We find a way.

Our school symbol is a compass and our slogan is: “Nos viam inveniam” – We find a way. This guiding emblem reminds us to hope, to strive, to lean on each other, and to believe in ourselves.

Take a tour!
We are proud to welcome prospective students, families, and interested educators to tour our Essex site. Due to the COVID19 pandemic, there are some restrictions, but we are dedicated to finding a time that works for our visitors. Call (959) 265-8184 to make arrangements.

Meet our leadership team:

Pamela L. Potemri, Ed.D; potemrip@ct-ca.org

Pamela Potemri is the Executive Director of Connecticut Coastal Academy. Prior to this, Dr. Potemri served as an education consultant and disability specialist and the Training Director and Assistant Professor at the University Of Connecticut, Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Research, Education, and Service. Within the public school setting, she served as a director of pupil services in Connecticut and Rhode Island, an assistant high school principal, and an elementary and secondary special educator. Dr. Potemri received her master’s degree in Special Education – Inclusion Specialist from Simmons College in Boston. She earned her Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies and Doctorate in Educational Administration and Leadership from Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island where she also served as a graduate-level, adjunct faculty member teaching the Administration and Organization of Special Education

Joseph M. Potemri, M.Ed; potemrij@ct-ca.org

Joseph Potemri is the Director of Operations for Connecticut Coastal Academy. With 30 years of experience in public education, he has served as a high school administrator; a mathematics and computer science teacher; an athletics coach in baseball, soccer, and basketball; and a volleyball official at both the high school and collegiate levels. During his long tenure, he worked to bring technological solutions and innovations in teaching, learning, and information management to the school communities he served. He holds a Master of Education in Administration from Providence College and a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Rhode Island College.

Kevin O’Brien; obrienk@ct-ca.org 

Kevin O’Brien is the assistant director of Connecticut Coastal Academy. He provides direct instruction to the 18-22 transition program and oversees staff training; and curriculum and program development schoolwide. Kevin has more than a decade of experience teaching English Language Arts, Social Sciences and Executive Functioning Skills at Star Academy in San Rafael, California. He previously served as a teaching fellow in Langa township, Cape Town, South Africa, for TeachAfrica, a program that prepares students in impoverished areas to live and work competitively in a global environment. He is a certified special education teacher and holds a Master of Science in Curriculum Design. While at Star Academy, he headed up an internship program for high school students and established a college readiness curriculum.

Sarah Bochet, LCSW; bochets@ct-ca.org 

Sarah Bochet is the Clinical Director of Connecticut Coastal Academy. She formerly served as Associate Director of Outpatient Services at Sound Community Services and as Director of Crisis and Outreach Services at Kids in Crisis in Cos Cob, Connecticut. Sarah has worked as a mental health and substance abuse counselor in outpatient, psychiatric inpatient, residential and school settings where she has provided individual, group and family counseling across the lifespan. Sarah has also been a certified trainer in Cornell University’s Therapeutic Crisis Intervention System and in Trauma-Informed Care. Sarah completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Delaware and her Master of Social Work at Hunter College in New York City where she specialized in community organizing and program development in addition to clinical practice. Sarah now holds her clinical license in Connecticut.

Consulting staff

Dr. Barry Prizant (https://barryprizant.com/) is a speech-language pathologist with close to 50 years experience as a researcher and international consultant for individuals with autism and related neurodevelopmental conditions, and their families. He is a Visiting Scholar at Brown University and director of Childhood Communication Services. His publications include The SCERTS Model manuals, an educational approach implemented in more than a dozen countries; four books, and 130 scholarly chapters and articles. Dr. Prizant has presented more than 900 seminars and keynote addresses internationally; he was invited to present twice at the United Nations for World Autism Awareness Day. He has received numerous honors over the course of his long career.

Scroll to Top