In Memoriam: Debbie Esposito
November 12, 2023
It is with profound sadness that the entire SPAN family announces the loss of one of our own, Debbie Esposito.
A beloved member of our team, Debbie served as Director, START Engaging Parents of Students with Disabilities (EPSD). She served in that capacity since 2022, and as Co-Director since 2018. In this role she led programs and services that support the engagement of families to improve outcomes for students with disabilities, including developing and supporting Special Education Parent Advisory Groups (SEPAGs) in NJ communities and school districts. Debbie was not just a colleague, she was a friend, an advocate, and a beautiful soul. She has been a valued member of the SPAN Team since 2015 and a shining example of how to work with families and professionals alike, bringing her knowledge, skills and compassion to the work at the local, state, and national level. She brought her unique skills, perspective, and dedication to SPAN, making a lasting impression on each of us who had the privilege to work with her.
While Debbie’s most important role was her dedication to her family, a mom to her two sons and partner to her beloved husband, she was also a champion for family engagement and the importance of family-school partnerships. Through her work on the START EPSD project, Debbie connected with families and professionals throughout the state in advocating for improving outcomes for students with disabilities. Prior to joining SPAN, Debbie worked within the public school setting as an instructional aide. She saw firsthand how building effective collaboration between schools and families is essential to student success. The START EPSD team is grateful for the knowledge, experience, and passion that Debbie brought to the team every day.
Devoted to her community, Debbie was in the first year of her three year term as a Board of Education member for the Winslow Township, NJ school district. She also served as the Board representative on the Citizens Advisory Committee.
She was also the Assistant Chairperson of the NJ State Special Education Advisory Council, on which she served for six years. She was a shining example of how to work with families, professionals, and critical partners, bringing her knowledge, skills, compassion and dedication to her work.
Debbie was very proud to be a Community Scribe as part of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. She was drawn to the program, because she believed in leveraging the power of storytelling to motivate, influence, connect, and build relationships with others.
It was her interest in storytelling that also led to Debbie’s involvement with the We Are Winslow – Heart and Soul community group, on which she served as communications chairperson. We Are Winslow is a community group founded on the principles of inclusive and participatory governance. It is dedicated to bringing greater unity and inspiring a renewed sense of pride to Winslow Township’s residents by providing an opportunity for all members of the community to have a voice in identifying what matters to them.
Debbie was a dedicated and passionate leader who worked tirelessly to support families. She was highly respected by all who worked with her for her child-centered focus and unwavering dedication to family engagement.
On behalf of everyone at SPAN, I would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to Debbie’s family at this very difficult time, and to the many she touched that mourn her loss.
Service details are provided here: https://www.earlefuneralhome.com/obituaries/Debora-Esposito/#!/Obituary