Meet Our Staff
Steve Gross, M.Ed, Education Director
Steve transitioned into the role of education director in August of 2015. Prior to this, Steve had served as a principal in the Lowell Public School District, as well as an assistant principal in the communities of Monson and West Springfield, Massachusetts.
Steve started his career in education as a middle and high school math teacher.
Steve is a 1992 graduate of Norwich University and received his Master of Education degree from UMass Amherst in 2002.
An avid reader, Steve also enjoys running and volunteering as a youth coach in his community.
Suzanne Emmi, LICSW, Clinical Director
Suzanne has been a clinician at the Solstice Program and therapeutic school for the past 19 years, transitioning to the role of clinical director in 2010. Prior to Solstice, Suzanne was a clinician at the Brighton Center for Children and Families working with latency-aged youth in a residential capacity. She began her career working in outpatient community mental health at Children Friend & Family Service Society before realizing her passion for residential treatment. Suzanne achieved her Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in psychology from Union College in 1991, attained her Master of Social Work in 1994 and her LICSW independent licensure in 1996. Suzanne achieved her certified trauma specialist designation in 2010 and was trained in the SITCAP Model (Structured Sensory Interventions for Traumatized Children, Adolescents and Parents).
Personal interests include singing in a choir, crafts, volunteering, event planning and spending time with her family.
Noah Jorgensen, Special Educator – English Language Arts
Noah has held many roles at Solstice School, starting as the Art Teacher in June, 2009. He has also taught all the various subject areas in grades 5–12 in Brockton, Abington and Brookline, Mass.
Mr. Jorgensen started his career in education as a Peace Corps volunteer in Yemen. Noah is a 1990 graduate of UMass Amherst, and has studied at Lesley University and Endicott College, receiving a certification in moderate disabilities.
Noah also enjoys cooking and hiking.
Lou Fahey-Hudzik, MS OTR/L – Occupational Therapist
Lou has been at the Solstice program since November, 2013. Prior to coming to Solstice, Lou worked as an occupational therapist at the Manville School in Boston. Lou graduated from the Occupational Therapy program at Salem State in 2010 with a master’s degree in Science. She is currently teaching part time at Salem State’s Occupational Therapy program.
In her free time Lou enjoys photography, painting, kayaking, and traveling.
Jana Nadolski, Art Therapist
Jana Nadolski, LMHCATR, graduated from Lesley University in 2011 with a master’s degree in art therapy and mental health counseling. Since 2011, Jana has been in the role of the art therapist at the Solstice Program, and provides group and individual therapy within the school setting, as well as supervises graduate level interns.
In addition to working with us here at Solstice, Jana is also the assistant director of Therapeutic Programming for F-R-E-E, an international NGO that provides experiential workshops andtrainingsfor children and caretakers in orphanages in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Along with her therapeutic experience, Jana coaches high school girls’ soccer and teaches art classes at the Essex Art Center to children and adults.
Eric Werner, History Instructor
Eric joined the Solstice team in the fall of 2013. Eric teaches a variety of subjects under the Social Studies umbrella, such as US History, World History, Civics and Geography. Eric is a 2013 graduate of Salem State University, where he studied both history and education.
John Collins, Behavior Support Specialist
John has served youth and families for over 20 years. He began his career as a residential counselor at Project Rap in Beverly in 1993. Mr. Collins has also served as a supervisor, program manager, and as a therapeutic crisis trainer for 10 years.
Mr. Collins holds an associate degree in Liberal Arts and currently is working toward a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health with an anticipated graduation date of Fall 2016.
Barry Pellatt, Transitional/ Vocational Coordinator
Barry’s role at Solstice has changed over his ten years here, but his experiential style of teaching has been a constant. Barry started working for North Star Adventure back in 2005 facilitating community- based therapeutic adventure programs for special-needs populations.
In 2007 he joined us here at Solstice, where he spent his first two years teaching math and facilitating gym classes. In 2009 Barry moved into his current role as transitional/ vocational coordinator. In this role, he guides students to learn independent life skills and set/explore goals for their futures.
In 2011 Barry had the privilege of working with Project Adventure to design and install the Solstice Challenge Course overlooking Plum Island Sound. Barry received a Bachelor of Science in the field of Kinesiology: Outdoor Education, and an education minor with a focus on special education from the University of New Hampshire.