Karen Dobak, Co-Chair
I have served as a C-PAC co-chair for four years, and have been involved with the PAC for many years before that. I have two children, and through my advocacy on their behalf I have developed personal knowledge and expertise in the areas of autism, dyslexia, and chronic health conditions. Both of my children started out in public schools and were outplaced to private special education schools. Now an adult, my son has graduated from the IEP system and is currently attending college. I’m looking forward to continuing my work with the SE-PAC, as an experienced and vocal advocate for all students with disabilities in Cambridge.
Cambria Russell, Co-Chair
I have two children. One attends Fletcher Maynard Academy, and the other is in an out of district placement. Professionally, I have been a special education teacher, a teacher educator and a private school board member. My family moved to Cambridge less than a year ago and we have benefitted from support and advice from the SE-PAC. Now that we have settled in, I want to use my experience and skills to support families in Cambridge and to collaborate with the school system to improve education for children with special needs.
Jovanna Arce, Officer
I am a Spanish-speaking mother two sons in JK and K at the Baldwin school. They have autism, ADHD and mood dysregulation. I also care for my nieces who also have disabilities. My advocacy for my children has led me want to help others. As a result, I recently completed the advocacy training with the Federation for Children with Special Needs. I look forward to helping others in Cambridge including other Spanish-speaking families who encounter an additional barrier in advocating for their children.
Rachelle Boyce, Officer
I am a proud graduate of Cambridge Public Schools, having attended the Peabody School and graduated from CRLS. Currently, my two children attend elementary school in CPS. My experience and knowledge includes developmental disabilities and focus challenges. I have served as a SE-PAC officer for the past year, and have sought to help parents learn their rights in the complicated IEP process. I hope that by continuing to serve as a SE-PAC Officer, I will be able to support parents and families to find and use their voice on behalf of their children’s education
Dian Holder, Officer
I am the mother of three. The oldest is 22 years old, and a graduate of Baldwin and CRLS. She was on an IEP for learning disability starting in first grade. She entered college on a 504 and graduated from Johnson and Wales this year with an Associates in Science and a Bachelors in Food Service Management. My son is a freshman at CRLS and he too attended the Baldwin. He was diagnosed with ADHD in first grade and has had many academic and social challenges due to his disability. My youngest is a student at the Baldwin and was diagnosed with a learning disability in kindergarten and now was also diagnosed with a communication and intellectual disability. Watching my children struggle has only made me advocate even more to ensure they get the education they deserve. I would love to help families going through the same types of struggles.
Khadija Laaziz, Officer
I am a parent of two daughters and a son who are 4, 7, and 9 years old and attend Haggerty School. My son has an IEP. I immigrated from Morocco 15 years ago. While I had dreamed of becoming a teacher, it is very difficult to find a job in that field in Morocco. I have two college degrees: one in geography, and one in organization management, and I’m fluent in Arabic and French. I currently work as a clinical care technician in an operating room, providing child life therapy, assisting children who require surgery, including providing care for children with special needs who have a particularly difficult time with surgery. I have seen the importance of advocating for my son’s needs and wish to help other families facing the same difficulties.