SpEdConnecticut Board Members
Jackie Staddon, MBA, Executive Director, has volunteered with SpEdConnecticut for 10 years as a parent advisor, serving the last two years on the Board of Directors as well. She has attended numerous trainings relating to special education law, executive functioning, dyslexia, social thinking and transition planning as well as the Learning Disabilities of America training and Partners in Policy Making. She has experience advocating for students with a full range of disabilities and has recently become a registered Surrogate Parent for the CT State Department of Education.
Goviana Morales is a mother of 5 children, two of whom have a diagnosed learning disability. Realizing early on that she needed to educate herself to navigate the special education system, she participated in CPAC’s Next Steps program. Other training followed with Partners in Policy Making, Special Education Advocacy Training through COPAA, ASCRC and SpEdConnecticut. She currently serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors for SpEdConnecticut as well as a parent advisor. Goviana is bi-lingual, helping to provide services to our Spanish speaking clients who might otherwise be lost in the system. Goviana is also the friendly voice who greets our clients, listening to their concerns and advising them on our in-take process.
Nicole Oswald graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. and worked as analytical chemist until her son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Since the diagnosis she has become involved with special education advocacy. Nicole has received training from the CT Partners in Policymaking, is member of the North Central Community Collaborative, and a member of the CONNECT Network Analysis Workgroup. Nicole is a Parent Support Specialist for PATH representing families in the North/Northeastern Connecticut, working with families navigating life with behavioral health, special healthcare, and special education needs.
Katie Dwelly, RN, BSN, is mom to two children with one child who has significant special education needs. After years of struggling to advocate for appropriate interventions she took the Fall SPED CT training. She learned how to better advocate for her child from this training. Katie is also a graduate of the Partners in Policy Makers Training. Katie looks forward to her board position to help develop and plan for future fall trainings.
Joan Wootton has started her own special education advocacy firm, Parents-Speak!, after advocating for her two children with special education needs for over 10 years. She comes to the SpEdConnecticut Board of Directors after completing our SpEdConnecticut Fall Training. She is trained in special education advocacy through COPAA (Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates) SEAT program and has participated in many other trainings such as those provided by CPAC (Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center) and SEEK. Prior to adopting her two children, Joan ran her own marketing and communications firm for 14 years.
Maggie Barry – Is the mother of three. Entering the Special Education process nearly 20 years ago made her realize she needed to educate herself. One of Maggie’s sons has Dyslexia as well as a learning disability, and, her younger son is on the Autism Spectrum. After securing a parent advisor through SpedCt nearly 10 years ago and working as a paraprofessional in Special Education for over 17 years Maggie took the Fall Training to better educate herself. Joining the board this year she is helping with outreach and public relations to spread the word for SpedCT.
Beth Bucciferro has a BS in Information Management Systems from UCONN and a MS in Computer Science from the University of New Haven and is self-employed as a Website Consultant. She has a child with multiple learning challenges. After advocating for him for over 10 years, she was trained in special education advocacy through COPAA (Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates) SEAT program. She completed SpEdConnecticut Fall Training in 2018 and joined the Board in January of 2019.
Tracy Urgo has a BS in Sociology with a concentration in Psychology. She had previously worked in the human resources field. She is the mother of two medically complex children, both diagnosed with congenital Lyme Disease and PANS. Additionally, one child is on the Autism Spectrum and the other has ADHD. She has been advocating for her children for over ten years. She has recently completed formal advocacy training through SpEd CT and works as a parent adviser.