News & Press

Staff Spotlight: Dearborn Academy Head of School

Rebecca Altepeter is the head of school at Dearborn Academy. Her career highlights her passion for serving children with special needs. Prior to coming to Dearborn, she has coordinated services for special needs students in the Cambridge Public School system, and prior to that, she served as principal of Germaine Lawrence, a private school for girls with serious emotional and behavioral issues in Arlington.


“Rebecca is ideally suited to lead Dearborn Academy in its next chapter,” said Ted Wilson, executive director of Schools for Children. “Her passion for the work and her commitment to building skills in both students and staff make Rebecca a remarkable fit for this position. She is organized, thoughtful and totally committed to doing what is best for her students.”


“It is an honor to be chosen to work with the students and staff that make up the Dearborn Academy/STEP family,” said Rebecca Altepeter, M.S. “In my role as Office of Student Services Coordinator for Cambridge Public Schools, I observed first-hand the results of students who spent time at Dearborn and witnessed the skills they had learned and the supportive relationships they maintained at Dearborn that helped make their transition and reintegration to high school successful.


I look forward to serving the families and students of Dearborn and to working with the staff to champion its values of achievement, collaboration, creativity, respect and tenacity.”

Dearborn Academy also recently announced that it will be relocating to Newton, MA, for the 2017 school year.


“There’s definitely a ‘WOW’ factor to the new building and the opportunities it presents to Dearborn’s future,” said Altepeter. “I’m excited to work with everyone in the Dearborn community to turn the new building into a place that will be great for learning and growing.”


About Dearborn Academy

Dearborn Academy is one of New England’s leading state-approved special education day schools, serving children with emotional, social and learning challenges in separate elementary/middle and high school programs. Learn more at


About Schools for Children

Schools for Children, Inc. is a Massachusetts nonprofit organization creating and managing great schools and educational services, currently operating several schools, a before- and after-school program and a Short Term Educational Placement service. Schools for Children also develops new education services and innovations and consults with other schools, districts and human service providers to enhance the quality and performance of their programs.


Free Webinar Series on Transition

Schools for Children presents Conversations on Transition, a free webinar series
for students with learning differences and social-emotional challenges