High Road School of Harford County
High Road School of Harford County is a non-public, special education facility, certified by Maryland State Department of Education. Located in Belcamp, MD, High Road School serves students with disabilities and IEPs from Harford and neighboring counties. Our school wide behavior management system and individualized academic model allows us to meet students’ needs in a variety of ways. Furthermore, our social workers conduct weekly individual and group therapy sessions to meet our students’ social/emotional behavioral needs, while Transition Services staff help students to prepare for life after high school. With this multi-disciplinary, team approach, we feel that we can meet any student’s needs no matter challenges they may face.
- (P) 410.272.1123
- (F) 410.272.1124
- 1250 Brass Mill Rd., Suite C
Belcamp, MD 21017
Meet The Team
Ben Colpitts – Program Director
Program Director – Ben Colpitts, M.A.T., is a certified special education teacher who holds a master’s degree in teaching from Goucher College. He also earned his BA in Communications from Goucher College. Ben joined the High Road School of Baltimore County in 2007 as an assistant teacher before becoming a teacher and later the transition coordinator at the same location. In 2011, Ben transferred to the High Road School of Perryville in Cecil County to become head teacher and later, associate director. After moving the school to Belcamp, Ben became the Program Director at the High Road School of Harford County. Prior to joining the Catapult team, Ben was involved in after school programs with the YMCA and worked at summer camps while growing up in Connecticut. He believes that he and his staff can continue to change lives by believing in their students’ abilities, building their confidence and inspiring them to achieve their goals. He sets out to accomplish this by using an interdisciplinary team approach and places a high value on building strong relationships with the parents/guardians and families of the students at High Road School of Harford County. Ben loves coming to work every day because the rewards always outweigh the challenges. He has a wife and 3 children to keep him busy at home and is a disc golfer in his spare time.
Kelly Martin – Associate Director
Melanie Tserkis – Administrative Assistant
Melanie Tserkis is the administrative assistant for the High Road School of Harford County, in her 14th school year with the company. She has many responsibilities around the school that include events committee chair, coordinate transportation, maintaining student files, as well as other duties that help our region. She also enjoys helping new programs open and visiting schools that may need her help. Although there are many reasons that why she loves her job here, the most fulfilling and rewarding is changing the life of a student/child. Seeing their progression of moving up a grade level in reading or math or something as simple as mastering an IEP goal.
Andrew Burlin – Teacher
Andrew Burlin is a Special Education Teacher who is pursuing his master’s in special education. He graduated from Towson University with a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Media and Film in May 2016. Andrew’s passion for education began in middle school when he started working as an Assistant Counselor at a summer camp. He went on to become a Counselor and eventually the Assistant Director during his college years. When he graduated from college, Andrew began working as a one-to-one Health Technician for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He worked a second job as a Paraprofessional Educator at Wood Acres Elementary School. He joined the High Road School of Harford County as a one-to-one Assistant Teacher for the Elementary/Middle School program at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year. Showing his desire to help his student grow academically and emotionally, Andrew made a perfect fit to take over the 10th Grade classroom in October of 2017. Andrew believes that each and every student has the potential for success, and that it is his job to unlock that potential. Accompanied with his patience and passion, Andrew strives to make sure every student’s voice is heard. Andrew is also an avid soccer fan and is often found waking up early on weekends just to watch games.
Tori N. Pennington – Teacher’s Assistant
Tori N. Pennington is a Middle School Special Education Teacher, who graduated from Alderson Broaddus University with a B.A. in Psychology. Tori joined the High Road team in January of the 2017-2018 school year as a one-to-one Assistant Teacher for our High School program. Prior to joining the team, she worked at basketball camps in Harford County as a Coach/Counselor each Summer and was a student-athlete throughout college. Her passion for education stemmed from learning and later, teaching on the basketball court. She believes that with patience, consistency, and effort each student is capable of success. By utilizing our research-based academic and social emotional learning interventions plans to accomplish a variety of each students academic and personal goals. Tori enjoys reading, playing basketball, exercising, and spending time with family and friends in her free time.
Karley Nawrocki– IEP Chair
Karley Nawrocki is a high school teacher, co-teaching with Ms. Brittany and Ms. Kim. This is her first year at High Road School, as she previously taught in the public-school system for 6 years. During that time, Karley taught middle school and elementary school classes. She co-taught in a language arts class as a special educator and was a general education math teacher. Karley earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a Special Education endorsement from Salisbury University and is finishing up her master’s degree in Special Education at Notre Dame University of Maryland. In her free time, Karley enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She especially loves to hang out with her nieces and nephew. She likes to do anything outdoors including sitting on the beach and paddle boarding! Karley is passionate about teaching and is excited to start this new journey with High Road!
Kaitlan Phillips – Social Worker
Kaitlan Phillips is a Licensed Master Social Worker currently preparing for her Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical certification. She received both her BSW and MSW from Salisbury University. After completing her graduate school internship at the High Road School of Cecil County in 2015, Kaitlan returned to the High Road team in 2018 as a Social Worker at the Baltimore location and is now working at both the Harford County and Baltimore County location. Kaitlan seeks to build relationships with staff and students alike to help them be successful in both the school and community setting. Kaitlan loves spending time with her family and friends and is passionate about incorporating essential oils in her daily life.
Laura Johnson – Social Worker
Laura Johnson is a Licensed Master Social Worker, working towards her goal to become a Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical. She received her Bachelor’s in Criminology with an emphasis in Victim Services from California State University of Fresno in California (2017). She completed her MSW from University of Southern California (2018). Laura has experience working in the group home setting throughout California with teen girls with substance use issues, trafficking experience, Complex- PTSD and other emotional issues, as well as working with teen mothers and their children. She briefly interned at a school in CA during her undergrad, which is what steered her towards Social Work and specifically School Social Work. Laura seeks to build a relationship with staff, students and parents to help students be successful in the school setting and out in the community. Laura loves to create group activities and integrate expressive art projects. Laura loves to spend time with her husband and dog, hiking, climbing, running and engaging herself in new crafts.
Deborah Pivec – Speech/Language Pathologist
Deborah Pivec is a certified and licensed Speech/Language Pathologist with 42 years of experience in the profession. Deborah received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech/Language Pathology and Audiology from Loyola College in Maryland and a Master of Science Degree in Speech/Language Pathology from Loyola College. Her MSDE Certification is in Speech Resource with Advanced Professional Credits (Masters + 30). She worked for Baltimore City Public Schools for 35 years. She was a school based SLP for 23 years with the 14 to 21 high school population. Deborah was a District Representative for the Nonpublic Office for 12 years and retired in October 2012. Deborah began her career as a Speech/Language Pathologist for SESI, Inc. in October 2012. She has worked at the High Road School of Cecil County, High Road School of Perryville, New Hope Academy, High Road School of Baltimore County, and High Road School of Anne Arundel County. Currently she is working at the High Road School of Harford County and the High Road School of Anne Arundel County servicing the age 5 through 21 population. Deborah is devoted to improving the communication skills of her students to improve the quality of their lives with their families, friends, and in their communities. She is a resource to the teachers and staff as part of a team working to advance every student in the High Road Schools. She enjoys preparing Professional Development for the staff to enhance their skills and tools in a practical and useful way. Deborah enjoys spending time with her family and her dog, Bailey. She is an avid Ravens fan.
Coleen Peals – Teacher’s Assistant
Mrs. Coleen comes to us from The High Road School of Anne Arundel County. She is entering her 13th year with our company and couldn’t be happier to be here. She will be an assistant to Miss Tori this school year. She has worked under James Young, Danielle Peck, Erin Laughman, Ryan Hax and Claire Young, many that have a regional position in the company now. She always enjoys working with her students one on one to ensure maximum learning. Outside of work, she enjoys travel, family and friends.
Exzavier Cooper – Teacher’s Assistant
Exzavier Cooper is entering his second year with the High Road School of Harford County. Currently, Exzaier is co-teaching in the Elementary/Middle classroom. This year Exzavier has taken the role of school coach and looks forward to coaching our school’s sports teams. Exzavier Cooper attended Alderson Broaddus University where he was a member of the Basketball Team. Before joining the team at High Road Exzavier was a Camp Counselor and Coach at the John Carrol Intensity Basketball Camp and a Recreation Leader at the Hill Top Boys and Girls Club. Currently Exzavier is a coach for the Perryville Panther Varsity Basketball team. With his experience working in these programs, he takes pride in his ability to engage and encourage students whether it be in the classroom, or through sports. Exzavier enjoys playing basketball, spending time with family especially his nephew. He looks forward to overcoming new challenges each school year.
Nacier Roundtree – Teacher’s Assistant
Nacier Roundtree is a teacher’s assistant in the elementary school classroom with Ms. Codee. Nacier recently started at our school as an intern from Harford Community College, shortly after he completed his internship he joined our team in December of 2019. Nacier is expected to graduate from Harford County Community college, earning a Associates of Art degree in Elementary Education/Special Education in 2020. Nacier plans to attend Towson University to earn his Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Special Education. His main goal is to be able to educate the youth whose everyday challenges require them to work harder on behaviors and academics. Nacier enjoys detailing vehicles on his days off and just hanging with friends and family.
Gayle Dixon – Teacher
Jeroen Earl – Teacher’s Assistant
Jeremy Canger – Teacher’s Assistant
Lisbeth Aviles – Teacher’s Assistant
Lucy Doyle – Art Teacher
Kim McVean – Physical Education Teacher
Melissa Mallory – Transition Coordinator
Lori Channell – Teacher
Students are referred by their school district to attend High Road School and are generally in grades 1–12 (aged 6 to 21).They face disabilities in a variety of areas, including Emotional Disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disability, Learning Disability, Other Health Impairment, and more.
We are proud to employ certified special education teachers, staff trained in crisis intervention, school social workers, speech/language pathologist, occupational therapist, and a school psychiatrist.
- To provide each student with the academic and social skills necessary to be successful at school, at home, and in the community
- To prepare students to return to a less restrictive setting
- To prepare students for Maryland State testing programs
- To provide students with a consistent and structured environment designed to prevent regression and produce both academic and behavioral gains
- To provide students with an array of cultural and recreational experiences
Utilizing four specific instructional rotations, students are assessed academically, gain self-regulation skills, learn with district-aligned academic curriculums, and utilize integrated technology.
All of the programming that is designed to transition the student from school to work emphasizes preparation for productive employment after graduation. To make this employment as successful and fulfilling as possible, we help the student explore his or her interests and then build upon natural talents in choosing possible career paths. As students mature, we encourage them to gradually become more self-reliant. Our Transition Services staff aids in this process by giving the students just the right amount of independence and interaction with the wider community, while still providing the supports necessary for the students to feel secure and confident.
Our School-to-Work Program offers students the opportunity to participate in true-to-life jobs within the school setting. The end goal of the program is to develop the students’ employment skills and social skills in order to maximize their potential for success in the real world. As such, students seek to obtain jobs by first filling out an application and interviewing for the position they are interested in, as they would in real life. Once the student obtains a suitable position at school, they are held accountable for their attendance and performance, so we work with them on such aspects of employment as punctuality, responsibility, and working independently. Many of the jobs the students procure involve our student-run, on-the-premises retail business. Students participating in the School-to-Work Program are trained to operate many of the state-of the-art machines that make customized products for sale through this retail business.
The High Road School affords students the opportunity to take their learning outside of the classroom and transfer it into the community. We work with our students to practice the proficiencies they have mastered in the School-to-Work Program, and then, when a student is ready, a job coach accompanies them to volunteer or paid job sites out in the community. We partner with a wide array of local-area businesses (including restaurants, hospitals, preschools, and retail shops) to expose the students to real-life work experience and social interactions. In this way, students can explore numerous career avenues and gain valuable work experience to list on their résumés.
Upcoming Events & Resources
High Road School of Harford County
2022-2023 Campus Winner
High Road School of Harford County
2022-2023 Campus Winner