Alessa homeschooled her two children from Kindergarten into college. Throughout her years of homeschooling, she embraced a child-led learning approach, with an emphasis on social-emotional development and community-based learning.
With a Masters in Education from Johns Hopkins University; a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Lehigh University, and a Certificate in Special Education Advocacy from the William & Mary Law School, Alessa is uniquely qualified and trained to provide educational testing, curricular support, and general consultations to families.
Alessa’s focus on special student populations, coupled with attention on affective development, has also allowed her to work with schools, start-up tech companies, and non-profit organizations across the country who seek assistance with developing innovative programs.
Over the years, Alessa has worked, volunteered, and spoken before numerous businesses and organizations, including:
- University of Maryland, Baltimore County – Department of Education
- Maryland Office of the Public Defender
- Howard Community College
- The Davidson Academy of Nevada
- Connections Academy
- National Association for Gifted Children
- Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted
- Maryland Public Television
- Living Classrooms Foundation
- National Children’s Museum
- Youth Today
- Baltimore’s Child Magazine
- Independent Book Publishers Association
- SEA Homeschoolers
- West Virginia Gifted Association
Since 2011, Alessa has also worked with attorneys providing expert educational testimony, reports, and technical guidance for custody, divorce, civil, and juvenile criminal matters. She has been accepted as an expert witness in numerous counties across the State of Maryland in special education, matters of educational best interest, and special student populations. She has successfully testified in a number of cases, including having a child returned to her mother after the court ordered the child removed due to homeschooling. Alessa does not provide legal advice, but works as part of a civil or criminal team to address educational issues.
Alessa has volunteered 15+ years leading Maryland’s homeschool grassroots advocacy efforts to monitor legislative and regulatory issues that may effect a family’s right to educate their child at home. That work has led to the creation of the Maryland Homeschool Association, an all-volunteer group committed to providing free information for Maryland families.
Alessa has published numerous articles and project based curricular activities for children and parents. Her work has appeared in national print and digital publications such as Youth Today and Parenting for Potential. She has also been the editor of The Teacher’s Guide, a local annual publication focusing on news and resources for teachers in Maryland and has written curriculum for grant-funded youth enrichment programs, state-approved continuing education courses, and other organizations. Alessa currently sells curricular enrichment products online.
Alessa continues to speak on educational topics at local, regional, and national conferences for parent, social workers, and attorneys.