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© 2019 by Solterra Academy FTN CT Holdings, LLC

 300 John Downey Drive, New Britain, CT 06051


Team Approach

The strength of Solterra Academy's approach to providing quality education for children with special needs rests on the interdisciplinary team model and a low student-to-staff ratio. Teams are comprised of certified special education teachers, licensed clinical social workers and psychologists, speech and language pathologists, occupational and physical therapists, vocational education teachers, physical education teacher, pediatric/school nurses, assistant teachers, instructional tutors and classroom aides. A child/adolescent psychiatrist is available for medication evaluation, consultation and medication management.

Certified Special Education Teachers

Classroom instruction is provided by certified special education teachers. Most of our teachers hold Masters Degrees in Education and all of them specialize in teaching children with special needs. They are knowledgeable in the Common Core State Standards and strive to facilitate these important skills throughout the entire school day so that our students are ready for the challenges that face them in their public school districts or in the community following graduation.


Members of the administrative team at Solterra Academy have expertise in the areas of curriculum and assessment, educational diagnostics, special education law, positive behavior interventions and supports, trauma-based care and child/adolescent psychology. This dynamic team of educational and clinical administrators works together with staff, students, parents and school districts to ensure quality programming for each child enrolled in our school.

Gwen Killheffer, Ed.D.

Principal and Chief Administrator


Patricia R. FitzGerald, Ph.D.

Clinical Director


Christine Smith, LCSW

Clinical Coordinator




Sharon J. Edricks, M.S., C.A.S.

Assistant Principal


Nicole Haeseler, M.Ed., C.A.S.

Assistant Principal


AnnaMaria Martin, M.Ed., C.A.S.

Assistant Principal