Leadership and team
One of REED Academy’s greatest strengths – a leadership team of passionate administrators with a shared vision for educating individuals on the autism spectrum from diagnosis through age 21.
Prior to becoming REED’s new CEO, Chantelle served as the President and CEO of the Adler Aphasia Center, a New Jersey based nonprofit serving stroke survivors, and their families, in 14 locations statewide. Her career spans 20 years in nonprofit management, including roles in finance and operations, business development, fundraising, and marketing for organizations ranging from acute care hospitals to autism service providers.
She earned her MBA with a concentration in Healthcare Administration from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. A Midwestern native, Chantelle, her husband and three sons have resided in Bergen County since 2012.
Dr. Leah Farinola
Principal, Chief School Administrator
Leah began working with the families at REED in 2001, before REED was even officially founded. Starting as a full-time instructor in 2006, she has held various positions, including instructor, lead teacher, assistant to the executive director, classroom consultant, and curriculum coordinator. Leah became principal in 2009 and assumed the role of chief school administrator in 2020.
Leah completed her undergraduate coursework at William Paterson University and graduated with honors, holding a degree in psychology and elementary education. She completed her post-baccalaureate special education certification and also obtained a master’s in educational administration with principal and supervisor certification from Caldwell University. In 2021, Leah completed her doctorate at Seton Hall University and conducted research on staff retention in private schools for children with autism. She is also an adjunct professor at Caldwell University, where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in special education and serves as a trustee for the Secaucus, New Jersey, Board of Education.
Kelli Fowler, MA, BCBA
Kelli is a board-certified behavior analyst who holds a master’s in special education from Caldwell University. In addition, she is a certified general and special education teacher. Kelli has worked in both public and private programs since 2004. She has privately consulted for numerous school districts and organizations, in addition to providing services to families within the home and community settings. She has worked with children ranging from early intervention through age 21.
During her time at REED, Kelli has developed several initiatives, including the Bridge Program, social skills groups, transition programming, and various community-based instruction. These programs have helped both REED Academy students and families as well as other individuals within the autism community. Kelli is dedicated to providing support and education that can help touch the lives of people across all walks of life.
MEET OUR SENIOR STAFF
At REED Academy, our staff plays a crucial role in enhancing each child’s fundamental, academic, leisure, and vocational skills, while providing individualized curriculum that caters to their specific needs.
Our instructors also lend a personal touch, bringing their dedication and passion to their relationships with their students. This special bond builds a positive relationship and creates a welcoming environment.
BSN, RN, CSN
Nicole Hjelm, MA
Jared Lepore, BA
Alyssa Brennan, MA
Clarissa Martinez, MS
Isabel Mora, MS