Profile: Leslie Calabrese

Instructor of Professional Practice

Leslie Calabrese, Instructor of Professional Practice, supports the development and applied practice of GSE pre-service teachers through her role as Partnership Leader in the GSE Community School Partnership Network (GSE-CSPN). Accordingly, she supervises and evaluates GSE teacher candidates during their clinical experiences and--by leveraging her extensive experience an a urban educator in communities such as New Brunswick, Plainfield, and Asbury Park--provides the resources and evidence-based best practices necessary to both meet the specific needs of the partner school district and their P-12 students and teachers, as well as equip teacher candidates with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to teach and advocate for all students.

Compelled by her strong writing ability and an interest in studying people, Calabrese studied journalism and sociology as an undergraduate student at Rutgers University, before going to earn her teacher certification. As an education practitioner, she was drawn to working with students that faced individualized and disruptive behavioral challenges, and consequently enrolled in a graduate program specializing in Special Education at New Jersey City University. She would later go on to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and earn various certifications including Teacher of the Handicapped.  Calabrese’s focus as an educator has been to develop meaningful understandings of diverse students and their experiences--including the social, economic, historical, and political dimensions of urban communities--and to harness that understanding to address student attrition.  As an Instructor of Professional Practice, she hopes to instill this practice in her students and ensure the GSE’s mission to Advance Excellence and Equity in Education is being embodied long after their graduation in their teaching practice.


Applied Behavior Analysis, Graduate School of Professional Psychology, Rutgers University (2016)

M.A. in Special Education, New Jersey City University (1997)

B.A. in Journalism/Mass Media and Sociology, Rutgers University (1993)

Expertise & Research Interest

GSE Community School Partnership Network

Pre-Service Teacher Support

Student Engagement

Behavioral Therapy

Special Education

Clinical Experience

Part-time Instructor, Rutgers GSE (2017-2018)

BCBA-Clinical Supervisor, Hybridge Learning Group (2017-present)

Behavior Therapist & Program Coordinator, Hybridge Learning Group (2017)

Language Arts Special Education Teacher/ Self-Contained SLD Teacher, New Brunswick Public Schools (2012-2018)

First Grade Inclusion/Co-Teacher, New Brunswick Public Schools (2012-2018)

Home Instruction Teacher, Middlesex County Regional Educational Services Commission (2012-present)

Alternative Educator, Asbury Park Public Schools (2000-2003)

Special Programs Instructor, Essex High School/Essex County Educational Services Commission (2000)

Alternative Educator/Teacher, Plainfield Public Schools (1995-2000)



  • Phone: 
    (848) 932-0817
  • Office Address: 

    GSE Room 308

  • Program Affiliations:

    5-Year Teacher Education Program

    Teacher Certification Program

    Ed.M. Program

    Special Education