IFSP Facilitators

IFSP Facilitators Names

Clymer Bardsley, Esquire


Clymer Bardsley, Esquire, President and Founder of The Bardsley Group, has more than 20 years of experience as a lawyer, mediator, trainer and coach. Throughout his career he has helped thousands of individuals to increase their productivity by reducing the conflict in their personal and professional lives. Inspired by assisting people through difficult situations and training them to prevent conflicts from escalating, Clymer established The Bardsley Group in January 2016. Prior to that, Clymer served three prominent conflict resolution organizations: The Good Shepherd Mediation Program in Philadelphia, The Kukin Program for Dispute Resolution at Cardozo School of Law in New York City, and The Moritz College of Law’s Program on Dispute Resolution at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. During this time, he has taught hundreds of people how to skillfully mediate conflicts, and has mediated over 500 disputes for organizations, the courts, communities, and families.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Clymer was a school teacher for eleven years. Recently, he received CLE training in the IDEA for both professional and personal reasons: his stepson has an IEP.

Clymer is the Editor-in-Chief of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Newsletter. He serves as both a mediator and a settlement official for the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and facilitates abuse and neglect matters in Philadelphia Family Court. Clymer is also on the faculty at both Temple University’s School of Education and at the Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution at Columbia University’s Teacher’s College.

Jean Biesecker


Jean M. Biesecker, a solo practitioner, has been a family law attorney for over 25 years, graduating from the T.C. Williams School of Law and obtaining her Master in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University. In addition to representing families in a range of matters related to separation and divorce, Jean has served as an advocate for children, parents and foster parents in the child welfare system. Since 1997, she has incorporated mediation as a key component of services in her family law practice and has been a Mediator for the Montgomery and Chester County court-connected custody mediation programs since May 2002. In addition to her family law mediation practice, Jean has also mediated pre-EEO complaints for the U.S. Postal Service REDRESS Program and has training in elder mediation matters. Jean is also a collaborative family Law attorney and Parent Coordinator, facilitating resolution of parenting disputes as a Parent Coordinator for high conflict families in the Denver District Court from 2000-2001.

As an educator, Jean is a former co-instructor for Denver-based Dispute Resolution Professionals, teaching a court-mandated parenting education class; trainer for Pennsylvania Child Welfare Competency-Based Training and Certification Program as well as the Pennsylvania Council of Children, Youth and Family Services; former adjunct faculty at James Beasley School of Law, co-teaching a clinical custody mediation program. Jean continued to provide supervision for law students in the clinical program from the Fall 2008 through Spring 2011.

Cheryl Cutrona, Esquire


Cheryl Cutrona has been the Executive Director of the Good Shepherd Mediation Program for 20 years. She is a mediator, facilitator, conflict coach, trainer, arbitrator, editor, attorney and adjunct faculty at Temple University Beasley School of Law. She mediates for the Office for Dispute Resolution; the Philadelphia Bar Association Lawyer Fee Disputes panel; the Philadelphia Landlord-Tenant appeals mediation program; and the U.S. Postal Service REDRESS. She arbitrates for the Better Business Bureau, DeMars Associates, and the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Cutrona sits on the SR 160 PA Task Force on Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Committee; the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Council of Mediators; the Board of Directors of the Association for Conflict Resolution Greater Delaware Valley Chapter; and the Editorial Board of Conflict Resolution Quarterly. She is the 2008 recipient of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee “Sir Francis Bacon Dispute Resolution Award” and was named “Most Valuable Peacemaker” by the Pennsylvania Council of Mediators in 2010. Cutrona holds a BA from Michigan State University, a Masters in Library Science from Wayne State University, and a JD from Temple University, Beasley School of Law.

Ellen J. DeBenedetti, M.Ed.


Ellen J. DeBenedetti M.Ed. has been a mediator since 1990. She began her career in mediation at a community mediation center and is now a mediator, trainer and conflict coach in private practice. She also mediates for Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, United States Postal Service, PA Department of Education (Special ODR: 02/17 Education mediations), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Key Bridge Foundation (Department of Justice ADA mediations), Transportation Security Administration, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and US District Court Western Division. From 1997-2010 she was the training coordinator / senior mediator at Dialogue and Resolution Center of CVVC (formerly Pittsburgh Mediation Center), where her primary responsibilities included training in Conflict Management, Mediation, Team Building and Diversity issues, conflict coaching, and mediating some of the more complex and multiparty mediations.

Ellen has been training mediators since 1992. Ellen has taught mediation courses at Duquesne University and California University of PA. She designed and taught the original “Methods of Resolving Conflict Course” for the Duquesne University Sociology Department’s certificate program in Conflict Resolution and Peacemaking. She participated in the Pittsburgh Public Schools mediation training, co-authored the “Keys to Peaceful Conflict Resolution” curriculum and taught that curriculum as a volunteer at East Hills Elementary School. Ellen is on the boards of the Pennsylvania Council of Mediators and The Mediation Council of Western PA. She is certified by the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation to be a mediator. In addition to her career in mediation, Ellen was a special education teacher for 20 years. She views mediation as an opportunity for the people involved to have a constructive conversation and to make decisions about the issues

Barry P. Fell


Barry’s career in special education spans more than 35 years and has been primarily focused upon educational services to the deaf and hard-of-hearing population, infants through adults, and to students who are blind with other severe disabilities. Barry began his career at the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, where he first worked as a dormitory supervisor and later as a vocational counselor, parent/infant administrator, and assistant superintendent.  At the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children, he served in administrative capacities involving personnel, operations, and supervision of student transportation and other related services.  From the University of Pittsburgh, Barry holds a bachelor’s degree, certification in deaf education, and a master’s degree in public administration with a certificate in personnel and labor relations. From Cornell University, Barry holds a certificate in collective bargaining.  Barry received his mediation training from the Good Shepard Mediation Center in Philadelphia.

Thomas J. Frost


Mr. Frost is a special education mediator for the Office of Dispute Resolution. He has been active in the field of special education for over thirty five years. He served as a special education mediator in the state of New Jersey for fifteen years. . He is certified as a special education mediator by the Atlanta Justice Center. He has served as a director of special education in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Mr. Frost holds degrees from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Southern Connecticut University and Rowan University. Mr. Frost recently retired from an intermediate unit where he served as a professional development specialist working with parents and school staff. Mr. Frost facilitated a Local Taskforce on the Right to Education for four years. He also served as a county interagency coordinator bringing together mental health agencies and school districts to support individual student’s education as appropriate and necessary.

Barbara Foxman


Barbara Foxman is a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist and mediator. She specializes in the treatment of children and adolescents with special needs including learning differences, issues of bereavement and loss and the impact on divorce on children and adults. She has worked with schools for educational planning of the children that she sees. Ms. Foxman has also worked as a therapist with children and their families at Southern Home for Children in Philadelphia, The Devereux Foundation and Bryn Mawr Hospital, Youth and Family Psychotherapy Program. Ms. Foxman mediates elder mediation, family, divorce, EEOC matters and mediation in school settings. Ms. Foxman has presented workshops on Values and Ethics for Social Workers ethics in health care, ethical standards for mediators practicing elder mediation, and conflict resolution for addiction counselors. She has been a trainer for Elder Mediation, and use of conflict resolution in health care settings. She has also spoken on areas of loss, bereavement and emotions for court custody mediation programs and in health care settings. Ms. Foxman has a MSW from Wayne State University, and is a Board Certified Diplomat in Social Work.

Lou Ann Gray, M.ED., NCPC


Lou Ann Gray, M.ED., NCPC, is a private practitioner in the areas of mediation, parent coordination and counseling. An adjunct faculty member at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College in the areas of sociology, psychology, human services anthropology and education, Ms. Gray specializes in high conflict mediation. In Pennsylvania, her practice encompasses the counties of Cambria, Bedford, Somerset and Allegheny counties. As a mediator for the United States District Court of Western Pennsylvania, she participates in mediation of civil, domestic relations and education cases. Her mediation training includes basic and advanced sessions in civil, domestic relations, interested-based bargaining and education modules and was completed in the states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Illinois

Ms. Gray completed her master’s degree in Counselor Education from the University of Pittsburgh. She received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Pittsburgh in Psychology. Her professional experience includes; advocacy for children with learning disabilities, 18 years of public education where she served as a Guidance Counselor, LEA and coordinator of MDE and Child Study teams, behavior specialist, and director of one of the first alternative education programs in the state of Pennsylvania.

Currently Ms. Gray is a member of the Association for Conflict Resolution, Pennsylvania Council of Mediators, Mediation Council of Western Pennsylvania, Professional Academy of Custody Evaluators, and Business and Women’s Association, Windber, PA Chapter. She is an expert on the panel of mediators for Center of Resolution, LLC Chicago, IL.

Nancy Geist Giacomini, Ed.D.


Dr. Giacomini is a private educator, mediator and author based in Chester County, PA. Her longtime national advocacy for integrating inclusive conflict management practices in education culminated in her co-edited journal Reframing Campus Conflict: Student Conduct Practice through a Social Justice Lens (Stylus 2009). She has enjoyed national speaking engagements, webinar series, and system review consultations based on the ideas collaboratively advanced in this groundbreaking publication.

Dr. Giacomini returned to the University of Delaware in 2011 as the graduate practicum instructor for Student Affairs Practice in Higher Education (College of Education and Human Development). She is certified to administer the Conflict Dynamics Profile (CDP) and teach Becoming Conflict Competent curriculum developed by Eckerd College and is presently investigating opportunities to develop the instrument and curriculum for undergraduate and graduate coursework. Nancy earned her Doctor of Education Degree from the University of Delaware while a Conflict Resolution Program (CRP) Associate in the Institute for Public Administration. She taught in the master’s program, mediated special education disputes for the Delaware Department of Education, and facilitated statewide dialogue. Doctoral research, “Enhancing the Collaborative Capacity of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) in Delaware Schools”, helped shape state-wide IEP facilitation and training. Nancy holds additional degrees in Counseling and Psychology.

Dr. Giacomini returned to the University of Delaware in 2011 as the graduate practicum instructor for Student Affairs Practice in Higher Education (College of Education and Human Development). She is certified to administer the Conflict Dynamics Profile (CDP) and teach Becoming Conflict Competent curriculum developed by Eckerd College and is presently investigating opportunities to develop the instrument and curriculum for undergraduate and graduate coursework. Nancy earned her Doctor of Education Degree from the University of Delaware while a Conflict Resolution Program (CRP) Associate in the Institute for Public Administration. She taught in the master’s program, mediated special education disputes for the Delaware Department of Education, and facilitated statewide dialogue. Doctoral research, “Enhancing the Collaborative Capacity of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) in Delaware Schools”, helped shape state-wide IEP facilitation and training. Nancy holds additional degrees in Counseling and Psychology.

Dr. Giacomini’s interest in conflict resolution began at the University of Delaware while Assistant Dean of Students for Judicial Affairs. Over a decade of on campus leadership included roles as mediation trainer and advisor to the student government as students worked to develop a town/gown mediation program. She chaired the Appellate Judicial Board, Council for Student Judicial Affairs, and Sexual Assault Awareness Weeks and was awarded the prestigious Institutional Award for Women’s Equity for her campus advocacy. Nancy’s career has bridged conduct and conflict management practice in higher education, special education, K-12, government, business and non-profits. Today she enjoys a diverse educationally-based training, mediation, and consulting practice; teaches K-12 curriculumbased programs at Longwood Gardens in Kennett, PA and volunteers in local schools, girl scouts and for animal rescue.

Lorraine Heeter, Esquire Attorney


Lorraine Heeter earned a bachelor of science in Nursing from LaSalle University and her Juris Doctor from Case Western Reserve University. She has 11 years’ experience in pediatric nursing before changing careers to the practice of law. Attorney Heeter practiced with a law firm for two years before becoming a PA Special Education Appeals Panel Member, of which she was a member until the current change in the PA Due Process system. Attorney Heeter attended the certificate program for Conflict Resolution and Mediation at the Center for Victims of Violence and Crime in Pittsburgh PA.

Dr. Constance Fox Lyttle, Esquire


Associate Clinical Professor, Drexel University

Attorney in Private Practice (PA)

Academic/Inclusion Consultant/Coach (NY/NJ)

Former Tenured Associate Professor of Special Education (10 years) Duquesne University; Associate in Law firm of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart; PA Special Education Hearing Officer & Appeals Panel Hearing Officer

Jean M. Lupariello. Esquire


Jean M. Lupariello is an attorney/mediator with a private practice in mediation and collaborative law. She has been a court-appointed mediator in the custody department of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas for the past 13 years and has been appointed as a Parenting Coordinator and a Guardian Ad Litem by the Family Court judges on many cases. She is also a contract mediator for the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh. Attorney Lupariello has spent many years representing families in Juvenile Court where she is involved with the agencies and resources ordered for children with special needs and attending and providing input at IEP meetings as an Educational

Dr. Vicki McGinley


Dr. Vicki McGinley is the hearing officer assigned to due process cases where CSIU or an LEA within CSIU is a party. In addition, Dr. McGinley is the hearing officer assigned to gifted due process matters. Dr. Vicki McGinley has extensive hearing officer experience, serving in this capacity in the State of Delaware since 1992, and previously serving as a part-time hearing officer for ODR for seven years. Dr. McGinley has worked as a professional in the education field since 1985, and in a variety of positions supporting the conflict resolution process, including hearing officer, mediator, and IEP facilitator. Dr. McGinley has a Secondary Education/English degree from the University of Pittsburgh; a M.Ed. in Special Education from Temple University; and a Ph.D. in Special Education from Temple University (with a focus on communication disorders). She is a Professor of Special Education at West Chester University, where she also serves as a mediator and fact finder for the Office of Social Equity. Dr. McGinley periodically serves as a state special education monitor, as well as a PDE monitor for accreditation for IHE teacher training programs. Dr. McGinley has taught gifted English as well as being a Parent of a previously-identified gifted child.

Gerald Powers, Ed.D.


Mediator in Private Practice Retired Professor of Education from Bloomsburg University of PA

Jane Rigler


Jane Rigler has nearly thirty years of experience as an arbitrator and mediator. She spent twenty-seven years associated with an educational institution and currently resides in Carlisle.

James Salem


James Salem has been employed as a certified special education teacher, administrator, and consultant to both private and public schools in Pennsylvania for 55 years. He has a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master of Science degree from Gallaudet University.

In 1993, Mr. Salem was trained to be a mediator by the Justice Center of Atlanta, and since that time he has been employed by the Office for Dispute Resolution, conducting hundreds of mediations, Resolution Meetings, and IEP facilitations.

Mr. Salem has chaired and/or participated in hundreds of special education program audits for the Pennsylvania Department of Education. He is a former member and chair of the state Special Education Advisory Panel (SEAP), and has served as co-chair of the Educational Resources for Children with Hearing Loss committee (ERCHL), an advisory committee to the Bureau of Special Education.

Janice Seidenfeld


Mediator in Private Practice Mediator for the Key Bridge Foundation

Marty Thomas-Brumme


Development Officer for Elizabethtown College Previous Director of the Rose Mediation Center

Judy Tobe


Judy Tobe, M.A. received her Master’s Degree in Communication Disorders from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1983. In addition to diagnosing and treating various populations with speech and language disorders, she has developed and presented learning programs in the form of executive level presentations, intensive skill sessions and multi-day trainings to professional associations, hospitals and corporations both nationally and internationally. In 2000, she became a mediator and, as a mediator in private practice, has mediated over 500 cases involving educational, employment and discrimination disputes. In addition to mediating for the Office for Dispute Resolution, Ms. Tobe also serves as a mediator for the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

Max Wald, Ed.D.


Max Wald, Ed.D. has served as a teacher, school principal at both the elementary and secondary school level, director of special education, college professor, hearing officer, and mediator. Dr. Wald earned all of his degrees at Temple University where he also taught ODR: 02/17 and supervised student teachers. He served as a principal in the School District of Philadelphia, Colonial School District, and the Cherry Hill School District. He was a director at the Woods Schools and the Pathway School. He has taught at Temple University, Arcadia University, and at the University of Leicester in England. Dr. Wald received a research fellowship in rehabilitation psychology at the Moss Rehabilitation Hospital and is certified as a teacher and supervisor of special education. He served as a Hearing Officer with the Office for Dispute resolution for the past nine years and is currently a trained mediator. He is certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a family mediator.