The difference

Matters

Our teachers, specialists and administrators change lives every day. Visit our Meet the Team page to learn more about our administration team and advisory board.

Preschool

Allison, Tia

Tia Allison

Instruction Specialist

Tia Allison is mid-way through her first year at The Rich Center for Autism, having begun her tenure in April of 2017.  She is originally from Berlin Center, Ohio, where she lives with her dog, Mac.  While completing her undergraduate degree in psychology here at Youngstown State University, Tia worked at the Andrew’s Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.  Currently, Tia is working towards a Masters of Science in Education degree. Tia’s favorite part of working at The Rich Center for Autism is watching children grow and being part of their success.  Tia enjoys hiking, watching sports, traveling (especially to Walt Disney World) and reading.  She also loves the Cleveland Indians and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Attalla, Julie

Julie Attalia

Instruction Specialist

Julia Attala has worked as an instruction specialist at The Rich Center of Autism since April 2017.  She is originally from Hubbard, Ohio, where she lives with her dog, Toby.  While completing her undergraduate degree in psychology here at Youngstown State University, Julia worked in the English Department at YSU.  Julia’s favorite part of working at The Rich Center for Autism working with the children, however she wishes we had a bathroom in every classroom.  Tia enjoys playing with her dog, scrapbooking and baking.

Leon, Jeanette

Jeanette Leon

Lead Instructional Specialist

Jeanette has been a teacher for 22 years.  She has worked with different populations including English as a Second Language learners, autism, gifted, behavioral students.  She has worked at the Rich Center for 6 years.

 She graduated with a Bachelors in Elementary Education and a Masters of Education from Northern Arizona University.  She has a reading endorsement, gifted endorsement, and ESL endorsement.

 Jeanette loves working with students at the Rich Center.  They provide her with so much joy especially watching their faces light up when they accomplish a new goal.

Christa Pinsonnault_PreSchool

Christa Pinsonnault

Instruction Specialist

Christa Pinsonnault. is one of our newest additions to The Rich Center for Autism.  She is originally from Georgia and grew up there. She attended Hampshire College in Amherst, MA for her bachelors in early childhood education, and she is currently working towards a masters degree at YSU. She has done many different jobs in working with children including Case Manager, Therapeutic Staff Support, Teacher, and Administrator.  Throughout her range of jobs, her interest has always been working with children with autism. She loves the creative and optimistic atmosphere of the Rich center, and one of her favorite things about working here is helping the children learn and progress, and making a difference in their lives. In her spare time she loves playing and spending time with her dog, Einstein, drawing, painting, playing video games and enjoying nature. She hopes to one day become a school psychologist.

Pre- Kindergarten #1

Joseph, Jana

Jana Joseph

Lead Instructional specialist

Jana Joseph is a Lead Instruction Specialist who is starting her thirteenth year at the Rich Center.  She has MANY, MANY fond memories of working with the students and their families from over the years.  She graduated from YSU with a bachelor's degree in education and taught second grade for five years.  Her favorite part of working at the Rich Center is hands down the kids.  She loves their individual and unique personalities!!!  It's been amazing to see so many children grow up and reach their full potential!!

Pitts, Erica

Erica Pitts

Instruction Specialist 

Erica Pitts is an Instruction Specialist at the Rich Center for Autism. She attended Youngstown State University, and graduated in 2014 with a degree in Communication Studies and a minor in Developmental Psychology. Through one of her Psychology courses, she interned at The Rich Center and quickly fell in love with the students and the work being done. She decided to apply for an open position and has officially worked at The Rich Center for a little over a year. She continues to learn from fellow staff and students alike, and loves seeing the students improve over time. She says watching the kids realize what they are capable of and grasping all of their skills is such a rewarding experience for her.

Stephen Lyons_PreK

Stephen Lyons

Instruction Specialist

Stephen Lyons is a newly hired instruction specialist at The Rich Center for Autism. He is the son of Michele Huda and Michael Lyons, and has a younger brother, Trevor. Stephen grew up in New Middletown, Ohio, and graduated from Springfield Local High School and won State in the shot put in 2012.  He was nationally ranked in the top twelve in the nation in shot put. Before working at The Rich Center for Autism, Stephen was a substitute teacher for Columbiana County Schools, and a trainer for athletes in the shot put and discus. Stephen attended college at YSU, and completed a bachelor’s of General Studies with focuses in Early Childhood Education, Education, and Sociology. Stephen’s favorite types of foods are Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, and anything unhealthy!  If he could wish for one thing at The Rich Center it would be for an age-appropriate playground, and for renovations to the building. Stephen enjoys being able to have a positive influence on young children and watching them grow and succeed. Outside of work, Stephen enjoys lifting, hanging out with family and friends, meeting new people, and doing anything outdoors.

Primary #1

DelMonaco, Kristinjpg

Kristin DelMonaco

Instruction Specialist 

Kristin DelMonaco is an Instructional Specialist at the Rich Center for Autism. She has worked in the field of special education for one year, which took place at the Rich Center. She has achieved a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in which she received at Slippery Rock University. She also holds a license to teach elementary education in the state of Ohio. Kristin is looking to pursue a master’s degree in Special Education; Intervention Specialist at Youngstown State University. Her favorite part of working at the Rich Center would be the amazing students and the level of commitment displayed by the teachers.

Laird, Julianne

Julianne Laird

Instruction Specialist

Julianne Laird has had previous experience working within pediatrics during clinical rotations throughout an Occupational Therapist Assistant Program. She has had three years experience working as a COTA within a skilled nursing and long term care facility.  In addition to working at the Rich Center, Julianne continues to work PRN as a COTA for Blue Sky Therapy. Throughout college Julianne obtained experience in a supervisory capacity as a coordinator and trainer for three years. She worked within customer service for a total of eight years.

She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Youngstown State University in 2008. She received an Associates in Occupational Therapy Assistant Technology in 2012. She is currently attending YSU for School Psychology. In 2017 she will graduate with a Masters in Intervention Services. In 2019 she will graduate with an Education Specialist degree.

She is a current member of the Ohio School Psychology Association.

Julianne stated," Working at the Rich Center is extremely rewarding. It is a team environment that allows you to work from several different angles to allow each child to progress to meet their full potential. It is truly rewarding when the children gain new social skills and learn from one another. I love

Lopes, Ashley

Ashley Lopes

Instruction Specialist 

Ashley began working at the Rich Center as an instructor with the Gymsters program in  2013.  In the fall of 2014 she became an instruction specialist at the center and has worked with both primary, preschool and prekindergarten classrooms.  Ashley also currently works as an in-home behavior therapist.

Ashley obtained her Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science from Youngstown State University in 2013.  She is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Health and Human Services from Youngstown State University with plans to graduate in May of 2017.

Ashley's favorite part of working at The Rich Center is watching the students make progress and reaching milestones every single day.  She loves seeing how excited and proud each child becomes when he or she masters a skill for the first time.

McKinney, Caitlin

Caitlin McKinney

Lead Instruction Specialist

Caitlin McKinney is a Lead Teacher at the Rich Center for Autism. She graduated in 2012 from Slippery Rock University. She majored in both Elementary Education and Special Education. Currently, she is working on her master’s degree from California University and is enrolled in the Technology Education program. Before working at the Rich Center, Caitlin worked at West Middlesex Schools as an AmeriCorps member. Caitlin provided Title 1 reading services for kids who needed extra support with their reading and writing skills. Caitlin’s favorite part about working at the Rich Center is the team atmosphere and the kids! She loves working with so many passionate people, and enjoys getting to know each kid and figuring out how they learn best!

Natalie Trott_Prim 1

Natalie Trott

Lead Instruction Specialist

Natalie Trott as worked at The Rich Center for Autism for 13 years!  Natalie is married to her husband, Larry; together they live in Liberty Township have two sons, Gage and Lucas.  Natalie obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree from Youngstown State University.  Natalie’s favorite part of working at The Rich Center for Autism is working with the students, and helping them master their goals.   If she could wish for one thing at The Rich Center for Autism, it would be to have a new state-of-the-art building for our students.  In her spare time, Natalie enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, traveling and dining at Vernon’s Cafe.  She is also an avid sports fan for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Cavaliers and the Cleveland Indians.

Primary #2

Counihan, Gloria

Gloria Counihan

Lead Instructional specialist

Gloria Counihan is a Lead Instructional Specialist who has had mutilate teaching experiences. She student taught at the Prentiss Autism Center and an Elementary School K-3 medically fragile unit within the Cleveland School District. She has shadowed at multiple locations such as John Hay Campus, Louisa May Alcott and McKinley schools in special education moderate to intensive units. She has also showed a American sign language interpret in a middle school classroom and knows basic American sign language. She has worked in multiple locations working with individuals with special needs such as a group home, Welcome House Inc, Akron Rotary Summer camp and Achievement Centers for Children. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Education and Human services in Special Education Moderate to Intensive in 2013. She earned her master’s degree in Special Education Moderate to Intensive with a focus on Autism studies in 2016. She is a member of Phi Kappa Honor Society since 2012 and Council for Exceptional Children since 2011. What she likes about working at the Rich Center is that everyone is always willing to help out another teacher with a student. Everyone understands the job and how hard some days can be. Everyone is on the same page and we work together as a team. That we have some amazing parents that are awesome at working with us teachers so that way behavior and educational goals transition over into the home environment.

Sicafuse, Joann

Jo Ann Sicafuse

Instruction Specialist

Jo Ann Sicafuse is an Instruction Specialist at the Rich Center for Autism.  She has worked in this position for one school year.  Prior experience includes having worked extensively as a certified Dyslexia Tutor for The Children's Learning Center.  She received her BA in Psychology from Youngstown State University, and is working toward a masters degree as an Instructional Specialist, with an advanced degree as an Education Specialist.  She is part of the 2016 cohort for the School Psychology program at Youngstown State University.  Her favorite part of working for the Rich Center is the interaction with students, and opportunities to teach at the Rich Center.  She enjoys team teaching and collaboration, and finds it very rewarding working with individuals to provide a differentiated curriculum.   She would like to increase her knowledge of intake and assessment, as well as learning more about individualized educational plans to better serve the Rich Center.

Amanda VanFossan_Prim 2

Amanda VanFossan

Instruction Specialist

Amanda Van Fossan began working as an instruction specialist at The Rich Center for Autism in May 2017.  She obtained her bachelor’s degree in social work from Youngstown State University and worked as a graduate assistant before working at The Rich Center for Autism.  She has also worked at Homes for Kids Child and Family Solutions and as a peer tutor at YSU.  Her favorite part of working at The Rich Center for Autism is working as a collaborative group with her fellow teachers.  She believes it creates the best possible learning environment for students and new teachers like her.  Her wish for The Rich Center is for more iPads and additional staff members.  She most enjoys playing games with friends (including her boyfriend , Marshall) and visiting new places.  She loves animals (although she is not allowed to have any pets in her condo), she is self-proclaimed “crafty” and her favorite restaurant is The Pour House.

Stephen Mitchell_Prim 2

Stephen Mitchell

Instruction Specialist

Stephen Mitchell is another one of our newest additions to The Rich Center for Autism, beginning his tenure on October 2nd, and he has already made a positive impact on our students.  Stephen obtained his bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University where he majored in psychology with a minor in forensics.  He is currently working towards his master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling.  He is a proud graduate of Ursuline High School and lives on the Eastside of Youngstown.  He has two dogs, Charlie and Bella.  Stephen loves movies that make him think or that have meaning.  His favorite foods are steak, salad and German Chocolate cake.  He enjoys drawing, watching X-files, and hearing about others.  He loves reading about psychological advice, conspiracy theories, and lost civilizations.

Intermediate #1

Knight, Kristin

Kristin Knight

Lead Instruction Specialist

Kristin Knight worked for Intermediate unit IV for six years as a special education substitute teacher, home schooled for Mohawk school district as fourth grade teacher for one year.  Kristin also taught Kindergarten at Tender Care Learning Center for one year.  She worked at various school districts in PA throughout my time before working here as a substitute teacher.  She worked for the Rich Center for six years.

Kristin's bachelor’s degree is in Elementary K-12 and her Masters of Education is in Special Education K-12.

Kristin enjoys her my co-workers and the team effort put in daily at the Rich Center. She loves the students and the parents she works   with.  She also feels motivated to learn new techniques as the leadership at the Rich Center changes and grows each year.

Kristin feels we are one big family here and it makes a great place to work.  She made lifelong friends here while gaining more experience with children with autism.

Anthony Mancini_Int 1

Anthony Mancini

Instruction Specialist

Anthony Mancini is an Instruction Specialist at the Rich Center for Autism.  He has worked in the field of special education for two years, both at the Rich Center. He achieved his bachelor's degree in Physical Education at Youngstown State University.  While obtaining his degree he volunteered as an assistant for an Adapted Physical Education program.  He enjoys working at the Rich Center for Autism because he finds it very rewarding and fulfilling to witness the children reaching their goals and accomplishments.

Gregory Hogate_Int 1

Greg Hogate

Instruction Specialist

Gregory Hogate has been an Instruction Specialist at The Rich Center for Autism since October 2017. He currently works with 3rd-5th grade students. He graduated from Furman University in 2008 with a degree in Neuroscience. Before coming to The Rich Center for Autism, Gregory worked as an ABA therapist for 7 years. He plans to continue his education and obtain a Master’s degree and BCBA certification. In his free time Gregory enjoys spending time with his family, watching movies and building LEGO sets.

Intermediate #2

Cornell, Amy

Amy P. Cornell

Lead Instruction Specialist
Amy Cornell is a Lead Instructional Specialist, and has worked at the Rich Center for the last six years.  Over the course of the last six years, she has worked with age groups of preschool to age ten to twelve years currently. Before starting at the Rich Center, she worked as a substitute teacher in Trumbull County.  Also, she ran a summer camp for all children in the city of Hubbard.
Amy has completed her educational experience at Youngstown State University.  Each of the degrees she possesses are as follows: Bachelor's Degree in Education with a concentration in Special Education K-12, Early Childhood Education Pre K-3, and Reading Intervention Specialist K-4.  Most recently, she obtained a Master's Degree in Educational Technology this past spring.
Membership: International Reading Association
The Rich Center is a great place to learn as an educator.  She enjoys getting to experience first hand training that most only learn about it from textbook reading.  As a staff, we are provided with great professional development opportunities that apply to real-world scenarios.  Next, she loves working with the staff and students.  It has been her extreme pleasure to service the students at the Rich Center. Working together as a learning community, each of the students are exposed to a wide variety of learning experiences through the use of parents, teachers, speech therapists, and occupational therapists.  One of the best moments, for any student over her years, has been watching them succeed at a difficult goal.  The staff has become like a second family, and it is a great place to work.

Johnson, Michele

Michelle Johnson

Instruction Specialist

Michelle is completing her first year as an instruction specialist at The Rich Center for Autism.  She is from Howland and obtained her Bachelor’s in Psychology degree from Kent State University.  Currently, she is completing a Master’s degree in Social Work here at Youngstown State University.  Prior to her employment at The Rich Center for Autism, she worked at Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital on the brain injury / stroke floor.  Before that, she was a case manager for adults and children at PsyCare.  Michelle is a vegetarian and loves Vietnamese and Indian food.  She has two pets, Sarah, an 18-year-old terrier mix, and Sadie, a 9-year-old coonhound.  Her favorite part of working at The Rich Center is seeing each individual child’s personality shine through.  She says, “All of our children are so unique!” Michelle loves to cook, exercise and travel.

Trudo, Shantee

Shantee Trudo

Instruction Specialist

Shantee Trudo is mid-way through her first year as an instruction specialist at The Rich Center for Autism.  She is from Masury, Ohio and earned her bachelor’s of Science in Education degree from Kent State University.  She has one dog, a 2-year old Yorkie/Rat Terrier named Achilles.  Prior to her employment at The Rich Center for Autism, Shantee worked as a substitute teacher for Trumbull County schools.  Shantee loves Mexican food, and spending time with family and friends.  Her favorite part of working at The Rich Center for Autism is interacting with a wide variety of students.

Intermediate #3

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Anthony M Candel

Lead Instruction Specialist

Anthony Candel began his career at the Rich Center nearly thirteen years ago. It all began when he was a student intern during his undergraduate program in Exercise Science at Youngstown State University. The focus of his study was to determine the effects of exercise on academics by measuring performance both before and after each aerobic session. This research is what propelled Anthony into the field of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and his enduring love for these wonderful children. Currently, he is in his second year of graduate school pursuing a degree in Special Education with an emphasis on moderate to severe autism. Over the years, Anthony has continued his love for research and disseminating information regarding ASD by presenting at such venues as the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI) and Milestones Autism Conference. Whenever he is asked keeps him going after all of these years, Anthony is quick to point out that, “With these kids, it’s never personal. All that means is that even though they may hit, kick, bite, scream and not comply with anything, it’s not because of you. These children have so much difficulty expressing themselves in almost every way. My job is to help them navigate their way through each day with as much success as possible.”

Leskovec, Ali

Alexandra Leskovec

Instruction Specialist 

Alexandra (Ali) Lessick is an Instruction Specialist at the Rich Center for Autism. She has worked in field of special education for approximately 3 years, all of which have occurred at The Rich Center for Autism. Alexandra has a Bachelor’s Degree in Family and Consumer Studies and Developmental Psychology. After obtaining her Bachelor’s degree she worked at The Warren YMCA establishing a tutoring and after-school program. Alexandra has recently received her Master’s Degree in Special Education with a focus in Autism and Related Disabilities from Youngstown State University. Her favorite part of working at The Rich Center include, being able to see the students grow and make progress each day. She also enjoys the bonds she has formed with her fellow co-workers and the relationships built with many of the students and parents.

Yargo, Cassie

Cassie Yargo

Instruction Specialist

Cassie Guerrieri is an Instructional Specialist at the Rich Center for Autism. She has worked in the field of special education for 2 years, both of which occurred at the Rich Center. She has achieved a bachelor’s degree in Special Education in which she received at Youngstown State University. While pursuing that degree, Cassie has volunteered with the Special Olympics. She is currently pursing a master’s degree in Special Education; Autism and Related Disabilities at Youngstown State University. Her favorite part of working at the Rich Center would be the children and seeing the progress they make throughout the year.

Junior High

Bondi, Dan

Daniel H. Bondi

Lead Instruction Specialist

"Mr. Dan" as he goes by, currently holds the title of Lead Instruction Specialist at The Rich Center for Autism.

He has worked hands on with children diagnosed with Autism for over 12 years.

His education consists of earning a limited practitioners license in the state of Ohio for Massage Therapy since 1994. He recently graduated Cum Laud with a Bachelors of General Studies Degree with a focus area in Moderate to intense Special Education from Youngstown State University.

He is also a candidate for the National Honors Society.

His passion at The Rich Center for Autism, is working directly with the children as well as side by side with the rest of the caring and compassionate staff. He also enjoys knowing he is making an impact for the better with the families affected by the diagnosis of Autism.

Overall, he considers it a blessing to have the opportunity to minister to the parents and families of these wonderful individuals living with Autism.

Mediate, Nick

Nick Mediate

Instruction Specialist

Nick Mediate is an Instructional Specialist that has worked for the The Rich Center for Autism  for over a year.   He has worked at St. Joseph the Provider School and Campbell City Schools. Nick has a Bachelor's in Education from Youngstown State University. He enjoys the experience of working with children in special education.

Kimberly Moore_Jr High

Kimberly Moore

Instruction Specialist

Kimberly Moore is an Instruction Specialist at the Rich Center.  Previously, she worked as a One on One Aide at Fairhaven School for ten years.  She also coached the Fairhaven Cheerleaders and volunteered with the other Special Olympic sports.

Kimberly is from Warren, Ohio, and was a graduate from Howland High School.  She received her Bachelors in Psychology from La Roche College in Pittsburgh, PA, where she played softball all through college.  She also coached for a couple of years at Howland High School. She loves spending time with her family and friends, and taking walks with her dog Benji.  She enjoys making people happy and having fun.

High School

Lovejoy, Tabatha

Tabatha Lovejoy

Lead Instructional Specialist

Tabatha Lovejoy is a Lead Instructional Specialist. She has worked for The Rich Center for Autism for almost 3 years.

She taught at a Christian School for several years.  She was a teaching paraprofessional at Potential Development.  She was an Intervention Specialist at Stambaugh Charter Academy in Youngstown for grades 6 and 7.

She has also been a wrap-around for special needs students and has been in residential care for special needs adults. She has volunteered regularly at the Trumbull County Board of DD school and word shop for many years

Tabatha has a Bachelors in Psychology and Business Management from Liberty University.  She has a Master's Degree in Special Education including teaching liscensure from Grand Canyon University.

Gabrielle Naples_HS 1

Gabrielle Naples

Instruction Specialist

Gabrielle Naples began working at The Rich Center for Autism in May 2017.  Prior to that she as a Graduate Assistant at Youngstown State University, where she is working towards her master’s degree.  Gabrielle obtained her Bachelor’s degree in social work from Bethany College, where she played basketball.  Her family includes her mom, Janine, dad, Anthony, siblings Alexis, Taylor and Christopher and her dog, Korver, who is the #1 Cav’s Fan.  They live in Salem, Ohio.  Gabrielle’s favorite food is Handel’s ice cream.  Gabrielle’s favorite part of working at The Rich Center for Autism is her ability to get to know each student because of our low ratios and amazing staff.  If she could wish for one thing for The Rich Center for Autism, it would be for more equipment on the playground.

Gereb, Scott

Scott Gereb

Instructional Specialist 

Scott has been an Instructional Specialist with The Rich Center since October 2015. Previously he worked for West Shore and Central Dauphin School Districts in PA for over 15 years instructing multidisability students. Scott earned his Bachelors degree in Speech Pathology from Clarion University of PA. He obtained a Masters degree in Special Education from Grand Canyon University of AZ. What Scott likes most about working at The Rich Center is the family atmosphere of the staff and students.  He has a great respect for the students here. Scott believes that parents are confident their children are getting the best services in an environment that encourages them to grow as individuals and to thrive in our society.

High School #2

O'Brien, Pat

Patrick O’Brien

Instruction Specialist

Pat O'Brien is starting his second year at The Rich Center for Autism as an Instructional Specialist. He graduated from Youngstown State University with a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice. He started work at the Juvenile Justice Center working with the Boy's Program. He worked with kids on probation and later became a Detention Officer. He started substitute teaching and worked as a paraprofessional with special needs students before working at The Rich Center for Autism. He's favorite part of working at The Rich Center is working with the kids and seeing them make progress.

Watkins, Taliah

Taliah Watkins

Lead Instruction Specialist 

Taliah Watkins is a Lead Instruction Specialist at The Rich Center for Autism. She has worked in the field of special education for 11 years here at The Rich Center. She has achieved an AA and a BA from Youngstown State University and has completed graduate workshops on the topics of autism and related disabilities. She is currently pursuing a degree in Public Health at Youngstown State University with which she aspires be an advocate for the students and their families. Her favorite part of working at The Rich Center is seeing each child's growth and celebrating each milestone.

The Chris M. Room at The Flats at Wick

Mientkiewicz, Steve

Steve Mientkiewicz

Lead Instruction Specialist

Steve has worked 3 years in the Middle School Classroom, 2 years at St. Charles, and 1 year in The Chris M. Transition Room. Steve has a BS in Middle Childhood Education from Youngstown State University and a MS in Education Administration from Kent State University. At the Rich Center Steve enjoys the freedom to teach and explore a variety of subject matter throughout the school year.

Pam Kassos_Flats

Pam Kassos

Lead Instruction Specialist

Pam has been on staff for 5 years working with the older population. Currently she is with the transition room working with the students at job sites while trying to get them job ready. She has a BS and MS in Exercise Science. What Pam likes most about the Rich Center is seeing the success of the students. When the “light” turns on and they master something. Also she admires the pride the students have when they master or gain a skill. TRC staff also makes this place rock!

St. Charles

Bock, Jodie

Jodie Bock

Instruction Specialist

Jodie Bock is an instructional Specialist at the Rich Center for Autism. She has worked here for six years. Her first five years was working in the therapy department as an COTA (Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant). She then moved into the classroom. She has obtained a bachelor’s degree from the University of Akron for Textiles / Interior Design, an associate degree from Kent State University in Occupational Therapy Assisting. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Special Education; Autism and Related Disabilities at Youngstown State University. Her favorite part of working at the Rich Center would be watching the kids grow and mature and all of the progress the have made over the years.

Melissa Ludban_St Charles

Melissa Ludban

Instruction Specialist

Melissa Ludban is an Instruction Specialist at the Rich Center Satellite program at St. Charles School in Boardman. She has worked in the field of education/special education for 16 years. She has received an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood and also her Bachelor’s in Family Studies from Youngstown State University. Her favorite part of working at the Rich Center would be the rewarding experience she gains from each child’s growth and progress made on a daily basis. She is very grateful to be part of such an amazing program.

Carolyn McGlone_St Charles

Carolyn McGlone

Instruction Specialist

Carolyn McGlone is an Instructional Specialist at the Rich Center for Autism. She has worked in the field of special education for many years. She worked at Edinboro University, with college students that were physically challenged. She taught special education, for 9 years, at Canfield Village Middle School. and has worked at the Rich center for 2 years. She works with the Rich Center students, that attend St. Charles School. She has belonged to the Council for Exceptional Children. Carolyn loves working at the Rich Center for many reasons. She feels each of the students are so special in their own individual way. She loves watching the growth and progress the students continue to make on a regular basis. She feels there is never a limit to what our students are capable of achieving, and it continues to be a rewarding job in so many ways.

Grace Naji_St Charles

Grace Naji

Lead Instruction Specialist

Grace Naji is a Lead Instruction Specialist at the Rich Center for Autism.  She has worked in the field of education for the past 33 years as a preschool teacher and director and has also taught kindergarten, first and second grade.  She earned her Bachelor's and Master's degree in Education from Youngstown State University.  She has been at the Rich Center for six years, the last two years at the pilot program at St. Charles School.

She is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance. Her favorite part of working at the Rich Center is celebrating the small successes with her students as they reach their goals and learning from her peers.

Paidas, Lexi

Lexi Paidas

Instruction specialist 

Alexis is trained in aba and worked with a young boy in Kent Ohio previously. Alexis went to Kent state had received a bachelor degree in speech pathology. Alexis is currently enrolled in the master program at YSU for school psychology. Alexis likes coming to work and the progression of her students each day.

She claims that even on her worst day, the students allow her to leave her worries at the door they continuously put a smile on her face. Alexis also states that the bond with staff members always make coming to work very enjoyable

Julianna Johnson_St Charles

Julianna Johnson

Instruction Specialist

Julianna Johnson is a recent graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Speech Language and Hearing Sciences.  This is her first year at The Rich Center for Autism, and she is excited to be working as an Instruction Specialist at Saint Charles!  During college Julianna was a Feature Twirler with the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band.  Outside of The Rich Center she teaches dance and baton at her studio, Shining Stars Dance and Baton.  She currently lives in Niles with her parents and puppy, Kevin.  In her spare time Julianna enjoys spending time with family, going to baton competitions, reading, and playing with her puppy.