School Board Details
Biographies on School Board
Bob has been a part of Rising Stars since 2009 when it was nothing more than a shared dream. He has been a strong supporter and advocate of special education since 1992. As a parent of a special education student Bob knows all too well the short-comings of our public education system and has worked to improve the special education student’s educational experience. As an entrepreneur and successful business manager he understands that disability focused initiatives are not only a strategic advantage for the community but has become a business imperative. His goal for Rising Stars is to create a program that combines both academic learning and practical skill building enabling the student to actively participate in their community through gainful employment and independent living.
My name is Charisse Cossu-Kowalski and my husband and I have four children. Our oldest two were born in Russia and both are affected by pre-natal exposure to alcohol. Since 2002 I have been actively involved in committees that address either fetal alcohol spectrum disorders or special education needs. Though important for all children, it is especially important for children who have special needs to have an educational program that is individualized and teaches whole life skills. Rising Stars Academy is a unique and appealing program because it tailors its programming to meet the needs of the whole person and helps students to develop a circle of support that may last a lifetime.
Annette Duda is the current Vice President of the Macomb/St. Clair County Chapter of the Autism Society. She has been involved with the Board for many years and served in many different capacities. The Chapter is very important because of the support that is given to families in the autism community and it has been very rewarding. Annette and her husband of 24 years, Chris have 2 adult sons, one affected by Autism. Having a child with special needs makes you a stronger person and a constant advocate. Annette works as an Office Manger for an Architectural Firm and lives in Warren. Rising Stars Academy is a very exciting project that she is very proud to be a part of. This is an incredible opportunity for many special needs students now and in the future.