Westport Day School


Dawn Matera, Ed.D., Founder. Dr. Matera holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Sacred Heart University, Master of Science Degree in Special Education and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Southern Connecticut State University. She has also completed a teacher training program and obtained her Connecticut State Teaching Certification.

Dr. Matera is also the Founder and Executive Director of A Way to Learn, which has been providing academic coaching, executive function coaching, and tutoring for students of all abilities since 2008. She has over fifteen years of experience delivering specialized instruction and programming for complex learners at schools like Eagle Hill Southport and Winston Preparatory School in Norwalk. Contact: dmatera@westportdayschool.org

Mark Beitel, Ph.D., Founder. Dr. Beitel is a licensed clinical psychologist. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Psychology Honors Program at the University of Michigan, a Master of Arts degree from the New School for Social Research, and a Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Fordham University. He received clinical training at Bellevue Hospital Center, New York University Medical Center, and St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital. Dr. Beitel received college-specific training in the counseling centers of Fordham University and Northern Arizona University. Post-doctoral work took place at Yale University School of Medicine.

Dr. Beitel began his career at Yale as a full-time member of the Psychiatry faculty and now serves part-time as an Assistant Clinical Professor. In this capacity, he teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate level, conducts psychotherapy research, and provides supervision to trainees ranging from college interns to medical residents. He is affiliated with the Ethnicity, Race, and Migration program at Yale College. Dr. Beitel also served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry) in the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University.

He has authored or coauthored more than 40 scientific articles on personality, psychotherapy, substance use, chronic pain, integrative medicine, and culture. His current research interests include 1) the role of personality variables in health, illness, and treatment, 2) complementary and/or alternative mental health interventions, such as acupuncture, mindfulness, and physical activity, specifically yoga, and 3) the theory and practice of behavioral health interventions with Native Americans. Contact: mbeitel@westportdayschool.org

Walter Signora, Education Director & Chief Administrator. Walter joined the Westport Day School team July 2021. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from S.U.N.Y. at Cortland, Master of Science in School Counseling from Central CT State University, and his Educational Leadership, 6Th Year Program from Sacred Heart University.

Walter has experience in both public and private education. He brings an incredible and well-rounded record of thirty-plus years of experience in the field of student services and as a pupil services school administrator. He has worked for over ten years in therapeutic private school settings and during that time served for almost three years as the education director at a CSDE approved special education program. To compliment this unique private sector background, Walter has also worked for over twenty years at a public middle and high school as a school counselor, coordinator for college and career services, and director of school counseling. During his fifteen years as director of school counseling he oversaw the transition of several thousand students to college and other appropriate post-secondary opportunities.

Walter has a sincere desire on providing a highly individualized experience for each student at WDS. With this in mind, you can expect him to promote a high level of over-all collaboration among stakeholders to assist each student to achieve his or her specific goals and objectives. Contact: wsignora@westportdayschool.org

Todd Sudora, Director of Operations. Todd attended Southern Connecticut State University and received an Associates of Science in Computer Network Operations from Gibb’s College. He is responsible for overseeing the daily operation, human resources and finances for the school. Contact: tsudora@westportdayschool.org

Sara Evans, Director of Admissions and Student Affairs. Sara holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT. She is responsible for the organization and management of the admissions process, as well as acts as registrar and provides day-to-day support to students and parents. Contact: sevans@westportdayschool.org