Learning Disability Consultants

The LDT/C, along with the school psychologist and social worker, is one of the three members of the Child Study Team. In order to earn certification, the LDT/C is required to have a minimum of 3 years of successful teaching experience. Each LDT/C has a Master’s Degree in Special Education. The learning consultant (LDT-C) is trained to determine the learning styles of students, to determine specific achievement levels in a variety of content areas, and to recommend specific teaching methods and strategies that may benefit a student. This professional is generally called upon to model specific strategies and methods that may benefit students.
There are currently three LDT-C’s employed in the Hackettstown Public Schools. We are also sometimes referred to as the Learning Consultants.

Valerie Vazquez
Hackettstown Middle School
908-852-8554 Ext. 3333
[email protected]

Ms. Vazquez earned her B.A. in Special Education from New Jersey City University in 2004 and taught in the Orange Township Public School District for over 10 years. In March, 2005, she earned her Master of Arts in Teaching and then continued her education and earned another masters and became certified as a Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant standard certificate in 2010. She has been working for the Hackettstown School District since 2017.

Kristy Cherneski
Hackettstown Middle School
908-852-8554 Ext. 3368
[email protected]

Ms. Cherneski graduated from Temple University, where she received a BA in Elementary and Special Education. After completing her Bachelors Degree, she worked as a special education teacher at the elementary, middle and high school levels in both public and alternative schools for ten years. While teaching, she attended graduate school and received her Masters in Education along with the LDTC certification from Rutgers University. She has been employed by the Hackettstown School District for the past four years as a Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant at the elementary and middle school levels.

Nancy Padula
Hackettstown High School
908-852-5150 Ext. 2239
[email protected]

Ms.Padula earned her Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Language from Kean University. She graduated with standard certifications as a Speech Correctionist, Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Teacher of the Handicapped, and Teacher of Art. 

For the next 20 years, she taught special education students with learning and behavioral disabilities in public and private schools in New Jersey and students who were deaf or hard of hearing in New York at Lexington School for the Deaf. In 1997, 


Ms. Padula earned a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from Georgian Court University in 1997. She received standard certifications as a Principal, Supervisor, and Teacher of Elementary PS-8. She then worked as a principal at a school for students with behavioral disabilities and an assistant principal at Abraham Clark High School in Rahway, New Jersey, and Ewing High School in Ewing, New Jersey.  


In 2007, she returned to graduate school and earned a standard certification as a Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant (LDTC) in 2008. Since then, she has worked in public education as an LDTC in New Jersey. She has been with the Hackettstown School District since 2022. 

What are the responsibilities of the LDT/C
The LDT/C:
  • Provides the educational assessment of individual students as part of the multi-disciplinary Child Study Team (CST) evaluation.
  • May be the CST representative on the Intervention and Referral Service (I & RS).
  • Provides case management services to students
  • Assigned to a student when it is determined that an initial evaluation shall be conducted.  [NJAC 6A:14-3.2(a)]
  • Coordinates the development, monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness of the IEP.
  • Facilitates communication between home and school
  • Coordinates the annual review and reevaluation process [NJAC 6A:14-3.2(b)]
  • Consults with teachers regarding instruction, instructional strategies, modifications and accommodations, implementation of IEP and specific concerns and issues regarding individual students
  • Assists in providing initial IEP goals
  • Provides in-service training to teachers and parents

 Educational Assessments

 An Educational Assessment includes, but is not limited to

  • Individualized Standardized Testing
  • Woodcock Johnson Test of Achievement III
    • Most commonly used nationally normed assessment told
    • Data derived from the assessment assists in determining eligibility and creating an appropriate program
  • Battelle Developmental Inventory II
    • Preschool inventory of skills including
      • Motor
      • Cognitive
      • Personal/ Social
      • Communication
      • Adaptive
      • Functional Assessments
  • Observation in class or non-structured setting
  • Parent interview
  • Teacher interview
  • Student interview
  • Questionnaires

 Recommended Tools to Assist Your Child’s Educational Development and Transition to Post-Secondary Life

  • Audio Books
  • Voice recorders
  • An organizer, i.e. personal calendar or agenda
  • Educational Games, i.e. computer, electronic, board, card, imaginative
  • Typing tutorials
  • Educational websites
  • Spellcheckers
  • Calculators
Association on Higher Education and Disability

Books on the Internet

Council for Exceptional Children

Deaf Resource Library

Disability Resources on the Internet

Educational Resources Information Center

Exceptional Parent

Learning Disabilities on Line

Learning Disability Association of America

Public Broadcasting System for Kids