A Social Studies teacher for 13 years, Stella retired to work full time with her son Nicholas, who was diagnosed with Autism. She became an educational advocate, a Parent Member of the Committee for Special Education, and was President of the Parent Association for Special Education in the Manhasset Public School District for eight years. During her tenure as President, an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) based life skills program was developed in district. Her son Nicholas was the first graduate of the program in 2013.
In 2010 while trying to plan Nicholas’ future after high school, Stella’s husband, Paul Kitsos died suddenly. Stella decided to honor her husband’s life by founding the Nicholas Center and Spectrum Designs Foundation in Port Washington, NY.Together with her co-founders, Nicole Sugrue and Patrick Bardsley, they created the Nicholas Center and Spectrum Designs Foundation. The Nicholas Center offers life and vocational skill training, and supports employees and participants at Spectrum Design Enterprises.
Stella was inducted into the Town of North Hempstead, May W. Newburger Women’s Roll of Honor in 2013 – Honoring women who have made a contribution to their community, or have accomplished a significant achievement through public or private efforts. Stella is currently a member of the Town of North Hempstead Disability Advisory Committee established by North Hempstead Town Supervisor, Judi Bosworth.