Ivymount Organization is recognized nationally for excellence and educational innovation. We owe this success to our team of talented and dedicated leaders, staff, and boards of directors.
Susan Holt, Executive Director and CEO
Susan became Executive Director and CEO of Ivymount Organization in June of 2018, following an extensive career as part of Ivymount’s senior leadership and management team. She has held roles of increasing responsibility since she first joined Ivymount in 1994, including Director of the Ivymount School Autism Program (1997-2014), Ivymount School Director (2014-2016) and Ivymount School and Outreach Director (2016-2018).
Susan earned a B.A. from George Mason University and an M.A. in Psychological Services/Counseling from Marymount University. She is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst with over two decades of experience working in homes, public and private schools, and community settings as a therapist, trainer and consultant.
Susan is known throughout the region for her expertise in autism education, evidence-based practices, program development and professional training and supervision. Under her guidance, Ivymount staff, students, families, and partners collaborate to ensure that neurodiverse individuals become productive and valued members of the community.
Ivymount has a unique history of leadership, having had only three executive directors since our founding in 1961. Their long-term dedication to the field of special education and intimate knowledge of our students and clients has produced far-reaching impact.
Director & CEO
Shari was the founding director of Ivymount School in 1961, serving in that role until 1997. During her remarkable tenure, the school grew from one child, one teacher, and one therapist, housed at Christ Church in Bethesda, Maryland, then to five sites in the 1970’s, and finally to the consolidation of the various classes to the Ivymount’s current location.
Shari’s philosophy centered around the need to serve children whose challenges were not being adequately met in their public schools. She developed a program that eventually included interdisciplinary teams of special educators and therapists to meet the individual learning, behavioral, social, and physical challenges of children, and eventually young adults, with developmental disabilities. Shari led the school through its formative years, securing the foundation that remains in place today.
In l997, Jan became Ivymount School’s second-only director and served in that capacity until 2015 when she was named as Ivymount’s first CEO. Jan built on Shari’s foundation to encourage and celebrate students’ accomplishments and, as well, to consistently recognize staff for their dedication and contributions to the learning environment.
Under Jan’s leadership, Ivymount grew in many remarkable ways that included serving students from ages 4 -21, the development of programs for students across the autism spectrum, a robust School-to-Work program for young adults, outreach services to children and families throughout the Greater Washington, DC region, and the investment in evaluating student outcomes to refine the school’s programs and services.
Jan’s vision was to take the best of what Ivymount School offered and make it available to a broad community of students, parents, and professionals. She collaborated with partners such as Children’s National Medical Center, the National Institutes of Health, Georgetown University Hospital Pediatrics, the Smithsonian Institution, Montgomery County Government, and the region’s special education community. Her legacy will be defined by her lifelong dedication to ensuring the highest possible standards for special education that contribute to the success of children and young adults.