Our Team

Crisis Prevention
Intervention

All of our staff members are trained and certified in Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (CPI) through the Crisis Prevention Institute; an international organization that focuses on prevention and the use of best practices to safely de-escalate and manage verbal and physical behaviors. Since 1980, over 10 million professionals around the world have participated in CPI training programs. CPI educates and empowers our team to create safe and respectful therapeutic environments that enrich the lives of the individuals we serve. Click Here to learn more about CPI.

Clinical
Supervisors

Clinical Supervisors are professionals who have earned their master’s degree to serve those with autism. Clinical Supervisors have completed a masters program and received numerous academic and supervision hours to take the Board Certification examination. Upon successful completion of this exam, Clinical Supervisors are able to receive their licenses to practice Applied Behavior Analysis. BCBAs possess extensive knowledge on how to create the most effective treatment plans that utilize their understanding of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Every client at The SEED Center will have a Board Certified Behavior Analyst assigned to his or her case in order to ensure that they are receiving the best possible treatment. Click Here to learn more about BCBAs.

Registered Behavior Technicians

A Registered Behavior Technician is a behavior technician that has successfully completed their Registered Behavior Technician Examination. In order to take the exam, behavior technicians are required to complete numerous hours of ABA therapy under the supervision of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Once a Registered Behavior Technician, a person can start working toward becoming a BCBA. Click Here to learn about RBTs.

Management

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 holds 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 in the field of special education for 25 years. Prior to starting The SEED Center, Mr. Schermer helped build and establish several private schools for individuals with autism and other related disabilities. He has and continues to provide consulting services for public schools where his specialty is reducing school costs while increasing their efficiency and effectiveness.

Evan Schermer has advanced training in Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) and leads 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.  He acts as an advocate for families providing support, knowledge, and guidance in the area of special education law and poilcies. In addition, has been an expert witness for impartial hearings in the NY Metro area. Mr. Schermer is the former 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. Finally, Evan Schermer is proud to have been awarded the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Entrepreneurial Success Award in May 2015. Mr. Schermer’s experience and knowledge, clinically and professionally, ensure a solid foundation and strength for The SEED Center to excel and grow.

 

ABA Therapy Fairfield, CT

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.

Andres Alvarez, Finance Director

Andres serves as the Finance Director 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 has years of experience in billing, coding, accounting services, tax preparation, and payroll. Mr. Alvarez has registered with IRS-CITA program to help individuals with preparation of tax returns.

Molly DeLucia, Director of Operations and Human Resources

Molly DeLucia serves as the Director of Operations and Human Resources at The SEED Center. She holds a bachelor’s 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, Molly 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.

Joanna Herrera, Accounts Receivable Coordinator

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 a nice personality with a lot of energy and a great smile that makes everyone feel welcome.  She has worked previously with children who need physical therapy, enjoys working with individuals with disabilities and loves to see their joy and happiness.

Sandra (Sandy) Kennedy, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA, Clinical Director

Sandra (Sandy) is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, BCBA, and a 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.

staff member

Elliot Recchia, MS, BCBA, LBA, Clinical Director

Elliot has specialized in the education and treatment of individuals with autism and other exceptionalities since 2010. He is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Clinical Director at the SEED Center. Elliot holds a Master of Science degree in teaching, specializing in education for students with disabilities. He has provided consultation, training, and direct services in many public and private schools, as well as home and community-based settings. His interests include relational frame theory and stimulus equivalence, observational learning, behavioral economics, and effective teaching strategies for the development of flexible complex behavioral repertoires in education. He has a passion for integrating high-quality behavior analytic services into everyday settings to help all people meet meaningful outcomes.

Luis Vera, MS, BCBA, LBA, Clinical Director

Luis Vera, is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst, BCBA, and Clinical Director 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 of Science in psychology and family and child sciences and a Bachelor 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.”

Amanda Sanchioni, BFA, Administrative Assistant

Amanda serves as an administrative assistant for The SEED Center. Amanda graduated from UConn with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration. She previously worked in Stamford as a marketing assistant and has experience in social media marketing. She has also spent several years as a server and has a lot of experience working with different people. She hopes to one day go back to school and earn a Master’s in Art Therapy and go on to get her LPC. Amanda is looking forward to working at the SEED Center and learning more about working with individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.

Clinical Supervisors

Evie Baez, MS, BCBA, LBA

Evie is an ABA enthusiast who over the past 10 years has worked in a variety of school, hospital, home and community settings. Her passion as a BCBA is to teach functional and social skills that will ensure a life of satisfaction and independence. She received her B.S. in Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University and her M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism from the Sage Colleges. While working at the SEED Center she obtained her BCBA credential and CT state license.

Alexandra (Allie) Van Duyne, MS, BCBA, LBA

Allie began working with children with a variety of learning and behavioral disorders following her undergrad in Sociology and Psychology at Sacred Heart University. Shortly after, she discovered and fell in love with the field of Applied Behavior Analysis. Allie received her Master’s degree in ABA and Autism from the Sage Colleges and became a BCBA while working at the SEED center. Allie is passionate about the field and loves seeing the difference ABA makes in her clients lives and their families; she looks forward to her future at the SEED center!

Maura Matsen, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA

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 collaborative 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.

Shannon Evelyn Matthews MS, BCBA, LBA

Shannon Matthews is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), a Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA) and a Credentialed Educational School Counselor with over 20 years of experience working with children of all ages, abilities and needs. She has extensive experience counseling students and their families in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBAs), Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs), Pivotal Response Training (PRT), Discrete Trial (DT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Prior to joining the SEED center, Shannon was a Behavioral Director at The Collaborative Center for Learning and Development of Greenwich Education Group, a Clinical Supervisor at Branches of Hope and a Behavior Specialist at Autism Spectrum Therapies in San Diego, CA. During her summers in San Diego, Shannon worked as a surf instructor for children on the autism spectrum. Shannon completed her undergraduate work in Psychology at Central Connecticut State University, and earned an MS in Educational School Counseling from National University in La Jolla, CA. Shannon Evelyn Matthews MS, BCBA, LBA

Brittany Pizzano, MS, BCBA, LBA

Brittany is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, BCBA, at the SEED Center. She holds her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the College of Saint Rose, and holds her Masters in ABA from the Sage Colleges. She has had several years of experience working as a clinical supervisor and working with individuals on the autism spectrum. She has experience working with many different ages, but in particular is passionate about working with children, as well as helping families to understand and manage the challenges of ASD!

Registered Behavior Technicians

Genese Semey, BS, RBT

Genese Semey serves as a Registered Behavior Technician at the SEED Center. She graduated from Fordham University in 2002 with a BS in psychology and in April of 2016 obtained certification from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) as a Registered Behavior Technician. Genese has 15 years’ experience working with the autistic population. She has experience with children and individuals on all aspects of the spectrum ranging in ages from 2 years old up to young adults aged 24.

Matt Murtough, BA, RBT

Matt serves as a Registered Behavior Technician at The SEED Center. 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.

Amanda Morales, BA, RBT

Amanda serves as a Lead Behavior Specialist at the SEED center and works directly with clients, and their families in home, school, and community settings. With over 10 years of experience working with individuals with autism, Amanda is deeply passionate about enriching the lives of her clients by supporting them in meeting their goals, and developing their independence. Amanda is currently pursuing a Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis with a concentration in autism studies and will be graduating December 2019.

Andrew Laro, BA, RBT

Andrew Laro serves as a Registered Behavior Technician at the SEED Center. He graduated from Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania in 2017 and holds both a BA in Psychology and a BA in youth ministry. Andrew has experience with home-based ABA therapy, social skills groups, and working with individuals on the autism spectrum in multiple educational and volunteer-based contexts. Andrew has a passion for helping others to reach their potential and live more full and complete lives in whatever capacity he is able to.

Daria Sentocnik, RBT

Daria serves as a Registered Behavior Technician 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, RBT

Smileyne is a Registered Behavior Technician at The SEED Center with 5 years of 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.

Christine Velazquez, M.Ed., School Psychologist

Christine Velazquez works as a School Psychologist for The SEED Center. She has worked as a Bilingual School Psychologist in the Stamford and New York City public schools. As an undergraduate student, this was not her plan! Fascinated by international relations and different cultures, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Foreign Affairs and Spanish at the University of Virginia. After spending her junior year abroad in Seville, Spain, she decided she wanted to spend more time there to improve her Spanish, taste for tapas, and breadth of travel in Europe. She taught English in a dual-language elementary school, which was her first official job working in education. As she has always had a passion for working with children, she was not surprised to find that she loved working in schools. Upon returning home to the States, she pursued a degree in school psychology at CUNY Brooklyn College. She has been so fortunate to work with talented and dedicated educators from whom she has learned to conduct psycho-educational evaluations, lead social skills groups for students on the autism spectrum, counsel, and consult in busy, diverse school districts. Christine lives in Stamford with her husband, daughter, and son. She loves to travel, read, and go to the beach… and taste new tapas!

Danielle Schwartz, MS, RBT

Danielle works for The SEED Center as a Registered Behavior Technician and recently graduated with a Masters of Science.  Since graduating she has worked in ABA classrooms in different school districts. From this experience, she then decided she wanted to continue her education in ABA. She hopes to then go on and get her BCBA. Danielle originally started working with children with autism because she has an older sister with autism. Her sister inspired her to help children who may not be able to advocate for themselves.

Danielle Christon, RBT

Danielle serves as a Registered Behavior Technician at The SEED Center. She has worked as a Para Educator with autistic children in the public school system for the past 4 years. Danielle became a Registered Behavior Technician in March of 2018. She enjoys working with children and looks forward to working with The SEED Center!

Kristyn Bastias-Butler, BS, RBT

Kris joins The SEED Center as a registered behavior technician. She has worked with special needs students in a variety of classroom settings for 18 years as a para educator. Kris holds a BS in human resource management from Philadelphia University and became a RBT in July 2018. Kris loves working with students and is committed to helping them achieve their goals.

Angie Ardila, BGS, RBT

Angie is a Registered Behavioral Therapist (RBT) whose passion is to positively improve the lives of families and children. She started this passion by volunteering as a mentor and reading tutor to help students from elementary school since she was in college. She graduated with honors from the University of Connecticut in 2018, with a bachelor’s degree in General Studies with Concentration in Clinical Psychology. Currently, she is pursuing a master of Science in Psychology and Applied Behavioral Analysis from Purdue University. Ensuring children’s growth, safety and well being is what she plans to do the rest of her life.

Esmerelda Robinson, RBT, BA

Esmerelda joins the SEED Center as a Registered Behavior Technician. She hods a BA in psychology and communication sciences and disordersnfrom Queens College, City University of New York. Esmerelda has worked with individuals with disabilities for over 10 years, and has over 5 years of experience working with individuals on the autism spectrum. She is skilled in home-based therapy and works as an RBT/paraeducator with autistic children in the Connecticut public-school system. Her passion for helping others provides her with the drive and motivation to continue her education in both Speech and ABA therapy. She looks forward to the endless possibilities and knowledge she will gain here at the SEED Center!

Behavioral Therapists

Emily Blau, M.Ed., BT

Emily Blau joins The SEED Center as a Behavior Therapist. She holds a Master 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 the 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.

Cynthia (Cindy) Morris, BS, BT

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.

Kally Juarez, BT

Kally joined The SEED Center and served as an administrative assistant and then transitioned to a Behavior Therapist. Kally is a local resident of Norwalk, CT and is a graduate of Brien McMahon High School. She is currently working on getting her degree in General Studies with the goal of a degree in ABA. Throughout the years, she has worked with many kids in the Sunday school department at Spanish United Pentecostal Church and has also worked with kids with disabilities. Kally is excited for this new opportunity to work with kids and make a difference in many families and individuals.

Betzy Ayala, MS, BT

Betzy joins The SEED Center as a Behavior Technician.  She has worked in the public school systems as a Paraeducator for the past 10 years. Working with the children there, motivated her to pursue a Bachelor’s in Psychology and then her Master’s in Science with a specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis. She enjoys working with children and there have been many experiences working in the public school system that made her fall in love with this field. Betzy’s passion and her goal is to help foster a positive learning experience for every child and to help them be as successful and as happy as they can be in life.

Pamela Blandon, BS, BT

Pam works as a Behavior Therapist at The Seed Center. Pam holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Delaware in cognitive science and Spanish studies, with a concentration in speech language pathology. Prior to working at the Seed Center, Pam has had experience working alongside children with diverse needs in a school setting during her undergraduate career in Delaware. Pam’s experiences have kindled her passion to make a difference in children’s lives. Pam plans to work towards becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in the future.

Fara Barreto, MA, BT

Fara Barreto joins the SEED Center as a Behavior Therapist. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Special Education from Fairfield University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Connecticut. Fara has over 10 years experience working with individuals (ages 2-14) with autism and other developmental disabilities. She has provided direct service, staff training, and parent consultations while working in schools, homes, and community-based settings. Her mission is to provide a kinesthetic, individualized approach while making learning fun and enjoyable. She focuses on family engagement and family-school partnerships to support children’s behavior, social-emotional, and academic functioning.

Taylor Rubeo, BS, BT

Taylor graduated from Sacred Heart University this past December, earning her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Speech-Language Pathology. She is currently applying to graduate school to achieve her goal of earning a Master’s Degree in Communication Disorders (or Speech-Language Pathology). Her love for speech is what drew her to want to work with children with autism. Taylor has worked with children for a number of years and has experience with children and adolescents who are on the spectrum ranging from ages 3 to 17. She believes that social communication is the key to help building stronger relationships and independence.

Michael Plunkett, BT

Mike joins The SEED Center team as a behavior technician to enhance the lives of the autism spectrum disorder community. With years of experience working in both mental health and education in school and hospital institutions, Mike looks to continue applying his proficient therapeutic services to unique individuals and families around him. Mike is dedicated to providing direct high-quality care for children and adults who experience educational, developmental, and emotional disorders. He is currently pursuing a B.A. in the Science of Sociology with a Minor in Human Rights and Social Justice.

Rebecca Kolin, BA, BT

Rebecca joins the SEED Center team as a behavior technician in hopes to better the lives of children who are on the autism spectrum. Rebecca has a passion for working with children and helping them become successful individuals. Rebecca holds a B.A in psychology from Sacred Heart University and is looking forward to graduate school working for herBCBA.Rebecca has always loved working with children from her work as Lead Teacher for an after school program at a private school in Greenwich to regular baby sitter for specific families. Her passion for working with children with special needs has always been present and Rebecca is excited to continue her journey with the SEED Center. 

Fabienne Joseph, BT

Fabienne joins the Seed Center as a Behavior Technician. Fabienne is a local resident of Stamford, Connecticut and is a graduate of Stamford High School. Fabienne is also working on becoming an RBT (Registered Behavioral Therapist) and potentially becoming a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) once she completes her RBT Exam. Throughout the years, she has worked with many kids in the Sunday school program at New Beginnings Church and has also worked with kids with disabilities. Fabienne is passionate and excited for this new opportunity to working with kids and making a difference in the lives of many families and individuals!