Presenter Bios

  • Brendan Hodnett

    Brendan Hodnett is currently a Special Education teacher, adjunct professor, and educational consultant. With a master’s degree from The College of New Jersey in Special Education, he has spent his 17-year career as an educator teaching Math, Science, Social Studies and Social Skills to various student populations, ranging from self-contained to advanced/enrichment classrooms. As an adjunct professor for Hunter College in New York City, Brendan currently teaches courses in the masters program for students working towards certification in Special Education. His courses have primarily focused on inclusive practices in education and methods for teaching mathematics to diverse learners. In addition, Brendan has worked with districts across New Jersey as a consultant for Student Centered Learning (SCL) Educational Consulting Group, providing ongoing coaching and training to develop best teaching practices for working with heterogeneous learning populations and a team approach to academic and behavioral intervention. He has also written and reviewed numerous articles for to support both parents of students with learning and attention issues as well as teachers looking for solutions in the classroom. 


    Kristen L. Hodnett

    Kristen L. Hodnett is currently a clinical professor at Hunter College as well as an educational consultant for Student Centered Learning (SCL) Educational Consulting Group and  At Hunter College, Professor Hodnett teaches courses in the following areas: The Study of Learning Disabilities, On-the-Job Practicum, Inclusive Education, Methods of Reading for Adolescent Students with Learning Disabilities, and Supervised Clinical Teaching. She observes all students in her program in their classrooms providing coaching and critical feedback to help them reach their educational goals. Professor Hodnett has been actively working to transform traditional courses into Hybrid and/or Online courses, offering students more options for continuing their education with Hunter College. Additionally, as a member of the Equity and Advocacy Committee she shares in research with other committee members to support learning for all students using Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies and Universal Design for Learning.  She is a member of Hunter’s 7th cohort, working towards a doctorate in Educational Leadership.


    Laura Petillo

    Laura Petillo is a doctoral candidate in education at Monmouth University, a teaching artist at the Basie Center for the Arts, and recently presented a conference on Social Emotional Learning for Music Teachers at the NJMEA convention. Laura has published articles with the George Lucas Education Foundation on connecting with families in adverse environments and teaching music for social emotional learning. Laura has over 10 years of experience in early childhood and music education, and her research interests include literacy, social and emotional learning, music education, and musicology. In 2020, she received the Educator of the Year Award and won the 2020 Scholarship Exhibition in Proposed Research at Monmouth University. 


    Cathleen Givney, M.S., CCC-SLP

    Cathleen Givney has been practicing as a clinical speech-language pathologist for over 10 years. Cathleen received her B.A. in Psychology from Villanova University and her M.S. in Communicative Sciences and Disorders from New York University. She is currently a specialist professor in Monmouth University's Department of Speech-Language Pathology. Over the course of her career, Cathleen has received training in modified barium swallow studies, NICU feeding, PROMPT training, VitalStim therapy, and SOS Feeding Therapy. She has worked in a variety of settings, including acute care hospitals, pediatric medical facilities, early intervention and outpatient therapy centers. Her areas of interest include early language development, feeding disorders in children, and acquired speech-language-swallowing disorders in adults.


    Danielle M. Frith

    Danielle is an alumna of Monmouth University, where she obtained a B.S. in special education and a minor in psychology in 2006. She was a classroom teacher for five years, having spent one year in the role of general education teacher and four years as a special education teacher in self-contained settings at both the elementary and middle school levels. She obtained her master's degree in special education from Rider University in 2009 and her Learning Disabilities Teacher-Consultant certification at The College of New Jersey in 2011. She successfully served for nine years as an LDT-C in the public-school sector, where her responsibilities included conducting educational evaluations, report writing, case management, IEP development, collaboration with families, teachers, administrators and other professionals, progress monitoring, and advocacy. She is a current certificated member of National Certification for Educational Diagnosticians (NCED) and is regarded by her peers and students as a highly qualified assessment professional within the field. She takes pride in her engagement in ongoing professional development activities to stay abreast of the current trends and issues in the field of special education. Currently, she is a full-time specialist professor and LDT-C program contact in the special education department at Monmouth University. She teaches courses on assessment, IEP development, special education technology, strategy instruction, evidence-based practices, learning theories, and special education law. As the LDT-C program contact, she teaches, mentors, and supervises LDT-C candidates. At Monmouth University she is the Best Buddies chapter club advisor and she participates on numerous committees, including the Sustainability Education Committee, Women’s Leadership Committee, Social Justice Academy Committee, Social and Emotional Learning Committee and the Instructional Technology Committee. She is an active member of the New Jersey Association of Learning Consultants (NJALC) and provides members with professional development around IEP development, consultation, assessment, and dyslexia. Danielle is working towards attaining her Ph.D. in special education from Temple University. She recently completed a LEND Fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where she engaged in multidisciplinary projects, including a research project for LENA Start, a skills-building language intervention. Her research interests include dyslexia, assessment and interpretation, literacy, teacher preparation and learning disabilities. She presents both locally and nationally on a variety of topics related to special education and provides school districts with professional development. She is a Council for Learning Disabilities (CLD) Leadership Academy cohort participant.


    Cara Flodmand

    Cara is currently an Instructional Technology Coordinator, Google Certified Innovator (#NYC19), Trainer and GEG NJ co-founder. Cara is passionate about instructional technology and its powerful use in the classroom. Her goal is to provide training that demonstrates how technology can transform learning, contribute to collaboration, and truly bring down the four walls of the classroom to build experiences instead of worksheets. 


    Dr. Angello Villarreal

    Dr. Angello Villarreal is a teacher at Freehold Township High School and an adjunct professor at Monmouth University. Born and raised in Peru, Villarreal focuses his research and teaching on culturally responsive practices, culturalization, language acquisition and providing more equitable opportunities for all students. Villarreal is co-adviser to the Spanish Club and is implementing the project “Hidden Treasures” as part of a mini grant from the Social Justice Academy from Monmouth University. Villarreal earned his B.A. in Spanish from Montclair State University and is a Monmouth University graduate with an M.A.T. in Spanish, ESL, Bilingual/Bicultural Education and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership. He can be found on Twitter using @AngelloVillarre


    Susan Goldman, M.Ed

    Susan Goldman is a multi-passionate educator, recruiter, and certified career and employee management coach. Susan has over 25 years of experience as an educator: public school teacher, supervisor, and director. She has been trained in conflict resolution in the workplace.  Susan has held positions in public education as a math teacher, district math coach, as well as a curriculum writer. She has served in many roles beyond the classroom while in public school, serving as a student council and peer-to-peer advisor, mentor, and cooperating teacher. Susan has also served as a 21st Century Learning Center Community Director. She has years of experience recruiting talent and retaining employees that excel and grow within their organizations. 


    Gabriella Hall, Ed.D.

    Dr. Hall is a certified special education and early childhood teacher. She earned my doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Monmouth University. She holds a master’s degree in Special Education, a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a certification in early childhood education. She is also pursuing a yoga teacher and social-emotional learning facilitator certifications from Breathe for Change. Dr. Hall’s  dissertation focused on Inquiry-Based STEM Learning in Preschool Education, which included designing and implementing a preschool level STEM learning program. Throughout her studies she also developed an interactive reading program that highlights the importance of early exposure to literacy. Dr. Hall has a passion for early childhood education and a dedication to meaningfully incorporating social-emotional learning into all aspects of education. 


    Gabrielle Williams

    In her experience as a general and special educator,  Gabrielle has focused on creating and adapting engaging learning environments to help all students achieve their academic, social, and behavioral goals. She has enjoyed coordinating with various educational professionals such as CST, related services, and administration to achieve this mission and feels extremely accomplished in the work she has done thus far. In addition, Gabrielle is a mom of a little girl, with another girl on the way. Spending time fostering her daughter’s endless curiosity and love for learning has been equally as rewarding. 


    Emily Creveling

    Emily has been an educator for over 23 years. She dedicated over ten years to the classroom as a teacher and over ten years as an administrator.  As an English teacher, she co-founded a public high school in Brooklyn that went on to be one the best schools in New York City.  She began her administrative career as part of a turnaround team at one of the city’s most struggling schools. Within three years, that school’s graduation rate increased by 20%, enrollment applications increased by 500%, and the department that she led—the English department—saw a 10% increase in course passing rates and a 30% increase in the English Regents passing rates.   At the network level, she worked as an instructional leadership coach supporting principals, assistant principals, and teacher leaders, and she supported schools in analyzing data, improving credit accumulation, and replicating effective literacy practices.  She has also supported teacher teams across all content areas in revamping curriculum, impacting student achievement, and embracing collaboration.   In her 23 years as an educator, she knows this to be true: with the right leadership, anything is possible.  


    Lianne Lettera

    Lianne Lettera received her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University. Upon completion of the undergraduate program, she continued her education and obtained a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. In her years of education she has taught both general and special education amongst various elementary grade levels. While working as a special education teacher, she conducted multi-sensory reading groups for students with dyslexia and those students who were in need of intensive reading instruction. Most recently she worked in schools across the United States helping teachers implement curriculum successfully through professional development training. She cannot wait to share my experience with districts in New Jersey! 


    John Kerrigan, Ed.D.

    Dr. Kerrigan serves as District Director of Evaluation and Assessment for the Middletown Township Public Schools.  Before taking on that role, Dr. Kerrigan was a high school Mathematics Teacher, high school assistant principal, and Director of Mathematics K-12.  Dr. Kerrigan also teaches undergraduate mathematics graduate courses in statistics and educational psychology, as well as courses in the Ed.D. program at Rutgers University.


    Joanna Abramo, Ed.D.

    Joanna Abramo, Ed.D., has spent over 15 years in the field of education.  She earned a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership from St. Peter’s University, holds a Master’s degree in Childhood Special Education, and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, both from Fordham University. Dr. Abramo teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses at Fordham University Graduate School of Education and Kean University. Over the course of her career, Dr. Abramo held various positions throughout New Jersey in the area of special education, working with students from PreK to age 21. Beginning her career as a classroom teacher, she later worked in various leadership roles, including a special education instructional coach, and district-level administrator. She currently works as a Supervisor of Special Education for Monmouth-Ocean Educational Services Commission. 


    Patrick B. Kissane

    Patrick B. Kissane, a retired Deputy Chief of the Fort Lee Police Department has served as a member of the New Jersey K-12 School Security Task Force subcommittee chaired by the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security; the New Jersey Law Enforcement Education Working Group chaired by the NJ Attorney General’s Office and NJ Department of Education; the School Security Committee of the New Jersey School Boards Association; and the NJ School/Justice Partnership Subcommittee.  He was appointed by the Governor to the New Jersey School Security Task Force, tasked with developing and submitting a final report to the New Jersey Legislature with recommendations on how to make New Jersey School’s Safer.  He is the founder and Executive Director of the New Jersey Association of School Resource Officers, a 501c(3). With over 28 years of experience in public safety, he is recognized as an expert in school safety and school related policing. Currently, he is the Director of School Safety and Security, and the HIB Coordinator for the Edison Township School District in Edison Township, New Jersey.   


    Pamela Greenhall

    Pamela Greenhall is a School Counselor in the Fair Haven school district.  During her time in Fair Haven she has served as a special education teacher as well as the school counselor at the middle and elementary levels.  Pamela is passionate about bringing mindfulness to the students in her school.  She also works closely with teachers and staff to infuse SEL into all classrooms and learning environments.  Pamela is also an adjunct professor in the Counselor Education graduate program at Kean University.  She lives in Middletown with her husband and three beautiful children.   During her time off she enjoys doing yoga and going to the beach.


    Stacey Kodack-Ritchie

    Stacey Kodack-Ritchie graduated from Temple University with undergraduate degrees in Elementary Education and Teacher of Students with Disabilities (TOSD.) She spent 10 years teaching in self-contained classrooms and held the role of Structured Learning Experience Coordinator in multiple districts before going on to earn her Master's degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Ball State University. Most recently, she served as the Board Certified Behavior Analyst in an alternative psychiatric school setting before joining The Shore Center and Regional Achievement Academy through Monmouth Ocean Educational Services Commission, where she continues to work as a BCBA. When she is not at school, she enjoys running ZR Fit and Wellness, an adaptive and inclusive fitness and wellness program that she founded with her husband in 2019.