We hope that you will find in these pages abundant evidence of our diverse and dynamic community.
We pride ourselves on the many offerings we extend to students and their families.
Whether it’s a chorale performance or a student government debate or a point won by one of our many athletic teams or a weekend outing with College Crusade, rich opportunities for personal challenge and growth abound.
And whether it’s an evening class in ELL run in collaboration with Dorcas Place or a weekend business training session offered by the Rhode Island Justice League, parents will find also find at Segue significant opportunities for skill-building and empowerment.
Because that’s the Segue belief: engaged, committed adults who believe in lifelong learning support resilient, ambitious, successful students. Together– from our youngest scholars to our oldest grandparents– we all have the power to be agents of change in our schools, communities, and beyond.
We also believe in educational choice. There is a robust process that starts long before graduation: Segue staff work closely with students and parents to identify secondary programs that are a best fit for their academic profile and interests. And our Alumni Program then keeps up with graduates as they progress through high school and navigate their way into college and career.
Being a part of the Segue family is for life. I am proud to count myself a member of this family, and I look forward to meeting you, whether you are a prospective parent, a rising scholar, or a returning alum.
Segue Institute for Learning Board of Directors
SEGUE INSTITUTE FOR LEARNING
2018 – 2019 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
DAVID AHLBORN – Chair [Term: December 2015 – December 2018] David Ahlborn is an educator committed to disability justice. He graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University in 1988 and received an M.A. in 1995 in English from Boston University, where he was a Presidential Fellow and graduate assistant teacher. He discovered his passion for teaching students with specific language-based learning differences at Landmark School, where he taught from 1988-90 and 1995-99. He currently directs an academic support program for students with LD at The Wheeler School in Providence. He is married, has two grown children, and lives with his wife, also a teacher, in Providence. Mr. Ahlborn is a member of the Personnel and Academic Committees.
TABITHA ELEFSIADES – [Term: November 2013 – November 2019] A resident of the Central Falls community for many years, Tabitha she has been a member of the leadership team for the Dunkin Donuts franchise that owns and operates three Dunkin Donuts stores in Pawtucket and Central Falls. She is actively involved in the community life of Central Falls and has spearheaded multiple fundraisers at the Dunkin Donuts for Segue as well as all the public schools in the city. As a franchise manager Tabitha has experience with budgeting, payroll, accounting, and developing and reviewing operational policies. Tabitha created and coached the Segue Falcon Cheerleading Squad for its first year (2016-2017). Along with co-chairing the Segue Board until August of 2018, she also served on the Nominations and Governance committee for the school as well.
MARIA CRUZ – [Term: September 2016 – September 2019]. Maria grew up in Central Falls and attended both public and parochial schools in Central Falls. Graduated from CF High School in 1989. Ms. Cruz received her BS in Criminal Justice from Roger Williams University 2007. She is in her 15th year of service as a Pawtucket Police Officer and is currently assigned to the Prosecution Office. Maria is the President of the RI Hispanic Officers Association and the Secretary of the Central Falls Lions Club.
CLAUDIA DEFARIA – [Term: September 2016 – September 2019] Is a Central Falls resident and graduate of Central Falls High School. Claudia graduated from the Community College of RI with an Associates in Science concentration in Law Enforcement. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Justice Studies from Rhode Island College. She is presently a Program Supervisor for the KEY Program Inc. and has worked with this company for over 20 years in a variety of capacities. An avid basketball player and follower; she was an Associate Head Coach at Rhode Island College and the Community College of RI as well as a Head Coach at Cranston High School West for many years.
CAROLINA DUQUE – [Term: September 2016 – September 2019] Born in Colombia, brought to the USA when she was 5 years old and raised in Pawtucket. As a teenager was active in her church youth group. Married at age 18 and is now a mother of 3 kids, obtain her certification as a Medical Assistant in 2006. Has been a resident of Central Falls for 16 years. Carolina is now a member of the Segue Board since Sept 2016.
KEVIN KAZARIAN – [Term: February 2015 – March 2021] Mr. Kazarian is a Hospitality Management professional with over 20 years of experience in casual and upscale food and beverage operations in a variety of Casino /Hotel and independently owned restaurants. Mr. Kazarian graduated from Johnson & Wales University with an MBA in Hospitality Administration in 2001. Currently he is the Director of Operations for Spumoni’s Restaurant in Pawtucket and Twelve Acres of Smithfield. Mr. Kazarian is long time resident of the City of Central Falls. He is the Co-Chair of the Central Falls Zoning Board and sits on the Board of the Pawtucket Central Falls Development Corporation the Central Falls Alumni Association and the Pawtucket Business Development Corporation. A strong supporter of community engagement, Mr. Kazarian was honored to be selected for the Leadership Rhode Island MU 11 class, graduating in 2016. Mr. Kazarian is currently chair of the Finance and Building Committees.
JESSICA LOPES – [Term: January 2018 – January 2021] Jessica Lopes is a committed social worker and child welfare advocate. A Rhode Island native, Jessica has served the local community in a variety of capacities–formal and informal. A graduate of East Providence High School, Ms. Lopes served as the Program Coordinator for the Initiatives for Human Development in Cranston where she organized outreach initiatives and facilitated youth community action plans.
In 2008, Ms. Lopes graduated Cum Laude with her Bachelor of Science in Human Services from Springfield College as she continued her work at the Initiatives for Human Development. In 2014, Jessica began work as an Outreach and Tracking Case Manager and then Outreach Program Caseworker at Tides Family Service in Pawtucket, RI. In this capacity Jessica maintained a focus on her individual clients’ well-being and success, maintaining daily contact with her clients at school and at their home, as well as working closely with families and social supports. Most recently, Ms. Lopes has worked as a social worker for the Department of Children and Families in Massachusetts, where she utilizes a strengths-based perspective to empower children and families and sustain positive relationships. Jessica also works as a Human Service worker at a residential program for youths facing various behavioral and emotional challenges, where she developed and facilitates a weekly group utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to promote her clients’ well-being.
Jessica expects to receive her Master of Social Work this May from Springfield College, where she specializes with a clinical focus on child and adolescent trauma. Ms. Lopes is a tireless advocate for child welfare and is devoted to the well-being and proper education of every person. Jessica prides herself as an independent and analytical thinker, innovative problem solver and organizer, and is committed to promoting multi-cultural awareness. Jessica is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, and Creole, and is eager to utilize her strengths to serve the Rhode Island community.
WALTER ORELLANA – [Term: November 2017 – November 2020] Walter Orellana migrated to the United States from Guatemala at the age of ten. He is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) and has been working in the field since 2010. Mr. Orellana’s academic credentials include an MSW from Rhode Island College and a B.S. degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Rhode Island. He currently works as the Associate Director of Agape Providence, a program of Community Care Alliance. Mr. Orellana’s work experience extends to his work at The Providence Center, a community mental health center, where he managed a behavioral health outpatient clinic. In addition, he was an adjunct faculty at Rhode Island College’s School of Social Work and a social and behavioral science faculty member at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Walter contributes to the field of Social Work through his role as a board member of the Rhode Island Board of Social Work Examiners. In 2017, Mr. Orellana was awarded Social Worker of the Year in Health/Mental Health by the NASW-RI Chapter. He is the first Latino to win this award in Rhode Island. Walter resides in Cranston with his 13-year- old son.
TIA RISTAINO-SIEGEL – [Term: March 2013 – February 2019] Tia Ristaino-Siegel is currently active in the community of Central Falls, RI. She received her B.A. of History from the University of New Hampshire. During her 25-year career she has held supervisory positions in various fields such as, hospitality and market research. Over the years, she has always gravitated to careers where she can interact with people and focus on bettering others’ lives. She currently resides in Central Falls with her husband Sidney of 20 years and their two cats. She is a member of her church, South Attleboro Assembly of God. She spends much of her time volunteering in the city.
Dr. ANTHONY RODRIGUEZ – [Term: April 2018 – April 2021] Dr. Rodriguez is currently an Associate Professor in the Elementary and Secondary Education Department at Providence College. He received his Ph. D. in Education from the University of New Mexico. In his career, he taught Mathematics in both urban (Albuquerque) and rural (Zia Pueblo) areas for 13 years and during his time there received the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Golden Apple Foundation of New Mexico. His students have been featured on radio (NPR), local television, and in print (Democracy in Education). His professional areas of expertise are Mathematics Education, Special Education, Applied Math Models and Community Based Instruction. He is currently a National Board Member (2016-2020) for the American Association on Intellectual and Development Disabilities. Dr. Rodriguez is the chair of the Segue Academics Sub-Committee.
JOSEPH SANTOS – [Term: December 2015 – December 2018) Mr. Santos is a commander in the U.S. Navy and professor in National Security Affairs department of the Naval War College since January 2012. Mr. Santos enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1985. He attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute after being selected for the NROTC Program where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical/Nuclear Engineering in 1995 and then re-entered the Navy and the Submarine Force as a commissioned officer. While attending the Naval War College he earned a M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies in 2010 and conducted in depth research focusing on developing Undersea Warfare Concepts. In 2015, he completed the yearlong Leadership Rhode Island class, a nationally recognized community leadership development program. He is currently involved in several initiatives to enhance participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math [STEM] fields. Most recently he was selected to the Leadership Team of the Rhode Island STEAM Now Coalition. Mr. Santos is a member of the Personnel Committee.