Sarah grew up in Lackawanna, New York as the second of five children. She attended Our Lady of Victory Elementary and Mount Mercy Academy. After high school Sarah attended William Smith College in Geneva, New York. Her four years there were full of activities, which included directing two plays and studying abroad through Advanced Studies in England (ASE), University College Oxford. Her travels continued to Grand Rapids, M.I. after graduation. There she completed her teacher training at Grand Valley State University. She completed the program as a straight Dean’s List student and obtained her Michigan teaching certification in Elementary Education, Students with Mental Impairments (K-8), and Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders (K-8).
After teaching Middle School self-contained students at Grandville Middle School, and assistant coaching the cross-country team there, she moved to Erie, P.A. There she worked as a behavior specialist at the Dr. Gertrude A. Barber Institute’s Learning Center while completing her Applied Behavior Analysis Certification training at Penn State University. While in P.A., Sarah also taught a self contained EBD class (Gr. 4-6), and a self-contained (GR. K-3) class for students on the Autistic Spectrum. In the summers of 2001 & 2002 she was a teacher at a Summer Camp offered through the Dr. Gertrude A. Barber Institute for children with an Asperger’s diagnosis.
In 2004, Sarah’s family relocated as expatriates to Shanghai, China for three years with her husband’s job. There she completed an online M.A.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction through the University of Phoenix (Evaluating Writing Assessments), taught 3rd grade at the prestigious Shanghai American School, and welcomed her first child. Since returning to the USA in 2006, Sarah has been raising 3 small children (ages 4, 6 & 8) and keeping up her reading and interest in working with students with special needs by serving as a special education consultant for St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Apex, North Carolina, and as a founding member of the Immaculate Conception School (East Aurora, NY) Grant Committee.
Looking for ways to integrate digital technology into the elementary curriculum and as assistive technology for exceptional learners led her to find the Joint Doctoral Program in Special Education at the University of Buffalo. A tremendous opportunity made this program a reality for her with a doctoral fellowship from the federal Office of Special Education Programs.
Sarah’s research areas are: Using Digital Technology as Assistive Tech. to promote social skills and learning for students with exceptional needs as well as developing an online certification module for Applied Behavior Analysis.