Meet Our Collaborators
Kids First maintains collaborative relationships with highly accomplished professionals who are passionate about supporting children and families. We believe in fostering collaboration among private practitioners to ensure the very best services for our clients. Below you will find more information about our extended "family" of collaborators.
DAVID SAXE, ESQ., ED.D.
Dr. David Saxe is a licensed attorney and founder of Saxe Law, LLC. David specializes in Family Law and Special Education Law. He is dedicated to providing expert services to families, putting parents on equal footing with their school districts, and safeguarding the rights of children.
Prior to becoming an attorney, Dr. Saxe worked as a school psychologist conducting comprehensive student evaluations to assist in determining eligibility for special education and related services. He engaged collaborative teams in data analysis and student progress monitoring, provided counseling and crisis intervention services, and consulted with parents, teachers, staff, and private providers. He has extensive experience conducting functional behavior assessments (FBAs) and manifestation determination reviews (MDRs), drafting individualized education programs (IEPs), behavior intervention plans (BIPs), and Section 504 plans, and facilitating IEP team decisions regarding present levels of performance, measurable IEP goals, and appropriate accommodations, modifications, supports, and services. Additionally, Dr. Saxe has years of experience as a school administrator leading the development, implementation, and evaluation of RtI programs and services, overseeing discipline investigation and appeals processes, and facilitating collaborative problem-solving by emphasizing above all else the educational needs and best interests of the child.
Dr. Saxe is the parent of five school-age children who has served his community in various ways including as a school board member, youth baseball coach, and weekly volunteer at the Willow Creek CARE Center providing consultation to individuals who need legal advice but cannot afford a lawyer. David provides professional development and parent engagement workshops with Kids First Collaborative. Additionally, he provides legal consultation to our practice with respect to issues impacting special education law.
MANDI CROFT-PETOSKEY, Ed.D., NCSP, ABSNP
Dr. Mandi Croft-Petoskey is a licensed and Nationally Certified School Psychologist and founder of Neuro Educational Specialists, LLC. Dr. Croft earned a Diplomate in School Neuropsychology from the American Board of School Neuropsychology. Dr. Croft specializes in integrating neuropsychological assessments with educational practices to identify students' needs and design effective interventions. Dr. Croft worked for seven years in a high-performing high school district where she received the Those Who Excel Award from the Illinois State Board of Education. She has conducted over 200 Neuropsychological evaluations, developed and implemented academic and behavioral interventions, made educational placement determinations as part of an IEP team, and provided consulting services for parents, teachers, and school personnel. Dr. Croft has worked extensively with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Learning Disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Low-Incidence Disabilities, Anxiety, and Depression. A Chicago-area native, Dr. Croft believes in empowering all learners and improving the quality of life of all children. Dr. Croft conducts professional development workshops with Kids First Collaborative and provides consultation to our practice around the educational impact of neurocognitive disorders.