Diane Genco, Executive Director
Diane Genco is NJSACC’s Executive Director. Diane has led numerous programs for families for over 40 years, from summer programs for migrant farm workers to day care programs for senior citizens (now she is one!) Diane was 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 currently serves on the Board for Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey. On the national level, she serves on the TWG of the National Center on Afterschool and Summer Enrichment.
She is committed to connecting youth to nature, is an avid gardener, raises Monarch butterflies and is a grandmother to 5 children.
|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|
Nazirah Abdullah, Quality Coach, Southern Region
Nazirah Abdullah is NJSACC’s Quality Coach, Southern Region and joined the NJSACC Quality Team in the fall of 2019. She brings a wealth of experience in the childcare field. Formally the owner of her own daycare center, Nazirah has held positions in school age care ranging from lead teacher to program director, and has worked extensively with children from 6 months old through middle school age. Most recently, Nazirah worked as programs director for the Boys & Girls Club of Mercer County, primarily leading the Boys & Girls Clubhouse serving children from various public and charter schools in the Trenton area. Nazirah brings a wealth of experience in working closely with families and staff, and particularly enjoys quality enhancement through training and building strong relationships. Nazirah currently resides in her hometown of Trenton, New Jersey with her only son, who is currently in college studying forensic science.
Adam Cruz, Digital Technology Director
Adam Cruz is NJSACC’s Digital Technology Director. He is a certified Adobe Captivate Specialist, a published author and a social networking/digital badges guru. For many creative professionals around the world, Adam has become their “go to” guy, building social media awareness for small business owners, artists, and educators. In addition, Adam has facilitated various career and music related workshops to school age children throughout the state, teaching the importance of literacy, passion and drive.
In 2018, he published a music business-related book, entitled “Free the Music Business: Tips & Tales from an Indie Music Nerd,” about his experience running a disco label at the turn of the millennium.
In 2019, the Newark Arts council selected Adam as one of their ArtStart 2019 grantees, issuing a mini-grant to adapt his book into a one-day music business conference for artists and creatives to network and engage in such topics as: artist health & wellness, financial literacy, current music business matters and more.
The Mixtape Sessions Music Conference was held at the Newark Public Library on Thursday, August 1, 2019. Evaluation and assessment tools were provided by NJSACC.
Adam earned his BA in Creative Arts & Technology (specializing in Music Technology) from Bloomfield College. He currently resides in Bloomfield, NJ with his wife and their three beautiful children.
Tyneisha Gibbs, Director of Expanded Learning Opportunities
Tyneisha K. Gibbs is NJSACC’s Director of Expanded Learning Opportunities. In this role, she provides training and technical assistance for NJDOE’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers.
She earned her BA in Psychology with a double minor in Social Work and Multicultural Studies from Rider University, a Certificate in Non Profit Management from The College of New Jersey and a certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility from Rutgers Business School – Institute of Ethical Leadership. Tyneisha is also a graduate of the Rutgers Business School- Institute of Ethical Leadership’s Victoria Emerging Leaders Program. She believes learning is a lifelong process and is dedicated to expanding learning opportunities for others.
With over ten years of Youth Development, Management and Supervision experience, she believes, “Unorthodox methods of Education can break generational cycles of mental enslavement.” Her life’s passion is dedicated to uplifting our communities through education and access to resources.
In 2019, The Riley Institute selected Tyneisha to participate in the White-Riley-Peterson (WRP) Policy Fellowship. A partnership with the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the WRP Fellowship is a 10-month, national program designed to equip graduates with a real-world understanding of policy-making for afterschool and expanded learning.
She was born in Newark, NJ and raised in the Jersey shore town of Neptune, NJ. She began her career as a teacher during the day and a Director at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Mercer County. In addition to being passionate about her career, she is a phenomenal wife and an amazing mother to her daughter.
Ebony D. Grace, Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Ebony D. Grace is NJSACC’s Chief Operating Officer (COO). Prior to joining NJSACC, 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 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 also has experience as a practicing family therapist providing therapeutic services to individuals, families, couples and adolescents.
In 2015, The Riley Institute at Furman University, selected Ebony to participate in the White-Riley-Peterson (WRP) Policy Fellowship. A partnership with the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the WRP Fellowship is a 10-month, national program designed to equip graduates with a real-world understanding of policy-making for afterschool and expanded learning.
In 2019, The National Afterschool Association (NAA) welcomed Ebony as one of two newly elected Board of Directors members. She began to serve her three-year term in July 2019.
Ebony also has a diploma in Baking and Pastry from the Art Institute of Philadelphia. She and her husband live in southern New Jersey with their dog and tortoise.
Jessica Heiberg, Director of Program Services
Jessica Heiberg is NJSACC’s Director of Program Services. She organizes trainings, provides technical assistance to afterschool programs throughout the state, and coordinates NJSACC’s annual afterschool conference. She has spent her career working with children. Prior to joining NJSACC Jessica worked in a child care center before becoming a site coordinator for 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. She lives in Fanwood with her husband and three children.
Tania Lazar, Quality Coach, Central Region
Tania is the Quality Coach for NJSACC’s Quality Coaching initiative assigned to the central region. She is passionate in making a difference through education. Tania served as an AmeriCrops member assigned to coordinate a Family Friendly Center/America Reads afterschool program in Paterson, NJ. After her term of service, Tania built a career focused on grant administration, evaluation, curriculum development and program design. She held positions as a Program Officer with New Jersey After 3, a 5th grade teacher, and an arts grant administrator.
Prior to joining NJSACC in the summer of 2019, she spent six years creating and presenting face-to-face and online professional development sessions for out-of-school time educators at Foundations, Inc. where she also served as a Training Specialist and Coach for U.S. Department of Education’s You for Youth (Y4Y) project.
A native of Astoria, Queens Tania crossed the Hudson to earn a Bachelor’s from Rutgers University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Monmouth University. She now resides in Central New Jersey with her husband and two children.
Lee McDermott Schaefer, Policy Director
Lee McDermott Schaefer is NJSACC’s Policy Director. She 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 her hometown of Westfield with her husband and three beautiful children and is a proud Girl Scout troop leader.
Dagmar Wojcik, Director of Quality Initiatives
Dagmar Wojcik is NJSACC’s Director of Quality Initiatives. A lifelong learner, she enjoys sharing both what she’s learned and new experiences with kids of all ages and youth services providers. A former youth, teen, family, summer camp, and international programs director for the YMCA, Dagmar spent several years being mostly mom to two beautiful daughters and working/volunteering as a sports and recreation coordinator/instructor/coach, state park educator; and trainer/consultant to youth services providers. Dagmar has been a consultant and trainer with NJSACC since 1999 and has a full toolkit of workshops she leads throughout the state on topics including team building, games, sports, summer programming, positive behavior, conflict resolution, STEM, and many more. Dagmar loves reading and spending time outdoors hiking, biking, skiing, kayaking, exploring, camping, and beekeeping. Dagmar lives in picturesque Sussex County NJ, and is delighted to have joined the NJSACC team full time in the summer of 2019.