Administrative Staff

Risa Paskoff - Executive Director

Risa Paskoff“I am the director of Aaron’s Acres and have been with the organization since it first began in 1998. I have my master’s degree in social work. When I was younger, my dream was to create programs for children who have special needs—I am now living out that dream and it feels wonderful! Prior to Aaron’s Acres, I was affiliated with Roseville Pediatrics in Lancaster, PA as a psychotherapist treating children, adolescents and their families. I am also involved with my congregation working on social action committees. I live with my husband in Lancaster and have 2 grown sons who live in Washington D.C. When I am not working, I spend my time with family, friends, exercising and reading.”

Maria Kapsak, Community Outreach Coordinator

“Volunteering for Aaron’s Acres over the past few years I have seen the rewards of helping the families and our community by providing programs for children and young adults with special needs. Being a part of the team is even more exciting! I am a creative and highly motivated professional with demonstrated abilities to establish and sustain relationships and in the process enrich the lives of others. My 30 years’ experience in marketing/advertising will help to build and foster solid relationships with businesses, agencies and national corporations to support our mission and aid in the growth of Aaron’s Acres.”

Elaine Burnett - Program Director

Burnett_Elaine“I was welcomed into the Aaron’s Acres family in the summer of 2008, amazed by the fact that the children stole my heart on the very first day. I was excited to return the next year. The excitement, pride, challenges and joy that is experienced every day at camp makes my journey with this organization one that I hope to continue for years to come. Moving from the camp side to the administrative side of the organization is a very exciting change for me. I look forward to assisting with the continued growth of the organization as well as staying closely connected to the camp and school year programs that we run. When I am not working I can be found, with my husband, in the stands of an ice rink or baseball field supporting our two sons.”

Tammy Snyder - Financial Administrator

Tammy Snyder“I am very excited to join this wonderful organization. Before serving as Financial Administrator at Aaron’s Acres, I served 15 years in the Business Administration field. When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my family, my two dogs, and friends. I live in Ephrata with my husband.”

Christine Felger - Administrative Assistant

Christine Cummings“As a New Jersey native, I have thoroughly embraced the change of pace and community spirit of Lancaster County since 2007. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice in 1990, I’ve worked in therapeutic settings and dabbled in the sales, equestrian, and fitness industries. Motivated by a commitment to serve others, I enthusiastically joined the Aaron’s Acres team and am thrilled to play a supportive role in an organization dedicated to enriching the lives of children and young adults with disabilities and their parents. I balance marriage & motherhood with an active life of sports and outdoor recreation surrounded by faithful friends, family and our Norwegian Elkhound.”

Katie Mauger - Communications/Public Relations Coordinator

Katie“I’m very excited to be a part of the Aaron’s Acres organization. Prior to joining the admin team, I was employed for over 9 years for a non-profit organization in Berks County. In my spare time I enjoy cooking and spending time with family. I live in the Leesport area with my husband, children, & chocolate lab.”

Supervisory Staff

The staff at Aaron’s Acres is one of our greatest assets and the reason we have offered a quality program for over 15 years. Our experienced professionals include licensed social workers, special education teachers, and music and occupational therapists. In addition, a nurse is on site at all times to address any medical needs that may arise. In addition, both undergraduate and graduate students studying social work, special education, and occupational or speech therapy are hired as counselors. A 1:1 or 1:2 staff-to-child ratio ensures ongoing positive interactions and appropriate interventions as needed.

Jackie McArdle - Site Supervisor, Lancaster Programs

McArdle Jackie“I began my amazing journey with Aaron’s Acres as a Millersville student in 2005.  After deciding that it was a life changing experience for me, I continued with the program during the summer camp and have not looked back since.  I have been through it all, from student, to counselor, to group leader, to now entering my 4th year as the site supervisor in Lancaster.  I graduated from Millersville University in 2006 with a dual degree in Elementary and Special Education, and also have a certification in Middle School Mathematics.  In 2012, I received my Master’s Degree from Wilkes University in Classroom Technology.  In the fall of 2014, I will be going to back to school yet again; this time to obtain my principal certification.  During the school year I work as a Special Education Consultant for the Lancaster-Lebanon IU 13 working in Secondary, Center-based Emotional Support.  In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, whether that be down the shore, attending sporting events, or just gathering all together and catching up.  Aaron’s Acres has been a place of release for me, to be able to give back and interact with so many incredible kids and young adults.  Each and every child that we serve puts a smile on my face.  I look forward for the opportunity to continue working with these amazing kids and young adults for years to come.”

Kelly Palmquist - Assistant Site Supervisor, Lancaster Programs

Kelly P.“I became part of the amazing Aaron’s Acres family during the summer of 2008 as a high school buddy. Following that summer, I returned as a counselor before I went to college. Four years later after I graduated, I became a group leader and I am now excited to start my time as Assistant Site Supervisor. I graduated from Lebanon Valley College in 2013 with a dual degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. I am currently in the process of starting my Master’s Degree in Special Education. During the school year, I am an elementary Multiple Disabilities Support teacher for Manheim Township School District. In my spare time, I love spending time with my family and friends, having game nights, and watching movies. I am looking forward to continuing my fantastic journey with Aaron’s Acres and seeing all of the awesome Aaron’s Acres’ kids for many years to come!”

Beth Hartz - Site Supervisor, Berks Programs

Beth Hartz“I have been with Aaron’s Acres since 2009, and I have enjoyed every minute of the Friday night outings, the Saturday night school year programs, and the summer camp sessions in which I have been involved.   As programs begin, I become so excited to see each child’s smiling face.  New years bring new adventures for Aaron’s Acres and I am proud to be a part of each adventure.   During the school year, I work for the Kutztown Area School District as the elementary Life Skills Support teacher K-5.  I graduated from Penn State (1996) with an Associate’s degree in Occupational Therapy. In 2000, I graduated from Alvernia University with a B.S. in Health Science. I have a certification in Special Education from Alvernia University.  In my spare time, I enjoy watching my son play lacrosse, going to the movies, and I enjoy time with family and friends. ”

Heather Oppmann - Assistant Site Supervisor, Berks Programs

Oppmann, Heather“Aaron’s Acres has been a positive aspect of my life for the past five years. I enjoy working with all of your children and it makes my day to see them smile and enjoy themselves at camp and during the school year program. I received my Bachelor’s degree from Mansfield University in Special Education (1992) and I received my Master’s degree from Wilkes University in Classroom Technology (2008).  During the school year, I work for Kutztown Area School District. I have a learning support classroom grades K-2. When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my two children, reading, and going to the beach.  I have been blessed to find this organization and I look forward to many more great experiences.”

Rachel Seckinger - Site Supervisor, Dauphin Programs

Seckinger, Rachel“I was first introduced to Aaron’s Acres as an internship through the Special Education program at Millersville University in 2007. After participating in the internship program I became a group leader, assistant site supervisor, and now the site supervisor for Dauphin. It has been an impacting, fun-filled experience, and I am proud to be a part of this organization. I received my bachelor’s degree in both Special Education and Elementary Education at Millersville University, and received my master’s degree from Scranton University for Curriculum and Instruction. I am a fourth grade teacher for Eastern Lancaster County School District, and I serve as the secretary for the district’s union. During my free time, I enjoy cooking, scrapbooking, going to the gym, and a must- spending time with my family and friends! During my summers, I can be spotted in my blue and yellow – “Go Aaron’s Acres!” It’s been a wonderful journey, and I look forward to the memories to come!”

For all new staff to Aaron’s Acres, a face-to-face interview with our supervisory staff is required. Staff must also submit clearances (PA Child Abuse, PA Criminal, and FBI Criminal). Please Click Here for directions and to access the three links!

 Have a question for our staff? Click here to get in touch!

CLICK HERE to learn more about our Aaron’s Acres Board Members!