Administrative Team

Karen Kaplan BS/MS
Executive Director

Karen Kaplan has over 30 years of experience in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorders and developmental learning challenges. She possesses a credential in speech and hearing as well as an administrative credential. Her roles as Head of School and Executive Director of schools for students with special needs have given her a wide base of knowledge and experience. Karen works as a private consultant with family resource centers, parents, public and private schools, colleges and universities that support the needs of Autism Spectrum Disorders and similar learning differences. She is the founder of the Autism Lecture Series and The ASD Resource & Exposition at Dominican University in San Rafael, California. She participates on the San Francisco/Marin Autism Taskforce and is the chair of the Autism Housing Committee. She is on the Marin Autism Collaborative Steering Committee and chairs the Educational Sub-committee. 

Laxmi Ghale
Program Coordinator

Laxmi has been working with special needs children for the past six years. She holds a B.A. in Business Administration and an A.S. degree in Early Childhood Education. Her interests fall in the areas of behavior management and implementation of different communication strategies.

Bethany Rios
Business Coordinator

Bethany is fluent in American Sign Language, and has previously worked with deaf special needs children as well as in the classroom of Wings Learning Center. She enjoys watching the students' of Wings thrive and make progress while supporting the operations of the school.

Andrew Cheney
Operations Coordinator

Andrew has worked with and around children for most of his career. He started at a private school in Foster City running the after school and tutoring programs, spent seven years in municipal recreation management with the cities of Foster City and Burlingame running Youth and Teen Programs, and recently worked for a higher-education technology company. Andrew brings enthusiasm and creativity to his role of Operations Coordinator and works hard to ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff while maintaining our beautiful facility. 

Pilar España
Community & Events Coordinator

Pilar España joined the Wings team in September of 2014. She is a Native of Bolivia and has lived in the Bay Area for the past 17 years, working for the Corporate, Non-profit and Education sectors. In her current role, she assists the Executive Director with events and fundraising for the school. She’s enjoying the challenges that this new role brings. 

Karen Chavez
Education Program Manager

Karen has been working with youth since 2008. She has worked at several different after-school programs in the Bay Area, and also interned at the San Mateo County Juvenile Hall from 2009-2011. She loves helping students achieve their goals through hard work and perseverance. She started at Wings in 2013 as an instructional assistant with Secondary students. Karen is currently pursuing a B.A. in Psychology and has a background in Criminal Justice.