On June 18, 2016, the Cambridge Parent Advisory Council on Special Education held our annual elections.
The following individuals were elected to represent the PAC for the 2016-17 School Year.
Karen Dobak, Co-Chair
Karen has served as a C-PAC co-chair for three years, having been an active leader for more than a decade. Karen has two children, and through her advocacy on their behalf has developed personal knowledge and expertise in the areas of autism, dyslexia, and chronic health conditions. Both of her children started out in public schools and were outplaced to private special education schools. Now an adult, Karen’s son has graduated from the IEP system and is currently attending college. Karen is seeking to continue her leadership as a vocal advocate for all students with disabilities in Cambridge.
Rachelle Boyce, Co-Chair
Rachelle is a proud graduate of Cambridge Public Schools, having attended the Peabody School and graduated from CRLS. Currently, her two children attend elementary school in CPS. Her experience and knowledge includes developmental disabilities and focus challenges. Rachelle has been an active member of C-PAC this past year, and is interested in ensuring parents know their rights in the complicated IEP process. In this leadership role, she will seek out ways to support and encourage parents and families, so that they are not intimidated from having a voice in their child’s education.
Fatma Ali: Fatma Ali is a relative newcomer to our community and to C-PAC, having moved here from Kuwait with her family. In the past year she’s become an active member of our group and an skillful advocate for her two children. She has personal knowledge and experience with autism, vision impairment, hearing impairment, and complex medical issues. Fatma has been a dedicated participant in and volunteer at C-PAC meetings and events this past year and will bring new insights to our community of families while also providing special help and encouragement to families in CPS who speak Arabic as their first language.
Pamela has two children, one of whom is on an IEP. In advocating for her child, she has developed expertise in the areas of dyslexia and complex learning profiles including social-emotional dimensions of learning. Pamela has served as an officer of C-PAC for two years and has been involved with the PAC for 10 years. If elected, she will seek to continue collaborative work with the CPS administration while helping individual families get support to navigate the educational system.
Miguelina has lived in Cambridge for over 34 years, and raised three adult children who all attended Cambridge Public Schools. Her youngest child is a current elementary school student in CPS. Miguelina has experience in both the 504 Process and the IEP process; and with supporting a child with academic and emotional challenges. Her goal in serving as a C-PAC Executive Officer is to deepen her knowledge by working with families, while sharing her own experiences and knowledge. Originally born in the Dominican Republic, Miguelina hopes to provide a special link to Spanish-speaking families of students with disabilities.
Julie Viens has served as an officer of C-PAC for the past two years. Julie has three children in Cambridge Public Schools, and has navigated the special education system on their behalf for seven years. Julie is experienced and knowledgeable about obtaining appropriate assessments, services, and placement related to mood disorders, sensory processing, ADHD, and anxiety. Julie will seek to use her leadership of C-PAC to offer a lifeline to other families, as it has been a lifeline for her. Her goal will be to offer practical and emotional support to other families, especially those new to the system.