Our Team

Founder and President

Kerry Peroni

A lifelong advocate and visionary committed to meeting the needs of those students who simply learn differently.

A lifelong advocate and visionary committed to meeting the needs of those students who simply learn differently. Kerry serves as the primary spokesperson for the foundation and she has successfully overseen its creation and development efforts, increased donor commitments, and acts as a liaison to the board of advisors.

Kerry holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Elementary Education from Assumption College and served as an elementary school teacher in Brockton and Worcester communities.

Chris Atwood
Special Education Advocate

Chris Atwood

Empathetic, compassionate, experienced and a skilled problem solver with over thirty years of experience in special education as an educator, evaluator and chairperson.

Empathetic, compassionate, experienced and a skilled problem solver with over thirty years of experience in special education as an educator, evaluator and chairperson. Chris has presented teacher/parent workshops and developed curriculum and programs, tutored, consulted and advocated for children and families privately for over 15 years. She has worked extensively with attorneys who focus on children with special needs, neuropsychologists and psychiatrists to access support for students. For our foundation, she supports students and their families from both public and non-public schools and helps them fully understand the laws and regulations that guide the delivery of special education services.

Chris received her Master’s in Education from Lesley University and her Bachelor’s Degree in Child’s Study from St. Joseph University in CT. She also has extensive graduate credit in Counseling Psychology from Bridgewater University and a Certification in Muscular Therapy from the Muscular Therapy Institute, with a focus on autism and the special needs child.

Special Education Consultant

Sandra Ford

Sandra has held multiple leadership positions, including Executive Director of Special Education and Student Services . . .

Sandra has held multiple leadership positions, including Executive Director of Special Education and Student Services, Building Principal, Special Education Instructional Supervisor, Literacy Coach and School Mentoring and Instruction Coordinator. In addition, she coordinated the Mentoring and Induction program for the entire New Bedford School District.

One of Sandra’s current areas of responsibilities includes supporting teachers in our partner schools who are implementing the LexiaCore5 Supplemental Reading Program. She will draw on over thirty years of experience in education and will utilize her deep understanding of how to collaborate with regular education teachers and/or multiple teachers to plan and present lesson plans, create assessments, and differentiate instruction to meet student needs.

Sandra is a graduate of Salve Regina University with a Master’s in Education-Curriculum, Teaching and Research and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Special Education.

Katherine Gaudet
Special Education Consultant

Katherine Gaudet

A special educator and pioneer who has dedicated over forty-five years to both teaching and administrative work to advance the education of children who learn differently.

A special educator and pioneer who has dedicated over forty-five years to both teaching and administrative work to advance the education of children who learn differently. Katherine was the founder of the Sally Borden Program at Friends Academy for students with language-based learning differences and she served as the consultant for the Hope Graham Program at the Bancroft School.

She oversaw the creation and implementation of our special education program, the Pathways Approach Program, which has been certified in seven partner schools to date. Her current responsibilities include consulting with our partner schools, mentoring teachers, and providing training and professional development on a variety of topics, including neurodiversity.

Katherine received a Master of Special Education at Providence College and a Bachelor of Science in Education, with a Minor in English at the University of Maine at Orono.

Special Education Teacher

Shirley Hardison

Shirley provides services in two of our partner schools as a special education teacher.

Shirley provides services in two of our partner schools as a special education teacher. She brings with her valued experience from both the private and public sectors, but she has always been drawn back to the field of education. Shirley was a special education teacher in Danbury, Connecticut, and Newtown Public Schools, where she served all grade levels. She was also a tutor of individual students and small groups for Catapult Learning.

She received her Master of Special Education degree from Fairfield University and graduated from the University of Louisville in Elementary Education, with an endorsement in Special Education. In addition, Shirley holds an advanced certificate, beyond her masters, in Educational and Business Management.

Special Education Teacher

Bridget Hernandez

Bridget’s experience as a special education teacher in Freetown-Lakeville Middle School, Coyle and Cassidy High School and Brockton High School, has prepared her well for her role at our partner school, St. James St Johns Elementary School.

Bridget’s experience as a special education teacher in Freetown-Lakeville Middle School, Coyle and Cassidy High School and Brockton High School, has prepared her well for her role at our partner school, St. James St Johns Elementary School. She has developed Individualized Education Plans and lesson plans for students with moderate to severe learning differences, communicated with parents on a regular basis and supervised teams of paraprofessionals.

Bridget received her master’s degree in Special Education from Lesley College and graduated from Wheelock College with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Development.

Lynne Sarantopoulos
Administrative and Data Base Manager

Lynne Sarantopoulos

Lynne spent over ten years as a medical software consultant where her technology background currently supports much of the nuts and bolts of the foundation.

Lynne spent over ten years as a medical software consultant where her technology background currently supports much of the nuts and bolts of the foundation. She assists in the daily operations of the organization and manages/troubleshoots technology issues for the S.E.A.L. Team. In addition, she is responsible for organizing meetings and events and creating/delivering communications related to such events through print and technology. She handles incoming requests for information from donors and attendees at events and utilizes various marketing tools to build customer and prospect lists. She reviews detailed analytics to determine the best strategies for building our donor base.

Lynne received her Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Bentley University.

Elena Zongrone
Development Consultant

Elena Zongrone

Elena brings with her over thirteen years of leadership positions at the Department of Education in New York and over twenty years of experience as an independent educational consultant and a director of development for two years.

Elena brings with her over thirteen years of leadership positions at the Department of Education in New York and over twenty years of experience as an independent educational consultant and a director of development for two years. She currently works closely with the President to create and deliver the vision for The S.E.A.L. Foundation, as well as general operating tasks, including the creation of a board of advisors. She oversees the strategic fundraising efforts by coordinating programs that target donors and prospects for gifts. In addition, she designs /assists in the creation, production and distribution of fundraising and website materials, and the preparation and submission of grant proposals.

Elena has a Certificate of Advanced Study and a Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology and Student Personnel from the State University of New York at Albany and a Bachelor of Science in Special Education and Elementary Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the State University of New York at Geneseo.

Board of Advisors

Benjamin Carroll

Kenney & Conley, P.C.

Christina Dervin

Analog Devices Foundation

Allison Evans, Phd.

Concord Comprehensive Neuropsychological Services

Hanwar Harnett

Rockland Trust

Scotty Jones, Jr.

RE/MAX Platinum

Cheryl Moura

Why Not a Pear

Kaitlin Moroney

Goodwin Procter LLP

Joseph Peroni

UBS Securities LLC

Edward Petras

Mechanics Cooperative Bank

Janice Wright

RE/MAX Platinum