The Laura Elliman Patrick ’52 Academic Resource Center at Staten Island Academy:
The mission of Staten Island Academy’s Patrick Academic Resource Center (PARC) is to support our learning community-at-large by ensuring that all students are assisted in pursuit of their goals of intellectual challenge, academic independence and to become lifelong learners. Understanding that every student has their personal learning style, and each one possesses multiple learning intelligences, we seek to inform and guide our students to identify, understand, and implement effective strategies that will enable them to maximize their learning experience. In collaboration with the faculty, the learning specialists strive to support instruction that respects the diversity of learning styles among our students. With a focus on the three major perceptual pathways of auditory, visual and kinesthetic /tactile learning, all students can be assured of inclusiveness in the learning process. Our students are guided to know themselves as learners and to be self-advocates in achieving their academic goals.
- Our program is geared toward children with high IQs
- Our customized approach provides services to children with dyslexia, dysgraphia, attention deficit, and anxiety
- We provide emotional support through counseling
- Our Orton-Gillingham trained specialists are experienced in language-based learning disabilities
- We provide a fully integrated curriculum
David Gordon, Ph.D. is the Director of the Patrick Academic Resource Center. Prior to becoming a member of PARC, Dr. Gordon was an Assistant Professor of Special Education in the Education Department at Wagner College for six years. David worked closely with pre-service educators to find a passion for educating students with disabilities while simultaneously increasing their cumulative New York State certification pass rate from approximately 75% to 90%. David has extensive experiences working with students who learn differently at all age levels, and many of his instructional methods and strategies involve a developmental learning component. At a national level, David was the President of the Division of Physical, Health, and Multiple Disabilities, within the Council of Exceptional Children, and was a founder and inaugural President of the Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Educational Specialists.
As a person with a specific learning disability, Dr. Gordon brings this personal perspective with him when focusing on educational issues for people who learn differently. With this in mind, David has a passion and history of creating and improving educational systems to better serves students. Recently, David defended his dissertation and earned his Ph.D. from Syracuse University in Special Education with a focus on acquired learning disabilities. David has sought and received approximately $200,000 in grants. Many of these grants focused on programming and research related to innovative educational technology opportunities for learners with and without disabilities. David has been involved with numerous civic programs, most recently moderating a session in Washington, DC sponsored by the U.S State Department for the Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative. This session was moderated by Dr. Gordon with the State Department’s Special Advisor for Disability Rights, Judy Heumann.
Tina Santino, MA is the Coordinator of the Patrick Academic Resource Center (PARC) and one of its dedicated Learning Specialists. She started at Staten Island Academy in 2013 after five years at DeVry College of New York, where she worked as the Manager of the Academic Success Center and ADA Representative for students with special needs. A magna cum laude graduate of Brooklyn College, she earned her BA and MA in English language and literature. Her recent educational pursuits see her studying for a PsyD in clinical psychology through California Southern University.
In Ms. Santino's spare time, she teaches freshmen and sophomore English to college students online through Ashford University. She has also lived and worked as a teacher in Japan and remembers her time there with fond memories. This past summer, Ms. Santino rekindled that experience by attending the International Psychology Congress and traveling around the country from climbing Mt. Fuji to strolling in a yukata in Kanazawa. As a Shotokan black belt, she believes in the importance of physical education in a school curriculum and extra-curricular art, music and theater activities to keep students engaged. She loves working with and cheering on students in all of their endeavors!
Eman Metwally is the Lower School Learning Specialist of the Patrick Academic Resource Center. Eman has her dual Bachelors certification in English and General/Special Childhood Education. She completed her Masters Degree at Wagner College in Early Childhood Education. Her thesis titled “The Impact of Social Support on First Year Teacher Development: A Case Study,” examines the role of support systems and mentorship and its impact on a teacher’s first year experience. Her passion lies in creating an innovative and supportive environment that is best catered to her students’ educational development.
Apart from completing a number of field experiences in the tri-state area, Eman has been a part of many after-school programs dedicated to student advancement and success. Her experiences took her all the way to Barcelona, Spain, where Eman experienced first hand the importance of different modalities of learning that would overcome language barriers. Her experiences emphasized the importance of unique learning differences among students and how it can be incorporated to enhance their learning process.
Eman believes in instilling confidence in her students’ own abilities to help them become more intrinsically motivated and interested in learning. She believes that when students become active participants in the learning process they will take control of their own education beyond the walls of schools and for years to come. She continues to advocate for her students and inspires them to work towards their highest potential.