As assistant professor of education at Bay Path University, Ellen Rustico, Ed.D., has been educating future teachers since 2003. Rustico teaches in both the traditional undergraduate program and our program for adult women, and her courses include reading and early literacy, introduction to special education, and inclusive settings in education, among others. She also teaches a section of the first year course “Women as Empowered Learners & Leaders”. Professor Rustico serves as the Coordinator for the Elementary and Early Childhood Programs, placing Education students with supervising practitioner’s in the public schools in Massachusetts to complete Practicum experiences. Her special interests are in the area of special education and how children of all abilities can be included in the regular education classroom.
Prior to her tenure at Bay Path, Rustico served in the Connecticut Public Schools as a special education, fifth grade, and second grade teacher. As a special educator, Rustico’s primary role was to support an inclusive environment for children receiving special education services. After teaching special education for a few years, she took her knowledge to classroom positions where she could educate children in an inclusive setting, while working collaboratively with other specialists. While teaching in Connecticut, Rustico was selected to be a mentor teacher and evaluate second-year teachers’ portfolios.
Professor Rustico is also a trained Freedom Writers teacher, formally trained at the Freedom Writers Institute by Erin Gruwell in the summer of 2012. One of 286 trained teachers in the world, Rustico infuses the methods into her courses to model how to reach challenging students.
Rustico holds a bachelor’s degree in special education and a master in education with a specialization in special education. Along with her degrees, she holds dual licensure in Massachusetts and Connecticut to teach special education in grades PreK through 12 and Elementary Education in kindergarten through sixth grade. She is currently enrolled in the Educational Psychology Doctoral Program at the American International College in Springfield, MA.