Parenting is tough. Children don't come with a manual and everyday brings with it a new challenge to work through. When your child has special learning needs, there is a whole other host of hurdles to climb through. One of the most frustrating things that we, as parents encounter, is when our child is struggling, needs help, and we don't understand the language of those speaking with us in order to get that help. The education system is an incredibly intricate and confusing system to decipher. Families often don't know the right question to ask or the types of supports that are available to their child to assist with their learning challenges. They leave meetings feeling overwhelmed, discouraged and with a loss of trust and faith. Jill's philosophy and methodology is to work with families - not just to advocate for what the child needs - but to empower parent's to have the knowledge to better support their child.
Jill has more than 22 years experience advocating for children. In her various positions, she has been intricately involved in the special education process - leading PPT meetings, implementing and writing IEPs, coordinating services for children and families, facilitating conflict management, and supporting teachers and families to provide corrective, social emotional learning environments for children. It has always been important to Jill to be meticulous, detailed and organized in her process to review, discuss and support her families in every role that she holds. She is seen as a collaborative and dedicated member of the team and works hard to have a strong, positive outcome for each child.
Jill received her undergraduate degree from Syracuse University in Child and Family Studies and Psychology, and her Masters in Social Work from New York University. She spent ten years as a school social worker, and her earlier years as a case manager in social services agencies. Jill has also advocated for children in foster care as an Educational Surrogate Parent through the CT State Department of Education. Over the last 5+ years, Jill has diligently worked as a Special Education Advocate , providing her with a wealth of knowledge and experience to serve families and their children.
Jill is a member of the Council of Parent Advocates and Attorneys (COPAA), as well as the Connecticut Association of Children and Adults with Learning Disabilities (CACLD). She has previously served on the volunteer/ professional committees for the Stamford Public Schools of Middle School Advisory Council and the School Governance Council. On a broader advocacy platform, Jill has experience advocating for small business owners at the federal level as a founding member of a non profit alliance of small business owners, lobbying on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, working with a regulatory agency, testifying before the U.S. Senate and collaborating on a legislative amendment.
Jill has delivered presentations to groups throughout Fairfield County on various topics surrounding special education and has been asked by school district groups to share feedback and concern regarding their districts special education programs. Professional development occurs regularly as Jill understands that to actively serve the families she works with, she must remain current with changes in special education law, practice and service delivery.