John F. Kennedy High School Alumni

Paterson, New Jersey (NJ)

Alumni Stories

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Elaine Santiago

Class of 1977

After graduating from John F. Kennedy High, I married, had a family and was a stay at home mom for many years. Unfortunately, after 11 years of marriage, I divorced my high school sweetheart and was faced with the challenges of being a single parent. I enrolled in a 6 month secretarial course at Sawyer Business School and received a certificate in Wordprocessing/Secretarial. I worked at the Barnert Memorial Hospital as a secretary in one of the administrative offices for over seven years and eventually relocated to South Florida. I remarried in South Florida and had one more child. The child who would change my life forever. He was diagnosed with autism when he was two and a half. I was devastated. After observing his significant progress through applied behavior analysis therapy, I decided to pursue a career in applied behavior analysis and work with children with autism. I enrolled in my local community college, struggled with the adjustment to school again, and graduated in 2005 with an Associates of Arts degree. I then transferred to a 4 year institution and completed my Bachelor of Arts in Exceptional Student Education. I worked as an ESE teacher in a middle school and had 5 students with profound autism and comorbid disabilities. In 2008 I enrolled in a Masters degree program and completed my Masters in Counseling with concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis in 2010. I am currently in my second year of a doctorate program. I am pursuing my doctorate in education with concentration in special education and minor in autism. In September I will be taking the behavior analysis certification exam in order to be a board certified behavior analyst. I currently work as an autism tutor and provide behavioral interventions to children with autism. My tentative graduation date for my doctoral degree is June of 2013.

Military Alumni

Military High School Alumni

Honoring Our Heroes

This area is dedicated to our alumni that have served or are serving in our armed forces!

Lost Class Rings

Have you lost your John F. Kennedy High School class ring? Have you found someone's class ring? Visit our Knights lost class ring page to search for your class ring or post information about a found ring.

Do you have a fun holiday story or a great family tradition? Share them with our fellow John F. Kennedy High School alumni! Submit your own stories, achievements and photos in our Alumni Stories section. Read other classmate’s stories and see what they have been up to over the years.

Happy Holidays!