Co-Founder, Confident Kid Club
Katharine’s teaching career of over 25 years has focused on using innovative and effective teaching strategies with a particular emphasis on children with special needs and their families. She holds a Master of Science degree in Early Childhood Education & Teaching Young Children with Special Needs from Wheelock College, where she was the first ever recipient of a dual degree/certification in 1993. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Studies from Syracuse University in 1991. Katharine has dual certification as a Teacher of Young Children With Special Needs Ages 3–7 and Early Childhood Education Nursery School – 6th Grade. Specific interests and training expertise include:
- Sensory processing
- Social skills development in children
- Behavior management strategies
Katharine’s wide-range of teaching experience includes:
- Co-founder/program facilitator Confident Kid Club
- Head teacher in therapeutic preschools/early intervention programs
- Substitute teacher at the elementary school level
- Special Ed Itinerant Teacher (SEIT) in Westchester County preschools and homes
- Head teacher—innovative inclusion classroom for 3–5 year olds in New Rochelle, NY
Katharine’s substantive knowledge of behavior intervention strategies and her intuitive nature allow her to easily establish a strong rapport with young children. By recognizing and respecting children’s different learning styles, Katharine helps to build on strengths and enable transitions to less restrictive environments. Through ongoing communication with parents she facilitates reinforcement of skills in home and community settings. She has a natural love for working with young children and an inherent ability to leverage a child’s strengths to foster success.
As the parent of two young adult sons, she brings a valuable real life perspective to the education process. She believes that a combination factors; family, community, and schools, interact to help children reach their full potential. Katharine has been extensively involved in her community as a recreational soccer coach for over ten years and has organized annual blood drives with elementary school children. She served as the Special Education PTA co-president and liaison to parents at the preschool/elementary school level. Katharine enjoys gardening, cooking, and canning her own jams and pickles. Her creativity and enthusiasm carry over to her work with young children engaging them in enriching activities to help them reach their full potential. As recently stated by a parent: “In one short year, Katharine single-handedly taught our son skills that triggered an enormous growth in his cognitive and motor abilities, as well as his self esteem.”
Co-Founder, Confident Kid Club
Carmella Crowley received her master’s degree in Special Education from the College of New Rochelle and also holds a bachelors degree in Elementary Education from Iona College. She has over 25 years of experience in early childhood education.
She began her teaching career as an elementary teacher in a multi-cultural inner city school, teaching first and third grade. There she developed and implemented curriculums in all content areas for four years. She designed and integrated thematic units and fostered student development in socialization skills and language development through cooperative learning. Carmella’s career as an educator has culminated in her role as co-founder/program facilitator at Confident Kid Club.
While raising her four sons she began work as a Special Education Itinerant Teacher and Early Intervention Provider throughout Westchester for children 2-5 years old. There she demonstrated patience, her natural love of children, and an understanding of children with a wide range of developmental delays. Her responsibilities included:
- Educational evaluations
- Development of appropriate Individual Educational Plans
- Behavior modification strategies
- Social skills development
- Collaborating with therapists, co-workers, supervisors, and parents
Camella is a dedicated and committed professional who has represented students at Committee on Preschool Special Education meetings (CPSE) to ensure proper support services and future placements. Additional experiences include lead teacher in a toddler inclusion classroom, summer camp director at the White Plains YMCA, private tutor, and head teacher at an enrichment program for talented and gifted children.
She is an active member of her church where she chairs the annual dinner dance and organizes the weekly fellowship. Carmella has hosted and welcomed Fresh Air Fund children in her home. She is a member of the PTA and supports and chaperones Youth to Youth community programs for middle school students. She continues to pursue professional development opportunities including, Autism Awareness, Handwriting Without Tears, Floortime, Mindfulness, and Social Thinking.
We are excited to welcome Christina Ulto to the Confident Kid Club team as a co-teacher. Christina has been an integral part of Confident Kid Club serving as an intern for four years prior to joining our staff.
She is a recent graduate of Fordham University where she acquired a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Philosophy. She also holds a master’s degree in Childhood General Education and Special Education from Fordham University.
Christina recently taught at the Gillen Brewer School, a private special education school in New York City. She works privately for families of students with special needs and worked at Our Victory Day Camp in Dobbs Ferry for developmentally challenged children for the past two summers. Christina demonstrates a love of working with young children and a heartfelt commitment to the field of education.
We are excited to welcome Gabrielle French to the Confident Kid Club team as a co-teacher. Gabrielle has been an assistant teacher and a substitute teacher at Confident Kid Club for several years.
She graduated from Ithaca College with a B.A in Communication Studies, and a minor in Counseling. She has extensive hands-on experience working with individuals of all ages, and challenges. Gabrielle spent a year working at Four Winds Psychiatric Facility as a mental health worker, working with children and adolescents where she practiced dialectical behavioral therapy as a tool for the growth of patients. Gabrielle has experience working alongside social workers and behavioral therapists to encourage social-emotional development of each individual child. She is passionate about working with young children. Her kindness and sincerity are evident in her interaction with the children and families at Confident Kid Club.