Board of Trustees

Tom Storer, President

Cindy Ferraino, Treasurer

Margaret E. Daly, M.S., Secretary

Ms. Daly has been an educator for many years and in that time has developed programming, curriculum and instruction protocols, as well as community awareness projects for children on the Autism Spectrum. She received her BS in Elementary/Special Education from C.W. Post University in June of 1983, her M.A. from Adelphi University in Early Childhood Special Education in 1988, Supervisor Certification from Rutgers University in 2000 and her Principal Certification from Holy Family University in 2008. Ms. Daly began her tenure at Gloucester County Special Services School District in September of 1994 as a Special Education Teacher and is now a part of its administrative team. In May of 2006, she received the Distinguished Service Award for her service to the NJ Autism Community. She began her membership with the Gloucester County Special Services Education Foundation in the summer of 2012. Ms. Daly resides in Gloucester Township, NJ with her two children.

Stacey Myers

Stacey Myers Joined the Gloucester County Special Services Education Foundation in 2015. She has volunteered and participated in the walk and was grateful for the opportunity to sit on the board of trustees. Stacey has a nephew in Australia who was born with Down syndrome. Her brother and sister-in-law advocate for those with special needs in Australia, and she saw joining the GCSSEF as the perfect chance to help make a difference on this side of the world.

Stacey has lived in Pitman since 2003 with her husband and two sons. She serves as on the board of the Greater Pitman Chamber of Commerce, and In 2015, she received an award from the Pitman Board of Education for her many years of volunteer service in the Pitman School District. In July of 2020 she began her new position with the Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce where she was a long time volunteer. She is now the Event Planning and Member Experience Specialist. Stacey finds great joy in service to others, and helping to making a positive impact in her community. “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” – Maya Angelou

Regina Wyatt

Regina joined GCSSEF in 2016. "I became involved with GCSSEF in support of our son Braden, who was diagnosed at the age of 4 as being on the Autism Spectrum," Regina said of her involvement with the Foundation. Regina and her family participated in the Walk for several years before getting involved with the RIDE and much more with GCSSEF. Regina was a member of the 2016 planning committee for the Walk. Regina works for VWR International where she has been employed for 19 years, and she currently acts as a Senior Business Analyst. She is a member of the VWR Wellness Committee, acting as organizer for the company to take place in The Autism Walk. Regina resides in Deptford with her husband, David, and 2 boys, Braden & Carter.

Alicia DiFabio

Dr. Alicia DiFabio joined the Gloucester County Special Services Education Foundation as a board member in 2020. She received her doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from Loyola University Maryland and worked in the field for more than a decade. In 2006, she left her career to stay at home with her four children and began freelancing as a writer and content editor for various regional and national publications. Alicia now works as the Content Coordinator for a local magazine and is the author of a best selling nonfiction book on women in triathlon. In addition to her board position with GCSSEF, Alicia also sits on the Board for the local food pantry, Your Place At The Table (YPATT), and is a past Board member of the Mullica Hill Women’s Tri Club.

Alicia’s eldest daughter was a student at the Bankbridge Development Center from age 8 to 21, graduating with the class of 2016. Her family has been a longtime supporter of the Gloucester County Autism Walk (Team Carlie’s Angels) and Alicia is excited to give back to the organization that helped her daughter for so many years.

Debbie Fast

Debbie Fast joined Gloucester County Special Services Education Foundation in 2020. Debbie is a graduate of Rowan University (Glassboro State College) with a Bachelor degree in Special Education along with minors in preschool education and speech correction. Before retiring in 2017, Debbie worked for the Washington Twp School District for 22 years as a Special Education Resource Room/ICS teacher.

“My heart has always been in education. I’ve always believed that every child offers their own special gifts and should be given the opportunity to grow and blossom in their own unique way.” Debbie continues to be involved with special needs students and their education whenever the opportunity arises along with doing volunteer work for Adult Literacy programs. Debbie resides in Washington Twp with her husband, Skip and their 2 pups. She is a proud Mom to Tony and Courtney and a very content “GiGi” to Trent.

Debra Webster

Deb Webster is the newest addition to our board, joining us in the spring of 2021. She has worked for Gloucester County Special Services School District as an Educational Sign Language Interpreter since 2013, first in the preschool program at Shady Lane and then at Bankbridge Elementary school in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing program. Through CRESS (the Center for Regional Support Services) she is currently enthusiastic about her placement in a Multiple Disabilities special education classroom in a local public school where she not only interprets but also teaches the whole class American Sign Language weekly.

Deb began connecting to the Foundation through volunteering at the Autism walk, participating in the 5k, and collecting donations for the Basket Auction, as well as contributing to other fundraising efforts. In previous years when she worked in Burlington County she volunteered weekly in an adults with disabilities social program called Kate’s Place.

“Everyone needs a place to connect and thrive. This community of kids and their families deserve the best we have to offer, and I love being a part of making those opportunities available.” -Deb Webster

Zach Bates

Zach joined the GCSSEF board in 2018. He is the secretary for the school nurse at GCIT. He’s a 2013 graduate of the Gloucester County Institute of Technology’s Academy of Performing Arts & Troupe 5480. He serves as a volunteer advisor for both Thespian Troupe 5480 & the GCIT SkillsUSA chapters. He is a state-certified NJ & PA EMT. Zach is heavily involved with New Jersey Thespians and the Educational Theatre Association, serving on the Advocacy Leadership Network as well as other committees. He serves NJ as the Advocacy, Fundraising, Adult Awards & Outreach Chairs. He’s the 2012 SkillsUSA national Gold Medal Winner, advocating for suicide & mental health awareness. He was named the 2018 EdTA Volunteer of the Year with the ALN & the 2019 ArtPride New Jersey's Distinguished Arts Advocate presented at the New Jersey Governor's Awards in Arts Education.

Advisory Members- Gloucester County Special Services School District

Mike Dicken, Superintendent of GCIT & GCSSSD

Mr. Dicken was appointed as Superintendent of the Special Services School District and Vocational – Technical School District of the County of Gloucester on July 1, 2011.

Mr. Dicken graduated from West Chester State College in 1983 with a B.S. in Health and Physical Education. He began his professional career as a Teacher and Counselor at the Glen Mills Schools for Boys in 1984 where he worked with adjudicated young men until 1989. He coached Street Hockey, Tennis, and Soccer while employed at the school.

In 1989, Mr. Dicken was appointed as Teacher of Health and Physical Education at the Y.A.L.E. School. During his tenure at Y.A.L.E. he served as teacher, lead teacher of the Departmentalized Programs at the Cherry Hill campus, Assistant Director of Professional Development for the entire District, and as the Principal of the Williamstown Campus. During this time, Mr. Dicken gained a wealth of knowledge and experience in educational leadership, behavior management, and special education practices and procedures. He was the recipient of the Ruth K. Newman Award for Excellence to teaching professionals in the area of Special Education in NJ. The award is named after Ms. Ruth K. Newman, a pioneer in establishing private-school education for disabled youngsters.

Mr. Dicken was hired by the Gloucester County Special Services School District in 1999 and was initially assigned to the Challenge Program as a Program Manager. After attaining his Master of Arts Degree in School Business Administration from Rowan University in 2000, he became Assistant Principal at the Bankbridge Regional School. Since joining the Special Services School District, Mr. Dicken has been the Principal of the Bankbridge Regional School, Bankbridge Elementary School, Bankbridge Development Center, and the Alternative School. He has been involved in the development of the Special Services School District and the Gloucester County Educational Campus.

In 2008, Mr. Dicken was appointed to the position of Assistant Superintendent for the Special Services and Vocational-Technical School Districts and held that position until his appointment as Superintendent in 2011. With over 32 years of professional experience, Mr. Dicken has dedicated his career to helping students reach their individual goals and dreams. He is passionate about his work with students, fellow educators, administrators, and community members.

Mr. Dicken holds numerous certifications including; Teacher of Health and Physical Education in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Supervisor, Principal, School Business Administrator Certificate of Eligibility, and Chief School Administer. He is the former President of the Gloucester County Superintendents’ Roundtable, the former Treasurer and now President-Elect of the New Jersey Council of County Vocational School Superintendents, a member of the Gloucester County Workforce Development Board, the Advisory committee to the Tri-County Athletic Conference, and is a member of numerous professional organizations.

Mr. Dicken was raised in Pennsauken N.J. and is a 1978 graduate of Pennsauken High School. He has been a resident of Deptford Township for nearly 27 years. Mr. Dicken has been married to his wife Karen for 34 years and is the proud father of two adult sons Matthew and Michael.

Dana Lamonicia, Supervisor of Center for Regional Education Support Services (CRESS)

In Memorium

Eileen Shute

Eileen Shute was a member of the start-up meeting in 1999, and she was a huge part of GCSSEF receiving their certificate of incorporation in March 2000, and attended GCSSEF's first official meeting in April 2000.

Mrs. Shute spearheaded scholarships for students and mini grants for staff, and she was an integral part of the teams that put together Golf Tournaments, Autism Walks, Annual Spring Dinners, Miracle League, and programming for Respite Care.

Mrs. Shute later served as an Advisory Board Member for the Foundation, along with Fred Keating. She continued her support for GCSSEF as a voice both to the Foundation and the School District, along with her work in GCIT and Rowan College at GCC, which she was very influential in transforming.

GCSSEF remembers the legacy that Eileen Shute leaves us with.

April McElwee

Since its inception, GCSSEF has had many wonderful people join the ranks of the board. But, several years ago, the Foundation was able to recruit one special individual… April McElwee.

April and her husband Mark joined the GCSSSD family when their son Mark Jr. was 3 years of age. She immediately became infused into the programs, supplying materials, planning parties, and helping to raise awareness. Mark continued his journey at the Child Development Center in Turnersville for the early part of his elementary schooling and then returned to West Deptford schools. April was instrumental in the development and creation of Gloucester County Special Services Bankbridge programs and their dedication to Autism Spectrum Disorder helped to make the school one of the premier programs for children, teens, and adults on the Autism Spectrum in Southern New Jersey. Throughout those years, April and Mark continued to facilitate fund raising through the Autism Walk and Golf Tournaments. As Mark Jr. entered upper elementary school, he returned to GCSSSD programs and April’s fervor for promoting awareness and raising funds continued and intensified. She joined the Gloucester County Special Services Education Foundation in 2012 and raised a significant amount for funds that have been used to educate and support the students and families of GCSSSD, as well as, the Gloucester County area school districts.

April was one of a kind and has always been dedicated to her husband and children. Her love for Mark and her boys fueled her devotion to spreading awareness and the need for programming for all children in the Gloucester County area. Sadly, April lost her fight to cancer in November 2015. Since then, the Board has made her a perpetual trustee member to recognize April’s dedication and hard work. In her memory this year, the Annual GCSSSD Golf Tournament, has been renamed The April McElwee Memorial Golf Tournament.

April continues to be an inspiration to us all. We thank her for her commitment to Gloucester County Special Services District and her service on The Foundation Board and will honor her memory each time we meet as a board.