The Cyzner Institute staff and expertise spans a variety of disciplines including Education, ABA, Occupational Therapy, Speech-Language Therapy, and Counseling and Creative Arts. Our teachers have certifications and/or degrees (including Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degree levels) primarily in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, and Special Education. Some of our teachers and staff also have received degrees in Psychology, Child and Family Studies, as well as other specialty areas such as Recreational Therapy and Exercise Physiology. Additionally, others have certifications in developmental disabilities and advanced coursework and training in specific interventions such as the Orton-Gillingham approach for reading. Many of our teachers and teaching assistants have received significant training resulting in years of experience in Applied Behavioral Analysis and have continued their learning regarding this intervention while at the Institute. We have both Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and Registered Behavioral Technicians (RBTs) on staff.

In order to provide a true therapeutic educational experience, the Administration of the Cyzner Institute works to ensure that the staff, regardless of background, participate in a variety of Continuing Education (CE) experiences. Teachers, teaching assistants, staff and therapists receive essential training in behavior-based and sensory-based strategies. Each summer, an intensive staff training is conducted, and throughout the year, staff workdays are built into the schedule to provide other training experiences as well as time for the staff to work in collaborative teams. Throughout the year, staff meet regularly with the Director and Director of Educational Affairs to review therapeutic programs and treatment plans, and the Director and Clinical Director both spend significant time in the classrooms and treatment rooms as well.

It is essential that all of our staff understand the importance of relationship-based interventions. A successful developmental and educational program cultivates positive relationships that foster a sense of trust between students and their teachers and therapists. To be able to individualize learning is an art, and it is our hope that we instill a sense of support and confidence in all of our staff to provide this for our student population to the best of their ability.

Our Lead Staff includes:

Other Administrative / Clinical Staff:

  • Donna Birnberg, MED, Instructional Team Leader / Curriculum Specialist
  • Maddie Smith, MS, BCBA, Assistant to the Clinical Director
  • Kate Breuer, MSW, LCSW, Counselor / Parent Liaison