MEET OUR TEAM
Owner of Middlesex Educational Services
Silvana Salafia Pepitone, MS, SYC, is a school psychologist in Connecticut who has been working with students with disabilities since 1995. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Central Connecticut State University and a Masters Degree and 6th Year Certificate in School Psychology at Southern Connecticut State University.
Silvana began her career in an alternative school setting where she provided behavioral support to students with special needs. Upon completion of her 6th year certification, she worked for the Department of Children and Families, Long Lane School, as Pupil Services Specialist and Chairperson of Planning and Placement Team meetings. She then began working within the public school setting as a school psychologist for elementary students for sixteen years, she transitioned to the middle school for the next seven years and is currently working at the high school level. Her skill set lends her to working with students with social, emotional, behavioral issues and children on the Autism Spectrum.
Over the years, Silvana has continued to expand her knowledge in areas of social, emotional and behavioral functioning. She has participated in certification workshops for ADHD, Anxiety, Social Skills, and Executive Function. Additionally, Silvana is well-versed in educational disabilities and serves as educational consultant to help families understand and navigate the support and services available within a public school setting. She offers support, clarity, and resources to families in some of the following areas: Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), 504-Accommodation Plans, Behavior Intervention Plans, Functional Behavior Assessments, psycho-educational evaluations, and Response to Intervention (known as SRBI in Connecticut). Silvana is available to offer support to families navigating this often confusing and complex process and can explain and clarify the rights and services that are provided under the law
Silvana is passionate about learning. She believes education is the key to success and with hard work and support all children can reach any goal they set for themselves. She coaches students in academic, social, emotional and behavioral strategies. She focuses on understanding student’s complex academic, behavioral, and social difficulties. She serves as a consultant to parents, providing educational and behavioral support.
In addition to all the things mentioned above, Silvana is a mom of two thriving and beautiful teenagers who are navigating the social and educational challenges of high school and college. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, and aunt. She cherishes family gatherings and her home is often filled with family and friends. When finding a bit of free time, Silvana enjoys walks, skiing, and golfing. She loves to travel and learn more about various areas, cultures and customs.
Deb Butler, MS, SYC graduated from University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education, St. Joseph’s University with a Masters in Special Education and she completed 30 credits in Reading at Sacred Heart University. Deb is a Connecticut certified teacher in Special Education and Adult Education. She has worked with Special Education students at all grade levels and across all disabilities. She has also worked successfully with adult learners to achieve their GED. She has recently retired from Wethersfield Public School district with 38 years of teaching.
Deb has training in multisensory reading programs (Orton-Gilligham, Wilson Reading, and Sonday System) and training in multisensory math programs (ALEKS and Singapore Math). Deb has worked with elementary up to high school age students with Dyslexia and Dyscalculia. Deb has attended many training sessions in Study Skills, Executive Function and Test Preparation (PSAT, SAT10, SAT). She understands the importance of assessing a students skills level and building on success to increase learning and self-esteem in academics.
Deb has had the opportunity to work with many students with ADHD, Process Issues and Autism and enjoys every interaction. Teaching social skills, enhancing conversation and executive function skills comes naturally to her. Safe, consistent learning spaces with scaffolded instruction and genuine direct feedback have always been a priority in her classrooms.
Gina Pitruzzello, BS, graduated from Central Connecticut State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and English. She is a certified elementary teacher. She has worked with children at varying grade levels, ranging from 1st through 6th grade. She currently is a 3rd grade teacher for Windham Public Schools and pursuing a masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction.
Gina has experience as an independent consultant tutoring elementary-aged children in reading and mathematics in both one-on-one and small group settings. In addition, she has worked with middle and high school students to improve executive functioning in areas of task initiation, planning, study skills, note taking, and organizational skills as it relates to their current classes and assignments.
Gina encourages a love of learning with all of her students. She is constantly pushing them to become invested in their own learning process and to challenge themselves in order to grow.
Special Education Consultant and Advocate
Donna Schilke, MS, SYC is a retired administrator with a wealth of knowledge and leadership experience. She has a warm and caring presence and families find comfort in her guidance. She is a positive influence during PPTs and in advocating for children. Donna began her educational leadership as a special education teacher in 1989 and in 2002 was appointed assistant principal for Glastonbury Public Schools. In 2005, she served as the districts Special Education Director and in 2006 principal Smith Middle School. She was awarded principal of the year in 2011. She was also the recipient of the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) Citation award, the associations highest honor, in 2012. Donna has been an active member of CAS since 2002, serving on seven diverse committees and boards. In 2014, she became the CAS President. Upon retiring, she she joined CAS full time as the Assistant Executive Director. Within her role at CAS, she proved to be a visionary leader and tirelessly advocated for Connecticut’s middle level schools. Donna is an independent consultant and available for parent support, consultation regarding 504 plans, review of Individual Educational Plans (IEPs), review of testing and assessments, advocacy during any and all school meetings including Planning and Placement Team meetings, 504s and team meetings. She serves as a liaison between school and parent, and much more.