Who We Are

Dr. Stephen Baranski — Director of Education

Steve’s Special Education and Music experience includes university level positions and work with students from age Pre-K to age 21. Steve began his career with the New York City Department of Education where he taught for 7 years. Following his work in New York, he worked in the Westport Public Schools for 23 years and taught in the Hamden Public Schools. In addition to teaching in the Special Education field, his music groups performed at the prestigious Connecticut Music Educators Association conference and received ratings of Superior at national and local adjudications and festivals. Steve completed his Administration Certification at Southern Connecticut State University and presented at several well known conferences. For his development and application of technology-based innovation in learning, Steve was awarded the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium’s Teacher Innovation Award. In his spare time, he has served as a pianist on Broadway for Phantom of the Opera and off-Broadway for the Sullivan Street production of The Fantasticks. Steve earned his Ph.D. from New York University and holds a M.M. from the Manhattan School of Music.


Amanda Urbina — Office Manager

Amanda joined Woodhouse Academy in November 2022 as an Office Manager/HR Coordinator. She holds a Master’s Degrees in Business Administration and Human Resource Management from Keller School of Management at DeVry University. Prior to Woodhouse she recently worked as a medical secretary for an orthopedic company and an activities coordinator for dementia patients at a senior living center. She has also worked for Walt Disney World and Universal Studio Florida as a ride attendant and trainer. Her favorite rides to work were Journey Into Imagination with Figment and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. In her free time, she travels with her son and their team (Boo’s Clues) and embarks on paranormal tours and ghost hunts across the United States.


Stephanie Warner — School Social Worker

Stephanie joined the Woodhouse team as a school social worker after her extensive work with individuals on the Autism Spectrum. She holds a masters degree in social work from Fordham University (LMSW) and is a certified school social worker in CT. Prior to working at Woodhouse, Stephanie’s experience includes working in a residential program for individuals with developmental disabilities, at a transitional treatment program for dually diagnosed adults along with chronic homelessness, and as an ABA therapist in an early intensive behavioral intervention program. Stephanie’s passion and positive attitude has made her a natural fit in our program.


Erica Vaz — School Social Worker

Erica is an outgoing and compassionate social worker. She has extensive experience in providing therapeutic services to children and families in clinical, in-home, and school settings. Erica has experience in assisting students in planning their academic achievements, along with addressing their mental health needs. She has worked with children/young adults that display aggressive behaviors, have mental health, and have specific neurological/developmental disorders. Erica holds a masters degree in social work from the University of Saint Joseph (MSW) and is a certified school social worker in CT. Erica’s enthusiasm and optimistic attitude has made her a natural fit to the Woodhouse community.


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