Meet our Staff: The Therapy Department at Pioneer Central School consists of District and CABOCES staff.
Lori Walczyk, OTR/L Lori graduated from the University of Buffalo in May of 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from the University at Buffalo. She is registered through The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy and licensed by the New York State Education Department. She started working in the field of Occupational Therapy as an Occupational Therapy Assistant in 1991. Lori's background experience includes vocational work experience at the Center for Assistive Technology including the EXPLORE Program working with individuals with a variety of disabilities and exploring assistive technology for computer access, environmental controls, and at the Wheelchair and Seating Clinic at the University at Buffalo. Lori also worked at Springville Preschool Learning Center, Aspire Children's Center, then at Suburban Adult Services while also providing Early Intervention Services. Lori accepted her position as an Occupational Therapist within the Pioneer Central School District in 2005. She works across the Pioneer School District with students from preschool through age 21 and feels very fortunate to work with such caring wonderful staff and students. Her office is currently located in the High School. Lori is married and has 3 sons, Christopher who is married and has 2 sons. Chris works for Walgreen’s as a manager and his wife Sarah is a teacher and they own the Colden Ski Rental. Kevin is also married and is an engineer for Moog. Both of their families reside in Colden, N.Y. Justin is a Special Education Teacher who lives in Hawaii and loves teaching children, aquaponics, robotics and being a photographer. Lori lives in Rushford and loves spending time with her family and friends boating, paddle boarding and gardening. Lori also loves working with her husband and members of the Rushford Conservation Club and many volunteers to promote and support several Children’s Outdoors Events throughout the year that includes students with special needs from Pioneer Central School, Fillmore and Cuba Rushford Schools with their families.
Michelle Breen OTR/L Michelle graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 1995 with a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and Secondary Concentration in Philosophy and a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy at Utica College of Syracuse University in 1997. She worked as a Psychiatric Assistant at St. Luke’s Hospital in Utica and as an OT at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo and Visiting Nursing Association, but her primary focus has always been school-based. Michelle served preschool and school-age children with special needs for 14 years at Heritage Education Program, worked as a community- and home-based Early Intervention and Preschool OT at Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center for 6 years, Adjunct Professor at Erie Community College’s Occupational Therapy Assistant program for 5 years and Guest Lecturer for elementary and special education classes at Canisius College. She is registered through The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy and licensed by the New York State Education Department. She is from Binghamton but has lived in WNY since 1997. She is married to Tim Breen, a school counselor at PHS, and has two children, Jack and Abby. In her spare time, she loves attending her children’s sporting events, volunteering at school, church & Children's Hospital and spending time with family and friends. Michelle is honored to work with the outstanding staff and students at Pioneer Middle School!
Rachel Eising, MS, OTR/L Rachel is a graduate of the University at Buffalo where she completed her combined Bachelor of Science in occupational science/Master of Science in occupational therapy in May of 2010. Upon graduation, she worked in an agency based school program with students preschool aged through 21 with a variety of developmental disabilities. Rachel worked with this agency for five years before accepting her position as an Occupational Therapist within the Pioneer Central School District in 2015. She is currently registered through NBCOT and licensed by the New York State Education Department. She feels blessed to have the opportunity to work with such great people and to be able to work in a field that she loves. Rachel currently lives in Depew with her husband, daughter and their dog. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, volunteering, crafting, and participating in mission trips to Haiti with her church. Her office is currently located in Arcade Elementary.
Carley Miller, MS, OTR/L Carley is a graduate of Keuka college with a Bachelors of Science Degree (2013) and a Masters Degree (2014) in Occupational Therapy. She is a Nationally Board Certified Occupational Therapist as well as licensed to practice within the State of New York. She has worked both in the school based pediatric setting and with the geriatric population , ultimately finding out that the school based setting is where she thrives. Previously, she has been contracted within Buffalo Public Schools as well as BOCES ,working with students with various disabilities; preschool aged through age 21. She continues to be an evaluator in skilled nursing facilities within her community, and appreciates that population greatly. Born and raised in East Concord , on her family's dairy farm, she continues to takes great pride in small town values and experiential learning; something that attracted her to Pioneer. She is very passionate about the outdoors and photography. Carley can be located at Delevan Elementary. Carley is very excited to continue her Occupational Therapy career with Pioneer Central Schools ! She can be located at Delevan Elementary.
Melissa Rhodus, OTR/L Melissa graduated from Keuka College in May of 2000. She holds a degree as a Registered Occupational Therapist through NBCOT and is Licensed through the New York State Department of Education. She has been working in the field of Occupational Therapy since she graduated in 2000 and has maintained her practice in pediatrics. She began her career working at the Springville Preschool Learning Center and then moved on to Franziska Racker Center in Cortland, Children's Hospital of Buffalo at The Robert Warner Rehabilitation Center, Cantalician Center in Amherst, and Tender Loving Care in Buffalo. She has been with Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES since 2006 and is thrilled to be working in the Pioneer District where she resides with her husband and 2 boys. Melissa's office is located in the Arcade Elementary School.
Connie Roll, COTA/L Connie is a graduate of Pioneer Central School class of 1978 and resides in the Pioneer district with her husband Peter. She has twin sons and 1 step daughter. Adam is a Kindergarten teacher at the Fillmore Central School and resides in Fillmore with his wife, Emma and their 3 children (baby boy to arrive in October of 2018). Andy received his Masters’ Degree in Sports Administration from Canisuis and works in College Athletics at Francis Marion University, Florence, South Carolina. Katie is employed with Lane Bryant and is the assistant manager at the Orchard Park location. Connie graduated from SUNY Genesee Community College in May of 1998 and holds a degree as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant through the New York State Department of Education and NBCOT. Connie began her career with BOCES and worked primarily in the Alleghany county area until September of 2004 when she was hired by Pioneer to work specifically with Autistic children at that time. Her background experience includes CABOCES, Springville Preschool Learning Center and Pioneer Central School. Connie's office is located in the Arcade Elementary Building.
Donna Damude, OTA Donna graduated from SUNY Erie Community College in May 1982. She holds a degree as an Occupational Therapy Assistant through the New York State Department of Education. She has been working in the field of Occupational Therapy since she graduated in 1982. Her background experience includes working at Morton Plant Hospital (Florida) 5 years specializing in Adult and Child Mental Health, Hamburg Health Care, CABOCES (currently servicing Pioneer Central School). Donna's office is located in the High School and Delevan Elementary Schools. Donna has been working at the Pioneer Central School District since 1987.
Heather Holland, LPT Heather graduated from Ithaca College in August of 1996 and holds a Degree in Physical Therapy through the New York State Department of Education. She also graduated from New York State Institute of Massage Therapy. Heather has been working in the field of Physical Therapy since 1996. Her background experience includes CHC Learning Center, CABOCES and currently Pioneer Central School.
Beth Scheffler, LPT Beth graduated from the University of Buffalo in 1989, licensed in Aug 1989. "I began my career in a Grand Island private practice for 2 years with concentrations in orthopedics, aquatics and pediatrics. I then moved into home care therapies in Buffalo and surrounding towns. During that time I also contracted with many school based programs filling in as needed and providing coverage to UCPA. For the next 10 years, I returned to private practice within the outpatient orthopedic setting. Currently, I have been working with CABOCES since 2007 providing school based services in the Pioneer and West Valley districts."
Claire Slavinski PT, DPT, MTC Claire graduated from Daemen College in 1996 with a BS in Physical Therapy, she completed her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2010 from St. Augustine University, as well as her Manual Therapy Certification in 2011. "I have been working as a PT for over 22 years. My career started in Springville NY working with a variety of inpatient & outpatient orthopedic and neurological conditions, I worked in nursing homes and provided home care PT services during this time as well. The last 12 years I worked in an outpatient orthopedic clinic in Olean NY. I joined the CABOCES team in the fall of 2017, providing school based services in the Pioneer, West Valley & Olean City Districts."