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- Learn more about our Group Leaders, see below
Amanda Storer, Physical Therapist Assistant and Professor
Amanda has been a licensed physical therapist assistant since 2007, having worked primarily in outpatient and home health pediatrics. She earned her Associate of Applied Science for physical therapist assistant from Kilgore College, her Bachelor of Applied Science for physical therapy from Centenary College of Louisiana, and her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from The University of Texas at Tyler. Amanda joined the Tyler Junior College Physical Therapist Assistant program faculty in 2015. She serves as a mentor through the Mentoring Alliance, president and adapted tricycle liaison for Tyler Area American Business Clubs (AMBUCS), and member of the Disability Review Board for the City of Tyler and the Disability Rights of Texas Board.
Chris Lewis, Supervisor of Educational Programs and Services
Chris has been a volunteer with Autism on the Seas since 2018. At The Intermediate Unit 8 in Central PA, she supervises ABA classrooms, Itinerant Autistic Support Teachers, Life-Skills classrooms, and Multiple-Disability programs. She has a Master's Degree in Education, graduate Certification as a Special Education Supervisor, and has her PA Certification as a Behavior Analyst. She previously worked as an Educational Consultant, Autistic Support Teacher, Learning Support Teacher, and First Grade Teacher. Chris also volunteers with the Central PA Autism Community (CPAAC).
Donna Edberg, Behavioral Therapist
Donna previously worked as a Behavioral Therapist and Lead Behavioral Therapist for Behavioral Development and Educational Services in New Bedford Massachusetts. She worked in a public school setting with students aged pre-K through 5th grade. She also worked as a home therapist for pre-K students with Children Making Strides. Donna holds a BA in Psychology and Sociology from UMASS Amherst and an M.Ed. from the University of Delaware.
Eddie Williams, Special Education Teacher
Volunteer from Pennsylvania
Eddie works as a 2nd Grade Teacher in Pennsylvania. He also works as a Children and Youth Ministries Director for a church in Springfield, Pennsylvania. Eddie loves to volunteer with Autism on the Seas and has done over 10 cruises. Eddie holds a Bachelors degree from Rowan Univeristy, a Masters degree in Education from Cabrini College, a Masters degree in Special Education from Neumann University and is currently working on his Reading Specialist certification. Eddie is CPR/First Aid qualified.
Hannah Violet, Special Education Case Manager
Hannah holds a Bachelor's in Early Childhood and Special Education from Shippensburg University. She also holds a Master's in Special Education with an Autism emphasis from Pennsylvania State University. Hannah has worked in various classrooms supporting students with various developmental disabilities in grades K-2 and 6-8. She is currently living in Maryland where she is the special education case manager for her elementary school. She has volunteered with Autism on the Seas since 2016.
Janet Bertoni, Professor of Exceptional Education
Volunteer from Pennsylvania
Janet holds a B.S. in Music Education from New York University, a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education and in Special Education from Hunter College. She completed her a Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Delaware in 2014. Janet is currently a professor of exceptional education at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. She worked as a special education teacher for nine years in New York City and Philadelphia with students in grades K-8 with various developmental disabilities and challenging behaviors. She is thrilled to be playing a part in the Autism on the Seas magic!.
|Katherine Vaughn - Occupational Therapist
Volunteer from Georgia
Kathi works full time as a school based Occupational Therapist in Woodstock Georgia. She has a passion for working with special needs children and adults, and has been volunteering with Autism on the Seas since February 2022. Kathi has worked in a variety of settings, including Babies Can't Wait, Home Health, School System, Hospitals, and Outpatient clinics. Currently, she holds a BHS in Occupational Therapy from the Medical College of Georgia, and is pursuing her Doctorate in Occupational Therapy through Spalding University.
|Kathy Jeffries-Smith - COTA (Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant)
Volunteer from Georgia
Kathy has been a licensed Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant since 2009. She currently works in a pediatric outpatient clinic with a focus on sensory integration and floor time philosophies. She also is a Compliance Director for a therapy company. In addition to her AAS in Occupational Therapy, she holds a BA in Sociology from Pacific Lutheran University. She has been volunteering with Autism on the Seas since 2022..
|Kimberly Michela - Behavior Consultative Teacher
Volunteer from Virginia
Kim has been a volunteer with Autism on the Seas since 2017. She currently works as a Behavior Consultative Teacher assisting teachers and classrooms with various developmental disabilities and challenging behaviors near Richmond, Virginia. Kim has previously provided instruction and services to students ages 4-22 in public schools, private day placement schools, and at a clinic-based/in-home based program. She holds a BA in Psychology from St. Andrews University, a M. Ed in Special Education from West Chester University, and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.
Lori Taylor - Chair, Department of Special Education and Disability Studies
Lorie works as a Special Education Professor at Clarion University of PA. She also works part time as a Behavioral Technician. Lorie is on the board of PACEC and is President of the local board of the ARC. Lorie holds a BS in Speech Pathology from James Madison University and a Masters in Audiology, a Masters in Special Education, and a Doctorate in Special Education from The University of Southern Mississippi.
Michael Marcal, Special Education Advocate
Michael has been a volunteer with Autism on the Seas since June 2019. When he is not volunteering on cruises, Michael is an advocate for parents of children with disabilities in Orlando, Florida. Previously, he has worked in various special education settings including a PreK Autism class, a K-5 Autism class, and as a special education teacher in a middle school. Michael has experience working with children with Autism, Cognitive Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, Visual and Hearing Impairments, and various other disabilities. Michael also volunteers as a Crisis Counselor to help people during crisis situations. He holds a B.A. in Education from the SUNY College at Brockport and a Master's Degree in Education from the University at Buffalo.
Sandy Grizzard, Elementary School Assistant Principal
Sarah is currently a school based occupational therapist. She is in her 10th year at a public special ed school that services students in middle school, high school and beyond. During that time, she has volunteered for a local baseball organization called the Miracle League, coached volleyball for the Special Olympics and received recognition as related service provider of the year within her school district and the state of New Jersey. Sarah is a former early childhood/special education teacher, and prior to that spent 2 years as a live-in nanny for a family that traveled extensively.
Sarah holds a master’s degree of Science in Occupational Therapy from Stockton University and received her bachelor’s degree in early childhood/elementary education and special education from Temple University. She is a registered and license Occupational Therapist in the state of New Jersey. Sarah is currently certified in CPR/AED, BLS and Safety Care by QBS.
Victoria Nelson, Behavior Therapist
Victoria is currently a Behavior Therapist for a residential treatment facility and works with children with autism and cerebral palsy. Prior to that, Victoria worked as a Behavior Facilitator for the local school system, a Registered Behavior Technician at an ABA Therapy center, and worked with adults with various disabilities. Victoria holds a Bachelors in Human Services from Grace College and Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis from Ball State University.