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Jen Ferreira, PhD, 


PhD in Psychology
MS Speech-Language Pathology

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Anne Marie Lieser, MA, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist

K-6 Education

Her research focused on using technology to build cognition with children who exhibit complex communication needs.

She 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 communications and language based reading and writing disorders.


Worked at Tampa General Hospital in acute, rehabilitation and outpatient settings.


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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Bobbie Vaughn, PhD, BCBA
PhD in Special Education
MA Education  

Bobbie 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.


Bobbie has over 25 years of experience working wth 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. Bobbie's work there not only included research with children and families, but also consultation with schools. 


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


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

Anne Marie graduated with her Bachelor’s from the University of Arizona and her Master’s degree from the University of Connecticut in 2015.


She has worked with a variety of pediatric patients in the school and outpatient hospital care settings. Her specialty area is augmentative and alternative communication (AAC); she is passionate about using assistive technology to enhance an individual's communication and quality of life. She has experience working with autism, apraxia, receptive-expressive language disorders, speech sound disorders, fluency, and children with complex communication needs and multiple impairments. 


In her free time she enjoys walking her dog (Winnie), yoga, and the beach! 


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. 


Savannah Philips,  SLPA
BA Linguistics
Speech Language Pathology Assistant


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

Bachelor of Arts in English from the University at Albany - State University of New York

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. Although currently teaching on the high school level, with courses ranging from College Prep to Advanced Placement, she has 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.


Christjen Madaffari
Music Instructor
Music Education

Savannah has a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics from Florida Atlantic University, where she completed foundational coursework in speech language pathology. She completed an internship at BYC where she trained with our team. She is completing her Master’s degree at Nova Southeastern in speech pathology.  She is passionate about pediatric Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and integrating AAC in the academic setting.  In her free time, she likes playing sports, going to the beach, and shopping!


Rachelle Lee,  MOT, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist 
MS Occupational Therapy 

Rachelle has a bachelor of science from the University of South Florida and a Master of Occupational Therapy from the University of Saint Augustine for Health Science. 

She has over 10 years of pediatric experience evaluating and treating infants, children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disorders in the outpatient setting.  She has advanced training in the areas of sensory integration, reflex integration, aquatic therapy, and overall developmental motor skills. 

Rachelle's speciality is the TheraSuit Method intensive program working with kiddos with neurological involvement to expand their motor skills and be as independent as possible.  

Christjen has over 10 years of experience teaching music: vocals, piano, saxophone, clarinet, guitar, ukulele and more. He has worked with a variety of ages and ability levels at multiple accredited facilities such as Bach To Rock America's Music School. He is also a Certified CNA who will be on site during school hours to assist any needs our students might have. Right now, Christjen teaches in our school program (BYC LEARN) and students have access to music classes three days a week!


Nicholas Crotty,  MOT, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist
K-6 Education

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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. 

Nicholas has a BS in Physics from Eckerd College and a Masters in Occupational Therapy from the University of Florida.  


For over 11 years as an independent Occupational Therapist Nicholas has treated hundreds of children and adults at their homes and out in the community, right here in Pinellas county. Specializing in fine and gross motor development, sensory integration, development of early learning skills, and treating the whole family; Nicholas is passionate about the success of his clients. He has helped to prepare children diagnosed with Autism, Down's Syndrome, auditory processing disorders, or many other developmental delays to transition to school services, thrive and achieve their educational ambitions.

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Leanne Keaney, MA CF-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist


Ashley Taliaferro, BA, SLPA
Speech Language Pathologist Assistant

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 degree 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!

Ashley graduated from Ball State University with a BA in Pre-Speech Pathology and a Minor in Spanish in 2008. She studied abroad in Costa Rica during her undergrad training.  Ashely worked in the Pinellas County school systems for 7 years, was an Infant Toddler Developmental Specialist and in private practices serving patients ages birth through high school. She also has experience working in a PreK classroom and a PreK Autism classroom. Ashley has experience with treatment of speech and language disorders in patients with Autism, Down Syndrome, developmental delay, and other disorders.

In her free time she enjoys boating, beaching, and spending time with her husband and sons. 


Natasha Bell
Office/ Administrative Staff

Natasha is originally from Michigan (Go Wolverines!) but has lived several places in the South East. Tasha joins us with a variety of experience in administrative support roles. She has previously worked as a patient care specialist, virtual assistant in a health care company, and a legal assistant. 

When not at BYC, Tasha enjoys spending time with her two pups and heading to the beach. 


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, John’s Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine. In her free time, she likes going to the beach or fishing and she also volunteers as a youth group leader at her church.


Jen Blodgett
Reading & Writing Tutor

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 and administrative sectors, Laterally, she spent six years as administrative coordinator in the Rehabilitation Center at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. Jen recently graduated as a teaching and learning support practitioner, and is delighted to have started work with BYC as a reading and writing tutor. She continues to study and is currently working towards becoming a registered behavioral technician.


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.

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