Staff Profile: Allison Pennacchio, Assistant Residential Director & Cottage Farm Program House Manager

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

Learn about Ivy Street School's Allison Pennacchio in this Staff Profile!

It's no surprise that Allison Pennacchio chose to pursue education as a career, receiving her B.A. in English and Secondary Education from Emmanuel College in 2012. After all, it's in her blood.

"I always knew that I wanted to do something that involved helping others and giving back," she says. "There are several teachers in my family and I grew up getting to see the impact that they've made on others."

During her time at Emmanuel College, Allison tutored and even spent some time in South Africa teaching English and developing programming at an elementary school, but it was one job in particular that caused her to find her calling. Working as a social skills group assistant at an after-school program for young children on the autism spectrum made her realize that she belonged in special education.

Allison has been at Ivy Street School for four years, and is currently the Assistant Residential Director as well as the House Manager of our Cottage Farm Program, a transitional apartment geared toward students who have achieved a high level of independent living skills and self-management and are ready to experience community living.

Ultimately, the part of her work here that Allison finds most rewarding is watching the students succeed.

"I love being able to see our students progress and achieve so much over time," she says, "and seeing them genuinely happy with themselves following an accomplishment. Anytime a student accomplishes something, whether it's getting a job or mastering something that they've been working on, there is an evident change in their self-esteem that is so heartwarming to see."

At Ivy Street School's Excellence in Special Education Summit, Allison was presented with a Staff Development Award of $5,000, which she will use to further her education, as she is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Bay Path University.


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