Our highly trained staff is up-to-date on the latest in parent engagement, special education advocacy, and how schools in this state work. Each Parent Consultant takes part in a rigorous mentoring program designed to share information and develop skills that are essential in helping parents understand how to support their child’s learning.
Staff members at the Parent Information Center are selected for their exceptional skills and expertise related to parent engagement, advocacy, and support. Parent Consultants participate in regular trainings as related to special education, disabilities issues, general education, and technology. Our Parent Consultants understand the challenges of parenting, especially parenting children with disabilities, because they, too, are parents.
Paula Broody, Bilingual Parent Consultant, New Castle County office
Hazel Cole, Parent Consultant, New Castle County office
Mindy Cox, Office & Data Manager, New Castle County office
Kathie Herel, Coordinator, Educational Surrogate Parent Program
Jin Whan Kang, Clerical Assistant, New Castle County office
Carrie Melchisky, Parent Consultant, New Castle County office
Loyda Santiago, Bilingual Parent Consultant, Sussex County office
Meedra Surratte, Interim Executive Director, New Castle County office
Mila Wells Hathaway, Parent Consultant, Kent/Sussex Counties office
Paula provides information and resources for families of children with disabilities, meeting personally with parents and caregivers of children with disabilities and conducting workshops on topics related to special education and effective advocacy.
"I know firsthand the challenges that families have to face having a child with a disability. One of my two sons has autism and I know that it’s not only a challenge emotionally and physically but it can also provide an extra challenge socially and with parents and families in the community who may not be as educated or understanding of having a child with a disability."
"I have passion in this field and I will not stop until all families feel heard and helped and their disabled child is being challenged and having all of their needs and gifts met.
As a Parent Consultant, Hazel primarily delivers workshops, webinars, and one-to-one consultations with parents and caregivers of children with disabilities.
Hazel holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and is the parent of four daughters, one of whom is a child with Down syndrome and autism. She is a member of the Down Syndrome Association of Delaware governing board.
“Before becoming an employee at PIC, I reached out to the organization for help with my daughter’s education. PIC helped me quickly move from a small voice in my daughter’s education to a strong advocate. Today, I share that journey with other parents to proactively improve their child’s educational services and outcomes.”
Mindy provides administrative support to staff throughout the state and manages the PIC database of more than 6,000 people!
Mindy is a graduate of Salisbury University, is a previous Delaware PTA board member and a member of the Newark High School PTSA.
“I have been a passionate volunteer and advocate for high quality public education in Delaware for many years. I feel very fortunate to work for an organization that truly makes a difference for so many families.”
Kathie ensures that eligible children in Delaware’s foster care system are appointed a trained and knowledgeable Educational Surrogate Parent (ESP) who acts as the foster child’s parent in the special education process. She delivers training, consultation and support to foster parents, community volunteers, educators and professionals regarding parental rights and special education regulations, as well as working closely with state agencies and school districts to ensure effective implementation of the program on behalf of foster children.
Kathie holds a B.S., in Recreation & Park Administration, University of Delaware, M.S. in Management, Wilmington University.
“Children in foster care experience numerous challenges due to life altering and traumatic events. They deserve to have knowledgeable advocates ready to support them in school. Through my work, I hope to positively influence educational outcomes for children in foster care.”
As a Parent Consultant, Carrie is an experienced professional working with families of children with disabilities.
Carrie has an Associate’s degree in Business Administration, and is a 2012 graduate of the Partners in Policymaking program, is a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens, the Delaware Developmental Disabilities Council, and serves on the Christina District’s Transition Fair Planning Committee. She is the mother of two special needs young people, including her son who is on the autism spectrum, with an intellectual disability, and her daughter who has ADHD.
“I struggled with my children’s complex challenges in their early years. I feel the best way to turn those challenges into a positive is to learn as much as I can and to share the lessons I’ve learned to help other parents become stronger advocates for their children.”
Loyda Santiago, Parent Consultant
Loyda provides information and resources for families of children with disabilities, meeting personally with parents and caregivers of children with disabilities and conducting workshops on topics related to special education and effective advocacy.
Loyda holds an AS Degree in Business administration (accounting) and has been serving the Hispanic community in Kent and Sussex County for more than 15 years.
She served as a director for an after school and family services program for 9 years, helping children develop their best academic potential. "Today it makes me happy to see the young adults they have become. In my position with PIC, it’s a pleasure to inform and educate Hispanic parents, helping them to understand Special Education services and programs."
Loyda is the Bilingual Parent Consultant in our Georgetown office.
Meedra works with parents, caregivers, educators and professionals to help them develop best practices when teaching and parenting children with disabilities and challenging needs. Her focus is particularly on education and training on effective strategies for coping, resolving conflicts, and acquiring life-long advocacy skills.
She holds a B.A. in Organizational Dynamics and is working towards her master’s degree in Special Education. Meedra volunteers as the Education and Communications Contributor to the Arthur J. Turner Jr. Scholarship Foundation, and is a Court Appointed Special Advocate and an Educational Surrogate Parent.
“Through my work, my goal is to encourage, empower, and inform families about the special education process, and the importance of advocacy in education and community, specifically reaching underserved parents of children with disabilities and families with low Income and/or limited resources.”
Mila provides information and resources for families of children with disabilities, meeting personally with parents and caregivers of children with disabilities and conducting workshops on topics related to special education and effective advocacy.
She holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and is certified as a kindergarten through 12th grade special education teacher. Mila is a member of the Sussex Interagency Councils, the Transition Council, and the State Rehabilitation Council. Mila is the parent of an adult with Type 1 diabetes and ADHD.“I believe passionately in families advocating for their children to receive appropriate services and fair treatment. This paves the way for all children to live productive and independent lives as much as possible which is the ultimate goal.”
Jin Whan provides clerical support services as part of Chimes Delaware Community Employment Program
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