Our Team of Autism Specialists
The Center for Social Enrichment and Educational Development is a state of the art, all-inclusive center for Children, Adolescents and Adults with autism and other related disabilities. Please read about our amazing team and be sure to Contact us if you have any questions or would like to get started with services. We are also happy to share our favorite resources including helpful books, Apps and websites.
Evan Schermer, MS, Co-Founder/President
Evan Schermer is the Co-Founder and President of the Center for Social Enrichment and Educational Development, LLC (“The SEED Center”). Mr. Schermer received his Master of Science degree in school psychology from St. John’s University and his Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Towson University. He is a New York State certified school psychologist and has worked with children and young adults with autism and related disabilities for 15 years. For the past 10 years he has helped established several private schools and a post-secondary program for individuals with special needs. Furthermore, he has provided consulting services for public schools where he has been effective in helping schools reduce costs while increasing efficiency and effectiveness.
Clinically, Mr. Schermer has received advanced training in Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) and has conducted many workshops and professional development trainings on CPS as well as other topics related to autism and special needs. Mr. Schermer is a certified instructor in Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (CPI) and trains and certifies all therapists employed by The SEED Center. Mr. Schermer has acted as an advocate, providing support and knowledge to families who require guidance. In addition, has been an expert witness for impartial hearings for hundreds of cases in the NY Metro area. Mr. Schermer previously was the Chairman of the Custom Education Foundation, which is a not-for-profit (501c3) organization that provides resources and support to individuals with special needs and their families. Mr. Schermer was also awarded the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Entrepreneurial Success Award in May of 2015. Mr. Schermer’s experience and knowledge clinically and professionally, ensure a solid foundation and strength for The SEED Center to grow on.
Charlene Schermer, MA, Co-Founder/Vice President
Charlene Schermer is the co-founder and Vice President of the Center for Social Enrichment and Educational Development, LLC (“The SEED Center”). Mrs. Schermer received her Master of Arts in Special Education from New York University and her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with a specialization in Early Childhood Studies from Long Island University. She holds a dual teaching certification in Special Education and Elementary Education, as well as a NAP Montessori Teacher Certification. Mrs. Schermer has received training in Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS), Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Recipe for Reading and the Wilson Reading Program. She has been working in the field of education for over 12 years and has experience working with individuals with autism and other related neurobiological disorders such as Asperger’s syndrome, bi-polar disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, ADHD, OCD, anxiety, and depression.
Donna Macari, BA, Director of Operations
Donna Macari serves as the Director of Operations of The Center for Social Enrichment and Educational Development, LLC (“The SEED Center”). She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Southern Connecticut State University. Ms. Macari has extensive administrative and operations background. Most notably, she spent 11 years running residential programs that serves individuals with disabilities. In that capacity, Ms. Macari was instrumental in bringing clients out of institutional placements and into the community. Ms. Macari has also acted as an advocate to families throughout the years. In her commitment to serve children, Ms. Macari owned and operated a daycare where children with disabilities were welcomed and therapeutic services were integrated into the daycare curriculum.
Andres Alvarez, BS, Finance Coordinator
Andres serves as the finance coordinator at The SEED Center. He’s primarily responsible for overseeing the day to day financial activities of the company and that these are in compliance with company standards. In addition, he oversees the billing and coding of all services at the center. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies from Western Connecticut University and an Associate’s degree in Accounting. Mr. Alvarez worked at Elite PT and Rehab in Westchester as a biller and coder before joining our facility. He has also worked in the past with the Westchester Country Parks and Recreating and the Greenwich Teen Center where he administered activities and successful implementations of fundraisers and community outreach projects. Mr. Alvarez has registered with IRS-CITA program to help individuals with preparation of tax returns.
Molly Northrop, BA, Human Resources Coordinator
Molly Northrop serves as the Human Resources Coordinator at the Center for Social Enrichment and Educational Development, LLC (“The SEED Center”). She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from the University of Vermont. While pursuing her degree at UVM, Molly was a team member at the Center for Health and Wellbeing, which provided crisis prevention, peer mediation, and education to students regarding overall health and wellness. Additionally, Ms. Northrop spent summers teaching sailing to individuals with physical and mental disabilities at the Community Sailing Center in Burlington. Prior to the SEED Center, Molly was employed as a Recruitment Specialist at a National Recruiting Agency and then joined a Senior Executive Career Advisory and Private Search Firm. Molly brings to the SEED Center a combination of her desire to work in the business field together with her love and compassion for children.
Meg Presley, MS, CCC-SLP
Meg Presley serves as a speech-language pathologist at The SEED Center. Meg holds her Master of Science Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, and a Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders from the University of New Hampshire. Meg has 21 years of experience across a variety of settings including St. Vincent’s Special Need Services in Trumbull, CT, The North Carolina School for the Deaf in Morganton, NC, and Greenwich Public Schools in Greenwich, CT. Meg has also worked with children in the ABILIS Birth to Three Program in the Fairfield county area.
Meg evaluates and treats children with receptive and expressive language disorder, central-auditory processing disorders, word-finding disorders, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, apraxia and cognitive delays. She has experience with auditory training therapy, augmentative and alternative communication devices, and the use of PECS. Meg is trained in PROMPT techniques, has experience administering the VB-MAPS assessment, and following functional behavior plans. Meg enjoys working with students of all ages utilizing a team approach including and supporting the family.
Evie Baez, BS
Evie joins the SEED Center as a Behavior Therapist. She graduated from The Pennsylvania State University and received a Bachelors of Science in Psychology with a Neuroscience concentration. During her undergraduate years she worked as a research assistant in a concussion laboratory conducting assessments and computing data used in return to play decisions for athletes. Evie almost went for a Master’s in Neuropsychology. However, she realized after her first experience as a Behavior Therapist she found her passion helping others to learn, navigate toward independence and maintain a high quality of life. Evie is an ABA enthusiast who over the past 4 years has worked in a variety of schools, homes and community settings. She is currently enrolled in a masters program for Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism in order to work toward her BCBA certification.
Emily Blau, MEd
Emily Blau joins The SEED Center as a Behavior Therapist. She holds a Masters of Education degree from Lesley University and has completed a graduate certificate in Behavioral Interventions in Autism at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She has taught in private schools serving students of diverse backgrounds and needs. As a mother of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder, she has implemented Individualized Education Plans, Functional Behavior Assessments and Behavior Intervention Plans. Emily is passionate about using her knowledge and experience to help children and families coping with the challenges of ASD.
Megan Quinn, BA, RBT
Megan Quinn joined the SEED Center as a behavioral therapist. She graduated with her Bachelors degree in psychology from the University of South Florida. After completing her undergraduate degree, Megan pursed a job doing ABA therapy and has worked one on one with children in homes, schools and the community. Megan is currently attending Pace University for her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. She hopes to earn her doctorate degree in counseling psychology and counsel children and families who are dealing with chronic and genetic illnesses.
Genese Semey, BS, RBT
Melanie Porter, BA
Melanie graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from The University of Connecticut. She has worked with children with autism for the past two years within a home setting. Because of this experience, she has begun to pursue her Master’s in ABA at Western CT State University, and is excited to work with this population.
Donna Watkins, MA, CCC-SLP
Donna has over thirty-five years working in southwestern CT as a Speech/Language Pathologist in the private and public school setting. She has also provided compensatory and summer school communication services for Milford, Stratford and Bridgeport.
Donna is a highly qualified Speech Language Pathologist with the current professional credentials: CT Professional Educator- Endorsement-061 in Speech Pathology, ASHA (American Speech/Language and Hearing Association) Certificate of Clinical Competency, and the CT Dept. of Health License – Speech Pathology. She is also a lifetime member of the CEA (CT Education Association) and NEA (National Education Association).
Donnas experience as a Speech/Language Pathologist is diverse, having worked in grades Pre-K to 12 providing appropriate therapy programs for students with the following disabilities: hearing impaired, autism, learning disabled (reading and writing), nonverbal learning disability, cleft palate, students requiring AAC devices, auditory processing, memory, language based learning disabilities, Asperger’s, social skills, fluency, and articulation to identify some of the populations she has serviced. She is proficient in using technology- computer software, Smart phones, Smart Boards and the iPad, to accomplish student goals and objectives. Donna created and implemented a course Psycholinguistic with the School Psychologist for high school students in a private school; combining and addressing communication skills with social emotional needs
As an experienced Speech/Language Pathologist of over 35 years, Donna has worked effectively with school teams: administrators, teachers, para-professionals, parents and students; developed classroom based communication programs at the elementary and secondary levels; and supervised CFY Speech/Language Pathologists. She’s provided extensive evaluations for students with autism, Asperger’s, Learning Disabilities as well as other communication disorders. After retiring for the Greenwich public school system in 2013, she was a parent advocate for parents in a number of southwestern Connecticut towns.
Donna earned a Bachelors of Arts in Communication Arts- concentration in Radio and Television production from Hofstra University, Minor in Speech Pathology and a Master of Arts Degree also from Hofstra University in Speech Pathology. In 2004, I completed a six-year degree in Education- from the University of New England.
Donna looks forward to bringing her many years of experience and expertise in the field of Autism as a Speech/ Language Pathologist to the SEED Center.
Alexandra (Allie) Van Duyne, BA
Allie has been working with children with autism and other related disorders for over four years. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a minor in Psychology from Sacred Heart University. She began working with children with emotional and behavioral disorders, but soon discovered her passion for children with autism, and wanted to dedicate herself to ABA. Allie obtained her RBT credential, and is currently pursuing her Master’s of Science degree in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism from The Sage Colleges – Esteves School of Education. Allie loves seeing the difference ABA can make in children’s lives and truly believes in the principles; she looks forward to becoming a BCBA.
Kimberly Caires, BA
Kim works as a Behavior Therapist at The SEED Center. She graduated from The University of Connecticut with a Bachelors degree in Human Development and Family Studies, concentration in Early Childhood Development. Prior to joining The SEED Center team, Kim worked with children in an array of settings, including schools, camps and homes. Kim discovered her true passion for helping autistic children and their families while employed as a nanny for a child on the Autism spectrum. This rewarding experience allowed her to gain further knowledge about Autism, training from various specialists as well as the opportunity to participate in a Pivotal Response Training (ABA) study at Yale University Child Center. Kim is strongly dedicated to improving the lives of children with Autism and plans to further her education and become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.
Joanna Herrera, Administrative Assistant
Joanna graduated from Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Accounting. Her previous job was at Diversified Recovery Solutions in Westchester as an Accounts Receivable Specialist and an Administrative Assistant. Her role at DRS was to perform financial reports for company clients and to complete administrative office work for the CEO of the Company. Joanna has an nice personality with lot of energy and a great smile making everyone feel welcome. She has worked previously with children that need physical therapy, enjoys working with individuals with disabilities, and loves to see their joy and happiness.
Sandra (Sandy) Kennedy, M.Ed, BCBA, Assistant Clinical Coordinator
Sandra (Sandy) is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, BCBA, and the Assistant Clinical Director at The SEED Center. Sandy has over 17 years experience in education and many years working with children and adults in the special needs community. Sandy holds a Bachelor’s degree in education from Mercy College and a Master’s degree in education and Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of Cincinnati. Sandy has committed her life to bettering the lives of children, as well as adults, and is putting that passion to use here at The SEED Center.
Genevieve Eloskof, M.A., BCBA, Clinical Coordinator
Genevieve Eloskof serves as the Clinical Coordinator at the SEED Center. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of California, San Diego and a Master’s of Arts from the Pepperdine University, California. Genevieve has over 8 years experience working with individuals (2-30 years old) with autism and other developmental disabilities in Southern California. She has worked in a variety of settings including schools, homes, and residential facilities. She is adept in conducting behavioral assessments, developing and implementing complex Behavior Intervention Plans (BIP) for challenging behaviors. Genevieve has a significant amount of experience in creating individualized treatment plans, staff training, and parent consultations. With her recent relocation to the east coast, Genevieve is committed to providing quality services to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families here as The SEED Center.
Matt Murtough, BA
Matt serves as a Behavior Therapist at The SEED Center, LLC. During his undergraduate career at UConn, Storrs, Matt became increasingly interested in developmental and abnormal psychology. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in psychology Matt requested the Behavior Therapist position at The Center for Growth & Development located in Wilton. After 2 years he mastered the implementation of natural environment programming to teach receptive and expressive language, self-help skills, social skills and social cognition. Matt derives from a family of caregivers, including a BCaBA. He plans on following their footsteps and becoming an avid team member at SEED.
Cassandra (Cassie) Kassel, MS, BCBA
Cassandra “Cassie” Kassel serves as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, BCBA, at the SEED Center. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Adolescence Education: Social Studies and International Studies from S.U.N.Y. Cortland and a Master’s degree in Special Education from Saint Joseph’s University. Cassie completed her Applied Behavior Analysis coursework from the University of North Texas. Over the past 8 years, she has worked with both children and adults, in a variety of capacities, as well as, a variety of settings. Cassie looks forward to improving the quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
Maura Matsen, MEd, BCBA
Maura is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, BCBA, at the SEED Center. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education, both from Mercy College. She also completed her Applied Behavior Analysis coursework at Mercy College. In 2014, she attained New York State Licensure in Behavior Analysis. Maura has over 12 years of experience working with individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities and their families. She believes strongly in a collaborate approach to treatment, and she looks forward to putting her knowledge and experience to work to improve the quality of life for individuals and their families.
Cynthia (Cindy) Morris, BS
Cynthia Morris is a Behavior Therapist at The SEED Center. Cynthia graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a BS in Early Childhood Education. She worked for the Birmingham City schools for 16 years. During this time she worked with students with special needs. Cynthia was a substitute special education teacher for 8 years with the Shelton Public School System. Cynthia is currently enrolled in a Master’s program for Instruction and Curriculum for Autism Spectrum Disorder and plans to work toward her BCBA certification. Cynthia is passionate about teaching young children with special needs and working with their families, coping with the challenges of ASD.
Kimberly (Kim) Alicea
Kim serves as a Behavior Therapist at the SEED Center. She will soon be receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Manhattanville College and has plans to continue with her education and work on a Masters. Kim has always had a strong passion for working with children and feels that the experience is very rewarding. She has worked with children in several settings including schools, homes, and her local gym. Throughout her undergraduate career, she has also served as a research assistant and a Lab Manager for the Psychology department where she has learned the extreme importance for research especially when working in a therapeutic setting. Kim is dedicated to enhancing the lives of those with disabilities and is eager to learn and grow throughout her time at the SEED Center.
Annie Timchak, BA
Annie is a Behavior Therapist at The SEED Center, LLC. She received a Bachelors Degree in Illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design. After working as a substitute teacher for six years at a private school in Stamford, CT, she found a passion in working with special needs children. She is thrilled to be welcomed into a career of helping unique and inspiring individuals.
Chuk Anyanetu, BA
Chuk serves as a Behavior Therapist at The SEED Center, LLC. Mr. Anyanetu recieved his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He has worked with the special needs community in the office and home setting for over five years. Chuk has an avid interest in each and every person he meets and enjoys being active in his daily life.
Amanda Morales, BA
Amanda comes to the SEED center with 10 years of experience working with individuals with autism and other developmental disorders. She earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology with a concentration in Human Development from the College of Mount Saint Vincent. Amanda has worked in both home, and community settings as a Lead Behavior Therapist, working closely with children with autism and their families. Amanda has completed over 10 early childhood education courses which included practicum work in a variety of settings, and is currently in the process of applying to graduate programs in ABA in order to reach her professional goal of obtaining the BCBA credential.
Erika joined The SEED Center as a Behavior Therapist. She is attending her last year at the University of Connecticut as a Psychology major with a minor in Women, Gender, and Sexualities Studies. She also serves as a Certified Sexual Assault Advocate within Fairfield County. She has years of experience mentoring and tutoring many students from elementary school to high school, few of whom have Autism Spectrum Disorder. She has a desire to help others, especially the younger generation, to improve their lives and achieve their goals.
Luis Vera, MS, BCBA
Luis Vera, is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst, BCBA, and Admissions Coordinator at The SEED Center. He holds a Master of Science degree in Instructional Systems from Florida State University in addition to his undergraduate dual degree; a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology and Family & Child Sciences and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Social Sciences. He also obtained a graduate certificate in Applied Behavioral Analysis at the Florida Institute of Technology. Luis is passionate about using his knowledge and experience as a BCBA to improve the lives of children and their families. He is committed to help make meaningful change in the world “one family at a time.”
Allison LePontois, BS, Administrative Assistant
Allison serves as an Administrative Assistant for the SEED Center. Allison graduated from Roanoke College in Virginia with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Psychology. She previously worked in North Carolina as a Recruiting Coordinator and Claims Coordinator. Over the years, she has worked with children acting as a nanny, soccer coach, and little league referee. Allison is excited to have a role interacting with children and is eager to help make a difference for individuals with disabilities.
Andrew Laro, BA
Andrew Laro serves as a Behavior Therapist with the SEED Center. Andrew graduated from Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania with a BA in Psychology and a BA in Youth Ministry in the fall of 2017. While serving as an RA with his school and as a church youth leader, Andrew has worked with various individuals with ASD. He soon realized that he had a strong desire to work with these individuals and is excited to continue doing so with the SEED Center. Andrew has a passion for helping others to reach their full potential and live more full and complete lives in whatever capacity he is able to.
Daria Sentocnik, BT
Daria serves as a Behavior Therapist at the SEED Center. She has personally experienced the challenges families of children on the spectrum face when navigating the world with her son who has autism. Daria is knowledgeable in ASD, SPD, IEPs, FBAs, and the rest of the alphabet soup of acronyms associated with being a special needs parent and has served as an educational advocate for hers and other families. When her prior employer downsized, Daria took the opportunity to enroll in college to pursue degrees in ABA and child development. She is devoted to using her personal, educational and professional experience to help other families as well as promote a better understanding of neurodiversity in schools.
Smileyne Charleston, BS
Smileyne is a Behavior Therapist that joins the SEED Center with 5 years experience working with individuals with disabilities and 3+ years working with individuals with autism. She entered the field after graduating from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Science in Allied Health Sciences, wanting to help others increase their own autonomy. Smileyne has worked providing needs in school-based therapy and in-home support ABA services. Smileyne has a love for helping people and hopes to continue her education to better serve individuals with disabilities, promoting physical activity and self independence.
Cierra Thompson joins the SEED Center as a Behavior Technician. She has entered the field pursuing her Bachelor’s in Psychology and Digital Media With Strategies To Business at University of Connecticut. She has 10+ years experience of 1 on 1 tutoring and working with children of all ages, 6+ years of in-home support services and nanny services, and 4+ years of experience working as a childcare supervisor. She has 2+ years experience in business developing autism organizations, providing ABA therapy, and working with individuals with autism. Cierra has extenuating experience teaching and providing support in a educational school-background teaching general education and enrichment “App Creation” concepts to individuals of all ages. Cierra will be working towards her Master’s Degree in ABA/Psychology and hopes to earn her Doctorate Degree in Counseling/Psychology. Cierra is an optimistic, bright individual with a determined passion to help and positively impact the lives of others. Cierra looks forward to expressing her compassion for children and helping unique motivated individuals grow through her opportunity with The SEED Center.
Trystan will be graduating this May with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a minor in Women’s Studies from the University of Connecticut. For three years, she served as a volunteer mentor for the Stamford Public Education Foundation. In her time there, she has worked one on one with kids from the Stamford Public Schools and provided them with academic and social support throughout the school year. This experience was very rewarding for her and peaked her interest in working with kids in her community. This Fall, she will be attending Sacred Heart University to earn her Master’s Degree in Social Work. She is excited to be a part of the Seed Center team and is looking forward to making a difference in the lives of children with ASD.
Clifton McSwain, MA
Clifton McSwain joins the SEED Center as a Behavior Therapist. As the Dean of Students at Great Oaks Charter school in Bridgeport, Clifton is a motivated, results-oriented dynamic professional with more than 12 years of comprehensive experience leading special education programming and classrooms. Clifton holds a Master of Arts in Sports Communication and Media from Sacred Heart University and a Bachelor of Science in Communication, Media Studies and Journalism from Southern Connecticut University.