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Susan Lautenbacher, Ph.D.

Dr. Susan Lautenbacher was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Lark in September of 2013. Prior to coming to Lark, Susan was a professor in the College of Education, Department of Special Education at Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, PA. Her research interests are in the holistic approach in the providing of disability services, Applied Behavior Analysis and family engagement and support.

Susan is a certified special education teacher and supervisor of special education. She began her career as a high school special education teacher, later becoming Director of Special Education, K-12. Susan also spent time in her career overseeing the provision of community-based services for children with autism and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She has been responsible for the development and implementation of educational and therapeutic programming for children, as well as employment services for adults with autism, intellectual disabilities and severe emotional support needs.

The last several years has found Susan becoming more involved at the state and national level in the redesigning of employment services for adults with disabilities. Internally, she has spearheaded Lark’s initiative to move programming forward in order to meet future needs as they emerge.

Susan’s background in K-12 education and community-based services has allowed her to develop expertise in the areas of Strategic Planning, Management/Leadership Development, Financial Planning, Program Operations, Quality Improvement, and Board Governance.

Susan earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Education from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Education, Administrative and Policy Studies in Pittsburgh, PA. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Master of Education in Special Education from Slippery Rock University.

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