Staff Profile: Anastasia Kanistras, PBIS Coordinator & Activities Director

Ivy Street School Director Joel Rosenhaus presents Anastasia with her Staff Development Award

Learn about Ivy Street School's Anastasia Kanistras in this Staff Profile!

Anastasia Kanistras received her B.A. in Psychology from Northeastern University in 2010, and from the moment she began her "Introduction to Counseling" course, she fell in love with the field of human services. After graduating, she became a Mental Health Counselor working with adolescents at Bournewood Hospital, a psychiatric hospital for youth.

In her three years at Ivy Street School, Anastasia has worn many hats. Starting as a relief staff member on the residential and educational floors, she later became a classroom teaching assistant. Recognizing her passion for problem solving and thinking outside the box, Ivy Street School's Director then selected Anastasia to join the newly developed Behavior Team as a Behavior Technician. Anastasia is also a certified CPI (Crisis Prevention Interventions) instructor.

In addition, Anastasia's drive and creativity led to her being named the school's Activities Coordinator, and then Activities Director. In this role, she conceives, plans, and coordinates a variety of activities that are fun and educational for our students. From equine therapy to trips to AirCraft Aerial Arts, Anastasia is constantly listening and responded to students' interests and needs to find new, exciting, and engaging activities and field trips.

Anastasia also has a lead role in putting together our annual Extravaganza talent revue, which is always one of the most highly anticipated dates on the Ivy Street School calendar.

"What I truly love about Ivy Street," she says, "is how when you are an employee here, you really are given the opportunity to do what you are passionate about. I love being able to talk to a student who is having a hard time and problem solve to come up with a plan on how to get them to have a successful day.

"I also love that my day can start off in an IEP meeting, then move to writing a behavior plan and graphing some data, and then end taking selfies with the students as they take part in equine or gospel class. In my split roles I see the most challenging sides of a student and then I see them smiling, singing, and performing at Extravaganza. I really have the best of both worlds here at Ivy."

This year Anastasia was selected to receive a $5,000 Staff Development Award at our second annual Excellence in Special Education Summit, which she will use to further her education. Currently she is taking courses to become certified as a CBIS (Certified Brain Injury Specialist) as well as an RBT (Registered Behavior Technician), and she intends to put her award money towards going to graduate school to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).

 
 

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