Meet the Staff
Diane Genco, Executive Director
Diane has led numerous programs for families for over 30 years, from teaching programs for two-year olds to day care programs for senior citizens. Diane is also an associate for the National Institute on Out-of-School Time at Wellesley College, where she has trained school administrators and afterschool professionals in 42 states. She serves on the Policy Board of the NJ Professional Development Center for Early Care and Education, and the NJ Advisory Board for No Child Left Behind. She has also served on the Board of Directors for the National School-Age Care Alliance and was a member of its Board of Advisors. A native of Buffalo, New York, she received a BS in Human Development, Family and Community Relations from the State University College at Buffalo and a Masters Degree in Education and Child Care Administration from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
|2013||NJ's Annual Aletha R. Wright Award for Excellence in Early Care & Education|
|2009||NJ Audubon's Patricia F. Kane Excellence in Environmental Education|
|1998||Plainfield, NJ YMCA / Outstanding Service Award|
|1992||Dr. John E. Radig Memorial Award/ NJ State-wide Achievement Award for Afterschool Leadership|
Stacy Dixon, Conference Coordinator
Stacy has been involved in child care for over 17 years. As conference coordinator for NJSACC, she is directly responsible for designing the conference, recruiting presenters and coordinating workshops as well as input in the conference brochure. Additionally, Stacy coordinates NJSACC's Membership Newsletter.
Stacys experience ranges from family child care to Director of YMCA School-Age programs at the Westfield YMCA. Stacy has a BA in Early Childhood Education from Kean University in Union, NJ. She currently resides in North Plainfield with her husband and four daughters.
Jessica Heiberg, Director of Program Services
Jessica designs and disseminates technical assistance to after school programs throughout the state. Trained as a Quality Advisor for the National Institute on Out-Of-School time, Jessica is proficient in the use of the ASQ (Assessing School-Age Quality) tool. Jessica represents NJSACC on the NJ Anti-Bullying Coalition and NJ Coalition for Kids in Grief. She has spent her career working with children - she has taught 3 year olds, as well as directed an afterschool program and a summer camp. A native of Westfield, New Jersey, she earned her BA in Women's Studies from Douglass College at Rutgers University.
Mike MacEwan, Director of 21st CCLC and STEM Initiatives
Mike MacEwan graduated from Stockton College (Pomona, NJ) with a BS in Environmental Science and from Thomas Edison State College (Trenton, NJ) with a MSM in Organizational Leadership. He is a former wildlife biologist and science teacher that has worked to educate youth since 1998. He officially transitioned into informal education in 2002, and has since served in many roles, most recently as a federally funded afterschool program director for four years before accepting his current position at NJSACC: The Network for NJ’s Afterschool Communities.
He has extensive experience working with afterschool programs and Out-of-School Time activities. Mike has worked with children in all age groups from elementary, middle and high school, as well as college students and out of school youth. He now provides technical assistance and professional development to the fifty-two 21st Century Community Learning Centers programs in many of New Jersey’s highest need communities and to Out-of-School Time providers throughout the state.
Mike works with formal and informal educators to increase the number and quality of high quality academic enrichment opportunities for youth. He uses STEM based learning as a tool to help educators provide youth with relevant experiences and learning context that are relatable to their daily lives, to help make education accessible and enjoyable.
Lee McDermott Schaefer, Policy Director
Lee coordinates NJSACC's efforts to build public, private and political support for afterschool. Previously, she served as the Operations Director of the League of Young Voters, a national youth civic engagement organization, where she was responsible for the organization's finances, human resources, and organizational development. She also worked for the Open Society Institute’s Youth Initiatives program, where she managed grants in the areas of youth media, urban debate and school reform. She studied Economics at New York University and Nonprofit Management at the New School. After several years in Brooklyn, she once again lives in Westfield with her husband and two beautiful daughters.
Adam Cruz, Communications Coordinator
Adam Cruz is NJSACC's Communications Coordinator and a social networking guru for many creative professionals around the world including small business owners, artists, and musicians. In addition, Adam has facilitated various DJ and music workshops to school age children during New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s (NJPAC) annual "Young Writers' Workshop," a specialized residency program for up to five after-school agencies that teaches students the importance of literacy through writing and creative expressions. Adam earned his BA in Creative Arts & Technology - Music Technology from Bloomfield College in Bloomfield, NJ. He currently resides in Bloomfield, NJ with his wife and their three beautiful children, two daughters and a son.
Ashley Hynes, Child Nutrition Awareness Intern
Ashley Hynes is a student in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS) located at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. She is working towards her Bachelors of Science Degree in Nutritional Sciences with a Minor in Professional Outreach and Development and a Certificate in Child Nutrition. Ashley has made Dean’s List for the SEBS program where she is recognized for her superior academic achievements. Ashley works with the Nutrition Preschool teaching the children positive eating behaviors and the importance of nutrition on Cook/Douglass Campus at Rutgers. Currently, Ashley is a Nanny as her part-time job. After graduating, Ashley hopes to continue working with and educating children and parents on the importance of a well-balanced nutritional diet, healthy food choices, and positive eating behaviors.
Ebony D. Grace, Director of Expanded Learning Opportunities
Prior to joining NJSACC, since 2004, Ebony worked for the New Jersey Department of Education responsible for providing programmatic and budgetary oversight and technical assistance for 21st Century Community Learning Centers and Even Start Family Literacy program grants, helping to implement quality out-of-school time programs for New Jersey residents ages birth through adulthood.
For over ten years, Ebony worked at various colleges and universities in Philadelphia, PA and New Jersey for the Upward Bound program assisting first-generation students with college and career counseling, advisement and programming in their goals to graduate high school and obtain post secondary education.
Ebony graduated with a Bachelor's of Arts degree in psychology from Temple University and a Master’s degree in Family Therapy from MCP Hahnemann/Drexel University. She has also spent many years as a practicing family therapist providing therapeutic services to individuals, families, couples and adolescents.
Currently, Ebony is pursuing a diploma in Baking and Pastry at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. Ebony and her husband live in southern New Jersey with their two dogs and two tortoises.