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.
Sarah Cruz, Director of Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO)
Sarah has been working with children and for organizations serving children and families since 1996. Currently, she is the Director of Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) for NJSACC.
Previously, Sarah was the Director of the Hanover Township School- Age Child Care Program (HTSACC), a program operated in a NJ Public School system. At HTSACC, Sarah facilitated the National Afterschool Association Accreditation of 3 public schools before and afterschool programs.
Sarah is a prolific trainer. Nationally, she serves as a National Association for Elementary School Principals (NAESP) Facilitator for the workshop "Aligning the Learning Day, Collaborating Strategies for Principals and Afterschool Program Leaders."
Sarah is a National Afterschool Matters Initiative Practitioner Fellow and In 2001, Sarah wrote 'Fantastic Finales,' a compilation of activities for school age children. She attended Douglass College at Rutgers University and graduated with a BA in Urban Planning and a certificate in Professional Youth Work.
Sarah coordinates the activities of the NJSACC Afterschool Ambassadors, the NJSACC Afterschool CARES, Supporting Student Success and the PSEG Energizing Afterschool Partnership.
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.
Emily Kilroy, Director of Special Projects
Emily works with NJSACC on a range of projects, including mapping, resource development, and creating systems to support and promote healthy, local afterschool and summer meal programs in low-income communities. Emily recently earned her Master's of Urban & Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia and focused on building farm-to-fork connections. Prior to that, she worked on integrating sustainability principles into consumer products at McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry. Emily earned her B.A. in International Development from American University.
Mike MacEwan, Director of 21st CCLC and STEM Initiatives
Mike MacEwan graduated from Stockton College in Pomona, NJ. He is a former wildlife biologist and science teacher who has worked to educate youth since 1998. He has extensive experience working with after school programs and extra-curricular 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 promotes the importance of learning science, technology and math, as well as peer leadership and mentoring to all age groups.
Mike has worked primarily with students in New Jersey Abbott districts including Camden, Elizabeth and Perth Amboy. He has been serving the Perth Amboy community as the director of the Jewish Renaissance Foundation’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers since 2007.
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.
Lisa West, Communications Coordinator
Lisa supports the entire organization with her writing and design expertise and is responsible for our Afterschool FLASH emails, NJ Afterschool Action newsletter, as well as other social and print media. She originally joined NJSACC as an Americorps VISTA worker and during her year of service, she worked with afterschool and summer programs throughout the state to increase participation and raise awareness of child nutrition programs available to low-income communities. Prior to her VISTA year of service, she worked in an afterschool program through the Connection for Women and Families in Summit, NJ. Lisa earned her bachelor’s from Colorado College in Anthropology and has also earned a degree in design from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Lisa currently lives in Berkeley Heights with her husband and their chocolate lab.