Leslie Thorne & Albina Miller Co-Heads of School

Leslie Thorne & Albina Miller
Co-Heads of School

Heads of School

In 1986, with one student enrolled for class, Albina Miller and Leslie Thorne set out to create a special education setting where children with speech and language-based learning disabilities, including those on the autism spectrum, could thrive. Ms. Miller and Ms. Thorne set a vision to “build a model program for children that combined current research and transdisciplinary expertise.”

From the beginning, in a six-room space on 100th Street, Parkside provided a unique environment for children to learn and flourish. Ms. Miller and Ms. Thorne knew that every child learns differently, and therefore designed a customizable program able to meet the individual needs of each student when enrollment jumped to ten students in their second year.

Today, Parkside is home to 83 students aged five to eleven years old, and has opened the doors of possibility for more than 380 young people over three decades. A benchmark for special educators, Parkside’s curriculum is ever evolving under the leadership of our co-heads of school, and maintains a deep focus on understanding the interplay of language, social emotional development and the regulation of children’s bodies and minds. 

Board of Directors

Alan Pearson, President
Albina Miller, Vice President
Brook Cuddy, Treasurer
Cindy Cardinal, Secretary
Donna Assumma
Thomas Casey III
Patricia Godoy
Peter Halloran
Vita Miller, emerita
Ray Spitzley
Leslie Thorne
Peter Ticali
Caroline Russo

Learn more about our board.