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New Director of Special Services Seeks to Serve Students' Needs

Michael Maschi will be holding a meet and greet on Thursday, Aug. 30 at 6 p.m. in the Mill Pond Library Annex

Michael Maschi started his career working with addicts in a chemical dependency center. Today, he works for the Lacey Township School District.

, upon former Supervisor of Special Services Thomas Dorso’s retirement. He started the position in July.

“I worked with many adolescents and adults; patients feeling hopeless, like they couldn’t change,” Maschi said of his work with addicts.

Maschi would question what the patients life was like as a kid and how they could have been helped early on, he said.

“I was always challenged by that notion. Early intervention. It became an obvious shift in who I wanted to work with,” he said of his transition to working with school districts.

Maschi received his undergraduate degree at the State University of New York at New Paltz where he double majored in Psychology and Sociology. He proceeded to earn a dual-Masters degree at the State University of New York at Albany and New Paltz. He graduated with a Masters in Social Work and a Masters of Arts degree in Sociology.

He worked at a chemical dependency center in New York for approximately five years, later taking a director’s position at a medical center.

In 2005, he made the transition to education in Barnegat after entering the New Jersey EXCEL (Expedited Certification for Educational Leadership) Program. Maschi worked in Barnegat as a school social worker for five years before becoming the Supervisor of Special Services in Little Silver, which is a Kindergarten through eighth grade district.

“Lacey has a great reputation,” he said, adding that the district involves the community and has bright administrators. “I’m excited and eager to work with students K-12.”

Maschi’s skills are more aligned with the Lacey Township School District, he said.

Maschi started with Lacey on July 16. Since then he has met some students, including those with special needs participating in the extended school year program. He continues to meet families, teachers and administrators, he said.

His role will be to “co-create a vision for the department,” he said. He’ll be looking at the current special education programs.

“My vision is that every student has access to a rigorous education that readies them for college or a career,” he said.

Maschi will do everything from ensuring that all Individualized Education Plans are met to taking care of the fiscal needs of the department, he said.

“As Director of Special Services, I will implement and support a full continuum of special education programs,” he said. “My special education programs, when a student has a disability, will accommodate the disability but the child will still get the full experience.”

His efforts will be consultative, also making sure that the general education students have access to quality intervention programs too, he said.

His goals include ensuring that all special education students have a rigorous and high quality education, that he will be accessible to families and students, to help school staff differentiate instruction and use technology and meeting children where they’re at, he said.

“Not just special education students need differentiation,” he said.

Maschi is not implementing new programs at this time although he said he intends to create a premiere program.

“I’m going to take inventory of what’s here,” he said. “Parents expect the best in their kids and I expect the best in our programs.”

Challenges Maschi may face include coordinating all programs and that all quality programs exist throughout the district, not just in one school, he said.

He has worked with Principal James Handschuch to bring the extended school year program, which took place off of school district property, back to the school. New space was constructed specifically for a full day program, he said.

Maschi has worked with the district to institute a new program at the Middle School for autistic students as well, he said.

Maschi will also be working on a partnership with the Lacey Township Municipal Alliance in the future, he said.

Moving forward, Maschi plans to hold periodical presentations for the public throughout the year, he said.

“I’m looking forward to working closely with the staff and I’m excited to engage students. Engaged students are successful students,” he said.

Maschi will be holding a meet and greet on Thursday, Aug. 30 at 6 p.m. in the Mill Pond Library Annex.

proud August 30, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Exactly how many more administrative titles can they come up with?
makemyday August 30, 2012 at 10:54 AM
Ahhh, and the taxes we pay to the BOE FOR THE CHILDREN, keeps going up & up
pospatch August 30, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Lacey has always had a director of special services. Every district has one of these. Depending on the size of the special education population, some districts have two! Get over it, it's necessary.
tr August 30, 2012 at 04:53 PM
But drug testing of teachers, administrators, and students participating in extra cirricular activities is not necessary. Why have a counselor if you do not have a problem???
pospatch August 30, 2012 at 06:57 PM
That has nothing to do with the content of the article. This person coordinates the education for every student with some form of physical, mental, or emotional disability. I'm all about criticizing the school district, but be fair about it.
proud August 30, 2012 at 09:23 PM
It is time to END home rule in New Jersey and run the schools and municipalities with a centralized form of management.
pospatch August 30, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Aww, that's so cute. Actually, I was thinking Lacey is getting big enough where we should begin the discussion of a move toward a mayor-council form of township governance.
proud August 31, 2012 at 03:03 AM
Cute?
tr September 07, 2012 at 03:00 PM
"working with addicts in a chemical dependency center", “I worked with many adolescents and adults; patients feeling hopeless, like they couldn’t change,” Maschi said of his work with addicts,"He worked at a chemical dependency center in New York for approximately five years", "Maschi’s skills are more aligned with the Lacey Township School District," Maschi will also be working on a partnership with the Lacey Township Municipal Alliance". I guess the BOE feels that the district has real problems with substance abuse and needs his expertise as stated in the contents of this article!!!

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