Leake & Watts Names Angela Ghiozzi as Assistant Executive Director of Early Childhood Services

Ghiozzi Joins as the Agency Continues Raising the Bar on Programs to Support Children Under the Age of 5 Years and Their Families; A Fateful Trip to Paris When She Was Seventeen Led Her to Pursue a Career in Special Education

Yonkers, NY, January 07, 2016 --(PR.com)-- Alan Mucatel, Executive Director of Leake & Watts, announced today that Angela Ghiozzi, a seasoned early childhood, (early childhood) special education, and program administration professional, has joined the nonprofit agency as Assistant Executive Director of Early Childhood Services. Ms. Ghiozzi will oversee a robust and growing portfolio of programs that prepare infants, toddlers, and preschoolers for success in kindergarten a beyond.

Ms. Ghiozzi, a resident of Cold Spring, New York, previously held the positions of Assistant Executive Director for Early Childhood Education for Lutheran Social Services of Metropolitan New York; and both Vice President for Children and Youth Services at Lifespire, Inc., and Executive Director of B.O.L.D. (Bronx Organization for the Learning Disabled, Inc.). Earlier in her career, she served as Supervisor of Special Education at Nyack Public Schools and Principal at A.H.R.C.’s Central Park Early Learning Center.

“Angela has experience, administrative talent, and the vision to help Leake & Watts find innovative ways to keep improving services for vulnerable children before they enter kindergarten,” said Mr. Mucatel. “She strongly believes in our philosophy of providing a structured and positive learning environment for children that fits their individual learning styles, interests, skills, and talents, and opens up a world of possibilities for them.”

Inspired By Her Cousin

A trip to Paris when she was seventeen led Ms. Ghiozzi to pursue a career in special education. “I visited my cousin Marcel, who was born with Down’s syndrome,” she recalled. “His family set high expectations for him, and he was able to meet them.” Seeing that, Ms. Ghiozzi realized that with the right support, children with intellectual or development disabilities could rise above pre-conceived limits. She noted that Leake & Watts’ research-based early childhood curriculum helps young children of all capabilities develop intellectually and gain the social skills needed to make a successful transition to kindergarten. “Children who may not respond to conventional education methods can thrive in our supportive environment,” she explained.

But Ms. Ghiozzi’s expertise extends beyond special education to all early childhood services. She said she plans to spend a great deal of time out in the field visiting Leake & Watts early childhood sites in Westchester, the Bronx, and Manhattan. “I want to be hands-on and be with the kids, and know first-hand what is going on in our classrooms. I want to see happy and engaged children, and nurturing classrooms that allow children to explore, to question, to take risks, and to work independently within a group or with an adult. We will encourage critical thinking in young children and work on developing the ‘whole child’ with a developmentally appropriate curriculum and hands-on experiences. Through child initiated and teacher supported activities, and the development of cognitive skills, literacy, language, math, science, and creative expression, we hope to provide a solid foundation for future academic skills and a life-long love of learning in a high quality early childhood program.”

Leake & Watts serves children from birth to 5 years through a wide range of programs that often provide special education support and services that benefit them and their families, many of whom live in poverty. Leake & Waits provides:

· Subsidized and tuition-based day care;
· Universal Prekindergarten;
· Preschool special education services;
· Occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, and counseling;
· New York City Department of Education and the New York State Education Department special education evaluation;
· Head Start and Early Head Start programs;
· A Family Resource Center; and
· A Parent-Child Home Program.

Angela Ghiozzi earned a B.S. in Special Education, cum laude, from New York University, and an M.A. in Early Childhood/Special Education at Teachers College at Columbia University. She was awarded a Professional Diploma in Administration and Supervision from the College of New Rochelle. She is certified by New York State as a School Administrator and Supervisor, as well as a Teacher, Special Education K-12.

About Leake & Watts

Founded as a Manhattan orphanage in 1831, Leake & Watts operates programs serving more than 8,000 children, adults, and families throughout New York City and Westchester County. Programs include early childhood education, foster care and adoption, specialized education services, a home for teenage mothers in foster care, behavioral/mental health support services, and juvenile justice services. Leake & Watts also operates residences for adults with developmental disabilities and a Preventive Services program to stabilize at-risk families so children can remain in their parents’ care.

Leake and Watts Services, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the Middle States Association, and the Better Business Bureau. It is the recipient of the New York Community Trust 2014 Gold Nonprofit Excellence Award for Overall Management Excellence. The organization’s administrative offices are located in Yonkers. For more information, the public is invited to visit www.leakeandwatts.org, find it on Facebook www.facebook.com/leakeandwatts, and follow it on Twitter twitter.com/leakeandwatts.
Leake & Watts
Jeannie Ashford
914-242-0010 x 103