Facilitators and Advisors
Dr. David Steinke, School Psychologist & Psychologist in Private Practice
Dr. David Steinke is a New Jersey state licensed psychologist whose specialties include working with adolescents and young adults who struggle with emotional and academic issues that impact their pursuit of academic success and emotional wellness. He works in Montclair High School and maintains a private practice in Upper Montclair, NJ. Dr. Steinke specializes in working with young people with issues related to Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, and Social Skills deficits. He is a Nationally Certified school psychologist and holds a PhD in Educational Psychology with a specialization in School Psychology from the City University of New York (CUNY), a Masters degree in Counselor Education from the University of Virginia and a BA in Psychology from Hampden-Sydney College. He is a 2017 recipient of the Governor’s Educational Support Professional of the Year award and has over 25 years of experience in the mental health field working with preteens, adolescents and young adults.
Melissa Schaffer, Arts Educator, BFA Theatre Arts, Theatre, Music
Melissa Schaffer, Teaching Artist, is an actress/musician/teacher. 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 is an NJPAC teaching artist, a certified movement specialist and an award-winning playwright. She 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.