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Chapel Haven Schleifer Center is delighted to announce Living Our Values @ CHSC – a peer-to-peer employeerecognition program designed to recognize staff who go above and beyond in “living” one of our core values.

The criteria is simple: any member of our staff can nominate any CHSC co-worker who is caught in the act “living” one of our four core values on the job. Those are:

  • Dynamic Diversity
  • Caring Collaboration
  • Individual Integrity
  • Community Connection

Congratulations to these staff

Congratulations to Gina Apicella, Vice President of Autism Services, who has been recognized for embodying the value of caring collaboration. Gina was nominated by Wellness Coordinator Ryan McEachern. Ryan wrote:

“I nominated Gina because she is always putting herself out there to help others. She went out of her way to help with the TREKKER trip, drove her own vehicle, went and picked up sunscreen and bug spray, and showed up every day to help. I’ve also observed her doing a great job of working with other members of her team. She has a high level of integrity and truly cares about her employees and program. She is a great, positive, and caring person and I feel she does a great job of modeling CHSC’s core values.” Congrats, Gina!

We are excited that Art Director Tina Menchetti has been recognized for exemplifying the value of community connection.

Tina was nominated by Director of Admissions and Marketing Christy Chandler. Christy wrote:

“A student was recently accepted to a CHSC program (where they would be unlikely to work directly with Tina’s art classes in REACH) but has a strong interest in the arts and was seeking to find more information about what might be possible at Chapel Haven as well as the New Haven community if they were to enroll as a CHSC student.  Tina not only took time to meet with the prospective student during her lunch break but was also willing to adjust the timing of the meeting to accommodate the student’s late attendance.  She maintained a positive outlook and shared information about CHSC and community resources in an encouraging and supportive manner.  This meeting will likely be an important factor in helping the prospective student feel comfortable moving forward with potential enrollment at Chapel Haven.  Tina’s appreciation for and commitment to developing our adults’ involvement in creative expression is admired and appreciated.”

Congrats, Tina!

REACH Special Education Teacher Erik Rambush has also been recognized for exemplifying the value of individual integrity.

Erik was nominated by REACH colleague Mylissa Rockefeller. She said:

Erik Rambush

“Erik does a very good job of finding out how to help his students with what they need extra help on or anything that they tend to perseverate on. With his knowledgeable background, he does well getting them where they need to be and helping staff to understand the situation and how to work with that particular student. He will often spend late hours working on things for his students and it shows.”

We also are pleased to recognize Suzanne Peters, REACH residential manager.


Sue was nominated by Julian Sandoval. REACH Special Education Teacher. Julian said Sue embodies the value of Caring Collaboration:

Sue embodies this core value the most because she works well with her coworkers and does an amazing job working with the students. She is the very important connection between daytime EDU staff and the evening Life Skills staff. She helps teachers solve problems, provides positivity to all, shows empathy to staff and students, and empowers all of our students to live more independent lives. Whether she is teaching students valuable budgeting skills or working with Life Skills Instructors and students during life skills, she is always there for everyone and puts her heart into everything she does.”

Sue is being recognized with coverage on our website, in our social media, on our Welcome Center e-board and at our next all-agency meeting. She has a lapel button to wear and will be entered into a raffle.

Stay tuned for more honorees!