Founder Information:

Donna Levine
Sandy Balayan
Carolyn Carpino

Board of Directors

President – Ruth Nuss

ruthnussRuth was elected President of the PATH Board of Directors in 2013, after becoming involved with the organization as a “Listener” in 2011, and then later recruited to the Board. A 25+ year veteran at Sikorsky Aircraft, Ruth is an Engineering Manager specializing in protected wiring systems for extreme Helicopter environments and managing the Wiring Installation Group.

Originally from the United Kingdom, Ruth moved stateside in 1991 to marry Roy, and they completed their family through adoption in 2001. The couple’s three, now young adult, children keep both parents busy and on their toes with all of their sports, hobbies and extracurricular activities. All three children have learning disabilities and medical challenges but are thriving with the appropriate supports and are learning to be their own best advocate(s) as they navigate the world around them. Ruth is a member of the Legislative Committee for CAFAP (CT Assn of Foster and Adoptive Parents) and a Parent Advocate with CPAC (CT Parent Advocacy Center). She is active in Girl Scouts having been a leader of her girls’ troop for 12 years. Ruth says, “becoming involved with PATH has felt like “coming home,” a way to help other parents of children with challenges find the support and help they need, an opportunity that I see a blessing.”

Vice-President – Tiffany Katz

Tiffany2Tiffany Katz is a special education teacher who has worked both in a resource room and a self contained classroom. She has sevearl years experience administering standardized academic assessments, writing Individualized Education Plans (IEP) and running PPT meetings. After many years in the classroom and sitting through countless PPT meetings that it was imperative that parents be an integral part of their child’s special education team, Tiffany took on the role of being a special education advocate.

 

Human Resources Advisor – Robin Butler

 

robinbutler2Robin Butler is the Recruiting & Administrative Office Coordinator for A.R. Mazzotta Employment Specialists. In this role she supports the company with special projects, and jumps in to assist branches during busy periods and vacation coverage. In addition to working full time, Robin is completing her degree at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT with an expected graduation date of May 2015. She will be receiving her Bachelors Degree in Business Management with a Concentration in Human Resource Management. During her free time she loves to work out at the gym, hike and go for long walks on the Canal in Hamden. She also enjoys strength training with her personal trainer. Robin has served on the Board of Directors since 2012.

 

 

Secretary- Ann Ramos

Ann is a wife and mother of five children. She is a Job Developer and Job Coach for Transitional Employment Unlimited (TEU), an organization which provides vocational options and supports to individuals with disabilities in the community. Prior to TEU, Ann provided consulting, advocacy and facilitation services to families and individuals in the special education process, IDEA and Section 504 rights, with a focus on Transition and Post-secondary options. Ann was inspired to follow this career path after advocating for her own children who had a variety of special healthcare and learning challenges. Ann is a Boston College graduate who worked for 12 years in Finance and Accounting roles at General Electric.

 

 

Kaitlynn Ramos- CT KASA Youth Rep.

Kait pictures 004Kaitlynn is proud and honored to be the KASA (Kids as Self Advocate) liaison with the PATH Board.  She is a 2013 graduate of Winston Preparatory School in Norwalk and is currently employed at TJ Max in addition to starting her own dog sitting business. Kaitlynn enjoys participating in Special Olympics swim competitions.

 

 

 

Sue Bastien

picasabackground-024.bmpSue is a retired special education teacher and single adoptive mom who raised 4 sons with severe/profound disabilities and one daughter with childhood emotional issues, all now adults.  Two of her sons have ID with severe nonverbal autism, hyperactivity and OCD, one with severe behaviors. Her other two sons are multiply handicapped (quadriplegic, blind, tube fed, ID), one with numerous medical issues including a trach, requiring 24 hour nursing care.  Sue herself has a severe central auditory processing disorder.
Sue is a very active leadership member of CT DDS Families First, a group of families advocating for DDS services/funding, meeting weekly with legislators.  She especially advocates for those on the DDS Residential Waiting List. Sue is an appointed member of the DDS Regional Advisory and Planning Council (RAC) West Region, and a member of FLAG (Family Leadership Action Group).
In the past, Sue instituted/coordinated a Cub Scout program (and was a Den Mother) for residents of the New Haven Regional Center, and later for special needs Cub Scouts in Prospect.  She has also served in the past as founder/director/coach of Region 16 Special Olympics and instituted the Region 16 Special Olympics yearly awards banquet.  She was co-organizer of Cheshire Special Olympics, president of the Cheshire ARC, president of the Naugatuck Valley Society for Autistic Children, and a governor-appointed member of the CT Developmental Disabilities Council for two terms.  Sue also enjoyed serving on the Special Education Resource Center’s school inclusion advisory team for South Central Connecticut.

James Hexter

James joined the PATH board of directors in 2017. He is a person with Asperger’s syndrome who graduated from Middlebury College with a degree in environmental studies in 2011, and worked at Autism Services & Resources Connecticut (ASRC) in Wallingford from 2013 to 2016. In 2016 he graduated from Partners in Policymaking; his community project was a presentation for high school students with IEPs and 504 plans about their rights and responsibilities while at college. He has been serving on the CT Council on Developmental Disabilities since 2016, and is dedicated to advocating for the right for people with disabilities to live great lives. James currently lives in North Haven.

 Jessica Burns

Jessica Burns is self advocate who has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. She became involved with PATH when she was given the opportunity to become the Youth Advisor to CT KASA. She also worked as the Administrative Assistant for two years.  It has been her mission to help young people transition from youth to adult primary care givers.  Jessica is a graduate Partners in Policy Making and she is very excited to be joining the team at PATH to use her experience and training to assists families and individuals.

 

Doris Maldonado

Doris Maldonado is mother to twin teen boys and are active in their community. As an only adoptive person and a person with disabilities,  she is immersed in special education and disability movements. Having been  a special education paraprofessional for 8 years, she authored a Special Education Paraprofessional Manual through the CT Dept. of Developmental Disabilities. This year she successfully completed CCSU’s accelerated Master’s in teaching program with Honors. Doris loves HATS! She’s not the Mad Hatter but she does wear several hats in honor of and to protect women and children. Doris is the founder of Alpha Sigma Omega, LSI, a national multicultural sorority, she was recently sworn in as a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) for abused and neglected children. She’s also on the CCMC Family Advisory Council, DCF Foster and Adoptive parent, Connecticut Alliance of Foster and Adoptive Families (CAFAF) Bilingual Trainer, National Association for Mental Illness (NAMI) Bilingual BASICS & Ending the Silence facilitator and a Family Faculty Advisor for the UCONN Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program and a Unitarian Universalist worship associate and an Acessibility and Inclusion Ministry (AIM) member.  Doris’ family welcomed three infant foster girls and two rescued bonded pups. Last, but not least- she is blessed to be “sanely” loved by her best friend and partner, David, who is also a student and Nurse!

 

Erin MacDonnell

Erin joined the PATH board of directors in 2017 after previously volunteering with PATH. She works as the Research Intake Coordinator for the Autism Program at the Yale Child Study Center acting as the liaison between families and clinicians. Erin is passionate about her job and loves being able to help families. She regularly attends walks, conferences, and events hoping to reach as many families as possible. Erin is a wife and mother of three wonderful children, two of which have disabilities. In her free time she loves spending time with her family and friends, reading, and eating anything with chocolate in it.