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!

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!

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 experience working with children to address early language concerns, as well as motor speech and articulation 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).

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.

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.

Hannah Gervais - CST Academy

Hannah Gervais, B.S. Sp.Ed.

Kindergarten Teacher

Hannah is passionate about using a strengths-based approach and incorporating movement and music to make learning joyful. She loves CSTA's multidisciplinary setting and everyone's dedication to the growth and development of the students.

Hannah earned her bachelor's degree in Special Education & Rehabilitation at the University of Arizona after gaining interest in the field while teaching adaptive swim lessons in her teens. Prior to CSTA, Hannah taught at a specialized school for learners with behavioral, academic, and social-emotional support needs in Tucson, Arizona. While she has experience teaching a range of elementary students, Kindergarten is her favorite!

Beyond her work at CSTA, Hannah enjoys being outdoors, spending time with her pets, and exploring the city.

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Discover why parents choose CST Academy

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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 - CST Academy
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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