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Office Of Chief Counsel - Pennsylvania Department of Education




Castillo, Sarah M.
Assistant Counsel
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market St. 9th Floor
Harrisburg, PA  17126-0333 
(717) 787-5500 

Sarah Castillo joined the Department of Education as Assistant Counsel in 2012.  She is primarily responsible for handling educator discipline matters, where she represents the Department in administrative proceedings before the Professional Standards and Practices Commission.  In her previous employment, Sarah prosecuted a variety of misdemeanor and felony criminal cases as an Assistant District Attorney in Adams County, Pennsylvania.  As an ADA, Sarah specialized in prosecuting child abuse cases and crimes against women.  While in law school, Sarah worked for the Office of Attorney General, in the Criminal Law and Environmental Crimes sections, as a paid legal intern.  Sarah graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.A. in Communication Disorders, and an M.A. in Speech Language Pathology.  Sarah received her Juris Doctorate from Duquesne University.  In addition to her legal work, Sarah has worked as a Speech Language Pathologist in a variety of settings. 




Crosby, Shane F.
Assistant Counsel
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market St. 9th Floor
Harrisburg, PA  17126-0333 
(717) 787-5500

Shane Crosby became Assistant Counsel in the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Office of Chief Counsel in April of 2008.  He is primarily responsible for the prosecution of educator misconduct complaints before the Professional Standards and Practices Commission.  Prior to joining the Department of Education in 2008, Shane worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Adams County, where he prosecuted a variety of felony and misdemeanor cases, with a focus on crimes involving violence against women.  He also worked as an associate in a small civil litigation firm and as a law clerk for the Honorable John S. Kennedy of the York County Court of Common Pleas.  He earned his J.D. from the Dickinson School of Law and his B.A. from the College of Charleston.


Datorre, Robert T.
Assistant Counsel
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market St. 9th Floor
Harrisburg, PA  17126-0333 
(717) 787-5500

Robert T. Datorre became an Assistant Counsel with the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Office of Chief Counsel in January of 2012, and primarily concentrates on litigation.  Prior to joining the Department of Education, Mr. Datorre served as Assistant Counsel with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Office of Legal Counsel, focusing his representation with the Deputy Secretary for Quality Assurance.  Mr. Datorre also served the Department of Health as general litigation counsel for the Department in administrative, state and federal tribunals.  Previously, Mr. Datorre was an Assistant City Attorney and Police Legal Advisor with the City of Miami Beach, Florida.    Mr. Datorre is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and Florida, and before the U.S. District Courts for the Southern District of Florida and Middle District of Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.  Mr. Datorre received his B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Florida in 1998, and his J.D. from the University of Miami in 2001.

Mr. Datorre also currently serves as the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division’s Delegate to the PBA’s House of Delegates and in various other leadership roles in the PBA.  Mr. Datorre has served as a regular speaker at various continuing education seminars throughout Pennsylvania.


     

 
Feuchtenberger, Karen S.
Senior Assistant Counsel
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market St., 9th Floor,
Harrisburg, PA  17126-0333
(717) 787-5500 

Karen Feuchtenberger received a Bachelor of Arts degree from East Stroudsburg University in 1975 with a major in Sociology.  Her work history includes employment as a Home and School Visitor in a public school district and an Administrative Assistant in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.  She graduated magna cum laude from the Dickinson School of Law in 1990 and worked in the business department of Duane, Morris and Heckscher in Harrisburg for two years.  Ms. Feuchtenberger then moved to the firm of Goldberg, Katzman, and Shipman, where she worked in the litigation department practicing mainly in the area of insurance defense. She remained at Goldberg for six years and became a shareholder in the firm.  In 1998, she moved into the public sector and became an assistant counsel in the Pennsylvania Department of Education. She concentrates on charter school issues, litigation, administrative agency law, right to know requests, teacher tenure appeals, and school strikes. 




M. Patricia, Fullerton
Assistant Chief Counsel
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market St., 9th Floor,
Harrisburg, PA  17126-0333
(717) 787-5500 

Pat Fullerton graduated from Bloomsburg State University and the Dickinson School of Law.  Prior to entering law school, Pat taught special education for three years.  She has been with the Office of Chief Counsel since 1985 and was involved with the Gaskin case since it was filed in 1994 to its conclusion.  Pat's areas of expertise include teacher preparation and certification, special education, and basic education.




Helling, Ernest N.
Assistant Chief Counsel
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market St., 9th Floor,
Harrisburg, PA  17126-0333
(717) 787-5500
 

Ernest N. Helling's primary focus at present is administrative and transactional law, although he has significant experience in many other areas of education law as well.  He serves as counsel to the State Charter School Appeal Board and the Board of Private Licensed Schools.   

Ernie joined the Office in 1977, as an Assistant Attorney General and remained after enactment of the Commonwealth Attorneys Act.  In 1986 he became Assistant Chief Counsel and has served in that capacity since then, with intervening stints as Acting Chief Counsel on four occasions in 1989, 1999, 2002 and 2005.  Prior to coming to the Department of Education he was a Legal Services Consultant to the Pennsylvania Office for the Aging.  He received his bachelor of arts in history from Fordham University in 1972 and his juris doctor from The Dickinson School of Law in 1975.

Ernie is a member of the Office of General Counsel Regulatory and Transaction Practice Groups and represented the Transaction Practice Group as a presenter at OGC University 2009.  He has also been a lecturer/presenter on various education law topics for both national and state organizations and is a member of the National Council of State Education Attorneys.  He is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the Middle and Eastern District federal courts in Pennsylvania.
 





Hockenberry, Sara
Assistant Counsel
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market St., 9th Floor,
Harrisburg, PA  17126-0333
(717) 787-5500 

Sara Hockenberry rejoined the Department of Education's Office of Chief Counsel as Assistant Counsel in May 2010.  Her areas of concentration include private academic schools, adult basic and literacy education, libraries, and career and technical education issues.  Ms. Hockenberry previously worked with the Office of Chief Counsel in 2007 as a law clerk involved with educator discipline and certification matters.
Her work history includes employment as a legal intern with the Office of Attorney General, Medicaid Fraud Control Section and the Governor's Office of General Counsel in the Department of Health's Office of Legal Counsel.   Most recently, she served as a law clerk to the Honorable Bernard L. McGinley, Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.
Ms. Hockenberry graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree, magna cum laude, from James Madison University and received her juris doctorate degree, cum laude, from the Widener University School of Law.  She is an Associate in the James S. Bowman, American Inns of Court.





Lord, Patrick
Assistant Counsel
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market St., 9th Floor,
Harrisburg, PA  17126-0333
(717) 787-5500 
Patrick Lord is an Assistant Counsel in the Pennsylvania Department of Education.  He previously served the Commonwealth as Deputy General Counsel in the Office of General Counsel.  Prior to his service with the Commonwealth, Patrick worked as an associate in the Corporate and Securities departments of two large Philadelphia law firms and as a law clerk to the Honorable Anita B. Brody, Federal District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  Patrick graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University with a degree in History in 1994 and received his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1997.





Miller, Joseph M.
Chief Counsel
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market St., 9th Floor,
Harrisburg, PA  17126-0333
(717) 787-5500

Joseph Miller is Chief Counsel of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, previously serving as Assistant Chief Counsel beginning in 2007, and Assistant Counsel starting in 1993.  During his service to the Department, he has represented the agency in a variety of litigation matters in state and federal courts, as well as in administrative proceedings.  Mr. Miller also advises the agency on a wide range of statutory and regulatory matters, with concentration in school finance, fiscally distressed school districts, educator furlough matters, safe school issues, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and charter schools. 
Mr. Miller has worked on projects for the Office of General Counsel, including most recently on electronic discovery issues.  Over the years, he has made presentations to audiences inside and outside state government on electronic discovery, document management, charter school issues, legal writing, and educator discipline matters.

Prior to joining the Department of Education, Mr. Miller was an associate with a mid-sized law firm in Cleveland, Ohio, and served as law clerk to the Honorable Alice M. Batchelder, a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  Mr. Miller received his J.D. summa cum laude from the Dickinson School of Law in 1990, and graduated summa cum laude from Allegheny College in 1987.





Sivulich-Hoffman, Susan

Assistant Counsel
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market St., 9th Floor,
Harrisburg, PA  17126-0333
(717) 787-5500 

Susan Sivulich-Hoffman has worked part time at the Department of Education since August 2009.  Her practice focuses on transactional, procurement, and privacy issues.  Immediately upon graduating from law school in 2000, Ms. Hoffman worked for the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General in the Information, Technology, and Law Section in Harrisburg.  She researched and developed policies for Internet and technology issues.  While at the Attorney General's Office, she also worked in the Public Protection Division.  After her employment at the Attorney General's Office, Ms. Hoffman worked on very large complex pharmaceutical case at a private law firm in Harrisburg. 

In 2005, Ms. Hoffman returned to work for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the Department of General Services.  Initially, she worked in the Litigation Section.  After two years, Ms. Hoffman transferred to the Real Estate Section where she focused on leasing issues.  Ms. Hoffman graduated cum laude from Villanova University School of Law.  She graduated magna cum laude from Shippensburg University with a degree in Business Management. Ms. Hoffman is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association.  She is admitted to practice before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court.




Snyder, Samantha
Assistant Counsel
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market St., 9th Floor,
Harrisburg, PA  17126-0333
(717) 787-5500 

Ms. Snyder joined the Department's Office of Chief Counsel as a Legal Intern in May of 2007 and as Assistant Counsel in October of 2008.  While in law school, Samantha also completed internships at MidPenn Legal Services, Regional Housing Legal Services and the Pennsylvania School Boards Association.   She concentrates her work on No Child Left Behind, the Individuals with Disabilities Act, vocational-technical education and educator discipline issues.  Samantha received Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Psychology from Muhlenberg College in 2005 and received a juris doctorate degree, manga cum laude, from the Penn State Dickinson School of Law in 2008.    





Tomaine, Robert M.
Assistant Counsel
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market St., 9th Floor,
Harrisburg, PA  17126-0333
(717) 787-5500 

Since 2001 Robert Tomaine has provided legal advice to and worked closely with the Secretary of Education, Deputy Secretaries and Bureau Directors in a wide range of areas including: human resources, school construction, alternative education and federal food programs.  On a regular basis, Bob represents the Department in litigation before administrative agencies and the Commonwealth Court.  Bob also serves as a faculty member and lecturer for educational programs conducted by the Department and the Office of General Counsel.  Prior to joining the Office of Chief Counsel, Bob was a law clerk and attorney with the Pennsylvania State Civil Service Commission.



Werner, Nicole M.
Assistant Counsel
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market St., 9th Floor,
Harrisburg, PA  17126-0333
(717) 787-5500 

Nicole M. Werner joined the Department's Office of Chief Counsel in October 2007.  Ms. Werner's primary area of concentration is professional educator discipline, where she represents the Department in administrative proceedings before the Professional Standards and Practices Commission.  Ms. Werner also advises Department clients on a variety of issues and serves as an advisor to the Secretary on Act 48 appeals.  Prior to her appointment with the Department, Ms. Werner was an associate attorney with the law firm of Nealon, Gover & Perry where she concentrated her practice on insurance defense and family law.  Ms. Werner received her B.A. degree cum laude from Duquesne University and her juris doctor from the Widener University School of Law.





Zaccarelli, Mark G.
Assistant Counsel
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market St., 9th Floor,
Harrisburg, PA  17126-0333
(717) 787-5500 

Mark Zaccarelli rejoined the Office of Chief Counsel in May 2006, having previously served from August of 2000 until 2003.  He advises the Department on a wide range of certification matters and migrant education issues.  He represents the Department in educator disciplinary actions and serves as an advisor to the Secretary on Act 48 appeals.  Mr. Zaccarelli previously worked with the Office of Chief Counsel from August 2000 until May 2003.  Prior to joining the Department, he served as an attorney for the Battered Women's Justice Project (a national legal project of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence) and spent several years as a poverty law attorney with Central Pennsylvania Legal Services.  He is a certified mediator and has mediated special education cases through the offices of PaTTAN.  Mr. Zaccarelli graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh with degrees in History and Psychology in 1988 and received his J.D. from Temple University in 1991.