September 27, 2023

Though Jayne Colantonio, MSEd, BCBA, found her way to The New England Center for Children (NECC) somewhat by accident, she has stayed for nearly a decade. Colantonio, a senior education coordinator in NECC’s Intensive Instruction Program (IIP), was nominated because “she has been an amazing boss and a great mentor.” One colleague, who is currently enrolled in the Simmons University master’s program, shared that, “When I have asked for help with IEP preparation and writing and presenting sections, she has provided me with great feedback. Additionally, if support is needed on the floor, Jayne is always there quickly with a helping hand. She does so much to support case managers and the whole team, helps strengthen team connections by celebrating birthdays and other important events, and is always there to vent to on the hard days. I cannot say enough good things about her.” 

How long have you worked for NECC?

This is my ninth year here at NECC. I started as a teacher on Higley Road, moved to the Public School Services (PSS) Department for a year, then returned to Southborough to work in IIP, first as a case manager for two years and then as an education coordinator.

What is your favorite part of your job? 

My favorite part of my job is seeing my students master new skills and their smiles when they realize they accomplished something. It is so cool to see how the entire team celebrates when new skills are mastered!

Why NECC? 

Coming to NECC was a bit of an accident. After I earned my license in elementary education, I couldn’t find a job. A camp coworker of mine was starting at NECC at the end of the summer, so I decided to join them. The rest is history! I continue to work at NECC because of the support I have from supervisors, dedication from classroom teachers, and access to opportunities for professional development. Also, I really appreciate the relationships I have developed with my students and their families. 

Have you taken advantage of any of the grad programs or teacher training at NECC? If so, how has it affected your teaching style? 

Yes! I completed my master’s degree through the Simmons University program, then completed the Western New England University ABA specialization program to earn my BCBA. Completing both programs has helped me understand why we do what we do. Additionally, it has helped me better advocate for our students and propose objectives that will help students access more environments and live more independent lives. 

What is something about you that your colleagues might be surprised to learn?

I have a lot of hobbies that I cycle through, including different types of crafts and baking. My baking specialty is making different types of cheesecake; the most popular among my family is white chocolate raspberry cheesecake. 

Who is someone you look up to? 

I have been so lucky to have had some amazing humans cross my path at NECC. One person I look up to is Ava Calle, an Enrollment and Family Support specialist. For me, she set the standard for how to be completely dedicated to our students and be an effective leader. She helped shape me as a supervisor and continues to be a role model. 

What is your life philosophy or motto you like to live by? 

The motto you will hear me repeating every day is “It’s great” or “It’s gonna be great.” While sometimes it can be a bit sarcastic, I say it as a reminder to look at the positive even in the toughest of times. There is always a silver lining to be found.