Skip to main content
Educators gathered at their desk

Leadership

Meet our team

Sage Alliance: A New Story School holds a foundational belief in the power of a strong community to create a positive impact on students’ lives. We value our employees and promote ongoing personal and professional development to support and strengthen our community. Learn about our highly qualified executive team leading this strong community each day.

  • Rebecca Oelkers VP of Operations

    Rebecca Oelkers

    VP of Operations

    Rebecca Oelkers VP of Operations

    Rebecca Oelkers serves as the VP of Operations of the Sage Day Schools and New Alliance Academy. She holds a master’s in Social Work from New York University and a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Pine Manor College. Before joining Sage Day Schools and New Alliance Academy, she was the Program Director for an inpatient Children’s Crisis Intervention Services unit serving children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral health challenges and worked closely with the New Jersey Department of Child Behavioral Health Services.

    During her tenure, Rebecca facilitated training as a Crisis Prevention Institute certified instructor and was designated as the performance improvement coordinator within the hospital’s behavioral health division focusing on program design and delivery. She participated in the development of outcome assessment parameters and clinical performance monitors, to improve individual and organizational effectiveness. Her determination and commitment to providing quality programs are one of her core values.

    Rebecca has provided psychotherapy to children, adolescents, and adults and has served as a community relations coordinator in the behavioral health division for a private hospital. These experiences provided her a greater appreciation for the challenges children and families face when programs do not fit their needs.

    With 25 years of experience serving as a clinician and administrator, Rebecca is dedicated to one simple vision; to offer a unique educational environment that is therapeutic, supportive, and nurturing for all students to reach their full academic potential and whose current needs cannot be met in the public-school setting.

    Rebecca Oelkers

    VP of Operations

  • Corie Stone

    Corie Stone

    Director of Curriculum and Instruction

    Corie Stone

    Corie Stone holds a bachelor’s degree in English Education from Ithaca College and a master’s degree in English from Southern Connecticut State University. After teaching for eight years, Corie developed a passion for working with teachers as well as students, so she decided to pursue a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Montclair State University. Corie has also completed the necessary coursework to earn her certification as a Teacher of Students with Disabilities from New Jersey City University.

    Following her passion for learning and reading, Corie began her career in education as a high school English teacher in Westbrook, Connecticut. After relocating to New Jersey, Corie felt incredibly fortunate to have found and become a part of Sage Day Schools. At Sage Day, Corie sought opportunities to broaden her impact on the educational community through mentoring new teachers and serving as the English Department Head. In 2013, Corie took on the role as the Instructional Supervisor before transitioning to her current role as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction in 2016. In addition to overseeing the development, review, and implementation of curriculum, she also provides professional development support to staff.

    Throughout her time at Sage Day, Corie has focused her work on providing students with instruction and experiences that are meaningful, relevant and personalized to the needs of the students. Corie believes strongly in creating an educational environment where students feel empowered, challenged and supported.

    Corie Stone

    Director of Curriculum and Instruction

  • Amanda Wagner

    Amanda Wagner

    Clinical Director

    Amanda Wagner

    Amanda Wagner, Psy.D., LPC, serves as Clinical Director of New Alliance Academy. Dr. Wagner earned her doctorate in counseling psychology from Saint Elizabeth University, where she wrote her dissertation on the importance of collaborative home-school partnerships to increase the likelihood that all students are provided what they need to succeed. Dr. Wagner understands the importance of a positive school culture and climate and works to promote that within the New Alliance Academy community.

    Dr. Wagner is a New Jersey Licensed Professional Counselor and certified school counselor with a master’s degree in counseling psychology that she earned from the College of Saint Elizabeth. Dr. Wagner completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in theater arts from Ramapo College.

    Dr. Wagner has extensive clinical experience and has worked with children, adolescents and their families in numerous settings and at varying levels of care. Dr. Wagner is in private practice and uses an integrative ecological approach to psychotherapy. She hopes one day to expand her practice to include equine/assisted therapies and other non-traditional treatment modalities.

    Amanda Wagner

    Clinical Director

  • Alison Hipscher

    Alison Hipscher

    Clinical Director

    Alison Hipscher

    Alison Hipscher serves as the Clinical Director of the Sage Day High School Boonton campus. Alison received her bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies from Pennsylvania State University and earned a master’s degree in social work from New York University. She is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of New Jersey.

    Prior to working at the high school level, Alison was a Sage Day Clinical at the lower/middle school followed by becoming the Clinical Director at the lower/middle school located in Mahwah. Alison was the Director of Operations at an adolescent outpatient mental health facility and has a background working in child and adolescent residential treatment centers.

    Alison believes strongly in the Sage Day School mission to provide a safe, small, therapeutic and challenging educational community that integrates social, emotional and academic growth through the collaboration of students, families and staff to empower and prepare students with the skills needed to realize their potential and achieve success.

    “I believe life is a journey that one can take make many paths to achieve success “

    Alison Hipscher

    Clinical Director

  • Audrey Stone, Clinical Director

    Audrey Stone

    Clinical Director

    Audrey Stone, Clinical Director

    Audrey Stone serves as the Clinical Director of Sage Day Rochelle Park. She received her master’s degree in social work from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Connecticut College. Audrey is a New Jersey Licensed Clinical Social Worker with experience in providing Individual, group and family therapies to both adolescents and adults.

    Prior to joining Sage Day, Audrey worked at a regional medical center where she was the Assistant Program Director on the Children's Crisis Intervention Services and later developed and directed the Adolescent Afterschool Intensive Outpatient Program. Working in a hospital setting with children and families in acute emotional and psychological distress has given her the skills and experience to treat a wide scope of diagnoses and to value the critical impact of a team approach to treatment of mental illness.

    During her more than 30 years’ experience working as both a clinician and supervisor, Audrey has nurtured her commitment to growth and change through connection. She believes that Sage Day’s strength lies both in its educational rigor and its collaborative community, where the power of the relationships leads to social, emotional and academic growth.

    Audrey Stone

    Clinical Director

  • Jennifer Smith, Clinical Director

    Jennifer Smith

    Clinical Director

    Jennifer Smith, Clinical Director

    Jennifer Smith serves as the Clinical Director at Sage Day Princeton. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Ithaca College and a master’s degree in social work from Adelphi University.

    Jennifer’s tenure includes roles as an early intervention coordinator and psychotherapist within a community mental health center. Additionally, she managed and supervised a department of therapists and participated in several agency committees and community coalitions that focused on delivery of mental health services to children and adolescents.

    Being part of the Sage Day family has allowed Jennifer to combine her love of working with children and adolescents with her ongoing passion in mental health. With her strong clinical and supervisory background, she strongly believes in the core values and mission of Sage Day.

    Jennifer Smith

    Clinical Director

  • Will Mazzuto, Clinical Director

    Will Mazzuto

    Clinical Director

    Will Mazzuto, Clinical Director

    Will Mazzuto serves as the Clinical Director for Sage Day Lower and Middle School. He received his bachelor’s degree in communication arts from Ramapo College and earned a master’s degree in social work from Tulane University. He is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Prior to serving as the Clinical Director, Will served as a clinician at Sage Day for four years. Before starting his career at Sage Day, Will served as a therapist for a community mental health agency in Bergen County, a community social worker in New Orleans, and a program director for a national sports for development organization in New York City.

    Will is passionate about the work that is done at Sage Day and is committed to making this a program that is first and foremost student-centered. From his vast experience in community based mental health, he feels strongly about the mission of Sage Day and the goal that everyone is working together to provide a safe and nurturing environment for each student to succeed. Will currently resides in Bergen County with his wife and two young children.

    Will Mazzuto

    Clinical Director

  • David Leigh

    David Leigh

    Principal

    David Leigh

    Dr. David Leigh is the Principal at New Alliance Academy in Paramus, New Jersey. Dr. Leigh holds a B.A. in psychology from S.U.N.Y at Stony Brook, a master’s degree in Educational Psychology and Certification as a School Psychologist from Montclair State University, and doctorate from the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology of Rutgers’s University. Dr. Leigh earned his principal’s certificate from the Foundation for Education Administration.

    With 30 years of experience as a principal, director of special services, and school psychologist, Dr. Leigh has a wide range of experience in working with students who have experienced social, emotional and behavioral challenges that have substantially impacted learning. Prior to joining the New Alliance team, Dr. Leigh focused on developing tiered interventions and programs that would support students so that they were better able to access educational opportunities and maximize potential for learning. Since joining New Alliance Academy, Dr. Leigh has enjoyed working with staff to foster an environment that meets students where they are emotionally and academically challenged and allows them to reconnect to a belief in themselves as having potential to be productive, capable and contributing members of their school and home communities.

    In addition to working as an educator, Dr. Leigh has worked for the past two decades as a child and adolescent psychologist offering a cognitive-behavioral approach to mental health issues. Dr. Leigh works closely with parents to understand the nature of the condition that is impacting the functional behavior of the client, while establishing targeted goals that require specific, practical interventions.

    David Leigh

    Principal

  • Gregory Acocella

    Gregory M. Acocella

    Principal

    Gregory Acocella

    Gregory Acocella serves as the Principal at Sage Day Boonton. Before coming to Sage Day, Gregory had an extensive amount of experience in the educational forum for more than 40 years. Gregory’s experience includes working as Director of Special Services for three public school districts, Bridgewater-Raritan, Hanover Park Regional High School District, and the Ramsey School District. Additionally, he has worked as a teacher, school social worker and principal in an Approved Private School for students with disabilities. Gregory also worked for the New Jersey Department of Education as a county special education specialist and as a liaison to the Division of Field Services in charge of program review.

    Throughout his career, Gregory has amassed seven New Jersey educational certificates and has participated in undergraduate and graduate programs. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology form William Paterson University and a master’s degree in school psychology from Kean University. Gregory has also worked as an adjunct professor at Ramapo University working with graduate students in the master’s of special education program. Gregory enjoys working with all students and families and sharing the vast experience he’s gained in the private and public sector as well as his experience working for the New Jersey Department of Education.

    Gregory M. Acocella

    Principal

  • Robert Friedland

    Robert Friedland

    Principal

    Robert Friedland

    Robert Friedland has been the Principal at Sage Day in Rochelle Park since 2013. He began his educational career at the University of Connecticut, where he earned a bachelor's degree in economics. After earning his master's degree in secondary education with a concentration in mathematics, Robert began teaching math at the English High School in Boston, Massachusetts in 2001. In 2003, he began teaching math at Sage Day, teaching all levels from algebra to calculus. During his ten years in the teacher role, Robert also provided instruction in various electives, including culinary arts, band and physical education.

    After completing his master's degree in educational leadership at Montclair State University, Robert served as an Instructional Supervisor at Sage Day. In this capacity, he coached new and veteran staff, in addition to coordinating master scheduling. In 2013, he began his tenure as Principal, supervising an educational staff and co-supervising a clinical staff.

    With more than 20 years in the therapeutic education setting, Robert has amassed a wealth of experience and countless strategies to help support students with varying needs. He has been a dedicated advocate for services for students in need. His passion is found in providing students with the necessary soft skills and tools in order to best succeed beyond high school.

    Robert Friedland

    Principal

  • Joyce DeVito, M.Ed., Principal

    Joyce DeVito

    Principal

    Joyce DeVito, M.Ed., Principal

    Joyce DeVito serves as the Principal of Sage Day School located in Hamilton, New Jersey. She holds a master’s degree in special education and a master’s degree in school administration from Rowen University, as well as a bachelor's degree in social work from Monmouth University. Prior to joining Sage Day Schools, she was a special education teacher, assistant principal, and principal in a variety of settings.

    Joyce began her career as a teacher of students with Emotional Regulation Impairment in a private school setting. Joyce remained in this school district for 16 years serving students aged 3-21 with a variety of disabilities. During that time, she had the privilege to work as principal of an elementary campus, middle school campus and transition campus, covering the gambit of age levels and disability categories. One of her most rewarding experiences was being tasked to create a program/campus designed specific to students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Joyce finished her public school experience as principal of the newly created Transition Campus. Since 2010, she also worked as a part-time lecturer in the college setting, teaching both undergraduate and graduate students.

    With more than 20 years of experience as a special educator, school administrator, and college lecturer, Joyce retired from public education to accept the position as Principal at Sage Day Princeton. Sage Day Princeton serves students 4th grade thru 12th grade with a variety of mental health challenges. The focus is on the “whole” child, providing a comprehensive curriculum that has small class sizes along with therapeutic education for both the child and their family integrated into the school day. Joyce felt this was the perfect opportunity to bring her experience to an environment that allows for growth, development and the opportunity to continue to serve students with unique abilities.

    Joyce DeVito

    Principal

  • John Immerman, Principal

    John Immerman

    Principal

    John Immerman, Principal

    John Immerman has served as the principal of Sage Day Lower and Middle School since 2011. John has a track record for establishing meaningful benchmarks with respect to high academic achievement and the belief that all learners can be successful.

    During his tenure at Sage Day, John has crafted programs that empower student learning through meaningful strategies that address the whole child and strives to incorporate positive discipline and strong social emotional values into the Sage Day School community. John has an undergraduate degree from The George Washington University with a major in biology and psychology, a master's degree in human growth and development from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a professional development certificate in educational leadership from Montclair State University.

    John is a student-centered administrator with extensive experience working with middle and high school students. John's career has spanned more then 40 years, serving as a teacher, school administrator and recreational consultant. John has devoted significant time, both personally and professionally, working with students who have special needs.

    John and his wife Kathie live in Chatham, New Jersey, and have one son Michael, who resides in Gladstone, Missouri.

    John Immerman

    Principal