Willie Ross School Names Erica Kaftan to Assistant Director Role

LONGMEADOW — Erika Kaftan has been appointed assistant director of Educational Services at the Willie Ross School for the Deaf. She replaces Linda Carfora, who is retiring after more than 20 years at Willie Ross.

Kaftan will oversee the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System Alternate Assessment (MCAS-Alt) portfolios and the School to Work program. She also will assist in supervising and evaluating staff, hiring new staff, and reviewing and approving quarterly progress reports.

Prior to joining Willie Ross last month, Kaftan was the individualized education plan (IEP) coordinator at the EDCO Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Newton. She also worked as a teacher for the deaf at the high-school level at EDCO.

Kaftan began her career as a paraprofessional and substitute teacher for elementary-school students at a charter school in California. She received her bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from California State University, Northridge, with a focus in American Sign Language, and went on to earn two master of education degrees, from Boston University in deaf education and from Endicott College in organizational management.

The Willie Ross School for the Deaf provides a comprehensive educational program stressing academic excellence that focuses on the development of students’ intellectual, social, and emotional growth from the early childhood level through high school. Willie Ross serves students at its main campus in Longmeadow and at its partnership campus located in the East Longmeadow public schools. Mainstreaming opportunities are provided at the partnership campus.

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