The Center for Education professional staff includes Board Certified Behavioral Analysts (BCBA's) Licensed Certified Social Workers, certified Special Education experts, as well as floortime consultants.

All staff members are trained in CPR, First Aid, Abuse and Neglect, and Disabilities Overview, and all executive administrators have Masters Degrees in Special Education.

All staff members are selected not only for their skill and talent but more importantly for their caring nature. They share the vision and the passion that are The Center for Education's foundation.
Chaya Rochel
Executive Director
Chaya R. Bender, MA, founded the Special Children's Center in 1996 to provide respite care for families with children with developmental disabilities. The Center for Education, which operates under the auspices of the SCC, is a natural outgrowth of her mission to help actualize and develop all children's potential. Chaya has served as our executive director since the Center's inception. Her responsibilities include providing leadership, supporting the school’s vision while ensuring the curriculum aligns with it, and making sure students are learning effectively in the classroom and meeting their education goals. She provides management for human resources and the financial department and enforce regulations at the local, state, and federal levels. Other duties include working closely with all staff members, providing training, establishing performance requirements, and evaluating each teacher.
Shira Lieberman, MS ED.S, has been the Director at SCC since 2011. She has served in the field of education for the last 30 years, both nationally as well as abroad. Education has been a passion of Shira’s for as long as she can remember. She taught all through her time going for her BA in Psychology and MS in social research at Queens college and while pursuing her degree as an Education Specialist from Azrieli Graduate School.
Due to Shira’s commitment and interest in education and cultural diversity, she pursued teaching opportunities in Halle and Rostock, Germany, Perth and Melbourne, Australia, Jerba, Tunisia and Vinitza, Ukraine. These experiences have deepened her ability to connect outside of her own community and have a far richer experience and appreciation for the diverse mosaic of our school system.
Prior to serving as our director, Shira was an assistant principal and principal in various schools in NY. Additionally, she has served as a professor of Special Education for 2 years for Daemen College.
Florence Gorsky, MS ED, is thrilled to be serving as the new principal for the Center for Education. She brings with her a wealth of various special education experiences. Mrs. Gorsky received her Bachelors Degree and Master of Sciences in Special Education as well as her Administrative Certification for Brooklyn College. As a former New York City Department of Education School Principal for a Special Needs School similar to The Center, she has taught students with cognitive impairments, emotional challenges and autism. Mrs. Gorsky brings with her a core belief that children are the center of school related decisions. She looks forward to creating an inclusive school culture where everyone shares the responsibility of assisting students in becoming independent, productive and confident in their abilities in school, at home and in their communities.
Educational Coordinator
Shevy Prager, MS BCBA has been a member of our team since 2014. She is a New Jersey certified Teacher of Students with Disabilities and a certified Behavior Analyst, who uses her comprehensive background to oversee the individualization of the educational programs at The Center for Education. Shevy has worked clinically and administratively with children with developmental delay and their families for close to fifteen years. Shevy also works as a clinical supervisor at ABA Services, supporting individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other disabilities in actualizing their potential. Shevy has served as Adjunct Professor of Mercy College, teaching Applied Behavior Analysis courses to graduate level students of Sara Schenirer Institute for Special Education.
Shevy received a Master’s of Science at Mercy College, New York. She received her BCBA certification by completing her studies through University of North Texas and extensive internships internationally, working with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and related disabilities.

As an educational consultant, Shevy’s modus operandi centers on “applying positive behavior supports and antecedent interventions to elicit positive change.”
Therapy Coordinator
Suri Fasten, MA has been working with preschool children of various backgrounds and needs for the past 16 years. With a dual bachelor degree in Psychology and Education from Touro College, and a Masters in Occupational Therapy from NYU, she heads our Therapy team here at The Center for Education. Suri previously worked in the Birch and William O’Connor Preschools, where she gained her experience working with preschoolers with all types of disabilities, including CP, Downs, Autism, and Multiple Physical Disabilities.
Instructional Coordinator
Chana Lesin, MS ED, has joined us this year in the position of Curriculum Coordinator for the Elementary School age children . A graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University, with a dual certification in Education and Special Education, Chana is licensed by the NJDOE to teach the Handicapped. She comes to us with over 20 years of teaching experience, the bulk of which was spent working for the Lakewood Board of Education, supporting students with special needs, specifically in the areas of Reading and Math. Her role is to implement and supervise our reading and math programs, which are individualized to the needs and abilities of each of our students. Chana coaches the teachers and interacts with the students on a continuous basis, ensuring that each and every student is reaching his or her maximum potential for learning.

Chana feels very strongly that "Every student , no matter the current level, has the ability to make significant progress!"
Preschool Coordinator
Racheli Zelishovsky, MS ED, has served as our Preschool Coordinator at the Center since 2018. Her responsibilities include providing hands on training and guidance to our preschool staff, as well as ensuring a collaborative model between teachers and therapists. She oversees the actualization and implementation of strategies to assist our students with their individual needs and goals, in accordance with their IEP. Racheli has her BA from Thomas Edison College, and Masters from the College of New Rochelle, with dual certification in both regular and special education. In addition, she has Basic Certification in Floortime Therapy, and a strong floor time background from her 10 years of teaching in STARS. With over 15 years of classroom experience, beginning with her years in Shalom and the Special Education Academy of Deal (SEAD), she is able to oversee the development of age appropriate, experiential curriculum in line with New Jersey standards."
School Social Worker
Siobhan Kostecki, MSW, has been in the field of education for over 20 years, beginning as a preschool assistant in her high school field work experience. She then went on to obtain her Bachelor's in Elementary Education and Psychology at The College of New Jersey and conducted field experience in urban, rural, and suburban districts. While she loved being in the field of education, her heart was specifically in advocacy for children's rights in education. After graduation, she enrolled in a two year Master's program at Monmouth University with field experience in both child protective services and school social work. Upon obtaining her degree, Siobhan worked for ten years in Lakewood Public Schools as a School Social Worker at the preschool, elementary, and middle school level. In 2017, she began working at Center for Education as a Case Manager/School Social Worker.

“I thoroughly enjoy being a part of a small, supportive, and warm school environment where each and every child is treated as an individual with the potential to move on to a lesser restrictive educational setting.”
School Nurse
Fran Amaniera, RN, has been our beloved School Nurse since 2014. She started off as a registered nurse after she completed the nursing program at Muhlenberg School of Nursing, earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Kean University, and completed the NJ School nurse certification program at Rutgers. After working in a hospital setting for over 15 years, Fran transitioned to school nursing, a move that she is so happy she made! In her current position, she deals with children with numerous types of disabilities. On any given day, one can find Fran checking hearing aids, going over immunization records, helping a child with personal care, and dispensing Tylenol to a sick child.

Fran is an integral part of our “family”, treating each and every child as her own!