Meet Our Team

We Celebrate the Unique Learning Style of Every Child

Mandy Jasnoff - CST Academy

Mandy Jasnoff, MS, CCC-SLP

Director of CST Academy

Mandy Jasnoff is a highly experienced pediatric speech-language pathologist and the director of CST Academy. As director, Mandy has worked with Karen George, MS, CCC-SLP, to develop the model of the therapeutic preschool program. She analyzed multiple approaches to determine the most effective methods for optimizing developmental gains. Mandy strives to create individualized plans that target the unique goals of every child in the classroom. She believes in fostering every child’s strengths and interests within the therapeutic school setting.

Mandy completed her undergraduate studies in speech-language pathology at Syracuse University and her graduate studies in speech-language pathology at Boston University. Mandy has years of experience leading multidisciplinary teams, supervising speech-language pathologists, and providing intervention across a variety of clinical settings. She has gained expertise in treating children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), providing feeding therapy, building early language, treating Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS), using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), and more.

Outside CSTA, Mandy enjoys spending time with her family, trying new recipes, staying active and indulging in the occasional reality television show!

Jennifer Gunn - CST Academy

Jennifer Herndon, MA, BCBA

IEP Liaison & Parent Advocate, Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Jennie has sat on many sides of the IEP table and is excited to be helping families become effective advocates for their child. She wants all parents to feel empowered to help their child be successful in school and across other settings.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Dayton and her master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis with a BCBA certification from Ball State University. Prior to joining the team at CST Academy, Jennie led special education programs at both private and public schools throughout the Chicago area. With expertise in ABA, Jennie helps children increase positive behaviors, reduce challenging behaviors, and make great developmental gains in CST Academy.

During her free time Jennie enjoys spending time with her family and traveling. They love to explore different parks and yummy places to eat in the Chicago area!

Preschool Team

Ally Brewster-Kowalski - CST Academy

Meredith Harrison, MS, CCC-SLP

Preschool Program Lead, Speech-Language Pathologist

As a lifelong singer and musician, Meredith recognizes the importance of using music to support her students’ language and literacy development. Her favorite songs are those with actions, sound effects, rhymes, and repetition that engage children, including The Wheels on the Bus, Old MacDonald, Oh Mr. Sun, Five Green and Speckled Frogs, and so many more.

Meredith earned her bachelor’s degree in speech-language pathology from Truman State University and her master's degree from New York University. Prior to CSTA, she worked with elementary and middle school students in the New York City Public Schools, as well as toddlers and preschoolers in home and clinical settings.

Outside the classroom, Meredith enjoys spending time with her daughter and husband. They love exploring Chicago’s museums, parks, and lakefront path!

Allison Trybula - CST Academy

Allison Trybula, MS, CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist, PreK Teacher

Allison loves incorporating social language goals into group sessions to promote peer interactions.. She strongly believes in collaboration with multi-disciplinary team members, parents, and family members when working with each child. At CST Academy, Allison enjoys targeting language skills in the classroom through the use of music, books, and art. One of her favorite children’s book series is Pete the Cat.

Allison earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, MI. Before she joined CST Academy, Allison provided virtual and in-person therapeutic services to students ages 4-11 at a public elementary school in Illinois. She worked with clients on improving their articulation and receptive, expressive, and pragmatic language skills.

When she’s not teaching a class or working with clients, Allison enjoys being outside, trying new restaurants, and traveling.

Anna McClellan - CST Academy

Anna McClellan, MS, CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist, PreK Teacher

At CST Academy, Anna especially loves to work on language skills in the classroom through the use of music and books. One of her favorite children’s books is The Little Engine That Could.

Anna graduated from Calvin College with a bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology before going on to earn her master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin. In addition to completing the requirements for speech-pathology, Anna also completed coursework and clinical experiences in fulfillment of the Spanish-English Bilingual Certification at UT-Austin. Prior to joining the team at CST, Anna worked as a bilingual SLP in a variety of settings, including home-based early intervention and public schools. Anna also has prior experience working as the co-head teacher of a class for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

When she’s not teaching a class or working with clients, Anna enjoys being outside, photographing, yoga, tacos, and spending time with her family.

Courtney Lara - CST Academy

Courtney Goedhart, MS, CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist, PreK Teacher

Courtney strongly believes that collaboration with families and other members of each child’s care team is essential in facilitating development in all areas both within and outside of the classroom. She loves helping her students find their own voice to communicate in a way that is most effective and functional for them.

Courtney completed her undergraduate studies in Communication Sciences & Disorders at California State University-Fullerton and earned her master’s degree from New York University.

When she’s not teaching at CST or reading The Pout Pout Fish with her clients, Courtney enjoys traveling, exploring the outdoors, trying new restaurants, and trying to cook new recipes at home.

Emily Firmiss - CST Academy

Emily Firmiss, MS, CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist, PreK Teacher

At CST, Emily specializes in working with clients on early language, articulation, and feeding. She also loves to introduce her clients to her favorite children’s book, Little Blue Truck.

Emily graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University and earned her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Elmhurst College. Prior to joining CST Academy, Emily worked in Chicago Public Schools where she evaluated and provided one-to-one and small group therapeutic intervention for students in grades K-8.

Outside of CSTA, Emily’s favorite hobbies include yoga, reading, cooking, and traveling. Emily is also the youngest of 8 children and enjoys spending time with her family.

Jaclyn Johnson - CST Academy

Jaclyn Johnson, MS, CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist, PreK Teacher

Jaclyn loves incorporating her favorite children's books, Little Blue Truck and anything by Eric Carle, into her classroom and therapy sessions!

Jaclyn completed her undergraduate studies in Communication Sciences & Disorders at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and went on to earn her master’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Before joining CST, Jaclyn worked as an SLP in various settings. Her past experiences include evaluating and treating school-aged children in Wisconsin Public Schools and a hospital in Missouri, as well as working specifically with children with ASD at the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

In her free time, Jaclyn enjoys exploring the different neighborhoods of Chicago, playing golf and tennis, listening to audiobooks, and trying new recipes!

Ally Brewster-Kowalski - CST Academy

Jessica Dieter, MS, CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist, PreK Teacher

Jess enjoys all aspects of speech therapy, but especially promoting early language development through play. She incorporates a child’s unique interests and favorite toys into therapy sessions to create a motivating and engaging session for all of the children she works with.

She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Jess has extensive experience working with children to address early feeding and swallowing concerns, as well as speech and language development. She enjoys the opportunity to collaborate with parents throughout the therapeutic process in order to help children make incredible gains.

On the weekends, you can find Jess running on the 606, taking workout classes, or exploring all of the restaurants the city has to offer!

Julie Meyer - CST Academy

Julie Meyer, MS, CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist, PreK Teacher

Julie has a passion for supporting children in their use of multimodal communication, including but not limited to, high-tech AAC devices, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), Signed English and spoken language. She loves watching children grow in their ability to express their thoughts, wants, and needs with those around them.

Julie graduated with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Prior to joining CST, Julie gained experience in a variety of pediatric settings, including elementary education, private practice, and early intervention serving children from birth to age three. She also has experience working with children with ASD at the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Columbia, MO.

In her free time, Julie enjoys cheering on The St. Louis Blues, running on the lakefront, and trying out new Italian restaurants in Chicago.

Lauren Rottinghaus - CST Academy

Lauren Rottinghaus, MS, CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist, PreK Teacher

What Lauren loves most about being a teacher at CST Academy is watching the kids grow and develop group learning skills so quickly. She also enjoys seeing peer interactions and friendships form in the classroom. If you are looking for a good read for your kiddo, Lauren highly recommends We’re Going on a Bear Hunt because of how interactive it is!

Lauren completed her bachelor’s degree at Illinois State University and received her master’s degree from St. Ambrose University. Before she joined CST Academy, Lauren had experience working in a blended preschool in the Omaha Public Schools where she worked with children ages 2-5.

When she is not teaching, Lauren finds joy in spending time with her family, trying new restaurants, and enjoying the outdoors (in the summer, of course).

Madeline Hayden - CST Academy

Madeline Hayden, MS, CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist, PreK Teacher

One of Madeline's favorite ways to target language is through natural group language activities such as art, circle time, and story reading. She loves watching children learn language through engaging with adults and peers!

Madeline earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Purdue University. Prior to joining the team at CST Academy, Madeline worked in a public school where she evaluated and provided treatment for a K-4 caseload of children with ASD, articulation and phonological disorders, language impairment, and hearing loss. Madeline also served as a member of a multidisciplinary team including speech-language pathologists, an early childhood education specialist, audiologist, and family members to provide effective push-in and pull-out communication intervention.

When not playing with kids, Madeline enjoys playing with her aussiedoodle, Culver, exploring the city, and making new crafts on her sewing machine.

Micayla Merrifield - CST Academy

Micayla Merrifield, MS, CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist, PreK Teacher

Because of her experience in public schools, Micayla can guide and support parents through the IEP process. In her therapy sessions and classes, she likes to teach literacy using wordless picture books such as Chalk or Journey, and imaginative stories such as The Old Lady Who Swallowed series.

Micayla earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas-Austin and her master’s degree in Communication Disorders from the University of Texas-Dallas. She previously worked for Hawaii Public Schools in the elementary, middle, and high school settings. In addition, she provided early childhood intervention services for children birth to age three. After moving to Chicago, Micayla was an elementary school SLP for Elgin School District.

In her free time, Micayla enjoys taking yoga classes, painting, exploring new restaurants in Chicago, and cheering for the Texas Longhorns and Dallas Cowboys.

Olivia Hallagan - CST Academy

Olivia Hallagan, MS, CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist, PreK Teacher

Olivia specializes in early language, specifically with children from birth to age three. Children’s books that she loves to incorporate into sessions include the Sandra Boynton board book series, such as Moo Baa La La La. Olivia’s favorite part of teaching at CSTA is getting to be a part of her students’ team and teaching the foundational skills needed for group learning.. She enjoys seeing her students make progress throughout the year!

Olivia graduated with both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Marquette University. Before she joined CST, Olivia worked in the Milwaukee Public Schools in an extended therapeutic preschool classroom, similar to CST Academy. She also had the unique opportunity to provide speech therapy and work with a multidisciplinary team at a school in Cape Town, South Africa.

Outside of CSTA, Olivia enjoys reading, exercising, and spending time with her family, especially her two nieces and nephew!

Kindergarten Team

Katelyn Suski - CST Academy

Katelyn Suski, MA

Kindergarten Program Lead

Katelyn has a true passion for teaching kindergarten and enjoys seeing the growth and independence her students gain throughout this special year. As a teacher, she strives to create a community of learners that nurtures this growth in a positive, fun environment.

Katelyn completed both her bachelor’s degree in Special Education and her master’s degree in Autism Spectrum Disorders at Michigan State University. Prior to coming to CSTA, Katelyn worked for Chicago Public Schools as a self-contained special education teacher in grades K-2. She also has experience as an inclusion special education teacher and case manager.

Outside of CSTA, Katelyn enjoys pilates, cooking new recipes, and spending time with her family!

Erin Bylina - CST Academy

Erin Bylina, MA

Kindergarten Teacher

At CST Academy, Erin especially enjoys watching her students unlock their potential and make strides in all areas. She loves collaborating with other team members to help her students grow and become their best selves.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Bradley University and her master’s degree in Special Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Erin has over 14 years of experience as a teacher. Prior to joining CST, she taught a kindergarten and first grade instructional special education classroom. She has also worked as a K-5 special education resource teacher, at-risk pre-kindergarten teacher, and early childhood special education teacher. Erin has extensive experience collaborating with related service providers, including SLPs, OTs, and PTs, and developing IEP goals for her students.

Beyond her work at CSTA, Erin’s hobbies include spending time with family and friends, trying new restaurants, going to plays and concerts, and reading.

Grace Haberkorn - CST Academy

Grace Haberkorn, MA, BCBA

Kindergarten Teacher

Grace is passionate about teaching and shaping peer interactions between students in her classroom. She loves witnessing relationships develop throughout the year and the happiness they bring to her students!

She earned her bachelor’s degree as a Learning Behavior Specialist I from the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign and her master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) from Capella University. Before becoming a teacher at CST Academy, she taught a kindergarten TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children) classroom. Grace has 5 years of experience in early childhood special education, and recently became a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst).

When Grace is not in the classroom or working with her ABA clients, she can be found exploring Chicago with her dog, a boxer puppy named Blue. She enjoys being outside and active, spending time with her nieces and nephews, and trying out new coffee shops and restaurants in the city!

Rachel McFadden - CST Academy

Rachel McFadden, BS

Kindergarten Teacher

Rachel’s favorite part of CST Academy is being able to collaborate with a team of speech, occupational, physical, and ABA therapists to provide the best support for her students.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in Education/Unified Early Childhood Education at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Prior to joining the team at CSTA, Rachel worked as a student teacher in a special education placement and in an early childhood education placement in Wisconsin Public Schools. Rachel also has extensive experience working with children on the autism spectrum as an ABA therapist.

In addition to being a teacher, Rachel enjoys baking, crafting, traveling, and eating her favorite food: ice cream. Rachel’s favorite children’s books are the Junie B. Jones series.

Raechell Sandejas - CST Academy

Raechell Sandejas, MA

Kindergarten Teacher

Raechell’s favorite thing about CST Academy is being surrounded by people who are equally passionate about what they do. Raechell enjoys learning from each discipline and appreciates having a support system for her students. Raechell’s practice is driven by the belief that it takes a village to raise a child. She strives to see her students holistically by collaborating with families and other therapists to ensure consistency in the strategies that are employed.

Raechell is fluent in English and Tagalog. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at De La Salle University in the Philippines. Prior to joining CST Academy, Raechell worked in the Philippines as a special education teacher in private schools where she collaborated with multidisciplinary professionals to tailor students’ learning plans to their unique needs.

In her free time, Raechell enjoys crocheting, traveling (especially to the beach), baking and exploring new restaurants.

Mandy Jasnoff - CST Academy

Mandy Jasnoff, MS, CCC-SLP

Director of CST Academy

Mandy Jasnoff is a highly experienced pediatric speech-language pathologist, as well as the director of CST Academy. Mandy completed her undergraduate studies in speech-language pathology at Syracuse University and her graduate studies in speech-language pathology at Boston University.

As the director of CST Academy, she worked with Karen George, MS, CCC-SLP, to develop the model of the therapeutic preschool program. She analyzed multiple approaches to determine the most effective methods for optimizing developmental gains.

Mandy works to develop individualized plans that target the individual goals of every child in the classroom. Her expertise in speech-language pathology allows her to incorporate strategies for improving communication.

Mandy has years of experience leading multidisciplinary teams, supervising clinical fellows, and working in multiple clinical settings. She has gained expertise in treating children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), incorporating the Floortime approach, providing feeding therapy, building early language, treating apraxia, using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), and more.

Jennifer Gunn - CST Academy

Jennifer Herndon, MA, BCBA

IEP Liaison & Parent Advocate, Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Jennie has sat on many sides of the IEP table and is excited to be helping families become effective advocates for their child. She wants all parents to feel empowered to help their child be successful in school and across other settings.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Dayton and her master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis with a BCBA certification from Ball State University. Prior to joining the team at CST Academy, Jennie led special education programs at both private and public schools throughout the Chicago area. With expertise in ABA, Jennie helps children increase positive behaviors, reduce challenging behaviors, and make great developmental gains in CST Academy.

During her free time Jennie enjoys spending time with her family and traveling. They love to explore different parks and yummy places to eat in the Chicago area!

Allison Trybula - CST Academy

Allison Trybula, MS, CCC-SLP

Allison is a pediatric speech-language pathologist and an educator at CST Academy.

She earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Grand Valley State University.

Before she joined CST Academy, Allison provided virtual therapeutic services to students ages 4-11 at a public elementary school in Illinois. She worked with cases involving articulation, receptive/expressive language, and pragmatic language disorders, as well as students with hearing loss, learning disabilities, emotional/behavioral disabilities, and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Ally Brewster-Kowalski - CST Academy

Ally Kowalski, B.S.

Ally Kowalski graduated with her bachelor’s in Special Education and Early Childhood Special Education and earned her Learning Behavior Specialist I endorsement. She began teaching a blended special education preschool in the suburbs of Chicago. Ally then moved on to teaching an extensive instructional special education classroom, catering to grades Kindergarten through 3rd grade. Ally has a decade of experience working with children and young adults ranging from ages 1 to 21 years old.

Anna McClellan - CST Academy

Anna McClellan, MS, CCC-SLP

Anna is a Spanish-English bilingual pediatric speech-language pathologist and a teacher at CST Academy.

She graduated from Calvin College with a Bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology before going on to earn her Master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin. In addition to completing the requirements for speech-pathology, Anna also completed coursework and clinical experiences in fulfillment of the Spanish-English Bilingual Certification at UT-Austin.

Prior to joining the team at CST, Anna worked as a bilingual SLP in a variety of settings including home-based early intervention and public schools. Anna also has prior experience working as the co-head teacher of a class for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

At CST Academy, Anna especially loves to work on language skills in the classroom through the use of music and books. One of her favorite children’s books is The Little Engine That Could.

When she’s not teaching a class or working with clients, Anna enjoys being outside, photographing, yoga, tacos, and spending time with family.

Courtney Lara - CST Academy

Courtney Lara, MS, CCC-SLP

Courtney is a pediatric speech-language pathologist and a teacher at CST Academy. She completed her undergraduate studies in Communication Sciences & Disorders at California State University-Fullerton and earned her Master’s degree from New York University.

Courtney strongly believes that collaboration with families and other members of each child’s care team is essential in facilitating development in all areas both within and outside of the classroom. She loves helping her students find their own voice to communicate in a way that is most effective and functional for them.

When she’s not teaching at CST or reading The Pout Pout Fish with her clients, Courtney enjoys traveling, exploring the outdoors, trying new restaurants, and trying to cook new recipes at home.

Elizabeth Lorentzen - CST Academy

Elizabeth Lorentzen, MS, CCC-SLP

Elizabeth is a pediatric speech-language pathologist from Arlington Heights and an instructor at CST Academy. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Rush University.

Elizabeth’s favorite part of being a CSTA teacher is observing her students generalize the skills that they have worked on in 1:1 sessions in the group setting! She also enjoys tying her favorite children’s book, Corduroy, into her lessons whenever she can.

In her free time Elizabeth loves reading, trying new recipes (especially pasta dishes), and going to the beach. She is also very grateful for her mom who recommended speech pathology to her as a career after her great experiences with Elizabeth’s young brother’s SLPs.

Emily Firmiss - CST Academy

Emily Firmiss, MS, CCC-SLP

Emily is a pediatric speech-language pathologist and a teacher at CST Academy.

Emily graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University and earned her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Elmhurst College.

Prior to joining CST Academy, Emily worked in Chicago Public Schools where she evaluated and provided one-to-one and small group therapeutic intervention for students in grades K-8.

At CST, Emily specializes in working with clients on early language, articulation, and feeding. She also loves to introduce her client’s to her favorite children’s book, Little Blue Truck.

Outside of being an SLP, Emily’s favorite hobbies include yoga, reading, cooking, and traveling. Emily is also the youngest of 8 children and enjoys spending time with her family.

Erin Bylina - CST Academy

Erin Bylina, MA

Erin is a special education teacher at CST Academy.

She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Bradley University and her Master’s degree in Special Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Erin has over 14 years worth of experience as a teacher. Prior to joining CST, she taught a kindergarten and first grade instructional special education classroom. She has also worked as a kindergarten through fifth grade special education resource teacher, at-risk pre-kindergarten teacher, and early childhood special education teacher.

Erin has extensive experience collaborating with related service providers including SLPs, OTs, and PTs and developing IEP goals for her students.

At CST Academy, Erin especially enjoys seeing all the funny things the kiddos do and say, as well as watching her students unlock their potential and make strides in all areas. Erin is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the rest of the CSTA teachers to help her students continue to grow and be their best selves.

Beyond her work at CSTA, Erin’s hobbies include spending time with family and friends, trying new restaurants, going to plays and concerts, and reading.

Grace Haberkorn - CST Academy

Grace Haberkorn, MA, BCBA

Grace is a BCBA and is part of the teaching staff at CST Academy.

She earned her Bachelor’s degree as a Behavior Learning Specialist I from the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign and her Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) from Capella University.

Before becoming a teacher at CST Academy, she taught a kindergarten TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children) classroom for children with autism.

Jaclyn Johnson - CST Academy

Jaclyn Johnson, MS, CCC-SLP

Jaclyn is a pediatric speech-language pathologist and part of the team of teachers at CST Academy.

Jaclyn completed her undergraduate studies in Communication Sciences & Disorders at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and went on to earn her Master’s Degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Before joining CST, Jaclyn had the opportunity to work as an SLP in various settings. Her past experiences include evaluating and treating school-aged children in Wisconsin public schools and a hospital in Missouri, as well as working specifically with children with ASD at the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

Jaclyn loves incorporating her favorite children's books, The Little Blue Truck, and anything by Eric Carle, into her classroom and therapy sessions! In her free time, Jaclyn enjoys exploring the different neighborhoods of Chicago, playing golf and tennis, listening to audiobooks, and trying out new recipes!

Ally Brewster-Kowalski - CST Academy

Jessica Dieter, MS, CCC-SLP

Jessica Dieter is a Chicago-based pediatric speech-language pathologist and lead teacher in CST Academy. She earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Jessica has extensive experience working with children to address early feeding and swallowing concerns, as well as speech and language development.

Jessica has also worked with diverse populations of children in a wide range of therapeutic settings including medical facilities, private clinics, schools, and in-home therapy. She enjoys the opportunity to collaborate with parents throughout the therapeutic process in order to help children make incredible gains.

Julie Meyer - CST Academy

Julie Meyer, MS, CCC-SLP

Julie is a pediatric speech-language pathologist and a teacher at CST Academy.

Julie graduated with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Prior to joining CST, Julie gained experience in a variety of pediatric settings including elementary education, private practice, and early intervention serving children from birth to 3. She also has experience working specifically with children with ASD at the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders at the University of Missouri.

At CST, Julie has a passion for supporting children in their use of multimodal communication including but not limited to High-Tech AAC Devices, Picture Exchange Communication (PECS), Signed English and spoken language. She loves watching children grow into their ability to express their thoughts, wants and needs with those around them.

Julie’s favorite children’s book is “Little Blue Truck,” which she loves to incorporate into her sessions with her clients.

In her free time, Julie enjoys cheering on The St. Louis Blues, running on the lakefront and trying out new Italian restaurants in Chicago.

Katelyn Suski - CST Academy

Katelyn Suski, MA

Kindergarten Program Lead

Katelyn has been a special education teacher at CST Academy. She completed both her Bachelor’s degree in Special Education and her Master’s degree in Autism Spectrum Disorders at Michigan State University.

Prior to coming to CST, Katelyn worked in Chicago Public Schools. She has experience working as a self-contained special education teacher in grades K-2, as well as being an inclusion special education teacher and case manager.

​​Katelyn has a true passion for teaching kindergarten and enjoys seeing the growth and independence her students gain throughout this special year. As a teacher, she strives to create a community of learners that nurtures this growth in a positive, fun environment.

Lauren Rottinghaus - CST Academy

Lauren Rottinghaus, MS, CCC-SLP

Lauren is a pediatric speech-language pathologist and an instructor at CST Academy.

Lauren completed her Bachelor’s degree at Illinois State University and received her Master’s degree from St. Ambrose University.

Before she joined CST Academy, Lauren had experience working in a blended preschool in the Omaha public schools where she worked with children ages 2-5.

What Lauren loves most about being a teacher at CST Academy is watching the kids grow and develop classroom skills so quickly. She also enjoys seeing peer interactions and friendships form through class.

When she is not teaching, Lauren takes joy in spending time with her family, trying new restaurants, and enjoying the outdoors (in the summer, of course).

If you are looking for a good read for your kiddo, Lauren highly recommends We’re Going on a Bear Hunt because of how interactive it is!

Madeline Hayden - CST Academy

Madeline Hayden, MS, CCC-SLP

Madeline is a pediatric speech-language pathologist and is part of the teaching staff at CST Academy.

Madeline earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Purdue University.

Prior to joining the team at CST Academy, Madeline participated in a variety of clinical experiences. She worked in a public school where she evaluated and provided treatment for a K-4 caseload of 90 children with ASD, articulation and phonological disorders, language impairment, and hearing loss. Madeline also served as a member of a multidisciplinary team including speech-language pathologists, an early childhood education specialist, audiologist, and family members to provide effective push-in and pull-out communication therapy.

Ally Brewster-Kowalski - CST Academy

Meredith Harrison, MS, CCC-SLP

Preschool Program Lead

Meredith Harrison is a pediatric speech-language pathologist and lead instructor at CST Academy. Meredith completed her undergraduate studies in speech-language pathology at Truman State University in Missouri and earned her Master's degree from New York University. Since 2012, she has been treating children, adolescents, and adults with a variety of speech and language disorders in clinical, home, medical, and school settings.

At CST Academy, Meredith particularly enjoys using music to support each child's unique speech and language development. She also loves incorporating various communication modalities, including sign language and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) to help children find their voices.

Micayla Merrifield - CST Academy

Micayla Merrifield, MS, CCC-SLP

Micayla is a pediatric speech-language pathologist and teacher at CST Academy.

Micayla earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas-Austin and her Master’s degree in Communication Disorders from the University of Texas-Dallas.

Micayla has past experience working as an SLP in Honolulu, Hawaii and in the Chicago suburbs. While in Hawaii, she was an SLP for Hawaii Public Schools in the elementary, middle, and high school settings. In addition to the public schools, she provided early childhood intervention services for children aged birth to three. After moving to Chicago, she was an elementary school SLP for Elgin School District.

Because of her experience in the public schools, Micayla can guide and support parents through the IEP process. She also consistently collaborates with other disciplines to carry over goals into the classroom setting. In her therapy sessions and classes, she likes to incorporate literacy such as wordless picture books such as "Chalk" or "Journey" and stories such as the Old Lady Who Swallowed series.

In her free time, Micayla enjoys taking yoga classes, painting, exploring new restaurants in Chicago, and cheering for the Texas Longhorns and Dallas Cowboys.

Olivia Hallagan - CST Academy

Olivia Hallagan, MS, CCC-SLP

Olivia is a pediatric speech-language pathologist and teacher at CST Academy. She graduated with both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Marquette University.

Before she joined CST, Olivia worked in the Milwaukee Public School system in an extended therapy preschool classroom, similar to CST Academy. She also had the opportunity to conduct speech therapy and work with a multidisciplinary team at a school in Cape Town, South Africa.

Olivia specializes in early language, specifically with children from birth to age 3. Her favorite children’s books that she loves to incorporate into sessions with her clients are the Sandra Boyonton board books such as Moo Baa.

Olivia’s favorite part of teaching at CSTA is getting to be a part of her students’ team and teaching the foundational skills needed for a classroom. She enjoys seeing her students’ progress throughout the year!

Rachel McFadden - CST Academy

Rachel McFadden, BS

Rachel is a special education teacher at CST Academy. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Education/Unified Early Childhood Education at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Prior to joining the team at CSTA, Rachel worked as a student teacher in a special education placement and in an early childhood education placement in Wisconsin public schools. Rachel also had extensive experience working with children on the autism spectrum as an ABA therapist.

Rachel’s favorite part of CST Academy is being able to collaborate with a team of speech, occupational, physical, and ABA therapists to provide the best support for her students.

In addition to being a teacher, Rachel enjoys baking, crafting, traveling, and eating her favorite food: ice cream. Rachel’s favorite children’s books are the Junie B. Jones series.

Raechell Sandejas - CST Academy

Raechell Sandejas, MA

Raechell Sandejas is a bilingual special education teacher who is fluent in both English and Tagalog. She earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at De La Salle University in the Philippines.

Prior to joining CST Academy, Raechell worked in the Philippines as a special education teacher in private schools where she collaborated with multidisciplinary professionals to tailor students’ learning plans to their unique needs.

Raechell currently works in CST as a kindergarten teacher. Her favorite thing about CST Academy is being surrounded by people who are equally as passionate about what they do. Rachell enjoys being able to learn from each discipline and appreciates having a great support system for her students.

Raechell’s practice is driven by the belief that it takes a village to raise a child. She strives to get a holistic perspective on her students’ needs by collaborating with therapists, parents and other teachers to ensure consistency in the strategies that are employed.

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Multisensory Approach to Learning - CST Academy
Multisensory Approach to Learning
Each of our classrooms is strategically planned to include extensive sensory toys and other tools to improve the developmental skills of our children.
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Schedule Your Free, Private Tour
Contact our office to schedule a free, private tour of CST Academy. Our team will walk you through our classrooms and answer your questions about the program.
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FREE Information Packet - CST Academy
FREE Information Packet
Contact us for free information about CST Academy. Our comprehensive packet includes significant information about our program offerings, team members, and more.
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