• Paul Stein
    Executive Director

    Dr. Stein joined Schools for Children in July 2017. His career includes varied roles in teaching and educational administration. He served as the Superintendent of Schools in Wayland and as the Deputy Superintendent of the Newton Public Schools. He is the past principal of Day Middle School in Newton and past House Administrator of Pollard Middle School in Needham. He began his career as a math teacher in alternative, special education school settings and served for a number of years as the Director of Full Circle High School in Somerville. 

    Dr. Stein earned his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, an M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a second master's in special education from Lesley University, and a doctorate in educational administration from Boston 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 8 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
    Head of School, 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. ​

  • Pam Sweeney
    Learning Center Coordinator, Dearborn Academy

    Pam Sweeney began her tenure at Dearborn Academy in 2000 as an assistant teacher in the elementary/middle school program and quickly made Dearborn part of her extended family. She became a lead teacher in 2002 and served as a mentor teacher from 2008-2012 before being promoted to the educational coordinator position. In 2017, she became the director of the elementary/middle school program.

    Pam loves working directly with students and with teachers on how to help students access the curriculum. She missed that in her elementary/middle school administrative role and has taken on the challenge of learning center coordinator, a newly vitalized position.

    Pam earned her undergraduate degree in sociology from Harvard University. After a few years in marketing, she realized her heart was in the world of education, largely stemming from the connections she witnessed her mother make as a teacher. Pam earned a master’s degree with licensure in elementary education, moderate special needs, and mathematics through the Peaceable Schools Program at Lesley University and the M.Ed. (moderate disabilities) program at Cambridge College.
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Bev Beno
    Chief Financial Officer

    Bev Beno joined Schools for Children as the Chief Financial Officer in 2018. She manages the accounting, finance, audit, financial reporting, human resources, investment and budgeting functions for the nonprofit. She is responsible also for fiscal analysis, financial services development and the physical plant and facilities of our five Boston-area schools and programs as well as a headquarters in Winchester, Mass. 

    Bev brings a strong knowledge of special education programming and over 20 years of experience working in the business offices of educational nonprofits and collaboratives.  She is a graduate of Duke University and is licensed in Massachusetts as a school business administrator.