The VFES Leadership Team
Comprised of senior executives with broad professional experience, the Valley Forge Educational Services leadership team is committed to delivering innovative programs, quality services and value to our students, families and staff.
Grace A. Fornicola, Ph.D., Executive Director
Dr. Fornicola joined VFES in July 2012. She has more than 25 years of experience working in child-welfare nonprofit organizations. She has spent the majority of her career working with children with special needs and their families. Her experience includes the supervision and oversight of educational, clinical and residential services, as well as program development. Dr. Fornicola received her B.A. in Psychology from Bloomsburg University, her M.Ed. in Counseling from Lehigh University and her Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from Eastern University.
Victoria Fringer, Director of Information Technology
Victoria is the Director of Technology for Valley Forge Educational Services. She is versed in supporting all things that run on batteries or plug into AC. She values the team approach and appreciates her IT team. Her M.B.A. rounds out her technical skill set and enables her to balance the technology with the business needs of the organization. When time permits, she enjoys taking college courses. She likes things with motors, the great outdoors, exercising and exploring new ventures. Vicki also volunteers with a local dog rescue, acting as the point person for adoption inquiries and assisting at fundraising events.
Juliann Jaffe, Director of Marketing and Communications
Juliann is responsible for the development and implementation of integrated marketing strategies including marketing, advertising, communications and public relations programs that support VFES’s strategic initiatives. Previously, she was the Marketing Director for Brinker Capital, Inc. a privately owned investment management firm. Prior to moving to the Philadelphia area, Juliann was employed by Tompkins Cortland Community College, a College of the State University of New York. She received her B.S. from the University of Bridgeport. Juliann enjoys travel adventures with her husband, Henry, entertaining and spending time with her young adult children.
James Kirkpatrick, C.P.A., Chief Financial Officer
Jim is the Chief Financial Officer of Valley Forge Educational Services. He has been employed with VFES since February 1988. Prior to joining VFES, he worked for a local CPA firm as a senior auditor. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He received his B.S. degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Timothy Krushinski, Director of the Vanguard School
Tim is the Director of The Vanguard School. Tim has been in the education field for more than 28 years working in the private and public school system. He was the supervisor of special education and principal for the West Chester Area School District prior to coming to Vanguard in 2013. Tim began his career at Elwyn Institute teaching in an Autistic Support classroom. Tim and his wife and dogs reside in Media. Pa. He is a huge Penn State fan, loves to cook and enjoys running on a daily basis.
Darren Levin, Ph.D., Director of Clinical Services
Dr. Levin is the Director of Clinical Services at Valley Forge Educational Services in Malvern, Pennsylvania. He received his Ph.D. in School Psychology from Temple University and completed his predoctoral internship at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where he completed rotations in the Behavioral Pediatrics Department and the Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program under the supervision of Dr. William Warzak and Dr. Cathleen Piazza, respectively. Dr. Levin completed postdoctoral training at the Delaware Autism Program and has considerable experience working directly with students with autism, visual impairments and neurological disabilities.
Anne McCrary, Director of Human Resources
Anne assumed the role of Director of Human Resources at VFES in February 2001. She previously worked as Human Resources Manager for Wild World Amusement Park in Largo, MD and as a benefits specialist/human resources generalist in the corporate offices of Pet Valu, in Devon, PA. Anne is responsible for the administration, coordination and evaluation of the VFES Human Resources department. Anne earned a B.A. in Psychology from Dickinson College and completed additional courses at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Villanova University. She earned the Professional In Human Resource (PHR®) certification from the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) and is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), the Greater Valley Forge Human Resource Association (GVFHRA) and the Pennsylvania Association of School Personnel Administrators (PASPA).
Christine Pagel, Director of Risk Management
Christine is responsible for overseeing organizational compliance with our various stakeholders as well as supporting each program to ensure quality assurance and improvement goals and objectives are successfully met. She has worked in nonprofit organizations for 10 years serving children in behavioral health care settings. She received a bachelor’s degree from Temple University in criminal justice and is currently attending Widener University seeking a dual degree in Corporate Law with a focus on compliance and Business Administration.
Carla Zajac, Director of Development
Carla leads all VFES fundraising efforts in the Development department, including annual giving, grant submissions and major gift solicitations. Before joining VFES, she was the Development Coordinator at Quest Therapeutic Services in West Chester, where she managed a capital campaign and solicited donations and grants to benefit children with special needs. She previously was Assistant Director of Development at Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital in Malvern. Carla holds an M.B.A. with a concentration in marketing from The Pennsylvania State University and a B.A. from Franklin and Marshall College. Carla, along with her husband, Denny, and her young adult daughters, Lindsay and Rachel, enjoys visiting Ocean City, NJ in the summer and traveling to warmer destinations in the winter. In her spare time, Carla loves to cook and entertain family and friends and looks forward to her monthly book-club gatherings.
Holly Zipperer, Director of Career & Community Engagement Services
Holly manages Customized Workforce Solutions, the Extended School Year Programs (ESY), Summer L.I.F.E., and Respite programming. Her past experience includes running her own business “Learning for a Lifetime,” a firm that provided professional development seminars and parent workshops for early childhood caregivers and families. She also teamed with other education professionals in Elwyn’s Early Childhood Services division to develop the Archworks Program for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder located in Philadelphia. Prior to relocating to Pennsylvania, she worked as an early childhood special educator in the Lexington/Richland 5 School District. Holly received her M.Ed. in special education with a specialization in mental retardation and learning disabilities from the University of South Carolina and her B.A. in elementary and early childhood education from Newberry College, SC.