People of SNSC

Our Parent Educational Support & Advocacy Volunteers

Iris Berezin
Candace Crosby-Rogers
Bonnie Fields
Michael Wynkoop

Volunteer Peer Parent Mentors

Ruth Cassedy
My name is Ruth Cassedy. I have a 16 year old son on the autism spectrum. I am a teacher, working as a para with kids on the spectrum in the classroom setting, which I love, a certified autism advocate and I host a Facebook page, Upper Valley Autism Resource Exchange, to coalesce and share information among families. You can send me a request if you’d like to join the group. I am always happy to share and learn through mutual experiences.

Our Staff

Laura Perez, Executive Director
Laura has many years of experience in community organization and program development including fundraising, education, and outreach with a goal of enhancing community wellness. Her baccalaureate education focused on the politics of poverty at the domestic and international levels and community education as a force for social change. She received her Master’s in Business Administration with a Strategic Organizational Leadership Focus from Norwich University. She is personally and professionally committed to creating a safer, happier, and healthier place for us all to live, play, and work.

Before joining our team Laura was part of the leadership team at Stagecoach Transportation Services. Ensuring access to transportation for vulnerable people in rural areas is an issue that is near to her heart. Previously, she enjoyed the work of cultivating and maintaining relationships within the Upper Valley community which resulted in community participation in the delivery of services and stewardship of the facilities and programs at the Upper Valley Haven.

Jayne Wolfe, Program Director
Jayne has almost 20 years of experience serving the community of children, young people and adults with special needs and social emotional disturbances. In 2007 she graduate from the University of Cumbria, UK with her Master’s in Special Needs Education, focusing on providing holistic and structured learning experiences for children on the autistic spectrum. Jayne’s passion is providing opportunities and experiences in the most inclusive manner, involving the wider community, whilst having fun!

Jayne has recently moved to the Upper Valley and enjoys spending time with her family (fur babies included), music and theater as well as exploring nature and hiking. She has aspirations of one day being able to ski!


Nicki Thrall, Administrative Coordinator
When my daughter Ana was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, I experienced grief, anger, hopelessness, anxiety and fear hand in hand with her diagnosis. I didn’t know where to turn, what to do or what to think. That’s when I first connected with SNSC. With support from our Connections Program, Ana received a BigSib who helped her learn to trust people other than her family. Later, when struggling with the special education process, advice from a Parent Educational Support Advocate guided me through the process, empowering me to make the right choices for her. Today we have an abundance of gratitude, support, grace, hope, happiness, acceptance and love in our life thanks, in part, to SNSC. I am grateful to get to be a part of a loving team and to provide support for other families. When I’m not working, I enjoy gardening, music, and being a mom.

Our Board of Directors

Jo-Anne Unruh, Ph.D., President
Retired Special Education Director and Executive Director, Vermont Council of Special Education Administrators

Jo-Anne has been working with children who have disabilities and their families since 1969. The inspiration from these children and their families has been central to her work as a special education administrator in Vermont.  Most recently she worked as executive director of the Vermont Council of Special Education Administrators. She has been on the board of SNSC since 2009.

In addition to being a licensed special educator and special education administrator in Vermont, her Bachelors’ Degree in Psychology, her Doctorate in Education and is a certified mediator through Woodbury College.

Her other interests include hiking, cross country skiing, biking, kayaking, knitting, singing and maintaining contact with family and friends. She is married to Ken Kramberg, a special education teacher, administrator and consultant. Their son, Joseph, lives in San Francisco and works as a software engineering manager.

Rose McCullough, Vice President & Fundraising Committee

Rose’s career involved international marketing, product management, and strategic planning for business development and communications.  Additionally, she has worked in the non-profit sector educating members through newsletters, webinars, and social media.

She has a Master’s in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry and Psychology from Rutgers College, Rutgers University.

While Rose Marie left the traditional workforce to manage her growing family and raise her four children she stayed very active as a volunteer. In 2014, she moved to NH where she currently resides with her husband and their youngest daughter.

Sherry Sousa, Treasurer & Chair, Finance Committee
Director, Support Services, Windsor Central Supervisory Union

My interest in being a member of the SNSC comes from my personal experience of having a child with a special need and working with special needs students for the last 30 year.  As a parent and educator, I know how important it is to have a informed partner to consult with and access to resources beyond the school day.

My undergraduate work at UNH was in social work and counseling.  I completed an interdisciplinary Master’s degree at the University of Arizona in Reading, Learning and Speech/Language disabilities.  I have worked both in the private and public sectors of education.

Meg Seely, Secretary & Chair of Nomination and Evaluation Committee
Retired Special Educator, Woodstock Learning Clinic Director and CHAD Patient Family Advisor, M.A.

Meg has served on many boards primarily in the Woodstock, Vermont area and at Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital (D-H) where she was recently honored as the institutions’ 2018 “volunteer of the year.”  Additionally, she has served on the Vermont Community Foundation Board for 4 years where she is the Board Chair.

Meg holds a Masters in Developmental Therapy and a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education. From 1975 to 2001 she served as a therapist and eventually Director of the Woodstock Learning Clinic and later Chair of the Board of the Woodstock Learning Trust. Subsequently she served in many capacities at the Woodstock and Reading Elementary Schools, including interim principal at both.

For the last fifteen years, after successfully launching her three children into independence, Meg has served as a Patient Family Advisor at D-H.  Meg has spoken locally, nationally, and internationally about the importance of Patient Family Centered Care.

Allen Abendroth

Program Committee

For the past 23 years Allen has been the Inclusion Coordinator for the Lebanon School District.  One of his roles is to support students and their families by assisting with school-based program development and implementation and collaborating with multi-agency teams to promote positive outcomes across domains.  In addition to his educational background, he has worked 8 years in residential settings and his family did foster care for 20 years.  He believes working with the Special Needs Support Center will give him opportunity to help families work towards happy, purposeful and interactive lives. Allen has three children and live in Sunapee, NH.

Alexis Alston, Finance Committee

Impact Investor

Alexis is a graduate of Brown University, where she studied Business and was the director of a health education non-profit.

Here in the Upper Valley, she is an impact investor with Advantage Capital Partners, and works to invest in traditionally underserved communities and founders across the country. In her spare time, she mentors start-ups, and is actively involved in the arts.

Paula Fernandes

Fundraising Committee

Bio coming soon.

Sue Hagerman

Fundraising Committee

Sue comes to SNSC from over 30 years working with children and families in community mental health and special education.  Her passion is helping people become and learn to the best of their abilities.  When students understand their learning strengths and challenges, they can become informed self-advocates, and participate actively in their learning.  When their adults understand how they learn, they can collaborate actively to build optimal individualized plans for learning.

Sue concentrated in psychology and political science at Brown University, and went on to a graduate degree in clinical psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a clinical psychology internship at Dartmouth Medical School.  Following internship, she worked for several years at West Central Behavioral Health, developed and co-implemented the Parents in Distress Program, and, for the last 25 years in education in both New Hampshire and Vermont, served as a school therapist, case manager, director of a mainstreamed program for emotionally and behaviorally disordered middle and high school students, and school psychologist consulting with parents, teachers, and students on how their students learn best.

Vince Mennona

Director of Aerospace, Timkin Bearings, and parent of child with special needs

Vince is Director, Aerospace Bearings, Americas at The Timken Company.  Vince has been with Timken since 2006.  Prior to joining Timken, he served in various leadership roles with Motorola and Flextronics.

Vince holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Florida Atlantic University and a master’s degree in business administration from Florida International University.

Vince has a child with special needs and supports SNSC as current Board Member and former Chair of SNSC’s annual giving campaign.  Vince enjoys sharing his experiences with the SNSC community as a way of giving back.

Barbara van Hoff

Fundraising Committee

Barbara van Hoff is a licensed marriage and family therapist with a private practice in Lebanon. She is married with 5 sons, 3 daughters-in-law and 6 grandchildren. She has previously served on the SNSC Board, and she enjoys working on their special events.