Pilgrim Area Collaborative Extended Services
Deb Booth, PACES Director
“Learning Beyond the Classroom”
At PAC, we recognize additional supports, outside of the typical school day, are often needed to support educators, students and their families. Therefore, in addition to a comprehensive offering of daily academically-based programming, the Pilgrim Area Collaborative offers specially designed home & community-based programs, consultation, professional development, assessments and evaluations, as well as parent workshops and after school activities through our Extended Services program (PACES).
The philosophy of the PACES program derives from a combination of behavioral and developmental orientations. PACES programs are designed to maximize individual learning by developing strong parent and professional partnerships. Through the partnerships established within the home and school our experienced staff share their specialized knowledge and provide parents and educators with training and consultation to develop skills in Applied Behavior Analysis as well as other evidenced based, best practice interventions and strategies. The PACES program helps parents, educators, specialized service providers and support personnel to master specific strategies, which enables them to teach children new skills and effectively support challenging behaviors.
All services are coordinated by Masters Level and/or Licensed Staff (BCBA, LABA, DESE) with extensive training and expertise in the areas of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), and Social Thinking™ as well as empirically validated, (evidenced based, research based) and developmentally appropriate treatment and intervention methodologies. Highly qualified direct service and instructional support staff provide services within the school, home and/or community settings.
An array of services are available to school districts and families through the PACES program which are designed to equip parents and professionals with the skills needed to effectively support students in the school, home and community settings.
- Home & Community Based Services
- Consultation Services
- School-Based Extended Day Programs
- Social Learning and Recreational Activities
- Professional Assessments & Evaluations
- PAC Summer Institute
- GAP (Gaining Adult Proficiencies) Program
- PACES Transition Coaching
- PACES Service Request Form
Meet the PACES Staff
Our Leadership Team
Deb Booth, M.Ed.
Deb began her career in Special Education after taking what she thought would be a “summer job” at a private school for children with autism in the early ’90s. Before the end of that first summer, she realized she had found her calling, went on to get a Master’s of Education Degree in Special Education, and has spent the last 30 years teaching and learning from the students, families, and educators she has met along her journey. Deb has been at the Pilgrim Area Collaborative for over 20 years and has been the Director of the Pilgrim Area Collaborative Extended Services (PACES) Program since its development in 2003. Deb developed PACES and its philosophy based on the principle that together, we can do more. She believes that providing education, training, consultation, and support better empowers students, families, educators, and community members. PACES helps to maximize individual student learning in the home, school, and community settings. Staying true to her mantra, “Be a Force of New”, and the Collaborative’s Mission, Deb and her Leadership Team have continued to expand and develop innovative programs. PACES now provides direct services to over 100 students/families from nearly 30 towns across Southeastern Massachusetts and employs over 150 staff members. Deb’s passion for learning has taken her across the country to San Jose, California where she completed the clinical mentorship program at Michelle Garcia Winner’s Center for Social Thinking and she also holds the position of adjunct faculty at Northeastern University and Emerson College. Deb holds DESE Licensure as a Special Education Administrator (all levels) as well as Teacher of Children with Severe Special Needs (all levels). She is a certified instructor in Physical & Psychological Management Training (PMT). Deb is a mother of 3 and lives on the Cape with her family.
Jamie Sousa, M.Ed., BCBA
Licensed Behavior Analyst
Jamie received her Master’s of Education Degree in Special Education from Bridgewater State University. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and is also licensed in both special education and general education at the elementary level. After college, Jamie was a special education teacher for a local school district prior to joining PACES as a home program supervisor in 2007. She joined the Leadership team in 2008 as a Program Coordinator. In this role, Jamie oversees all home-based parent training programs. Jamie lives in Kingston, MA along with her husband, their two children and two rescue dogs.
Joanna Silverman, M.Ed., CHHC
Joanna is the Social Learning Coordinator for PACES. In her role as a coordinator, she provides professional development and consultation to families and school districts specifically in social skills development. Additionally, she supports students individually and during whole class instruction in SEL. She has over 20 years of teaching experience with children ranging from infancy to 22 years of age. Joanna has continued her education by completing the Social Thinking Clinical training with Michelle Garcia Winner, Collaborative Problem Solving with Ross Green, and Acceptance Commitment Therapy with Russ Harris. In addition to her teaching certification, she holds a Certification in Holistic Health Counseling, Trauma Informed Yoga and is certified PEERS for school aged children instructor. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her children, husband and going for long walks with her dog Kel. In the summer, she can be found spending hours at the beach on Cape Cod.
Irene Volpe Barry, M.S. Ed.
PACES Program Coordinator
Irene is a wife, mother, grandmother, and traveler, as well as a thirty-year veteran with the Pilgrim Area Collaborative. She is a Northeastern University alumnus with a Bachelor of Arts in Education and a Master’s of Science in Special Education. She holds teaching certificates in Moderate and Severe Disabilities. She began her career at the PAC as a teacher until her 2014 retirement from the classroom. With enthusiasm for a new adventure, she joined the PAC Extended Services Department as a “part-time” Home-Based Program Supervisor. In 2017 she joined the team developing the Learning for Life young adult service model. Her work includes Transition Assessments, Extended Transition services, and working with the GAP Transition Program families as the Parent Liaison. She brings dedication, experience, wisdom that comes with age, and a passion for lifelong learning to the job.
PACES Administrative Assistant
Debbie has worked at PAC for over 20 years. She began her PAC career in the Business Office as the Accounting Clerk. Through the Business Office, Debbie supported the development of the PACES program in 2003, creating its infrastructure. As the PACES program continued to expand and grow, Debbie took on all administrative responsibilities related to PACES and transitioned to working full-time as the PACES Administrative Assistant. Debbie loves her job and all the people she works with, including staff, districts and families. She has been happily married for many years and has two grown children (a son and a daughter). Her family is the most important thing to her. She has an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration and thinks spreadsheets are fun ☺. She likes to think outside the box and create ways that make things run as smoothly as possible for the entire PACES Team.
Julie Callahan, M.S., BCBA
PACES Behavior Analyst
Julie completed her undergraduate degree in Buffalo NY at Canisius College. It was here at this small college, where her interest in biology and psychology were ignited. The small school environment allowed her to become involved in research projects during her sophomore through senior years. This interest in research and the analysis of data/results motivated her to become a para-professional in an integrated special education preschool. While working at the preschool, Julie learned about the field of Applied Behavior Analysis and how it was used to help children with Autism to learn pre-requisite skills and social behaviors. Julie attended numerous trainings and soon became an ABA tutor within the district and was involved in training other staff how to redirect behaviors, how to set up programs to teach certain skills and to modify the classroom to help students learn better. Julie graduated with a Master’s in Behavior Analysis from Simmons College in 2010. She completed her board exam and was certified as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in January 2011.
A colleague from the preschool recommended applying to Pilgrim Area Collaborative Extended Services (PACES) to complete Home Assessments and School consult as a Behavior Analyst. Julie has been with PACES since 2011, she started off with home services and parent training and has been involved in district training and consult. More recently, Julie has become the consulting BCBA for the Pilgrim Area Collaborative classrooms.
Kathleen M. Dorn, M.Ed., BCBA, LABA
PACES Behavior Analyst
Kathleen Dorn is a BCBA and educator with a focus on Social Emotional Learning. She started her career as an elementary school teacher, but followed her interest in special education by furthering her education at Endicott college to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She has worked with PACES for 11 years as a home services supervisor and educator, and a consulting BCBA. She is an avid researcher in the area of communication and social emotional learning. She is a Tier 2 trainer in Collaborative Problem Solving through MGH Think Kids (2018) and trained in Trauma Informed Care from Bridgewell Center (2020) and as Mental Health First Aid Responder (2020). Kathleen is an active member of APBA, BABAT and volunteers as a board member at Ferry Hills Center for Inclusion and Wellness. She is an enthusiastic educator who also enjoys playing board games with her husband and 3 children or hiking with their 2 dogs.
Kelly McLeod, M.Ed., LABA, BCBA
PACES Behavior Analyst
Kelly became a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst almost 5 years ago. She has a master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, Boston in Special Education and a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Connecticut. Kelly has worked with diverse populations in the following settings: day and residential homes, center-based clinics, schools, community, and home-based services for individuals with moderate to severe disabilities from ages 2.9-22 years of age. She has a particular interest in developing appropriate functional communication and social skills of the individuals she works with to help create positive behavior change using scientific and evidence-based strategies from the science of Applied Behavior Analysis. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and traveling to the island of Martha’s Vineyard.
Kara Patchin, M.Ed., BCBA, LABA
PACES Behavior Analyst
Kara Patchin holds a Master’s Degree in Education and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She has worked for the Pilgrim Area Collaborative for 14 years in various capacities both in the classroom as well as providing home based services, professional development, school and adult agency based consultation. Kara has a special interest in social skills instruction as well as PBS (positive behavior support) in adult day & community based programs. Kara has completed Tier II Think:Kids training through MGH and she is a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid trainer. She lives in Braintree, MA with her husband and daughter. Kara enjoys spending time with her large extended family.
Leigh Young, M.S. Ed., BCBA
PACES Behavior Analyst
Leigh has over 20 years of experience working with individuals with a variety of developmental and behavioral challenges. She began her teaching career with a certification in Moderate Special Needs and earned her Behavior Analyst Certification in 2011. Since then, she has worked as a consultant across all grade levels to plan and oversee programming for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder as well as social-emotional and other cognitive and behavioral needs both in the public school and home settings. Currently, Leigh is a Behavior Analyst for Pilgrim Area Collaborative where she works collaboratively with staff in the Pilgrim Academy and Seaside Programs to foster emotional and behavioral regulation as well as teach and reinforce adaptive skills and behaviors. In addition, she is responsible for conducting Functional Behavior Assessments, designing Behavior Intervention Plans as well as data collection systems, which develop and measure the occurrence of specific prosocial and communication skills needed to replace interfering behaviors. Leigh approaches her work with the goal that students develop a greater sense of self–awareness and recognition of their personal growth.