Board of Directors
Gerard Costa, PhD
Gerard Costa is the founding director of the Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health at Montclair State University. He is a Professor in the Department Early Childhood, Elementary and Literacy Education (ECELE) in the College of Education and Human Services and is a member of the faculty of the Infant and Early Childhood Development (IECD) Ph.D. program at Fielding University (formerly the ICDL Graduate School). He serves as a trustee and President of the Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning, and serves as a consultant to ZERO TO THREE. He sits on several state and non-profit boards and was appointed by two New Jersey Governors to serve on the New Jersey Council for Young Children, where he headed the Infancy and Early Childhood Mental Health committee. He received his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Temple University. He is a New Jersey licensed psychologist, was one of the first 16 recipients of the DIR certificate by Dr. Stanley Greenspan and Dr. Serena Wieder, is a trained faculty member in the Brazelton Touchpoints Model and holds an endorsement as an Infant Mental Health Clinical Mentor, through the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health. Dr. Costa has been honored with numerous awards including the Christian Kjeldsen Champion for Children Award by the NJ Child Care Advisory Council, the Lucille Weistuch Early Childhood Special Education Award, by the New Jersey Division for Early Childhood (NJDEC), and the Golden Bell Leadership Award, by the New Jersey Mental Health Association. He has a small consulting and training practice, is the author of many articles and book chapters on autism and infant mental health and has presented throughout the United States and the world.
Amanda Kriegel, PsyD
Amanda Kriegel received her Doctoral of Psychology degree (PsyD.) from APA accredited Argosy University, Atlanta in December 2010. She received her Master’s of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Argosy as well and has a B.A. in Psychology from Tufts University and a B.F.A. in Studio Art from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Amanda began training and working at Floortime Atlanta in the spring of 2006. She is certified as an Expert DIR®/Floortime Provider™ and Trainer. Amanda currently provides services to children and families in Atlanta and North Fulton County through Floortime Atlanta. Dr. Kriegel is working towards licensure and provides services under the supervision of Dr. Kathleen Platzman.
Derrick Knighton was born in West Palm Beach, Florida. He was raised in San Bernardino, California and San Antonio, Texas, due to his father’s career in the military. From middle school through college, he was very active in sports (basketball, baseball and football). His talent in basketball led him to New Jersey where he was a student athlete at Kean University. After receiving his BA in Political Science with a minor in Criminal Justice, Derrick continued on as an Assistant Basketball Coach for Kean.
Derrick joined the field of Human Services as a Youth Worker for troubled and addicted males at Ogden Residential Group Home for Boys in Newark, NJ. Soon after, he became a professional mentor, working for the Essex County Youth Advocate Program in East Orange, NJ for over 15 years.
Derrick began his work at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) as a Mental Health Specialist working with kids who had both psychological and behavioral problems. Derrick is currently the Program Coordinator for Children Services for the Rutgers Behavioral Healthcare Center in Newark (formerly UMDNJ, now Rutgers).
Derrick founded U Are Worthy, LLC in 2006. This program provides youth mentorship that encourages self awareness, self expression, sense of worth and positive peer relationships that will promote healthy personal, family and community-oriented growth.
Derrick was married and worshiped at Kenilworth Gospel Chapel for 20 years before joining Agape Family Worship Center in Rahway, NJ where he actively participates in the Men’s Ministry and currently serves on the Security Ministry Team.
Derrick is happily married to his wife Stephanie of 28 years and has two beautiful adult daughters.
Mr. Stephen Kim is an independent investor and consultant. His previous work experience was in the investment management industry as a Managing Director for Dresdner RCM Global Investors and Barclays Global Investors in San Francisco, after beginning his career in sales and marketing positions with IBM and Goldman Sachs. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the Harvard Business School. His personal interest in the field of developmental learning stems from his son, Christian, and the dynamics he has faced in living with, and overcoming, developmental challenges over the course of his life. The pursuit of scalable solutions addressing this growing global phenomenon is what initially drew Mr. Kim to ICDL. His background is unique to the Board and is intended to lend a different perspective on the issues and opportunities facing the program going forward.
Tina McCourt, LCSW, M.S. Ed, SAS, SDA
Tina received her Master’s in Social Work from Wurzweiler School of Social Work and her Master’s in Education from Baruch College. Prior to coming to the Rebecca School, Tina was the Program Director at the Early Intervention Center of Brooklyn. She first began attending DIR® trainings in 1994 and has continued to participate in annual ICDL conference for the last 8 years. She received intense ongoing training from Dr. Greenspan from September 2005 – March 2010.
Stanley Greenspan, MD
Dr. Stanley Greenspan was the founding president of the Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning and founding president of Zero to Three: The National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families. He was Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at George Washington University Medical School. As a foremost authority on clinical work with infants and young children Dr. Greenspan was a recipient of many national and international awards, including American Psychiatric Association's highest award for child psychiatry research. He is the author or editor of over forty books which have been translated into over a dozen languages.