Board of Directors

Dave Anderson


James Borland, Ph.D.


Alan Goodman


Jonathan Kretschmer, Ph.D.

Andrea Relkin


Alyson Skinner, Ph.D.


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Advisory Board

Susan Baum

Professor Emeritus, The College of New Rochelle, Susan is widely published in the areas of 2e, primary-aged gifted students, and social and emotional factors affecting gifted students. She is the Director of the National Institute for 2E Research and Development at Bridges Academy in Los Angeles and the recipient of the 2015 Distinguished Professional Alumni Award from the Neag School of Education at UConn for her work with 2e students and the Weinfeld Group's Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in educating 2e learners.

She served on the Board of Directors of the National Association for Gifted Children and is past president and founder of the Association for the Education of Gifted Underachieving Students (AEGUS).

George Delagrammatikas, Ph.D.

Prof George J. Delagrammatikas, Ph.D.

Program Director, STEM Outreach

Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

41 Cooper Square

New York, NY 10003

Prof. Delagrammatikas joined Cooper Union’s Mechanical Engineering Department in September 2005 and has taught courses in mechanical design, the thermal-fluid sciences, engineering experimentation, internal combustion engine design, and automotive engineering.  He is the faculty advisor of the Cooper Motorsports Team which has entered the international, intercollegiate FormulaSAE Competition since 2007.  George supervises research in engine- and vehicle-level optimization.

George first fostered his ‘hands-on’ approach to solving engineering challenges as an undergraduate at MIT, where he helped design, analyze, fabricate, and race solar cars across America.  He earned an MSME (1996) and PhD (2001) from the University of Michigan where he researched the optimal design of advanced automotive powertrains.

Since 2006, George has also developed a series of STEM outreach programs that immerse K12 students from all socioeconomic backgrounds in engineering design and prototyping.  He mentors students as they design and build Rube Goldberg inspired sculptures which have entered local competitions.  His recent interests lie in engaging students with learning differences through hands-on design and prototyping.

He is a member of SAE, ASME, ASEE, Pi Tau Sigma, and the Order of the Engineer.

Matt Lerner, Ph.D.

Matthew D. Lerner, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Pediatrics in the Department of Psychology at Stony Brook University, where he directs the Social Competence and Treatment Lab. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Virginia. He completed his Internship in Child Clinical Psychology at the University of Chicago Medical Center, as well as Fellowships in Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities at the University of Illinois – Chicago, and in Evolutionary and Ontogenetic Dynamics through the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany. He is the founding Director and current Research Director of the Spotlight Program at the Northeast Arc in Massachusetts, a year-round program for social competence and confidence development, serving more than 200 youth annually. He has provided clinical services for children, adolescents, and adults in hospital, clinical, educational, and community settings; he currently supervises clinical psychology Doctoral students seeing child and adolescent cases in the Krasner Psychological Center. He has presented at more than 100 national and international conferences on topics related to social development and developmental disorders.

Dr. Lerner’s research focuses on understanding emergence and “real world” implications of social problems in children and adolescents (especially those with Autism Spectrum Disorders [ASD]), as well as development, evaluation, and dissemination of novel, evidence-based approaches for ameliorating those problems. He has published more than 45 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters; he serves on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, and Behavior Therapy; and he is Co-Chair of the Autism Spectrum & Developmental Disabilities Special Interest Group at the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. Dr. Lerner has received grants and awards from organizations including the National Institutes of Health, the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, the Simons Foundation, the Medical Foundation, the American Psychological Association, the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Most recently, he received a Biobehavioral Research Award for Innovative New Scientists (BRAINS) from the National Institute of Mental Health, Young Investigator Awards from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (NARSAD) and the International Society for Autism Research, was a Finalist for the Director’s Early Independence Award at the National Institutes of Health, and received the Rising Star designation from the Association for Psychological Science.

Joseph Renzulli, Ed.D.

Professor, Gifted Education and Talent Development

Director, The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, 

The University of Connecticut

Joseph Renzulli is The Raymond and Lynn Neag Professor of Gifted Education and Talent Development at The University of Connecticut, where he also serves as Director of The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented. Throughout his professional career he has actively engaged in research on the gifted and talented and contributed several books and numerous articles to the literature in this area of special education. Dr. Renzulli is a former president of The Association for the Gifted and served on the editorial boards of Learning Magazine, Gifted Education International, the Journal of Law and Education, and the Gifted Child Quarterly. He has been a consultant to numerous school districts and agencies including he Office of Gifted and talented (US Office of Education) and the White House Task Force on the Education of the Gifted.

Richard Ryan, Ph.D.

Richard M. Ryan, Ph.D. is a Professor at the Institute for Positive Psychology and Education at the Australian Catholic University and a Research Professor in the Department of Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology at the University of Rochester.  He is a clinical psychologist and co-developer of Self-Determination Theory, an internationally recognized leading theory of human motivation.  He lectures frequently in the United States and aboard on the factors that promote motivation and healthy psychological and behavioral functioning.  Ryan is among the most cited researchers in psychology and social sciences today and the author of over 350 papers and books in the areas of human motivation, personality, and psychological well-being, including Self-determination theory: Basic psychological needs in motivation, development and wellness (Ryan & Deci, 2017, Guilford).  Reflective of Ryan's influence internationally and across disciplines, he has been recognized as one of the eminent psychologists of the modern era, Post-World War II (Diner, Oishi & Parker, 2014, Archives of Scientific Psychology).  He has also been honored with three lifetime achievement awards for his contributions to the field on motivation, personal meaning, and self and identity, and has received an honorary degree from the University of Thessaly and an honorary membership to the German Psychological Society. 

Susen Smith, Ph.D.

Dr Susen Smith has three decades of leadership, teaching and research experience from Pre K to Tertiary. She has a diverse teaching background having worked across Early Childhood, Primary, Secondary, Gifted and Special Education, Education for Sustainability, and Aboriginal Studies. Her research interests include: Differentiating curriculum and pedagogy for gifted students using dynamic cognitive and affective taxonomies and matrices. She has been a visiting scholar at Columbia University, CUNY, and the Hong Kong Institute of Education, has been the guest editor of the Australasian Journal of Gifted Education, published and presented at national and international conferences, most recently as an invited keynote speaker at the Sino-Australian Gifted Education Forum, China, the Ignite the Spark, Fuel the fire: Differentiation for Diversity Conference and the Chinese Association of Gifted Education (CAGE) Conference Taiwan. Hence, her work on Curriculum Differentiation is recognised in Australia and internationally. Susen has acquired several competitive research grants and received the UNE ‘Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Achievements in Interdisciplinary Research Innovation’ and the UNSW Excellence in Postgraduate Research Award from the UNSW Arc Postgraduate Council "in recognition of my exemplary supervisory conduct and invaluable contributions to the supervision of higher degree research candidates”. Susen also organised the UNE TalentEd conferences, chaired the inaugural GERRIC Gifted Futures Forum for Talent Enhancement and is currently on the organising committees for the 2016 AAEGT National conference and the 2017 22nd WCGTC Biennial World Conference.

Her UNSW, School of Education role is as a Senior Lecturer in Gifted & Special Education and GERRIC Senior Research Fellow, and MEdGifted Ed Advisor. Her previous roles were as a Sessional Lecturer in Special Education at the University of Newcastle, where she completed her PhD, Lecturer in Learning, Teaching & Gifted Education at the University of New England (UNE) and Associate Professor for a project at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. 

Dr Smith  supervises PhD and Masters students’ research that focuses on Differentiation, Acceleration & Grouping, Metacognition & Critical Literacy, Underachievement, Creativity for at-risk gifted children, Visual-spatial learners, Twice-Exceptionality, Giftedness & English Language learners, Identification and Dabrowski. Please contact her if you are interested in postgraduate studies in gifted education or including special education. 

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Clinical Team

Michael Buonomo, Ph.D.

Behavioral Psychotherapist

Tara Lanzisera, MSCCC-SLP

Speech Language Pathologist

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Allison Shebar

Lead Mathematics Instructor

Lindsay White

Science Instructor

Lauren Armenio

Math & Humanities Instructor

Bernadette Phelan

Humanities Instructor

Martin Flaster

Social Studies Instructor

Rebeca Weaver

Spanish Instructor

Deborah Cuneo

Art Instructor

Lawrence Meyer

Music Instructor & Guitarist

Taryn Alexander

Health, Wellness, Yoga, and Fitness Instructor

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Student Support

Omar Bryan

Student Support Specialist

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Ellen T. Richer, Ed.D - Founder & Head of School

Ellen Richer is the Founder and Head of School of The Long Island Whole Child Academy, the first school for Twice Exceptional Learning on Long Island. Her passion to understand and free the motivational barriers in at-risk youth weaves through her more than twenty years of work and research, as observer, mother, teacher, leader, and change agent. She earned her doctorate in gifted education, with a focus on the psychology of motivation, behavior change, and learning, from the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College Columbia University. Her mentors, Professors Abraham Tannenbaum and James Borland affirmed her belief that children will thrive when we invite them to thrive and they will invest in their own success when we invest in them. Dr. Richer integrates motivation and behavior change methods into curriculum, program design, instruction, and differentiation for students across the academic and psychosocial spectrum. She has created Gifted Education policy, programming and instructional procedures for student identification and program implementation for the Manhasset Union Free School District and created and directed programs for underachieving and at-risk students with a variety of learning challenges in and out of the classroom. Her most recent work has been the Founding Head of The Quad Preparatory School in New York City.

Laurie Nordby - Assistant Head of School

Assistant Head of School,

Director of Special Education,

Lead Humanities Instructor

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