Starfish Social Club Strengthening social and academic competencies, one unique learner at a time

Ms. Stephanie - Director/Teacher

Hi, I'm Stephanie Pepi, founder and director of Starfish Social Club. I have worked with students with social learning challenges as a special education teacher, behavior specialist, special education administrator, and campus administrator. I have also served as a Head of Delegation, basketball, and track coach for a Special Olympics team. I hold masters’ degrees in Special Education and Education Administration, and specialist certifications in autism, behavior, inclusion, and traumatic brain injury. I am also a SAMA facilitator and a certified Kidding Around Yoga teacher!

My joy comes from identifying areas of social/behavioral deficits, creating social profiles for students that describe how their social deficits interfere with their abilities to attend, learn, and socialize effectively, and assisting teachers, campuses, and families with implementing appropriate, effective interventions to address these challenges. I had the privilege of presenting at the 2016 National Social Thinking Provider's Conference regarding using Social Assessments to predict and increase inclusion success for kids with social challenges.

I continue to work in the school system and I see kids with social challenges struggle every day. Whether it's an inability to pay attention in a classroom setting, saying things they think are funny (but no one else does), or playing alone at recess, the effects of their challenges can be devastating. I created SSC to help students succeed, one unique learner at a time!

Ms. Riley - Teaching Assistant

Hi! My name is Riley Cioch and I am very excited to be at Starfish Social Club! I am a student at The University of Texas at San Antonio. I am a psychology major with a minor in Special Education. I am striving to have a future career as an Occupational Therapist. I love working with kids and building relationships to help them grow! My number one priority is helping others and thats what I am here to do!

Ms. Aya - Teaching Assistant

Hi! My name is Aya Hasan, and I am extremely excited to be apart of Starfish Social Club! I am currently a junior at The University of Texas at San Antonio. I am majoring in Medical Humanities with a double minor in Business Administration and Biology. I have a passion for helping others, and plan to have a future in the medical field as a pediatrician. I love working with kids and pushing them to be the best they can be! I was previously part of Hand in Hand at Morgan’s Wonderland, a program in which I was partnered with a student from The Academy at Morgan’s Wonderland and modeled in a fashion show with them. It was truly inspirational to see my partner and the rest of the students light up with confidence as they walked down the runway with their partners. I was able to learn so much from that experience about how inspirational kids can be. I truly believe each and every child is so special, and cannot wait to create that special bond with them!

Ms. Tala - Teaching Assistant

Hi! My name is Tala Kseibi and I am very excited to be a part of Starfish Social Club! I am a current freshman at UTSA majoring in Political Science with a pre-Law focus. I love working with children and helping them develop their confidence and value their worth as they take over this world. I have experience working with students with social and learning challenges as well as refugee children, which has opened my eyes to experiences that I thought I’d never have. My passion to help make a difference in the lives of children has become bigger and bigger, which has assured me that becoming a child advocate lawyer will help me carry on the message that I will forever hold: “Every child deserves a second chance, for a better childhood and life, and to make a difference.” Children are our future and to make sure this world becomes a better place we need to start by teaching them in the most effective way possible.

Ms. Marisa - Teaching Assistant

Howdy!! My name is Marisa Piña and I am so excited to be at Starfish Social Club! I am a student at the University of Texas at San Antonio. I’m a Special Education major and I plan to be an elementary school teacher. I love working with kids and helping them grow as individuals. I hope and aspire to pass on compassion & kindness with my future students so they can make a difference not only with themselves but with others.