We would like to introduce you to our current staff below.
To join our staff, please print and fill out this employment application.
Executive Director Joanne Sweazey joined The Hope Center for Autism, Inc. in July 2016. She has over 22 years of experience working with people with Autism Spectrum Disorder from two years of age to adulthood. Joanne has worked closely with The Hope Center for Autism since its inception in 2004 as a Behavior Specialist and Program Specialist for Autism with the Martin County School District. She has collaborated with The Hope Center to ensure students successfully transition to a less restrictive setting. Joanne has a Masters of Education degree from Florida State University and has been a National Board Certified Teacher in the area of Severe and Profound Disabilities. She is certified to teach Elementary Education K-6 and Exceptional Student Education K-12. Joanne is a certified PEERS trainer and has been instrumental in the development of many community wide programs for Students with Autism. She has participated in the administration of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule 1 and 2 with a team of professionals as part of eligibility determinations for children and young adults. Joanne was instrumental in the development of the Classroom Assistance Tool which identifies evidenced based interventions proven effective for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Joanne is dedicated to improving outcomes for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and is excited about the future of the Hope Center and for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and similar needs.
Director Shannon Kiess has been with The Hope Center for Autism, Inc. since its inception in 2004. She has over 14 years of experience working in the education field, along with many years’ experience working with students with a wide range of disabilities. Shannon is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), has a Masters of Education (M.Ed.), Bachelor’s Degree in Exceptional Student Education, and is certified to teach grades K-12 from Florida Atlantic University. She has played an active role in the continued growth and development of The Hope Center program and demonstrates a passion for working with families affected by autism and related disabilities. Shannon excels in assisting individual students and team members develop through promoting rich opportunities for learning both within and out of the classroom, her dedication to the students and staff is evident in all that she does.
Educational Coordinator Stanley Hershonik joined the Hope Center for Autism in 2016 as the Educational Coordinator. He is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism. Stanley has more than 5 years experience in early intervention and ABA services. He has join our team from an assistant director position at an early intervention ABA clinic. His dedication and love for this field has projected him from a floor therapist to an administrator and educator. Since he started in the field Stanley has worked in homes, schools, and clinical settings with children as young as 18 months and as old as 22. Stanley is excited to continue growing, learning, and adapting in the ever-evolving field of special education and autism. He is dedicated to bringing exceptional care and education to children with special needs and to providing applicable and impactful training to parents and the school team.
Lena Kasliner has been with the Hope Center since 2011. Prior to joining the Hope Center team she was employed by the Martin County School District for thirty-seven years. Lena began her career as the first Pre-K teacher for children with disabilities and then for the last twenty-six years as a Program Specialist in the Exceptional Student Education Department. During her tenure, she began working with The Hope Center for Autism as the Local Education Agency (LEA) representative. Lena also provides her expertise in the area of curriculum and early childhood environments as she was part of a team that established the first public school classroom for young children with autism in Martin County. Lena currently holds a Master’s of Science Degree in Education with certification in the areas of Elementary Education and Special Education. She is also teacher certified in Neuro-Developmental Therapy.
Marilyn Raymond joined The Hope Center for Autism in 2014 as an Administrative Assistant. She completed a B.A. in Theater, with a Minor in Communications & Media Studies at Fordham University, in New York City. Prior to working at the Hope Center, she was a Preschool teacher at a private school in Stuart, FL for 5 years. She has also enjoyed teaching Sunday school to children from 2 years old to High School over the last 13 years. She enjoys working with children of all ages and is excited to be a part of the Hope Center team.
Charlene Roddy has been with The Hope Center for Autism since early 2008. She graduated with honors from Indian River State College with her Bachelor’s Degree in Exceptional Student Education (K-12). In addition, Charlene has her ESOL and Autism Endorsements and is certified in Elementary Education Pre-Kindergarten through grade 3. Her passion is working with children, and has over 10 years of experience working with students with disabilities from early childhood through high school age. Charlene enjoys being part of the Hope Center family and is dedicated to providing the best educations and supports to both her students and their families.
Brigitte Christensen joined The Hope Center family in 2014 as a Lead Teacher. She has over 10 years of experience working with children with an array of disabilities including those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Brigitte has worked in various capacities including as a Behavior Therapist, Early Intervention Specialist, and Clinical Support Associate for the FAU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD). She completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Exceptional Student Education from Florida Atlantic University and is certified to teach ESE K-12 and Elementary Education K-6. Brigitte enjoys working closely with children and families and loves helping her students experience success.
Jessica Hathaway joined the Hope Center family in 2015. She graduated from Worcester State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is currently working towards a Master’s Degree in Education. Before moving to Florida from Massachusetts, she spent over 10 years working in the special education field. As a Certified Behavior Assistant, she has worked in both homes and community environments where she works closely with clients and their families to help improve their daily lives. She has also been employed in public schools and rehabilitation centers. Jessica is a very dedicated and patient individual with years of experience working with children and adults.
Sara Kraft joined the Hope Center family in 2012. She is certified to teach ESE K-12 and is currently working towards a Master’s Degree in Exceptional Student Education with a concentration in Autism. Sara has worked as a behavior specialist in home environments and enjoys working closely with the families. She has been working with children with autism for over 10 years and continues to strive to further her education and experience.
Erica Halsey began providing speech therapy at The Hope Center for Autism in 2012. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with her Master’s in Speech Language Pathology. Over the years as a Speech Pathologist Assistant, graduate student, and a licensed Speech Pathologist, Erica has worked in a variety of settings including multiple schools, 3 private practices, an outpatient pediatric hospital, a skilled nursing facility, and an ENT office. She has found her passion working in a school setting and with pre-k and elementary aged students.
Tabby Carle began working for The Hope Center in 2010. She graduated from California State University, Fullerton with her Bachelor’s in Communicative Disorders and has been working in the field of Speech Communications since 2004. She has worked in private and public schools, private therapy clinics, rehabilitation and outpatient hospital programs, and has enjoyed being part of early intervention and preschool language evaluation teams. She loves working with children and truly enjoys being part of their growth and development.
Deanne Rosselli joined The Hope Center for Autism in December of 2014 to provide occupational therapy services for the students. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy from the Sargent College of Allied Health sciences at Boston University in 1987, and has been providing services for children for over 25 years. She has worked in public and private schools, rehabilitation and outpatient hospital programs, private therapy clinics, and has provided home health services and served as part of early intervention and preschool evaluation teams. Deanne has worked almost exclusively with students affected by autism for the last four years. Deanne is excited to be part of the dynamic team of professionals at The Hope Center for Autism, and is committed to providing the best possible care to the students through collaboration with the staff and families involved.
Miyoko Favier has been with the Hope Center for Autism since 2004. She is a highly qualified lead paraprofessional and has worked in various educational settings, with children with autism and related disabilities, since 1998.
Atsuko Bayless has been with the Hope Center for Autism since 2005. She is a highly qualified lead paraprofessional and has extensive experience working with children with autism and related disabilities.
Kaitlyn Hubbard has been with The Hope Center since 2014 as a highly qualified paraprofessional. She has many years of experience working with young children and a passion for helping the students learn and grow every day.
Teddy Hassel has been with The Hope Center for Autism since 2015. He graduated from Concordia University-Wisconsin with his Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management. In addition to having a little brother with Down Syndrome, Teddy has over 10 years of experience volunteering with children. Teddy is working towards becoming certified to teach Exceptional Student Education K-12. He enjoys working with children and helping in the overall learning experiences for The Hope Center’s students.
Sara Viau is a very exciting new addition to our Hope Center family! She recently relocated from San Diego, California where she worked as a paraprofessional for the past 8 years in the La Mesa Spring Valley School District. She attended Cuyamaca College where she studied Child Development. Sara has extensive experience working with children. She is very excited to have joined the Hope Center team and is eager to contribute her expertise and encourage our students on a daily basis.
Sarah Chadwick joined the Hope Center for Autism in July 2016. She graduated, with honor, at Indian River State College with a Bachelors degree in Exceptional Student Education (K-12). Sarah has over 6 years of volunteering with children in Martin County School District. Before Joining The Hope Center, she was a Sunday school teacher, extended day counselor, substitute teacher, and an ESE paraprofessional. Sarah loves working with children and she is very excited to be a part of our team.
Beth Rautenstrauch has joined the Hope Center for Autism with 37 years experience in education. She has spent the last 27 years serving the children of Martin County School District. She has worked with children of all ages and exceptionalities. Beth holds a teachers certificate in ESE K-12. She has also done private behavior assistant work in homes and the community. Beth is very excited to be continuing her career at the Hope Center.
Deanna Laine joined the Hope Center for Autism in early 2016. She has over 6 years of experience working with children of various ages and is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Exceptional Student Education (K-12). She loves working with children and is very happy to be a part of the Hope Center Family.
Sydney Garmire has been with the Hope Center for Autism since 2016. She’s had 2 years’ experience as a counselor/lead counselor with a kindergarten through 5th grade aftercare program. Sydney has worked on and off with children diagnosed with autism and she is a certified childcare provider. Having a family member with autism, she has been interested in working more closely with children diagnosed with autism and other related disabilities. Sydney is very excited to join the Hope Center for Autism team and to continue her career, contribute, and learn all she can!
Lindsey Hill Joined the Hope Center in the Fall, 2016. She has worked with young children for almost eight years and holds an Associates degree in Elementary Education. She is currently pursuing her Bachelors degree in Exceptional Student Education (ESE). Lindsey loves what she does and is super excited to be part of the Hope Center family.
Jeanie Bacharach has been with The Hope Center for Autism since 2004. She is a Florida Certified Behavior Analyst as well as a national Board Certified Behavior Analyst with a certificate in PECS supervision. In addition, she holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology from Florida State University, Master’s Degree in Communicative Disorders from The University of Central Florida, and a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
During her time at UCF she had the opportunity to participate in a practicum experience in which Applied Behavior Analysis was used with several children with autism. The staff from UCLA’s Lovaas Young Autism Project supervised the children’s programs through their workshop model, providing ongoing training and consultation with the practicum therapists. After graduation she continued with the project, next called the Sertoma Autism Project, as the director. Her duties included developing objectives for the children with direction from the UCLA staff, training teaching assistants, and performing one-on-one teaching with 15 children with autism ages 2-8.
When she arrived in south Florida she began a private practice providing consultation, supervision and direct instruction for ABA programs for children with autism and later helped establish Reaching Potentials. As the clinical director she performs initial intake consultation and evaluation; programming updates and supervision; training for staff, parents and professionals; research; writing, implementing and monitoring behavior plans; and a variety of other ABA related services.
Jeanie has consulted with numerous public school districts and private organizations and has traveled throughout the United States and abroad to assist parents in establishing home based early intervention programs for their children with autism. Her passion for the students and her long standing dedication to The Hope Center are evident and admired.