EPIC realizes that each one of our instructors has a profound impact on the students they work with. For this reason, all of our staff members are well-trained in the methods of applied behavior analysis, and their training takes place before the school year begins, prior to sitting with any student. Training continues throughout the year through bi-weekly staff workshops, staff development days, classroom meetings and during daily classroom observations.
Additionally, each classroom is supervised by a Education and Behavior Specialist, observing classroom staff and offering feedback to ensure that all teachers are providing optimal instruction to all learners. Currently more than half of EPIC’s teaching staff are either actively pursuing or currently possess post-baccalaureate degrees in fields such as Teacher Certifications, Applied Behavior Analysis and/or Special Education. EPIC Staff ensures each student is making progress toward their maximum potential and successfully interacting within their community.
Peter F. Gerhardt, Ed.D., Executive Director
Dr. Gerhardt has more than 30 years experience utilizing the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis in support of individuals with autism spectrum disorders in educational, employment, residential and community-based settings. Dr. Gerhardt is the author or the coauthor of many articles and book chapters on the needs of adolescents and adults with ASDs and has presented nationally and internationally on this topic. Dr. Gerhardt is the founding chair of the Scientific Council for the Organization for Autism Research (OAR) and currently sits on numerous professional advisory boards including Behavior Analysis in Practice, the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts, and the Autism Society of America. He received his doctorate from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Graduate School of Education.
William Schmalz, M.A., Principal
Mr. Schmalz has been an educator for 40 years, having been a teacher in the Vernon and Park Ridge Public Schools. He served as Principal at both public and special needs schools before joining EPIC in 2009. He holds a Master’s degree from New Jersey City University in Educational Administration and a Master’s degree from Montclair State University as a Reading Specialist. Mr. Schmalz holds NJDOE certification as an elementary school and social studies teacher, reading specialist and principal/supervisor by the NJDOE. He was recognized by the NJDOE as the recipient of the Governor’s Teacher Award and by the NJ Council for Social Studies. Mr. Schmalz now serves as the Administrative Director and Principal for EPIC.
Joanne Emerle, M.E.d.
Education and Behavior Specialists
Cristina Battaglia, MA, BCBA
Meaghan Bracchita, M.Ed., BCBA
Angela Rodriguez, MA, BCBA