Caroline Levy, President
Caroline Levy’s efforts may be music to your ears. As SEPTA’s President she is a conductor of outreach — to families, and to staff across APS. Caroline served as VP of Membership for two years before being nominated for President.
When not holding the baton at SEPTA, she is holding a bow: Caroline is a professional violinist and a certified instrumental music teacher, busy with a private violin studio and performances around the DC metro area. A house concert of Caroline and two colleagues was a biddable option at the 2015 SEPTA Silent Auction. (Keep your eyes on future Auction catalog with a possible reprise!) Her favorite audience: her husband and two kids. Caroline is sure that her training as a musician and a teacher, as well as her work as a care provider for developmentally delayed adults prepared her for role as a special mom.
Hannah Grieco, VP Programming
children and adolescents.
Minerva Trudo, VP Fundraising
vacancy, VP Membership
Karen Sosnoski, Secretary
Karen is pleased to be this year’s Secretary for SEPTA, which she describes as a fun, inclusive, visionary and hard-working group. Karen and her husband Fred have two children in APS, both unique, creative, fierce and funny. Their daughter, an eighth grader at Kenmore, is “typically developing,” if there is such a thing, and their son in fifth grade at Campbell has mosaic Down syndrome. Inspired as a writer by both children, among other resilient people, Karen’s work across genres explores what happens when we face our human limitations through disability, illness, extreme sports, art or other intense encounters. Publications include the LA Times, the Washington City Paper, Poets and Writers, and Grappling Magazine. Additionally, she has had audio pieces featured on Boundoff, Studio 360 and This American Life and her documentary film, “Wedding Advice: Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace,” is distributed by Berkeley Media. Most recently, she finished a novel Rosemary’s Models which is under consideration by agents. Fingers crossed!
“If you want to go fast… go alone. If you want to go far…go together.”
– African Proverb
Janna Dressel excitedly joins the SEPTA board as the SEPTA Parent Liaison Coordinator after serving as a parent liaison for two years for The Integration Station Program at Reed and one year as a co-liaison for Jamestown Elementary School. As both a special education teacher and special needs mother, she is particularly dedicated to helping families navigate the sometimes-overwhelming world of special education. Janna received her Masters of Special Education from the University of Virginia and is an enthusiastic UVA Cavalier – wahoowa! Teaching most recently in Fairfax County, she has also worked with children with a wide variety of developmental, behavioral, and medical needs in Charlottesville City, Albemarle County, Chesterfield County, and Eustis, FL. Along with her many years teaching in public school systems, Janna co-coordinated the art program at The Boggy Creek Gang Camp, the ropes course at Camp Holiday Trails (both specialized camps for children living with chronic and life-threatening illnesses), the art program for The Greater Richmond ARC’s Camp Baker, and the teen travel program at Congressional Camp in Falls Church, VA.
She is especially passionate about the importance of inclusion for all students and is a member of the Arlington Inclusion Task Force. Other special interests include: autism advocacy; AAC access and spelling to communicate; as well as, helping families who are living with significant allergies and chronic/life-threatening illnesses.
As a special educator and special needs mom, Janna understands the importance of collaboration and open communication. She hopes to bring families and school communities in APS together in authentic partnerships toward a shared goal for the success of all students.
Maria Votsch, VP Communications
As SEPTA’s Vice President for Communications, Maria leads SEPTA’s communications outreach efforts and manages its social media accounts, www.facebook.com/ arlingtonsepta and @ArlingtonSEPTA. A full-time lawyer and the mother of two children in Arlington Public Schools, Maria is happiest when she’s learning something new, sharing it with others, and discussing how collectively we can help our children, our teachers and each other reach our fullest potential.
Katherine Harris, Past – President
Katherine is passionate about helping Arlington’s teachers and parents as they support the needs and dreams of our students, as is increasing the opportunities for genuine inclusion of special needs students in Arlington’s schools and community. Aside from special needs advocacy, Katherine juggles a full time job in media communications and caring for her two amazing sons – including an aspiring author/illustrator with autism – who both attend Henry Elementary School. When you meet Katherine, you will understand the term, a force to be reckoned with!