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Jen Ferreira, PhD, CCC-SLP

PhD in Psychology
MS Psychology
MS Speech-Language Pathology

Dr. Ferreira's research focused on using technology to build cognition with children who exhibit complex communication needs.

Dr. Ferreira served as the head of the Brain Sciences/Augmentative Communication Specialty team at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, whose members assess and diagnose complex communication and language based reading and writing disorders.


Dr. Ferreira worked at Tampa General Hospital in acute, rehabilitation, and outpatient settings. She has exceptional experience in the development of short- and long-term clinical, academic, and home-based collaborative plans for children with behavioral disorders, social skills deficiencies, and those that require augmented communication. As a member of several interdisciplinary teams, she has experience with adults and children suffering from progressive neurogenic and neuromuscular disorders, burns, traumatic brain injury, post transplantation, and stroke.

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Kara Kover,  MOT, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist

Kara has a Bachelors in Elementary Education and Special Education from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and a Masters in Occupational Therapy from Barry University. 


Prior to becoming an Occupational Therapist, Kara has experience working as an ESE teacher. As a teacher, she gained experience working with children with autism, learning disabilities and behavioral disorders. As an OT, she has worked both in school and outpatient settings, evaluating and treating a wide variety of patients with varying exceptionalities ranging from autism, downs syndrome, developmental delay, prematurity, and cerebral palsy. Kara is passionate about working with children and collaborating with families to help them achieve their functional and educational goals. 

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Emily Monashkin, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist


Emily has a Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Florida State University and a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of South Florida.


She has worked in acute, outpatient, and private practice facilities with pediatric, adult, and geriatric patients. She has experience with patients with autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, Parkinson's, ALS, and other diagnoses. She has specific experience providing intervention in the areas of stuttering/fluency, aphasia, articulation, and early language development. Emily is passionate about introducing patients and families to Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).


In her free time, she enjoys thrifting, going to the beach, and reading!


Rylee Fennell, M.Ed., CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist

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Bobbie Vaughn, PhD
PhD in Special Education and Rehabilitation
MA Education  

Dr. Vaughn has a PhD in Special Education and Rehabilitation from the University of Oregon, and a Masters of Education in School Psychology from Texas State University. She has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) for 14 years.


Dr. Vaughn has over 25 years of experience working with children who have autism, ADHD, and other developmental disabilities. She worked at the University of South Florida for 17 years and was an Associate Professor conducting research, writing grants, and teaching and developing courses in Positive Behavior Support and Applied Behavior Analysis. Dr. Vaughn's work there not only included research with children and families, but also consultation with schools. 


Dr. Vaughn also worked at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital for 8 years as a BCBA conducting functional behavior assessments, developing behavior support plans in partnership with families, and co-leading social skills groups with speech-language pathologists.


Dr. Vaughn brings extensive experience supporting children with challenging behaviors and their families in home, community, and clinic settings.


Brylie Wingler, MOT, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist

Brylie graduated with her Masters of Occupational Therapy from Radford University located in Virginia.


Brylie has experience with pediatric patients in both outpatient and school settings. She has worked with children with a wide variety of diagnoses such as autism, developmental delay, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, and ADHD. She loves creating play-based interventions that address the child’s/family's goals.  


She has experience treating adult patients in the outpatient setting. She has created and implemented client-centered interventions for a large range of neurological and orthopedic conditions.


In her free time, Brylie likes to go to the beach, bake, and go to coffee shops. 


Leanne Keaney, MA CF-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist

Leanne received her Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology from Hodges University. She completed foundational coursework in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of South Florida, and graduated with her Master’s in Communicative Disorders from Eastern New Mexico University. 

Leanne’s clinical experiences include working with individuals of all ages in outpatient clinics, elementary schools, private clinics, inpatient rehab hospitals, and acute care hospitals. She has 3 years of experience as a Speech-Language Pathology Assistant in a private clinic setting.  Leanne has worked with individuals with aphasia, receptive-expressive language disorders, speech sound disorders, Parkinson’s, and dysphagia. She has always had an interest in working with pediatrics and believes that caregivers are a vital part of our team and provides strategies to facilitate speech and language development at home.

Outside of work, she loves to go the beach, read a good book, travel, and spend time with family and friends!

Rylee graduated with honors from Haverford College in Philadelphia with a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics. She received the sole grant offered for working with children with special needs and an award for her thesis in experimental psycholinguistics research. Rylee went on to earn her Master's in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Virginia. While in graduate school, Rylee was a research assistant in a childhood language development laboratory as well as lead clinician in UVA's interdisciplinary autism diagnostic team. She was awarded several grants for her leadership skills, academic merit, and commitment to the LGBTQ+ community in higher education. 


Rylee has worked in schools and outpatient practices with all age ranges. She enjoys working with children on the autism spectrum, teaching social skills, and supporting AAC users. She is a certified NLA trained clinician for gestalt language processors, enabling her to better serve children who primarily communicate through echolalia.


In her free time, Rylee loves spending time outdoors, reading, and her senior cat named Gizmo.


Michelle Yingling, M.A.Ed.
MA Early Education 
BA English 
BYC Learn Admin
English and Reading/Writing Instructor

Michelle earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University at Albany – State University of New York, and her Master of Arts in Education from the University of South Florida, Tampa.


Michelle has been an educator for 20 years and maintains current certification for grades K–6 Elementary and grades 6–12 for English. She has taught in both elementary and secondary environments. Currently teaching on the high school level, with courses ranging from College Prep to Advanced Placement, she has also tutored extensively for students of all ages and abilities in reading and writing.


Michelle firmly believes that everyone should have experience teaching kindergarten to really understand the complexities and challenges that go into students building their foundations of literacy.


Madeline Sierra, RBT
Registered Behavioral Technician

Madeline Sierra has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Criminology from the University of South Florida. Maddie brings experience as a Research Assistant at Florida State University, where she conducted research for educational curriculum in VPK classrooms.

Maddie also worked in youth programs as a Site Director, supporting group leaders in the development and execution of high quality educational opportunities to children aged pre-K through 5th grade. Her experience at USF led her to pursue a career as a Registered Behavior Technician and has been passionate about the field ever since!


Outside of work, Maddie loves to go to the beach, spend time with friends and family, and travel!


Rayne DeBlasio
Office Administrator

Rayne graduated with honors from the College of Public Health at the University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences. While in undergrad, she interned under Dr. Christine Iacobuzio-Donahue at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, New York, and is credited as an author of Minimal functional driver gene heterogeneity among untreated metastases.


Currently, Rayne is working on her dual master's in Health Administration and Business Administration at the University of Phoenix. She is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success and is on the University of Phoenix’s Dean’s List of Scholars.


Rayne has been navigating patient relationships for over 5 years, and she is passionate about coordinating interdisciplinary care for patients with a variety of medical needs at BYC. Rayne is also a professional violinist with over 20 years of experience, and has performed with The Florida Orchestra and the New World Symphony. In her free time, she enjoys recording for local artists, reading, and practicing Muay Thai.


Claire Harpole, MS 
BYC Learn Admin
Math Instructor
MA Educational Leadership
MA Math Education

Claire has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics Education from the University of North Dakota and a Master of Science in Mathematics Education from Nova Southeastern University.

Claire has over 15 years of experience tutoring and teaching all levels of mathematics. While Claire has primarily taught high school math, she also has experience teaching for Hillsborough Community College, Keiser University, and the University of South Florida – St. Petersburg.

Claire has worked with students of all ability levels, but spent many years focusing on those for whom math was a particular challenge or had been diagnosed with a variety of learning challenges.

Claire has a passion for teaching math and believes the key to success in any math class is building confidence in her students. She has a knack for taking difficult concepts and explaining them in a matter that is comprehensible for all. 


Christjen Madaffari, RBT
Registered Behavioral Technician
PCM Instructor

Music Education

Christjen has been in the education field for over 10 years, including special education, and music education in both a private and classroom setting.

Christjen is certified as a Registered Behavioral Technician and currently provides therapeutic intervention to children on the autism spectrum in their classroom settings in Pinellas County and at BYC Learn on campus.

Christjen is a music instructor at BYC Learn and teaches through Bach to Rock: America's Music School with the "Rock City" cirriculum.

Christjen is our Professional Crisis Management (PCM) Instructor, certified with the Professional Crisis Management Association (PCMA), providing training to schools in the Pinellas County area and to our own staff.

In his spare time, Christjen is a performance arts instructor for middle schoolers in the Pinellas County area.


Jen Blodgett, RBT
Registered Behavioral Technician
Teaching and Learning Support Practitioner

Originally from Scotland, Jen has lived and worked in the US for the last twenty years. Her employment background has been mainly in the medical administrative sectors. Previously, she spent six years as Administrative Coordinator in the Rehabilitation Center at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. Jen is delighted to be part of the team at BYC and enjoys the diversity of working both in clinic and being out in the field with children one on one within the Pinellas County school system.


In her spare time, Jen loves to walk the many Florida beaches with her husband. She also enjoys travel, Indian cooking, reading, and taking care of her two bulldogs.


Taryn Harpole
Office/Administrative Staff

Taryn is currently pursuing nursing school at St. Petersburg College. She comes to us with experience in customer service, data entry, and business administration. She previously interned for BYC back in 2019 as a reading/writing helper. She also volunteered many hours at Tampa General Hospital, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, and Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine.

In her free time, Taryn enjoys spending time with family, going fishing, and supporting her boyfriend's race car races.

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