Facilitators and Advisors

Dr. David Steinke, PhD, School Psychologist & Private Practice

Dr. David Steinke is a NJ state licensed psychologist whose specialties include working with adolescents and young adults whose emotional and academic issues impact their pursuit of academic success and emotional wellness. He works in Montclair High School and maintains a private practice in Montclair, NJ, and has expertise in Asperger’s Disorder, Anxiety, ADHD, and Social Skills deficits. Dr. Steinke is Nationally Certified and holds a PhD in Educational Psychology with a specialization in School Psychology from the City University of New York (CUNY) and a Master’s degree in Counselor Education from the University of Virginia. He is a 2017 recipient of the Governor’s Educational Support Professional of the Year award.

Melissa Schaffer, Arts Educator, BFA Theatre Arts, Theatre, Music, Certified Movement Specialist, Playwright.

Melissa Schaffer, Teaching Artist, is an actress/musician/teacher/playwright/Certified movement specialist. Her BFA from Boston University and vast experience as a performer and teacher in NYC, NJ and regionally is the foundation of a lifelong pursuit of inspiring individuals to explore and discover more about themselves, each other, their communities, and the world at large through active engagement in the arts. Melissa has been a leader of the Montclair SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) and is an advocate for people with disabilities.

Dr. Priya Lalvani, Advisor, PhD, Associate Professor of Disability Studies, Montclair State University

Dr. Priya Lalvani, Advisor, is an Associate Professor of disability studies and inclusive education at Montclair State University. She holds a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the City University of New York (CUNY) and a Master’s degree in Special Education from Columbia University. She has extensive professional experience working with individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Her research is focused on disability oppression, and on the marginalization of individuals with disabilities in schools and society. Her work is published widely in academic journals.