School to Work Staff

Ivymount Staff are recognized among the best trained special educators in the Washington DC Metropolitan area.  They are master educators, experienced therapists and innovators who apply their skills, training and commitment with their students every day.  

The classroom teams are supported by highly trained professionals, including therapists and other specialists, who support student learning and skill acquisition through integrated and individualized service delivery. 

School to Work Leadership Team

Sara Kuperstein
is the Clinical Coordinator of Ivymount’s School to Work Program.  She is a Board Certified and Licensed Behavior Analyst and has worked in the field of special education for over 13 years. Sara has worked with individuals with a variety of disabilities, ranging in age from 15 months to 22 years.  After obtaining her undergraduate degree in psychology from The University of Michigan, Sara began her career at Ivymount working in the Autism Program.  She then went on to obtain a master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.  While completing her graduate coursework, Sara interned on the Neurobehavioral Inpatient Unit at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, gaining valuable experience in the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior.  Following completion of her master’s degree, Sara moved to California where she worked for 2 different private agencies, providing consultation in both home and school settings.  In 2010, she returned to the DC area and began working on the Clinical Services Team at Ivymount. Sara has vast experience in staff training, providing training to staff in a variety of settings, including agencies in Hong Kong and Guam.  In addition, she has a background in verbal behavior and the assessment and treatment of problem behaviors.

Lu Merrick is the Director of the School to Work Program.  Lu received her B.A. in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences from Rollins College, her Master’s degree in Autism and Developmental Disabilities from Syracuse University and a graduate certificate in Transition Services from John Hopkins University.  She has 30 years of educational experience, including teaching general and special education in public and private schools, and day and residential programs.  She has worked as a classroom teacher, supervisor, educational consultant and school administrator.  Lu came to Ivymount School, (then Christ Church Child Center) in 1982 as a Head Teacher.  Within two years she became the Coordinator of the Multiple Needs program and developed the Adolescent Program, the High School Program, and the Upper School Program at Ivymount School.  Lu is part of the Senior Leadership team for Ivymount’s three Project SEARCH programs (NIH, Montgomery County Government and the Smithsonian Institution).  Lu serves on the Montgomery County Commission on People with Disabilities, the Montgomery County Developmental Disabilities Advisory Workgroup, and is a member of the board of the Maryland state chapter for APSE.  Lu is also an active member of the state of Maryland’s Developmental Disabilities School-to-Work Work Group. Lu is a frequent presenter at regional and national conferences and has contributed to projects for Autism Speaks including the national Autism Speaks Employment Toolkit.

Israelle Resti is the Assistant Director for Ivymount’s School to Work Program.   She received her MA in Transition Special Education from George Washington University and received certification as a Literacy Coach from University of Maryland. She has been a teacher in both Montgomery County Public Schools and private schools since 2001.  She has worked with students ranging from pre-school to age 22 with a wide variety of disabilities, needs, and skills.  She sits on the Disabilities Inclusion Committee for the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and is active on the Thought Leadership and Employment working groups.

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