan holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Miami University, a Master’s degree in Cross Categorical Special Education from the University of Phoenix, and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Supervision from Arizona State University. Jonathan has been a Special Education administrator since 2011. Special Education is a passion of Jonathan’s and there is nothing more exciting for him than seeing his students succeed. His educational philosophy is to make sure that all of his students achieve a life of dignity and self worth.
Jonathan enjoys spending time with his wife and four children. He also enjoys traveling internationally, outdoor activities, spending time in the mountains or at the beach, and watching his children play sports.
Jennifer McGlothlin-Renault, NCASES Chair
The Arrow Center for Education
Jennifer McGlothlin-Renault is the Vice President of Maryland Operations for Arrow Child & Family Ministries and The Arrow Center for Education Schools. Jennifer joined Arrow in 1999 and has had the pleasure of serving in many roles. In her current position, Jennifer manages and develops Special Education, Treatment Foster Care, Residential, and Community Based programs for Arrow in Maryland. Jennifer earned her Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Towson University and her Masters of Education from Loyola University Maryland. Jennifer is certified in Reading and Special Education by the Maryland State Department of Education. Currently, Jennifer serves as the President for the Maryland Association of Resources for Family and Youth (MARFY); as the Chair of the National Commission for the Accreditation of Special Education Services (NCASES); and is a Board Member for the National Association of Private Special Education Centers (NAPSEC) and Maryland Nonprofits (MANO). Jennifer previously served on the Board of the Maryland Association for Nonpublic Special Education Facilities (MANSEF) and as the NCASES Standards Committee Chairperson. As a representative of Arrow, Jennifer has presented at conferences hosted by the Texas Alliance, the Family Focused Treatment Association (FFTA), MARFY, and MANSEF.
Ken Berger, Governance Chair
Ken Berger is the Executive Director of Spectrum360, a nonprofit organization serving children, adolescents, young adults and adults on the autism spectrum and with behavioral and related disabilities. Ken is a seasoned executive with decades of nonprofit leadership and direct service experience serving the underserved. He has also worked in positions focused on efforts to positively transform the entire social sector (philanthropy, nonprofits and for-profit social enterprises). From executive positions at Algorhythm and Charity Navigator, he helped organizations to manage and measure what matters most to meet their mission (measurable, positive outcomes), as well as to improve their overall performance. He has also been an active speaker, teacher and writer on a wide range of issues of concern to the social sector and those who support it.
He has more recently focused on leading special needs agencies including Jawonio, the CTC Academy and Spectrum360. In addition to overseeing day-to-day operations, Mr. Berger has led advocacy efforts for public funding and legislation supporting individuals with special needs.
He currently serves on the Board of Directors of ASAH, the Alliance of Northern NJ Special Education Schools, and CHIMES (one of the largest agencies serving people with disabilities in the nation). He is also a member of the NJ Coalition of Adult Day Programs. In addition, he continues in efforts to improve the social sector as a whole, as a Leap Ambassador, serving with a community of nonprofit thought leaders, forward-looking funders, and policymakers who believe that mission and performance are inextricably linked.
Ray Damm, At Large
Raymond Damm has been working with ACCEL since March of 2016, starting as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Development Officer, and transitioning to the role of Chief Executive Officer in June of 2018. Ray holds a B.S. from The University of Virginia – Wise and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Having held executive positions in both the public and private sectors, Ray is driven to apply private sector best practices to sustainably address issues the public sector is driven to solve. This is especially true for underserved groups of individuals and those whose voice isn’t heard. He is motivated by ACCEL’s 400+ students and 100+ adults that overcome incredible obstacles each and every day. Outside of work, Ray is happiest spending time with family, making and repairing watches, playing golf and being in the mountains or on the beach.
Joli Simpson, At Large
Joli Simpson is a Learning Consultant, Transitions Program Creator/Coordinator and Extended School Year Creator/Director at Benway School in Wayne, NJ. She currently serves on the Board for the William Paterson University Curriculum Development Committee, as well as the NAPSEC Board of Directors. Joli has worked significantly to aide faculty in researching and implementing curriculum needs for a diverse student body at the elementary and secondary level. She develops and oversees various in-house, collegiate, and community programs that enhance the employability and growth potential of high school students struggling with significant degrees of social, emotional and cognitive abilities. Joli was Instrumental in initiating and collaborating with William Paterson University to develop a three-year curriculum that allows students to graduate with accreditation and certification in various vocational and post-secondary fields of study.
Allen Clark, At Large
Allen began working at Trousdale School in 2011. He has campus, transportation and education oversight. Allen has a MBA from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, an Educational Specialist Degree from Lee University, and a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. In 1987, Allen received his Eagle Scout rank. His favorite jobs at Trousdale School are analyzing the student assessment data and building props for the annual musical. Allen has been elected to the NAPSEC Board of Directors for a 3 year term - 2018-2019-2020.
Allen’s wife, Shannon, also works at Trousdale School and they have two children. In his spare time, Allen plays the bagpipes and enjoys watching TN Vol football.
Dr. Patrick Kiernan, At Large
Dr. Patrick Kiernan is the Executive Director / Superintendent of Brookfield Schools and Programs throughout South Jersey and Philadelphia. Dr. Kiernan has his BA in Psychology, MA in School Administration, and his EdD in Educational Leadership. Dr. Kiernan has been in education since 1984 and has taught elementary and high school as well as an administrator at the elementary, middle, in high school levels in both Florida and New Jersey. Dr. Kiernan has moved the vision and practices of Brookfield Schools starting with his appointment to Executive Director / Superintendent with his commitment to being a Trauma-Sensitive, Informed, and Focused organization. Patrick is a member of many local and national organizations all supporting special education and advocacy.
Patrick enjoys family time and loves spending time with his grandson (Patrick), daughter, Kayleigh, Wife Nancy, and all of the fur-babies in the house. Patrick also does an annual pilgrimage to Buffalo to see his beloved Bills play.