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Our Staff

The staff members selected to be a part of the team at Carle Auditory Oral School are passionate, energetic and focused on meeting each child and family where they are, supporting them in progressing as far and as fast as they can go. Several staff members are certified Listening and Spoken Language Specialist (LSLS Cert. AVEd.), the highest credential available in this field. The school provides in-house mentoring and continuing education opportunities to all staff to help more professionals obtain this certification.

Deaf Educators

CAOS teachers hold current state licensure for elementary education with an endorsement in educating children who are deaf and hard of hearing (DHH). They also have extensive training and experience supporting children who are DHH in developing spoken language through listening. Teachers are responsible for selecting and documenting progress on language targets, as well as planning and leading educational activities throughout the school day that foster the development of listening, spoken language, social and academic skills across a variety of contexts. Teachers embed communication practice into a variety of learning and play based activities throughout the day, creating projects and memories that foster a life-long love of learning.

Photograph of Sarah Tanner

Sarah Tanner

MA, Academic Program Coordinator, Senior Deaf Educator, Pre-K

Photograph of Kara Bane

Kara Bane

MA, CED, Deaf Educator, Pre-K

Photograph of Leah Burris

Leah Burris

LSLS Cert AV Ed., Senior Deaf Educator, Preschool

Photograph of Samantha Hartfield

Samantha Hartfield

MS, Deaf Educator, Preschool

Photograph of Kayley Wei

Kayley Wei

BS, Deaf Educator, Primary

Educators

In recent years, CAOS staffing has expanded to include other educators to increase our ability to meet the needs of our students and families. Our early childhood educator brings additional knowledge about developmentally appropriate practice for young learners to the team. Our special education teacher brings training, experience and strategies to support learners with additional diagnoses to benefit from the listening and spoken language language-based learning opportunities at CAOS.

Photograph of Denisse Briceno

Denisse Briceno

Early Childhood Educator, Preschool

Photograph of Kristi Tammen

Kristi Tammen

MEd, Special Educator, Preschool and Pre-K

Enrichment Teachers

CAOS enrichment teachers are paraprofessionals who support teachers in the classroom, and facilitate language, learning and play across the school day. Additionally, these dedicated staff members lead Enrichment classes each day. Enrichment classes are offered to provide stimulating learning opportunities outside of the classroom curriculum for children to engage in while other members of the class are participiating in speech, language and listening therapy sessions. Past Enrichment studies have included animals and their habitats, or yoga for our preschoolers, the states or solar system for PreK and the US Presidents for our Primary students. Enrichment teachers also support recess, snack and lunch and lead the before- and after- school child care program.

Photograph of Sherri Maurer

Sherri Maurer

Paraprofessional, Preschool

Photograph of Lisa Lemke

Lisa Lemke

Paraprofessional, Primary

Photograph of Hannah Marcrum

Hannah Marcrum

Paraprofessional, Preschool

Photograph of Diane Greco-Colravy

Diane Greco-Colravy

MSW, LSW, Paraprofessional & Licensed Social Worker, Pre-K and Primary

Photograph of Pat Maree

Pat Maree

Elementary Educator, Pre-K

Photograph of Therese Cooper

Therese Cooper

Substitute Teacher, 
Pre-K

Photograph of Mary Enright

Mary Enright

Substitute Teacher, Pre-K

Photograph of Kim Stiene

Kim Stiene

Paraprofessional, Preschool

Photograph of Aubrey Thaman

Aubrey Thaman

Substitute Teacher, All Levels

Photograph of Jennifer Province

Jennifer Province

Deaf Educator, All Levels

Photograph of Mandy Nicolaides

Mandy Nicolaides

Paraprofessional, All Levels

Speech Language and Listening Therapists

CAOS therapists hold Illinois licensure and American Speech-Language-Hearing Association certification in speech language pathology. Therapists are responsible for evaluating speech, language and auditory comprehension skills, selecting and documenting progress on targets, and providing focused communication skill practice in intensive individual and small-group settings. Because most students at CAOS receive sixty minutes per day of individual therapy, therapists have access to a wide variety of motivating games and activities and use their creativity to make repeated practice activities enjoyable.

Photograph of Brittney Wetherell

Brittney Wetherell

MS, CCC-SLP, ECHO Speech Language Pathology Supervisor, Early Intervention Specialist

Photograph of Amy Fiscus

Amy Fiscus

MS, CCC-SLP, CCC-SLP Speech Language Pathologist, Early Intervention Specialist, Co-Enrollment Coordinator

Photograph of Mary Willis

Mary Willis

MS, CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist, Early Intervention Evaluator/Specialist

Photograph of Kristin R. Zimmerman

Kristin R. Zimmerman

MS, CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist

Photograph of Ashley Sharer

Ashley Sharer

MA, CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist, Early Intervention Evaluator/Specialist

Photograph of Jessica Zulueta

Jessica Zulueta

MS, CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist

Photograph of Holly Riegel

Holly Riegel

MS, CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert AV Ed, Speech Language Pathologist, Listening & Spoken Language Specialist, Early Intervention Evaluator/Specialist

Photograph of Kathy Metcalf

Kathy Metcalf

MA, CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist

Photograph of Shawnda Fuller

Shawnda Fuller

MA, CCC-A, LSLS Cert AV Ed., Aural Rehabilitation Audiologist, Listening & Spoken Langauge Specialist, Early Intervention Specialist

Photograph of Danielle M. Chalfant

Danielle M. Chalfant

MA, CCC-A, Aural Rehabilitation Audiologist

Photograph of Christy Ghazimoradi

Christy Ghazimoradi

MA. CCC-SLP Speech Language Pathologist

Early Intervention Therapists

Early intervention (EI) therapists hold these same credentials, in addition to the State of Illinois Early Intervention credential in speech langauge therapy. EI therapists serve children and families both in natural settings (i.e., their homes, either in person or remotely using teletherapy, or community-based locations) as well as providing center based services to allow for collaboration with audiologists and medical providers and foster relationships with other families on a similar journey. Early Intervention therapists partner with families to focus on the development of communication skills in a caring and supportive environment. Through guided interactions, parents learn strategies for helping their child with hearing loss develop spoken language.

Photograph of Brittney Wetherell

Brittney Wetherell

MS, CCC-SLP, ECHO Speech Language Pathology Supervisor, Early Intervention Specialist

Photograph of Amy Fiscus

Amy Fiscus

MS, CCC-SLP, CCC-SLP Speech Language Pathologist, Early Intervention Specialist, Co-Enrollment Coordinator

Photograph of Mary Willis

Mary Willis

MS, CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist, Early Intervention Evaluator/Specialist

Photograph of Ashley Sharer

Ashley Sharer

MA, CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist, Early Intervention Evaluator/Specialist

Photograph of Holly Riegel

Holly Riegel

MS, CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert AV Ed, Speech Language Pathologist, Listening & Spoken Language Specialist, Early Intervention Evaluator/Specialist

Photograph of Shawnda Fuller

Shawnda Fuller

MA, CCC-A, LSLS Cert AV Ed., Aural Rehabilitation Audiologist, Listening & Spoken Langauge Specialist, Early Intervention Specialist

Audiologists

ECHO Audiologists hold Illinois licensure and American Speech-Language-Hearing Association certification in audiology. This team of pediatric audiologists is uniquely experienced in evaluating children’s hearing, identifying appropriate hearing technology to provide consistent access to sound and providing information to families so they can make informed choices about their child’s communication and educational options. ECHO audiologists provide support to more than 1,000 families of children who are deaf and hard of hearing from across the state of Illinois. Located on the first floor of the ECHO building, ECHO audiologists also provide intensive support to students enrolled at CAOS.

Photograph of Jean Thomas

Jean Thomas

MS, CCC-A, ECHO Audiologist, Program Manager

Photograph of Julie Wirth

Julie Wirth

MS, CCC-A, ECHO Audiologist

Photograph of Lisa Gibbs

Lisa Gibbs

AuD, CCC-A, ECHO Audiologist

Physicians

Medical treatment and care is an important component of the ECHO comprehensive care model for children who are deaf and hard of hearing. ECHO otologists are certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology, with specialized experience in surgical and non-surgical management of children who are DHH, including those with pediatric cochlear implants. Physicians collaborate with staff and families in determining cause and treatment of childhood hearing loss.

Photograph of Ryan Porter

Ryan Porter

MD, Otolaryngologist, ECHO Program Medical Director

Photograph of Jonathan McJunkin

Jonathan McJunkin

Otolaryngologist

Office Coordinators

Office coordinators help to manage the workload at both CAOS and ECHO. They address student and patient questions and concerns via phone and email, in addition to managing schedules, supply orders, work requests and billing. Our office coordinators keep our program moving forward in so many ways!

Photograph of Myra Fawbush

Myra Fawbush

CAOS Office Coordinator

Photograph of Kim Stiene

Kim Stiene

ECHO Office Coordinator

Photograph of Joy Seward

Joy Seward

ECHO Office Coordinator

Administration and Support

ECHO Program Founder, Michael Novak, MD, provided visionary leadership in the development of the ECHO program, comprised of the Pediatric Hearing Center and Carle Auditory Oral School. He’s expanded opportunities for children who are deaf and hard of hearing through the growth and expansion of the ECHO program.

Now under the leadership of ECHO Program Medical Director, Ryan Porter, MD, the ECHO program provides unique, comprehensive and coordinated care for children who are DHH that keeps families at the center of the ECHO team of professionals.

ECHO Program Manager, Jean Thomas,MS, CCC-A, provides program oversight to ensure world class care for ECHO patients and their families. The ECHO manager provides support to the multidisplinary team to enable them to further their knowledge and skills in the pursuit of providing quality care to the children and families we serve.

Carle Auditory Oral School Director, Danielle Chalfant, MEd, MA, CCC-A, coordinates school and therapy programs and faciliates team collaboration and efficiency efforts. She works to ensure the program adjusts to meet each child and family where they are and take them as far as they can go.

ECHO Outreach Coordinator, Uma Soman, PhD, LSLS Cert AVEd, teaches students who are DHH in the CAOS and ECHO programs, their families and school teams. She provides academic tutoring and conducts educational assessments and supports parents and schools in developing Individualized Educational Plans for DHH students. Dr. Soman also works with children and families who are transitioning from CAOS into a mainstream environment.

Academic Program Coordinator, Sarah Tanner, MA, Senior Deaf Educator, provides support to educators in matters of curriculum, instruction and student engagement. She also manages school-wide special events and leads role meetings. 

Speech Language Pathology Supervisor, Brittney Wetherell, MS, CCC-SLP, helps to manage workflows and schedules for therapists in addition to organizing and leading role meetings for both school based and Early Intervention therapists.

Photograph of Jean Thomas

Jean Thomas

MS, CCC-A, ECHO Audiologist, Program Manager

Photograph of Ryan Porter

Ryan Porter

MD, Otolaryngologist, ECHO Program Medical Director

Photograph of Michael Novak, MD

Michael Novak, MD

ECHO Program Founder

Photograph of Sarah Tanner

Sarah Tanner

MA, Academic Program Coordinator, Senior Deaf Educator, Pre-K

Photograph of Uma Soman, PhD, LSLS Cert AVEd

Uma Soman, PhD, LSLS Cert AVEd

ECHO Outreach Coordinator

Photograph of Danielle M. Chalfant

Danielle M. Chalfant

MA, CCC-A, Aural Rehabilitation Audiologist