David B. Lazerson, Ph.D.
2007 Arts Teacher of the Year - Broward County Public Schools
2008 Inductee National Teachers Hall of Fame
2010 National Science Foundation & Reaching The Pinnacle
Teacher of the Year Award of Merit


1. Ph.D. - Educational Research & Evaluation - University of Buffalo, NY. Minor in Urban Education, Magna Cum Laude, 1986

2. M.S. - Special Education - State University College at Buffalo, NY, Dept. of Learning & Behavioral Disorders, Summa Cum Laude, 1977

3. B.S. in American Studies - University of Buffalo, 1973

4. Bachelor of Divinity - Rabbinical College of America, Morristown, NJ, 1975

5. Water Safety Instructor - American Red Cross
Hold current instructor certification in Water Safety, Lifeguard Training, CPR for Professional Rescuer, Head Lifeguarding, Waterfront, First-Aid & Safety. PADI certified Scuba Diver.

6. Permanent Teacher's Certification in Special Education/VE, K-12, New York State & Florida.


1. ESE Teacher & Music Therapist - Broward County Public Schools, Provide hands-on, music and other experiential therapeutic techniques for profoundly mentally handicapped, medically-fragile, & TMH students at the Quest Center. Program services more than 150 students in this special education center. Written and received many grants for implementing a variety of motivational programs for special needs students. Developed unique "sing & sign" music group & choir. Team Leader for profound special needs department & Grant Liason at the Quest Center. 2002 - Present.

2. University Professor - Nova Southeastern University. Fischler School of Education & Human Services. EIA 506: Applied Aesthetics in the Arts – Curriculum and Instruction. EIA 512 - Arts & Expressive Therapies. January 2009 - Present.

*Florida International University (FIU), Two graduate courses in the Education & Psychology Dept: Analysis & Application research course - EDF 5481; Program Evaluation - MHS 6630. Undergraduate course: Classroom Evaluation, EDF 3430. 2001 - 2005.

3. ESE Teacher - Miami Dade County Public Schools, Varying Exceptionalities, JFK Middle School, Teach American History, Civics & Geography, Science to ESE classes. 1999 - 2002.

4. Administrator & Teacher of Special Education Programs

*Buffalo Public Schools - Learning & Behavioral Disabilities Dept., six years. Received "Teacher of the Year" award from city of Buffalo, NY, 1981.

*Director - Manhattan Day School Special Education Department. Responsible for four self-contained classrooms & two resource rooms, hiring & staff training, development of parent workshops. Taught experiential science & social studies classes for ESE students. 1983 - 1990.

*Director -HAFTR High School, Five Towns, NY. Established resource room for bilingual program, serving more than 100 students in dual curriculum.

*Director - Beth Rafael, The Alternative High School. A unique, alternative program for high school students at-risk. Responsible for all aspects of school, including concept development, implementation, intake, hiring, fund raising, evaluation, etc. Please see website listed above (Beth Rafael section) for further information.

5. Project CURE! - Director, 1991 - Present
An award-winning group initially based from Brooklyn, NY, promoting racial harmony & positive conflict resolution skills. Project formed shortly after the Crown Heights race riots in 1991. Winners of numerous civic, national & international awards, including the "Dr. Martin Luther King FULFILLING THE DREAM Award" from CBS TV in 1997. Appeared on many major TV talk shows, including Donahue, Montel Williams, CNN, ESPN, & USA Network ("Erase The Hate") feature story. Currently featured in major Showtime movie called "Crown Heights," starring Howie Mandel (as myself) and Mario Van Peebles.

6. University Instructor & Professor, 1980 - 1995
Division of Special Education, State University College at Buffalo, & Staten Island College in NY. Taught a variety of undergraduate & graduate courses in education, including; research & evaluation, classroom management techniques, individualizing instruction, materials & methods, motivational techniques, foundations of education; & measurement & assessment.

7. Head Lifeguard & Team Coach, summer camps, 1980 - Present
*Camp Mishkon - program for youth & adults with developmental disabilities, including autism, mental retardation, emotional disorders. In charge of lakefront & pool supervision and water therapy activities. 1994 - 1997

*Camp Heller - Head lifeguard and baseball & swim team coach for teenage boys. 1982 - 1993

*Camp Mesorah - Lifeguard instructor, music director, & director of Nature/Pioneering (including designing and building "high-ropes & confidence" course). Swim team coach. 1998 - Present

*Friendship Circle Winter Camp - Detroit, Mi. 1998
Assistant director for program for special needs students with developmental challenges.

8. Special Education Consultant, 1980 - Present
For private educational evaluations and parent/teacher training workshops on a variety of topics, including: motivational techniques; classroom & home management; enhancing self-concept; methods for success; outdoor education; and more.

9. Scoutmaster, Boy Scouts of America, 1980's - '90's
Directed two successful troops in Buffalo, NY & Brooklyn.

10. Assistant Editor Intern - The Forum, NYS journal of the CEC. (1981-1984).

11. Steering Committee - Association of Jewish Special Educators. (1987-1994).


Publications - Books & Articles

Fried, K. American Teacher - Heroes in the Classroom. Welcome Books. NYC. (October 2013).

Lazerson, D. Skullcaps 'n Switchblades - revised & updated. iBook release (March 2013).

Lazerson, D. (2012). Teach Me If You Can - We're All Special... Needs! BookBaby.

Smoot, B. (2010) Conversations With Great Teachers. Featuring Dr. Lazerson. Indiana University Press.

Odiduro, S. (2009, April 19). Exceptional Performances - Quest Center in Hollywood hosts talent show. Sun-Sentinel.

Lazerson, D. (2009, Jan. 31). SOS - Save Our Schools; districts need to get smart. Miami Herald.

Lazerson, D. (Dec. 2008). Lessons from middle-America; Induction to the National Teachers Hall of Fame. Nshei Journal.

Berlin, J. (2008, June 22). Lane Praises New Superstars of Education. The Emporia Gazette Weekend.

Berlin, J. (2008, June 20). Honored Teachers Discuss Problems & Solutions In Education. The Emporia Gazette.

Freidenreich, M. (2008, June 1). Quest Center students present show: personalities shine through music. Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Johnson, A. (2008, April 23). Broward music therapist recognized as one of country’s top teachers. Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Resnik, E. (2008, January 31). Dr. Laz: Hero To The Disabled. The Jewish Press.

Cultural Quarterly. (Fall 2007). Dr. Laz: Mediator, musician, mentor - and arts teacher of the year.

100 Heroes. People in Sports Who Make This a Better World. (Spring 2006). Fighting Racism. Featuring Dr. Laz & Richard Green. Orlando, Fl. NCAS Publishing.

Chai Magazine. (Spring 2006). Different strokes for different folks.

The College Magazine for Alumni & Friends (Fall 2005). Buffalo State University of New York. Alumni Profile of Dr. Laz.

Lazerson, D. (2005). Detention home and a public school - a cooperative peer tutoring trial project. Journal of Emotional & Behavioural Disorders, 10, 7-15.

Lazerson, D. (2004). Sharing Turf - Race Relations After The Crown Heights Riots.Miami, Florida. Ballad Productions.

The uplifting true story of Project CURE after Brooklyn's race riots in August 1991. With brief remarks from Dr. Cornel West, Dean of African-American Studies, Princeton University. Book was basis for story & screenplay for Showtime movie.

Malernee, J. (2004, November 15). Music magic, from Crown Heights in NY to Hollywood's Quest Center, a Jewish teacher uses music and his faith to break down barriers. South Florida Sun Sentinel, pp. A1, A6.

The 411 (June 2004). Publication of the Broward County Public Schools. The Magical Music of Dr. Laz!

Lazerson, D. (1999). Skullcaps 'N Switchblades! (3rd ed.) Lakewood, New Jersey: CIS Publishers. Best seller, based on true stories from my teaching experiences in Buffalo, NY.

Lazerson, D. (1995). Battling the Elements. New York: Mendelsohn Press. Selected essays on a variety of current topics, including environmentalism, race issues, media & TV exploitation, prayer & public schools, etc.

Lazerson, D. (2003). Those Students! Those Teachers! What's going on and what's not, in our schools, and suggestions for change. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Lazerson, D. (2003). Learn baby, learn. Motivational techniques that work. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Lazerson, D. (2001, December 26). Man returns to a different Israel after 30 years. The Miami Herald, p. 27.

Lazerson, D. (1997). Youth & education: space, place and pace. Jewish Action.

Lazerson, D. (1989). A class for Uri. The education of Jewish children with learning disabilities. Amit Woman, 14-16.

Lazerson, D. (1988). The effectiveness of cross-age tutoring with truant, junior high school students with learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 21, 253-255.

Lazerson, D. (1981). Talmudic tutoring. Learning Magazine.

Lazerson, D. (1981). Motivating learning impaired students - ideas that work. LD Observer.

Lazerson, D. (1980). I must be good if I can teach. Tutoring aggressive and withdrawn children. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 13, 152-157.

Lazerson, D. (1981). Peer tutoring with learning & behavioral problem children. National Commission on Resources for Youth - Clearinghouse Report.

On a quest to recycle: students go where no others have gone before. (May 9, 2003). South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Ft. Lauderdale. Article on Dr. Laz's unique recycling project involving autistic students from the Quest Center and local businesses.

School teaches tradition with a twist. (1995, Dec. 14). Neighbors section, The Miami Herald.

Salt of the earth, good & thirsty for justice. (1994, Sept.). Salt Magazine, for Christians who seek social justice.

Harmony breeds peace. (1992, December 30). The New York Times.

Blacks & Jews rap for racial harmony. (1993, Feb. 2). Daily News.

Making peace, biracial rap comes to Brooklyn. (1993, March). LIFE magazine.

Courting harmony. (1993, Dec. 24). The Jewish Week.

Yo! Oy! Unorthodox rap. (1992, Dec. 29). The Washington Post.

CURE to ease black-Jewish tensions. (1992, Dec. 18). The Jewish Week.

A garden for peace. (1992, May 14). New York Newsday.

Man in the middle. (1992, June 7). Buffalo News Sunday magazine section.

Brooklyn profile. (1992, March). New York Newsday.

A winner's rap. (1992, March). New York Newsday.

We're all learning disabled. (1987). The Jewish Press & Homemaker Magazine.

Talmudic ideas used in the ghetto. (1980, April 20). The New York Times.

Those who need you most. (1980). Instructor Magazine.

Wrote several educational articles for various Jewish publications from mid-80's to mid 90's, including the Jewish Homemaker, Chai Magazine, the Jewish Week, the Jewish Press. Articles included: Parent support groups; Making special education special; Motivating learning disabled students; Accepting the individual child; Hyperactive child - don't panic; Give Seymour the boot (turning off the TV); and more.


Buffalo State University. Year of the Teacher Even with Dr. Lazt: Every special child deserves an education - Every child deserves a special education. Buffalo, NY. (Feb. 2014)

Barnes & Noble. Plantation, Fl. Making Education Special & Successful Grant Writing. (Jan. 2014).

Expressive Therapies Summit. Tharapy Magic & Individuals with Special Needs. NY, NY. (Oct. 2013)

Colorado University. Living in a diverse world. Can't we all get along? Showing of Crown Heights movie with discussion and book signing. (Feb. 2013).

ATIA Annual Conference: The Quirky Quartet - Assistive Technology, Adaptive Switches, Hands-on Music & Drama for Individuals with Profound Special Needs. Orlando, Fl. (Jan. 2013).

ATIA Conference: Expressive arts for special needs. Orlando, Fl. (Jan. 2011).

United Yeshivas & Day Schools of Chicago. Two-day inservice training on individualizing instruction, motivational techniques, & clasroom management. (2011).

ATIA Annual Conference: Expressive Arts, Multi-Sensory Environments & Assistive Technology for Individuals with Special Needs. Orlando, Fl. (Jan. 2010).

Pediatric Brain & Spinal Cord Injury 7th Annual Conference. The Grove, Fl. Closing session on Multi-sensory environments & expressive arts for therapeutic use for special needs. Performance by Dr. Laz & The Sensations. (Nov.2009)

Future Teachers of America: The ABC's of Making Special Education Really Special! Black Hills State University & The National Teachers Hall of Fame. Spearfish, SD. (April 2009).

Assistive Technology Annual Conference: Get 'Em Excited! Get 'Em Involved! Hands-on Music Programs for Students with Profound Special Needs! Orlando, Fl. (Jan. 2009).

Fixing The Planet – Tikkun Olam: Jewish Council of North Central Florida & Chabad Community Center. Gainesville, Fl. (Nov. 2008).

Pediatric Brain & Spinal Cord Injury 6th Annual Conference. Keynote address: What happens after surgery? Using music & multi-sensory environments to meet the needs of children with profound special needs. Coconut Grove, Fl. (Nov. 2008).

Special Needs "Sing & Sign" Choir Performance. NOVA Southeastern University. (Nov. 2008).

Dr. Laz & The Sensations - Special Needs Choir & Drum Corp. InSync With Autism. JCC Davie, Fl. (Sept. 2008).

Wingate Oaks: in-service on using experiential music for students with profound special needs. (March 2008).

The dynamic duo: experiential music & assistive technology. ATIA Annual Conference. Orlando, Fl. (Feb. 2008).

Brandeis University. Presentation on Race Relations. (April 2007).

Race relations: living happily & productively in a multi-cultural world. Hendon, England. (March 2007).

Getting better all the time: Experiential music & adaptive technology. Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) annual conference. Orlando, Fl. (January 2007).

Yeshiva University Leadership Conference. Plantation, Fl. (March 2006).

State University College at Buffalo (SUCB) Alumni Association annual event. Showtime "Crown Heights" movie presentation and book signing. NOVA Southeastern University. (February 2006).

Experiential music for students with profound special needs. Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) annual conference. Orlando, Fl. (January 2006).

Communication. How to talk so our children and spouses (& others) will listen: How to listen so others will talk.Women's association of Inverarry, Florida. (January 2006).

Yes I can! Involving students with profound special needs. Florida Education & Technology Conference (FETC). Orlando, Fl. (January 2005).

I am somebody. Detention home teens as tutors for younger special ed students. Council for Exceptional Children national conference. Baltimore, MD. (April, 2005).

Improving Race Relations in the 21st Century. Keynote speaker, Bookfair of Houston, Texas. (November, 2004)..

Detention Home Teens Cooperative Tutoring Project. FIU College of Education Research Conference. (April 2004).

Race relations for the new millennium. Invited keynote speaker at Oxford University, England. (December 2002).

Building positive race relations. Dialogue with Muslim, Jews & Christians. Broward Community College (October 2002). Keynote speaker. Sponsored by JAM-All.

Helping your teenagers reach their potential. Parent/teacher workshop. The Shul of Bal Harbour, Education Day. (Sept. 2002).

Building self-concept for your special child. JCC on the Palisades. (summer 2002).

Barnes & Noble (1999). Book signing and speaking presentation. Aventura, Florida. On second book, Ammunition - Battling the Elements.

Book Festival, Greater Hartford JCC. Keynote speaker and special teen program on my second book, Ammunition. (November 1998).

Workshops on: classroom management; motivational techniques; methods for individualizing instruction. Teacher In-service day, the Jewish Federation of Houston, Texas. (1995).

Racial harmony program. Jewish Community Federation of Greater Rochester, NY. (1995).

Increase the peace program. University of Maryland. (Feb. 1994).

Practical methods for improving race relations - positive conflict resolution skills. Flora High School Project. Columbia, SC. (1994). Event broadcast live on educational TV to 90 school districts throughout the state.

Let's talk. Improving race relations. Keynote speaker. University of Pittsburgh, PA. (1994).

Brooklyn summit conference on racial/ethnic relations. Workshop leader.

Special Education Fair. BJE & P'Tach Organizations. New York, NY. Presented parent workshops & teacher training programs on a variety of topics, including: making special education special; classroom management; creative teaching; motivating your child/student; motivational techniques; individualizing instruction; involving parents in the process; and more. (1988 - 1995).

Crown Heights - A progressive response. Park Slope Center, Brooklyn, NY.

Learn baby, learn! Turning on turned-off students. CEC & American Association on Mental Deficiency Consortium Convention. Buffalo, NY.

CEC World Congress on Special Education. Sterling University, Scotland. Presented at two seminars & chaired program on "high risk" students. (1980).

Effective means for conflict resolution. Presentations made to following schools: Kingsboro College; Columbia University; Stonybrook; Univ. of Mass.; Queens College; Brooklyn College; Tilden HS; Prospect Park HS; Jackie Robinson HS; Van Arsdale HS; Lower East Side HS; the New School. (1992 - 1995).



Hooray For Hollywood film contest. The Quest is the Best! Hollywood, Fl. (January 2014).

Reaching The Pinnacle & National Science Foundation - 2009 Lawrence Scadden Teacher of the Year Award of Merit. For outstanding contributions to the field of science education for students with disabilities. Phil., PA. (March 2010).

National Teachers Hall of Fame. Emporia, Kansas. One of five teachers from the United States. Induction ceremony June 2008.

The Charmettes Inc. - Broward County Leadership & Community Service Award. (Dec. 2007).

Broward County Public Schools 2007 Arts Teacher of the Year. (Oct. 2007).

Distinguished Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching. University of Buffalo. (April 2007).

Distinguished Alumni Award for Contributions in Education & Comunity Service. Buffalo State College. (May 2007).

Arts Teacher of the Year. Broward County public schools. Semi-finalist. Broward Center for the Performing Arts. (Feb. 2006)

Best Buy National Teach Award. (Feb. 2005)

Special Achievement Award. NYC. Honoring Project CURE's work for improving race relations. (2004).

National Teachers Hall of Fame. Semi-finalist. (May, 2004).

Dr. MLK, Jr. Fulfilling the Dream. CBS TV. (1997).

Mother Hale Award for Community Youth Service Award. NYC. (1994).

Governor's Citation for Outstanding Service, State of New York. Presented by Gov. Mario Cuomo. (1993).

Peace site award for community service. Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture. (1993).

Community service award. NY State Senate. (1993).

Racial harmony award. NY Knicks. Presented by Anthony Mason of the Knicks at Racial Harmony Night at Madison Square Garden. (1993).

National Student-Athlete Day, Giant Steps Award. From Center for the Study of Sports in Society. Boston, Mass. (1993).

John Lindsay Prize for Race & Ethnic Relations. From Citizens Committee for NYC. (1993).

Shofar Award. From Jewish Board of the Boy Scouts of America. For distinguished service to youth & scouting in NYC. (1992).

Mayor's Superstars Award. Featured on SONY screen in Times Square, NYC. (1992).

Unity award. Borough of Brooklyn. Presented by Borough President Golden. (1992).

Teacher of the Year. Buffalo, New York public schools. (1981).

Help Young America Campaign to Help the Handicapped. National Fifth Prize, Colgate-Palmolive Co. (1981).

Scouter of the Year. Buffalo, New York. District award of merit from Boy Scouts of America. (1980).

Additional Information

1. Grant writer:
Have written & received more than 30 grants from many different sources, for both educational & conflict resolution programs. Funding secured has ranged from several hundred dollars to more than $37,000. Sources include private organizations, trust funds, civic & community groups, as well as state & federal agencies. Was responsible for application process, implementation, review & program evaluation. Several of these grants were ongoing, multi-year projects.


Most recent grant recipient awards:

*January 2014. Broward Education Foundation. The H.E.ARTS Project - Healing Expressive ARTS. $1200.

*March 2013. City of Hollywood teacher grant. Using black light & expressive arts for special needs. $1000.

*Feb. 2013. Broward Education Foundation teacher impact grant. $1200.

*March 2012. Grant for the Quest Center's After School Program for students with special needs. $520,000.

*October 2011. NEA Student Achievement Grant. Project "SHINE-ON!" - Special Helpers In Need Entertain Others Nicely. $5000.

*April 2010. FPL Renewable Energy Grant. Wind & Solar Power experientail science projects for special needs. $1000.

*March 2010. Excellence in Education, City of Hollywood, Fl. $1400 Science Projects for Students with Profound Special Needs.

*February 2009. Excellence in Education, City of Hollywood, Fl.
$1200 for experiential music/theatre grant.

*September 2008. Arts In Education. Spreading Our Wings – Using live butterflies & theatre for students with special needs. $10,000.

*March 2008. After-care grant for Quest Center. For 18 months of professional care & supervision. $450,000 award.

*April 2007. University of Miami Center for Autism & Related Disabilities. "If Only I Has the Money" contest winner. $1,000 for adaptive switches & assisitive technology.

*May 2006. HP Technology in Education. Using mobile, interactive technology for students with profound special needs. $37,500 award.

*March 2006. Arts in Education. Using Black Light Theatre to enhance math instruction for students with profound special needs. $10,000 grant.

*January 2006. Lowes Toolbox for Education award. Building an outdoor music teaching area for students with profound special needs. $5,000.00 grant.

*November 2005. NEA Foundation Innovation. Yes We Can! Using experiential music to bring together senior citizens & students with profound special needs. $5,000.00 grant.

*November 2005. Broward Beautiful. Outdoor learning areas for special needs students. $7,000.00 grant.

*Fall 2005. Target Community grant award. Yes We Can! Senior citizens & students with profound special needs – together through music. $2500 grant.

*February 2005. Best Buy TEACH grant. Adaptive technology & experiential music for students with profound special needs. $3,000 grant.

*November 2004."I Am Somebody. I'm A Special Tutor!" At-risk high school teens become tutors for students with profound special needs. Broward Education Foundation.

*May 2004. Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation. "Sing & Sign" special needs choir and music group, the Quest Center, Broward County Public Schools.

* March 2003. Broward County Public Schools: "Smell the Roses! Garden of Delights for Autistic Students." Horticulture project for special needs students.

*October 2003. CITIBANK, Broward Education Foundation: "I've Got Rhythm! - Drum Corp for Autistic & PMH Students." Unique music/percussion program for profound special needs students.

2. Recording Artist & Musician:
Produced & played on several cassettes & CD's. Play several instruments and teach guitar and drums. Newest CD, called Dr. Laz & The CURE! (Increase the Peace) released winter 2001. CD features positive social themes in a variety of music styles, including rock, reggae, rap, blues, gospel, and bluegrass. Have taught music for more than 20 years and utilize music for therapy and motivation for "at-risk" students.

3. Movie Production
Major TV "Movie of the Week," produced by SHOWTIME, starring Howie Mandel (as myself) & Mario Van Peebles.

Based on my third manuscript SHARING TURF, features the unique work of Project CURE!, a racial harmony group formed shortly after the race riots of 1991 in NYC. Production aired on Showtime during Spring 2004, and was released at Blockbusters, December 2004.


© 2006 Dr. Laz - All rights reserved.
E-mail us at DRLAZ770@aol.com. Web Address: http://www.drlaz.com