New Jersey School-Age Care Coalition - the Network for New Jersey's Afterschool Communities

NJSACC Afterschool Ambassadors

The NJSACC Afterschool Ambassadors are a select group of leaders in New Jersey's Afterschool communities who volunteer to serve as spokespeople, conveners and resources for the field. Afterschool Ambassadors will work with NJSACC to build countywide networks of afterschool organizations, advocates and partners. Located in each of New Jersey's twenty-one counties, Afterschool Ambassadors will develop public awareness of afterschool issues, build a strong network for afterschool program professionals, and establish professional development opportunities throughout the state.

Contact the Afterschool Ambassador in your county to get information about training, meetings or just connect to share ideas, resources and information. Email

To Become an Afterschool Ambassador, Click HERE

Maria Rivera-ButlerBurlington
Jen SeglekenBurlington
Elena PipernoCamden
Danielle WeistCamden
Theresa McKay-Booth   Cumberland
Thea PaceMonmouth
Jane SharpMonmouth
Ellen TyndellOcean
Maria BenvidesPassaic
Kathrine HandteSalem
Sharon TowlerUnion

Maria Rivera-Butler
Burlington County Afterschool Ambassador


Maria Rivera-Butler is a mother of two beautiful daughters. She is a graduate of Georgian Court University with a degree in Humanities, and Elementary education. Maria is also a member of honor societies Kappa Delta Pi, Chi Alpha Epsilon, and Phi Alpha Theta. After college Maria began teaching for the 21st Century after school program in South Toms River, NJ known as Discovery Place. After 3 years of teaching for Discovery Place, Maria moved and started working for the Real Centers 21st Century afterschool program in Mount Holly NJ, and is now the lead teacher. Targeted activities for this program include academic remediation, enrichment, cultural, and artistic activities. The program also promotes positive youth development, nutrition, fitness, and physical activities. This year's main focus is STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) and Maria is very excited to teach STEM this year. Working with children and being a part of their accomplishments has always been Maria's passion.

Elena Piperno
Camden County Afterschool Ambassador


Elena Piperno is currently the Coordinator of After-School and Summer Programs for the Catholic Partnership Schools in Camden. In this role, she oversees the SOAR (Student Opportunities for Achievement and Recreation) Program which provides structured academic and enrichment programs for middle school aged youth throughout the five Partnership schools.

Prior to the Catholic Partnership Schools, Piperno graduated Providence College in 2010 with a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Public and Community Service Studies and a Certificate in Business Studies. While studying in Providence, she volunteered extensive amounts of time in urban after-school programs. During her sophomore and junior years, she was the community assistant for the Providence After School Alliance, where she managed and coordinated service learning volunteers, as well as facilitated on site activities. During her spring semester of 2009, Piperno earned a certificate of Service Learning and Community Development while studying in South Africa.

Jen Segelken
Burlington County Afterschool Ambassador

Jen Segelken is currently the School Age Child Care & Camp Director at the YMCA of Burlington & Camden Counties. Jen received a degree in Sociology and Spanish from the University of Richmond and completed her Masters in Public Administration with Walden University. Prior to joining the YMCA of Burlington & Camden Counties team, she served as the Day Camp and Aquatics Director at YMCA Camp Ockanickon, also in Burlington County. Jen works with the Y to promote youth development, healthy living and social responsibility at each of the organization's afterschool sites.

Danielle Weist
Camden County Afterschool Ambassador


Theresa McKay-Booth
Cumberland County Afterschool Ambassador

Thea Pace
Monmouth County Ambassador


Thea Pace has been working as a school-age child care professional for over 7 years as the Champions Area Manager for Marlboro Township's Extended Learning and Science programs. Champions is a member of the Knowledge Universe (KU) family (KinderCare, Knowledge Beginnings, Cambridge, Champions and Children's Creative Learning Centers). Serving over 500 students ages 5-13, the Champions Extended Learning Program in Marlboro Township (before and after school) is available in all 8 of the district's schools. TheChampions Science programs operate in the district's 5 elementary schools. Thea is actively involved in the Marlboro Township community -serving on the Safe Schools Task Force and as a Trustee for the Marlboro Educational Foundation. She was recently appointed to KU'sSchool Advisory Council -made up of the best performing school leaders from all KU companies in the United States. Prior to working as a child care professional, Thea had a long tenure in the not-for-profit sector working in social services, the arts and education, most notably as an Account Manager and Associate Director for Marketing at Columbia Business School's Division of Executive Education. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications with a degree in Writing for the Media, and completed continuing education classes in Higher Education Administration at Baruch College and Teacher's College, Columbia University. Thea and her husband Michael reside in Marlboro, New Jersey, and have four children.

Jane Sharp
Monmouth County Afterschool Ambassador


From 2000 to 2009, Jane worked in the Office of Early Care and Education in the NJ Department of Human Services where she coordinated the Map to Inclusive Child Care Team, managed afterschool contracts, developed resource materials, and conducted state and national trainings. From 1985 to 2000 Jane was a YMCA Director responsible for afterschool, summer camp and teen programs for over 2000 youth annually. Currently Jane is a private consultant providing professional development, grant writing, research/evaluation, strategic planning and support for inclusion to programs serving youth of all ages.
Sharp Ideas Consulting -

Ellen Tyndell
Ocean County Ambassador


Ellen graduated from the University of Connecticut with her BS in Human Development and Family Studies and is now the BEST Program Coordinator for Brick Township Public Schools. The BEST Program, short for Brick Extended School Time, is the district's before and after school care program that offers a safe and engaging environment for the children of Brick during out-of-school time. She has also worked for the local YMCA for their summer camps and then as Program Director of School Age Child Care. Ellen loves working with her staff to make sure all of our kids always start and end their day the BEST way!

Maria Benevides
Passaic County Afterschool Ambassador

Kaiti Handte
Salem County Afterschool Ambassador


Kathrine Handte - Miss Kaiti to the kids was born and raised in Alloway New Jersey. She resides in Alloway her husband Mike and 2 children 15 year old Tara and 12 year old Mikey. Kaiti graduated from Woodstown High school in 1992 and received a Certificate in Early Childhood Education from Salem Community college in 1993. Kaiti has been working in the Alloway School Age Child Care program for 17½ years. Kaiti is very active in the community and serves as a Member of the Ladies Auxiliary to the Alloway Township Fire Company (also a past President,) is a Member of the Ladies Auxiliary Alloway Memorial VFW Post #8224-Guard, and the "Kitchen Witch" for Buckshorn Sportsmen's Club. Kaiti enjoys being a part of the Alloway Halloween Parade Committee and serving as the Co-Chairperson for the PTA. for 11 years.

Sharon Towler
Union County Afterschool Ambassador


Sharon received her BA degree in English Literature with a concentration in Education from Fairliegh Dickinson University. She then obtained a Masters Degree in Urban Education from William Paterson University. Sharon began teaching 8th grade teacher at St. Mary's elementary school in Newark, NJ. She later worked for Catholic Community Services (CCS) as a case manager and counselor with juveniles in Plainfield and Newark, NJ. In 2007 Sharon began working as the Program Director with Impact21. Impact 21's DASH (Destiny After School Haven) is an after-school program at her church, Agape Family Worship Center. DASH has served over 100 children who are engaged in academic achievement, Character Education, Theatrical Arts and a number of family workshops and trainings. Her love for encouraging and equipping children with self-esteem and motivation to succeed has always been her primary goal as an educator. Sharon believes that afterschool should be an extension of every Childs regular school day.

NJSACC Afterschool
Ambassadors Emeritus

Rosalind Norrell-NanceAtlantic
Paul CaseyBergen
Sebastian RodriguezBergen
Martha LawlessBurlington
Lorin PowellCamden
Cynthia AngeloCumberland
Hazel DlugosEssex
Dorine FrancisEssex
Piedad VasquezEssex
Denise BernheimGloucester
Aurora PipelingHunterdon
Tina BlackledgeMercer
Melissa ConklinMercer
Dawn Rannie-WhiteMiddlesex
Antonio ArenasMorris
Terrance ReaganOcean
Robert FosterPassaic
Terrence LovePassaic
Quanae Palmer Chambliss    Somerset
Theresa RoessnerSomerset
Jason KoluckiWarren


April 14, 2014
Join Us Thu 5/22/14 for the Next Public School OST Roundtable
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April 9, 2014
Join this Webinar on Fri 4/17/14 – Afterschool & The Next Generation Science Standards: Where to start?
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April 8, 2014
April Rains Down with Sensational STEM News at Girls STEM Collaborative (GSGSC)
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