• Theodore H. Wilson III, Ph.D.
    Theodore H. Wilson III, PhD
    President and Executive Director

    Ted Wilson has been the president and executive director of Schools for Children since 1988. His long career in education includes nonprofit management, special education, social work, residential treatment, counseling, educational research, early childhood care and education and fundraising. At Schools for Children, Ted regularly nurtures new ideas and brings them to fruition.

    An active member of the Massachusetts education community, Ted has also served on the boards of the Massachusetts Association of 766-Approved Private Schools and the Cambridge Montessori School. He has been a member of several service clubs and task forces. He also coaches youth soccer.

    Before coming to Schools for Children, Ted directed the VFW National Home, a residential child care program in central Michigan with a 640-acre, 60 building campus, served on a local Board of Education and spent three years as an officer in the US Navy.

    Ted is a 1968 graduate of Yale and earned both an MEd (1973) and a PhD in (1979) from the University of Maryland. Ted is also certified as a Michigan social worker and holds a national certification as a fundraising executive.

  • Dale Lemke
    Director of Finance and Operations

    Dale Lemke joined Schools for Children in 2007, first as a consultant and then took on his current position in 2009. Dale provides financial and operational leadership for our programs as well as to client schools. A resident of Winchester currently serving the town’s finance committee, Dale is also trustee of The Greenwood School in Putney, VT.

    Previously Dale worked in a variety of corporate settings where he specialized in strategic analysis and planning, financial operations and business process improvement. He has an MBA (1984) in finance and international business from Columbia University, an MA in international relations from Schiller University (1981) and a BS (1979) from Northwestern University.

  • Deanne Benson
    Head of School, Lesley Ellis School

    Deanne Benson has led Lesley Ellis School's transformation from a Preschool-Grade 3 program to a Preschool–Grade 6 school. She came to Lesley Ellis School in 2001 following fifteen years at Nashoba Brooks School in Concord, MA where she was first a physical education teacher and then the Director of Admissions. A physical education teacher for more than 17 years, Deanne has worked at several different elementary schools throughout her career.

    Deanne earned her BA (1977) from North Park College in Chicago and an MEd (2000) in educational administration from Lesley University. She holds Massachusetts state certification as both a teacher and an administrator. Outside of Lesley Ellis, Deanne does her best to stay healthy by participating each summer in a triathlon. She also keeps a close eye on her daughter’s nationally competitive synchronized skating team.

  • Alex Tsonas
    Director, Seaport Academy

    Alex Tsonas joined Seaport Academy as school counselor in 1998 and two years later became Seaport's director. Alex's experience includes working as an assistant director in a residential program, a therapist for a home-based individual and family treatment agency, and as a counselor running substance abuse and anger management groups serving youths in Lynn. Alex has overseen Seaport's evolution from a small, 12-student program into a successful all-boys state-approved alternative high school serving 28 students, grades 8–12.

    An avid hiker and runner, Alex earns his LICSW licensing in 2016. He has a BA (1991) from Colgate College and an MA (1998) from Salem State College.

  • Rebecca Altepeter
    Director, Dearborn Academy


    After her first visit to Dearborn Academy in the mid-1990s, Rebecca Altepeter left and told her friends and family, “Someday I will work there— they are doing incredible work and it feels like family!” Rebecca finally realized her dream when she became the Director in 2016 after building her leadership skills as the Principal at a therapeutic residential and day school for adolescent girls and as a Coordinator in the Office of Student Services for Cambridge Public Schools.  


    Rebecca earned her BS with a dual major in Slavic and Environmental Studies from Indiana University and her MS in Moderate Special Needs from Wheelock College. She holds certifications as a Special Education Administrator, Moderate Special Needs teacher, and General Educator.

  • Carol Cole
    Director, Dearborn Elementary

    With extensive experience working with special needs students in New York public schools, Carol Cole left New York for New England in 1975 to attend Lesley University. In 1976 she joined the faculty at Dearborn Academy. She started as a classroom teacher, became the resource room and 766 coordinator, then served as the education coordinator position and was promoted to director of Dearborn's elementary/ middle-school program in 1998. Under her leadership, the school has become a widely respected for its success in addressing language-based learning differences. Carol also helped enhance Dearborn's proven clinical and behavioral programs and transitioned a higher percentage of students back to public school programs.

    Carol has a BA from the SUNY Buffalo (1973) and a MEd (1976) from Lesley University and is certified in elementary education and moderate special needs and as a generic special education teacher.

  • Mark Dix
    Director, Dearborn High School

    Mark Dix has been with Schools for Children since 1988 after nine years as a co-director and teacher at the Clearway School in West Newton, MA.  Mark joined Dearborn Academy High School as education coordinator and became director of the High School in September of 1998. During Mark's directorship, Dearborn Academy has received a number of commendations from the Massachusetts Department of Education.

    Mark is certified in guidance counseling and moderate special needs. He has a BA (1971) and an MAT (1973) from Cornell University, and an MEd from the University of Massachusetts (1979). He also holds a certificate from the two year training program in Family Systems Therapy at the Boston Family Institute (1982). In addition to his work with Dearborn, Mark is co-author of Discovering AutoCAD, a college text book in continuous publication since 1988.

  • Laura Rice, LICSW
    Program Director, STEP Program

    After a brief hiatus, Laura Rice returned to Schools for Children in 2013 to resume her role as program director of the Short-Term Educational Placement (STEP) Program. In this role, Laura provides administrative, clinical and crisis services to students in the 45-day STEP assessment period.

    Over her 15 year career, Laura has employed her considerable social work credentials and experience in public, private and alternative educational communities, including the Newton (MA) Public Schools, the ACCEPT Collaborative, Germaine Lawrence School, Inc., Willow Hill
    School and the Waller School.

    Laura earned both a bachelor of arts and a masters of social work from Boston College.

  • Jorge Gonzalez
    Jorge Gonzalez
    Director of Technology

    Jorge joined Schools for Children in 2015. He has extensive experience integrating technology in educational, clinical and vocational programs. His career started with the automation of psychological tests for clinical settings and building databases for curriculum development. Later, he developed multimedia tools to create self-instructional systems for learning purposes and started designing software to help in the integration of clinical and educational services. Jorge has over 25 years of experience and has been Coordinator, Director, President and Vice-president of diverse organizations in the area of human services.

    Recently,  he has developed a special interest on Instructional and Organizational Technology, creating a variety of tools for several organization in order to deliver the best care and education possible for people with special needs and learning disabilities.

    He is a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University where he earned an MS in Information Technology. He also holds a BA on Psychology and another MS in Experimental Psychology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Certified Google Administrator.

  • Maridel Perdomo
    Director, Winn Brook Child Care

    Maridel Perdomo is originally from Caracas, Venezuela. She moved to Boston twenty years ago to follow her dreams of learning English and to explore and expand her personal and professional life. She received a BA in Human Resources Administration in Venezuela and a BA in Psychology from Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts. She has a broad range of experience in bilingual education, during which she has worked with children, adolescents and adults. Her primary goal as a director is to optimize the children’s learning experience through exciting activities like dancing, music, writing, science, math and art. Her philosophy is that children learn through play and by using their imagination. 

    Maridel Perdomo is the director of the Winn Brook Child Care Before- and After-School Program. Prior to this position, she was the director of the YMCA at Gardner Pilot Academy, running the after-school and summer programs. She also worked as a director of Pine Village in Kendall Square, a Spanish-immersion preschool. In her current position, she is directly responsible for the day-to-day logistics and support of all families and staff in the program and is committed to building a strong relationship between the host elementary school and Winn Brook Child Care.