Melissa Heifetz, Interim Executive Director, ext. 206
Melissa Heifetz received her undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland, College Park. She received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law, where she graduated magna cum laude. After graduation, she worked as a Staff Attorney in New York City’s Legal Aid Society, Juvenile Rights Division, where she advocated for children in Bronx Family Court. She later received a fellowship to work in New York University School of Law’s Public Interest Law Center. At Paxton, she works on local and state-wide legislative advocacy issues with Self-Advocates. She also coordinates our Positive Interactions with Law Enforcement Initiative (PILE) and does trainings, advocacy, and outreach on various issues affecting the disability community including: special education, employment, housing, and public benefits. She has served as the Vice Chair of Communication for the Loudoun County Special Education Advisory Committee and sits on the Virginia Ability Alliance and the Loudoun County Juvenile Justice Committee. She lives in Potomac Falls with her husband and 2 children.
YaTonya Abdullah, Chief Operating Officer, ext 100– YaTonya holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education with a concentration in Emotional Disability/Learning Disability from Hampton University. She has taught in self-contained classrooms for elementary-age students. Upon relocating to New Jersey, she began working with the preschool population, as a liaison between school, families and school districts coordinating special education services for students with disabilities. She essentially obtained her Master’s Degree/P-3 Certification in Early
Childhood Education from New Jersey City University. She comes to Aurora, combining her experiences in Special Education and service coordination for children with disabilities to fulfill the position of Program Support Coordinator. She later took on additional responsibilities as Executive Administrative Assistant. After working in the AWESOMENESS of the Aurora School, YaTonya transition into the position of Chief Operating Officer and now has the great pleasure of working in conjunction with all of the programs on Paxton Campus.
Meredith Lefforge, Director of Development, ext 112— Meredith became the Director of Development at Paxton Campus in March 2014. She received her BA in Public Relations & Communications from the University of Southern California and her MA in Journalism and Public Affairs from The American University. She served on the Board of Directors of Paxton for two years, one year as President of the Board. Prior to joining the Board, Meredith was an active volunteer on the marketing and event committees.
Meredith also volunteered and raised funds for other non-profit organizations in Leesburg before connecting with Paxton. She also has several years’ experience as an event planner, freelance writer and newsletter editor; and has also been a corporate relations manager with a large aerospace firm in Washington, DC. Prior to settling in Leesburg with her family, she was an associate business news producer at CNBC and Fox News Channel in New York City as well as a guest booker at CNN’s Washington, DC Bureau. Since joining Paxton as development director, Meredith has overseen several campus fundraising events and launched new fundraising events and initiatives; and she is now turning her focus to the next capital improvement project at Paxton called the Barns of Paxton; a multi-purpose multi-building complex that creates opportunities for people with disabilities through The Arts, Fitness and Wellness.
Rachel Roseberry, Communications Coordinator, ext 106— Rachel joined the Paxton Campus in March of 2013, coming from The Town of Leesburg’s Parks and Recreation Department. She received her BA in Political Science from George Mason University and her MA in Natural Resource Management from the University of Sussex in England. Rachel is on the Loudoun County Disability Services Board and from there has found a passion in advocating for better public transit services for people with disabilities and our underserved in Loudoun. She now is also a member of the Loudoun County Transit Advisory Board, as a representative from the Disability Services Board.
Matt Smith, Director of Facilities, ext 101
Suzanne Hixon, Human Resources Manager, ext. 202
Suzanne received her B.S. from Texas A&M University. She has worked across the state of Virginia teaching extracurricular education. She has volunteered with the Paxton Campus since 2010 and was hired in the Human Resources Department in 2014.
Jennifer Alves, Receptionist— I am most grateful to have been invited to work at Paxton Campus. The environment is just what I have always sought to help create positive changes in people’s lives. I began counting my blessings the day I was born. Twice as a child I had brain cancer. And then again just after my 30th birthday. The childhood tumor and treatments caused complications in my brain, a visual impairment and a short term memory glitch. Despite the number of difficulties I faced from a very young age, I imagined with faith and high hopes of what I would be when I grew up. Through the hardships of public school, I was fortunate to have my family, teachers, and special education personal who saw in me great potential and the determination to succeed. Currently, I am studying to perfect my writing with intentions of article publications in children literature magazines, and a memoir in three to five years. I enjoy incorporating art into every day, so I create inspiration mixed media canvases to share the message of love, faith and hope. My business name is JazzeJen Designs. To work for Arc of Loudoun at Paxton Campus is a reward to me for never having given up on myself. This is where I’m supposed to be.
Danielle Eagan, Finance Administrative Assistant, ext. 303
Hi! I’m Danielle! I started out as a volunteer for Paxton Campus over 4 years ago and it became my home away from home. I have now been an employee for a year and half, starting in the Open Door Learning Center preschool with billing and administrative duties. My responsibilities have grown to include billing for our Aurora student’s services and providing Rep Payee Services.
On a personal note, I grew up in Bowie, Maryland. I graduated from Towson University with a degree in Psychology. I now reside with my husband Kevin and our two children Jackson (8) and Elly (4) in Leesburg, VA. I’m so proud to be a part of the Paxton Family and I look forward to the growth and possibilities of this Campus!