Parent Network of WNY is pleased to introduce our newest additions to our Board of Directors!
Get to know our newest 3 board members, Jason, Julie, and Michael and how they impact the WNY community.
Jason Petko has been the Director of Education at the Beyond Learning Center since 2015. He oversees all the education services provided by Beyond Learning Center from daycare. He is heavily involved with the preschool services, therapy delivery, CPSE evaluations, integrated and self-contained preschool, and school age services.
Jason is also an assistant professor at D’Youville University for the Educational Leadership Department. He previously was a special education teacher for 7 years and an assistant principal and principal for 10 years for a private special education provider school.
Petko is from Clarence, New York and graduated from Canisius College and received his Doctoral degree in 2020 in educational leadership. He has published work on how students interpret policy and also stands on the board for the 853 Coalition of Schools. Jason has a drive for bringing people together to solve problems. Besides his huge passion for education, Jason is a huge hockey fan, especially the Sabres!
Julie Barber has been working at People Inc. for the past 20 years. She started her career at the organization as a Direct Support Professional and is now the Clinical Vice President. She oversees all clinicians at People Inc. and works closely with principal psychologists to provide behavior support to all residential group homes as well as support individuals in the community through People Inc.’s in-home behavioral health program.
Barber is a licensed clinical social worker and graduated from the University at Buffalo with her Masters in social work. She most recently was an adjunct professor at the University at Buffalo for their social work program.
Julie Barber was born and raised in Buffalo and of course is a Bills fan! She also serves as a board member for Recovery Options Made Easy. Julie has a passion for being of service to others and helping individuals get on the right path. She has a strong desire to train and educate staff to be appropriately prepared to work in the direct support field.
Michael Cardus is an independent organizational development specialist and has been working with companies all around the world for the past 15 years. He has worked with companies such as Tim Hortons, McDonalds, and People Inc..
Cardus previously spent 10 years working with the Get Set grants doing organization development capacity building amongst WNY. He has experience working with large structured chains as well as enterprises. Along with organization development, Michael also specializes in team development.
Michael graduated from Buffalo State College with a bachelors in philosophy and has many certificates for various skills such as coaching and development. He is an environmental activist and a proud father to two 8-year-old-twins, 1 boy and 1 girl! He is originally from Millbrook, New York and moved to Buffalo with his wife in 2004.
Mike joined the Parent Network board to increase advocacy, inclusion, and the voice of parents, guardians, and loved ones of those with Intellectual and Developmental disabilities. Michael’s son is diagnosed with cerebral palsy and deeply understands the challenges, needs, and successes that the Parent Network provides.