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  Huntington UFSD Special Education Chairperson Janine M. Delgado

Trustees Appoint New Special Education Chairperson

June 14, 2022
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Huntington SEPTA Awards Grants to Teachers

March 23, 2022

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SEPTA's Annual Fundraiser Gala

The Huntington School District’s program of special education and student support services strives to meet the needs of every student. Placement in any special education program is determined by the Committee on Special Education (CSE) based on a student’s academic, social, management, physical needs, and determination of a disability. The CSE recommendations must be reviewed by the Board of Education prior to any action being taken. A plan for each student is outlined in an individual education program, commonly referred to as an IEP.

Several different programs are supported by the district, including:

Consultant teacher program: Consultant teacher services allow students with disabilities to stay in full time regular education programs and receive consultation from a special education teacher. This service allows school districts to provide indirect consultation services to pupils with disabilities who are enrolled in a full-time regular education program. Indirect consultant teacher services provide consultant services to regular education teachers to help them modify the learning environment or instruction to meet the needs of students with disabilities in their classes.

Resource room program: A resource program provides specialized supplementary instruction in a small 5:1 group setting one period daily. The resource program teacher, in cooperation with classroom teachers, provides specialized instruction to support academic performance in the areas identified on the IEP. Since a resource program is supplemental to the student’s regular or special education program, such instruction is non-credit bearing.

Integrated co-teaching services: Integrated co-teaching services means the provision of specially designed instruction and academic instruction provided to a group of students with disabilities and non-disabled students. It is a means through which students with IEPs receive some or all of their specialized instruction in the context of the general education classroom. In this model, two professionals with teaching certification are co-teachers, one general education teacher and one special education teacher. Both professionals participate fully in the instructional process by providing content and facilitating student engagement and learning. This model also incorporates one period every other day of a study skills and organization class in which direct instruction on an IEP takes place.

Special class program: Instruction in the special class parallels instruction that is delivered in the general educating setting. Special class instruction provides core instruction in a setting with students with disabilities. Special classes are available for English, Social Studies, Science, and Math. The curriculum and standards are the same as are provided in the regular education classes but is adapted to meet the individual needs of the students. Special class instruction can be delivered in a 15:1:1 or 12:1+ (3:1 for Life Skills) special class size ratio as determined by the CSE based on the student’s individual needs.

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Diana Rich medium imageDiana Rich small image

Diana Rich, Director
Linda Costello-Roth, 7-12, Chair
Valerie Kolinger, K-6, Chair
Nicole Vidiri Silva, CPSE - Grade 4, Chair

Diana Rich assumed the position of district director of special education and student support services in May 2017. She had earlier served as Huntington’s K-6 chairperson of special education.

Ms. Rich earned a BA degree in education at Niagara University in 1998 and a master’s degree in special education at CUNY-Queens College in 2001. She obtained state administrator’s certificate in 2005 after studying at CUNY-Hunter College.

Prior to coming to Huntington, Ms. Rich worked for AHRC (Assn. for the Help of Retarded Children) July 2000 to March 2012 as a special education program curriculum coordinator, director of early intervention and universal pre-kindergarten, director of special education pre-school and center based early intervention program and principal of a special education pre-school. Earlier in her career, she worked as a special education administrator in the New York City public schools.

Linda Costello-Roth is Huntington’s chairperson of special education, 7-12. Born in Brooklyn, she moved to Huntington in 1970 and attended Village Green School, Huntington Elementary School, Woodhull Elementary School, J. Taylor Finley Junior High School and Huntington High School, graduating with the Class of 1982.

An outstanding athlete at a young age, Mrs. Roth played on the Finley volleyball, basketball and softball teams and starred on the boys’ soccer team, since there was no girls’ squad at the time. She continued her sports career at Huntington High School, playing on the field hockey, volleyball and basketball teams. She captained the first Blue Devil girls’ soccer team as a senior.

The Huntington alum earned an undergraduate degree in business management at Hartwick College in Oneonta and a graduate degree in special education at Long Island University-C.W. Post College.

The veteran educator began her teaching career at Finley Middle School in 1992. Mrs. Roth obtained a state administrator’s certificate in 2003. She’s coached boys’ and girls’ soccer, tennis, lacrosse and volleyball at Finley and field hockey and lacrosse at the high school.

Consistent with her passion to serve the young people of the community, Mrs. Roth has immersed herself in the Special Olympics program, coaching Huntington High School floor hockey, track and field and snowshoe teams.

The Huntington Booster Club honored Ms. Costello-Roth in October 2014 at its gala at the Huntington Crescent Club for her Blue Devil athletic and coaching careers and for her work with the high school’s Special Olympics athletes.

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Valerie Kolinger, K-6 Chair

Valerie Kolinger assumed the position of special education chair for grades K-6 on June 16, 2017. She obtained Bachelor of Science (childhood education) and Master of Science (literacy, B-6) degrees at St. John’s University in Queens in 2005 and 2007, respectively. She earned a Certificate in Educational Leadership at the College of Saint Rose in 2014.

Prior to coming to Huntington, Ms. Kolinger worked as a K-5 special education teacher at PS 60 in Woodhaven, Queens from September 2006 through June 2015. She served on the New York City Board of Education’s Committee on Special Education from September-December 2015 and on the Committee on Pre-School Special Education from January 2016 until her appointment in Huntington.

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Nicole Vidiri Silva, CPSE-Grade 4 Chair

Nicole Vidiri Silva has been the district’s chairperson of special education covering from pre-school through fourth grade since July 1, 2021.

Ms. Silva obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in human development at Binghamton University in 2007. She earned a Master of Science degree in social work at Columbia University in 2009 and an Advanced Graduate Certificate in school district and school building leadership at Stony Brook University in 2021.

At the time of her appointment in Huntington UFSD, Ms. Silva had been working as dean of students and social and emotional learning in the Oyster Bay-East Norwich school district. She previously worked there as a bilingual social worker.

Ms. Silva has also worked as a bilingual social worker in Hicksville, Patchogue-Medford and at Developmental Disabilities Institute and as a social worker at Sachem. She was an early intervention/CPSE social worker at Bilingual’s Inc.

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Last Name First Position Phone Email
Rich Diana District Director
Doscas Demetra Director's Secretary
Anson Patricia HHS, Special Ed.
Arlin Becky HHS, Special Ed.
Bookman Lauren HHS, Special Ed.
Costa Kathryn HHS, Social Worker
Devito Nancy HHS, Psychologist
Fisher Tara HHS, Special Ed.
Fusco Peter HHS, Special Ed.
German Alyssa HHS, Special Ed.
Hlavaty John HHS, Special Ed.
Jessen Erica HHS, Special Ed.
Klee Patricia HHS, Speech Therepist
Kohan Linda HHS, Social Worker
McCourt Kathleen HHS, Special Ed. Coord. kmccourt
Mendez Giovanni HHS, Psychologist
Mulholland Nicole HHS, Special Ed. mulhollandn
Neugebauer Andrea HHS, Special Ed.
Noble Barbara HHS, Special Ed.
Nugent Donna HHS, Special Ed.
Renick Melody HHS, Psychologist
Rommel Jennifer HHS, Special Ed.
Roth Linda HHS, Special Ed. Chair
Sambour Kathleen HHS, Special Ed.
Trites Kelly HHS, Special Ed.
Troffa Anthony HHS, Special Ed.
Witt Timothy HHS, Special Ed.
Woll Irene HHS, Special Ed.
Yostpille Maureen HHS, Special Ed.
Armon Navila Finley, WH Social Worker
Carey Kate Finley, Speech Therapist
Costa Kathryn Finley, Social Worker
DiBenedetto Mary Finley, Psychologist mdibenedetto
Digioia Nina Finley, Psychologist
Emmerman Carol Finley, Special Ed.
Fee Krista Finley, Special Ed.
Garger Christina Finley, Special Ed.
Hughes Amy Finley, Special Ed.
Stracuzza Annette Finley, Special Ed.
Theodorellis Christopher Finley, Special Ed.
Vettorato Jen Finley, Special Ed.
Fletcher Cynthia JA, WH Psychologist
Jerome Jaime WH, Special Ed.
Martino Christina WH, Psychologist
Smith Nicole WH,Speech Therapist
Stanford Hildi WH, Special Ed.
Williams Ashley WH, Special Ed.
Barfuss Heather FH, Special Ed.
Brachman Risa FH, Speech Therapist
Digioia Nina FH, Psychologist
Garris-Shade Julissa FH, Psychologist garris-shadej
Lucas Yafit FH, Speech Therapist
Soto Gisselle FH, Social Worker
D'Andraia Evelyn Jeff, Special Ed.
Garris-Shade Julissa Jeff, Psychologist
Garcia Renee Jeff, Special Ed.
Mallen-Ozimkowski Kathleen Jeff, Psychologist
Milewski Jenna Jeff, Speech Therapist
Soto Giselle Jeff, Social Worker
Sweeney Patricia Jeff, Special Education
Macaluso Sarah SD, Speech Therapist
Garris-Shade Julissa SD, Psychologist
Kohan Linda SD, Social Worker
Renick Melody SD, Psychologist
Stockner Shelley SD, Speech

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  • Co- President: Kerri Brandine 1-631-252-7133
  • Co-President: Kristin Peters 1-631-258-6108
  • Co-Vice President: Kimberley Steinberg 1-917 714-5459
  • Co-Vice President: Kerry Rinaldi 1-917-757-6826
  • Corresponding Secretary: Rene Babich Dumas 1-631-624-2358
  • Recording Secretary: Tonya Guandique 1-516-330-6326
  • Co-President: Denise Murtagh1-917-656-4434
  • Council Delegate: Wendy Naborre 1-631-807-8948

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SEPTA Sounds by the Bay

SEPTA Gala: Sunset and Sounds on the Bay

May, 2019. Credits: Cliff Weissman

69 Photos