We would like to welcome the newest member of our team, Coach Mike. Mike Shipper is a certified personal trainer who specializes in fitness programs for children and adolescents with special needs. He designs training regimens that take the emphasis off competition and place it on “play" by incorporating games, which are designed and modified to the capabilities of the child/adolescent, into each session. His philosophy is one of INclusion, not EXclusion. He believes that the best way to include a child or adolescent in an activity is to find out what he/she loves, such as a favorite television series or character, a video or computer game, or even a movie; he uses that as motivation. He teaches kids to actively pursue excellence in small, manageable increments through his method of EMPOWER. In essence, Coach Mike teaches kids how to move properly in order to reduce the risk of injury, while focusing on continuous improvement, not performance. Overall, his objective is to enable any child, regardless of ability or background, to have an active life through play/exercise and, ultimately, develop a long-term love for exercise.
Meet your staff and candids of our "Welcome Parents" party!
Rose is a New York State licensed Occupational Therapist. She earned her master’s degree in occupational therapy and her bachelor’s degree in health science from Misericordia University. Prior to working at Manhattan Star Academy she worked at Roxbury School District in New Jersey with elementary school and high school children with disabilities. She enjoys working with children in the school system and helping them increase their skills and abilities as they achieve their goals. This is Rose’s first year working at Manhattan Star Academy, and she excited to work with the team to help the children succeed every day.
Sophie is a Speech-Language Pathologist. Her background is varied and multifaceted. She spent many years working with Early Intervention families, while maintaining a private practice with school age children. Previously, she worked at the Central Park Center for Early Learning, a program that focuses on developmental disorders in the preschool years and at the Manhattan Eye and Ear Hospital. Over the past several years, she has focused primarily on the remediation of language disorders, auditory processing difficulties, and oral-motor issues. She also started a private practice and created a program called “guided play dates,” in which she assists parents/nannies in engaging in joint attention play. She has become passionate about helping burgeoning children and their families learn to create a language-rich environment, one that provides the best opportunities for the child to thrive within her/his family and community, regardless of his/her communication difficulties. She received her Masters from Hunter College, School of Communication Disorders.
Hepshiba is a New York State licensed Physical Therapist. She graduated with a Bachelor’s in Science degree in Physical Therapy from Cebu Doctors’ University in the Philippines. After working for several years in outpatient facilities all over New York city, she moved on to working in the school setting. She has been providing physical therapy services for over ten years and she continues to grow in her passion for learning. The most rewarding part of her job is seeing children achieve their best potential and being able to make an impact in their lives.
Alix is a Speech-Language Pathologist Clinical Fellow. She received her Master of Science degree in Communicative Sciences and Disorders from New York University and her Bachelor of Art degree in Communicative Sciences and Disorders from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Additionally, she holds a New York State Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities (TSSLD) certificate. Alix has experience working with a variety of pediatric populations and is excited to be a part of the MSA team and community. She is passionate about working with and advocating for children with developmental delays and those on the Autism Spectrum. Additionally, she is enthusiastic about collaborating with allied professionals and classroom teachers in order to individualize all treatment sessions, and provide students with a fun and enriching experience.