The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region Elects Four New Board Members


The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region (The Arc NCR) is proud to announce the election of Susan Foster Austin, Ph.D., Andrea Harkins Parrish, Ed.D., Norma Jajistar and Michael Simms to its board of directors.


Susan Foster Austin is the Director of Special Education for Harford County Public Schools, where she is responsible for the oversight of all special education services and programs. She has received honors from the Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society and volunteers for the Eden Mill Nature Center as well as Habitat for Humanity.



Andrea Harkins Parrish, Ed.D. is an assistant professor in the Department of Special Education at Towson University where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses with a focus on special education as well as technology integration. She holds degrees in special education, a certificate in educational administration and a doctorate in instructional technology. She is a recipient of the 2018 “Best Student Paper” award by the American Education Research Association (AERA) as well as the Louise Lippy McHahan Memorial Scholarship from Towson University.



Norma Jajistar is currently the office manager for Point Breeze Credit Union, where she is tasked with oversight of the main headquarters’ branch operations. With more than 25 years’ experience in the banking industry, she diligently works to provide easy, reliable bank services to help members of the credit union save time and money.



Michael Simms serves as Vice President for Leidos – Advanced Solutions Group. Mike has more than 25 years of experience in the delivery of complex solutions and services to customers in the federal, commercial and state business areas. Over the past 19 years with Leidos, Simms has established a strong understanding of how to work through the complex government acquisition process among other processes to deliver results in support of key leadership. Simms has a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Texas and is a registered Professional Engineer in Texas.


“We are extremely excited to welcome this diverse group of professionals to our board of directors,” says Shawn Kros, The Arc NCR’s chief executive. “We look forward to utilizing their field expertise and past experiences as they serve as champions for those in our communities with differing abilities.”


The Arc NCR’s Board of Directors consists of self-advocates, parents and family members of those with differing abilities as well as business professionals from companies who support diversity in their workforce. The organization’s election cycle is annual and welcomes nominations from a variety of sources, ranging from current and former board members to staff and other supporters of The Arc NCR. Nominations for those who may be an asset to the mission of the organization are to be submitted via email to [email protected]


About The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region
For sixty-five years, The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region has empowered people with differing abilities to live, work and play in our community by providing support services and advocacy to adults and children and their families in Harford and Cecil Counties. For more information, call 410-836-7177 or visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.