OUR SPOKANE TEAM
We’d be nothing without our team of amazing people. Get to know us a little bit better below…
Jim Matthews holds four Bachelor’s degrees from the University of California, Irvine and two Masters degrees in Educational Psychology and School Psychology from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA. Jim is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP). Throughout his two decades of working in ABA, he has worked with thousands of children and families both in schools and in private practice. Jim lives in Spokane with his wife and two children. Professionally, Jim has dedicated his life to helping all people with disabilities. He is deeply passionate about helping people who are most in need during the time when they most need it. He feels strongly that ABA can confer meaningful lifelong skills that both enrich and enhance the quality of life for individuals with disabilities.
Brittany Bauerle was originally inspired to work in the field of ABA during her time earning a Bachelor’s degree at Northern Michigan University while working at a regional treatment center for abused and neglected youth. She has been fortunate to have many wonderful mentors over the past 16 years, which strengthened her passion to work with children and adolescents using evidence-based practices. Brittany strives to continue learning the field Applied Behavior Analysis, as well as disseminate its practices to the community. Providing strong leadership and supervision has become one of Brittany’s strongest values, and she hopes to continue learning and providing support through teaching others. Brittany lives in Spokane with her husband Tim, and their 3 dogs (Finn, Leo, and Jagger). She enjoys the outdoors, riding her horse, and spending time with friends and family.
Chelsea Riley earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Women’s Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). She worked in the field of behavior analysis while employed through agencies in Wisconsin, Washington, and Idaho before obtaining her Master’s degree in Special Education with an emphasis in Functional Analysis from Gonzaga University in 2016. She is currently in pursuit of her PhD in Psychology with an emphasis in Behavior Analysis. Chelsea lives in Spokane Valley with her husband, two dogs, and their cat. Professionally, Chelsea has dedicated her time and effort with families and individuals with disabilities who are in need of support and guidance. She is excited to further expand upon research in this area as well as act as a voice for those who do not have one within this unique community.
McKaela Paquet has dedicated her professional life to the customer service industry. For the past decade, McKaela spent time as a Certified Nurses Aid (CNA) while working a career in retail management. McKaela has a passion for delivering exceptional customer service and strives to make the lives of those around her easier. McKaela moved to Spokane to be closer to her sister and found a whole family within SOAR. In her free time, McKaela enjoys hiking with her dog, camping, and playing guitar. She looks forward to making a difference in people’s lives through this company and the community surrounding it for years to come.
Katie Bravo holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Special Education from Eastern Washington University, and a Master’s degree in Psychology from Capella University. Katie is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a certified special education teacher. Katie has worked with kids in a variety of environments since she was 19, and through this has become passionate for advocating for children. Katie believes strongly that ABA can create changes to help individuals enhance their lives. Katie grew up in the Spokane area, and currently lives in Mead with her husband and their dogs, cat, birds, gecko, and fish.
Heather Tauchen is a BCBA at SOAR Behavior Services. She grew up in Reno, Nevada where she received her Bachelor’s in Psychology with an emphasis in Research from the University of Nevada, Reno. She has worked with children and adults with various disabilities in the clinical, school and home settings. She is a BCBA and graduated with a Master’s in Science in Psychology, Specialization Applied Behavior Analysis from Capella University. Heather is a certified instructor in RIGHT RESPONSE which focuses on crisis prevention. Heather has a driving passion for equality and puts others needs before her own. She is adaptable to the demands of her environment and brings her optimistic attitude to every challenging situation.
Nick is originally from Lake Stevens, WA and relocated to Spokane County in 2014 to pursue his Undergraduate Degree. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Applied Developmental Psychology, Minor in Communication Studies and a Leadership Certificate from Eastern Washington University. Currently, he is attending the University of Washington’s Master of Education in Special Education program specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis. His goals include publishing research, lecturing to university students, and consulting with schools to improve outcomes of students across contexts. When he is not working he enjoys hiking with his dogs Zoe & Archer, kayaking the Spokane River with his fiancé, listening to audiobooks, and photography. A quote he likes to use as daily motivation is from Brené Brown a leader in disseminating knowledge on vulnerability, courage, authenticity she says, “We don’t have to do all of it alone. We were never meant to.”. He looks forward to the continued support he can provide in his role as a supervisor at SOAR.
Taysia LeFaber earned her undergraduate degree from Washington State University (Go Cougs!) and her masters degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Capella University. She loves working as a BCBA for families at SOAR. Working with kids and seeing the progress that they make through treatment of behavior is an extremely rewarding passion. She was born and raised in Spokane, Washington where she currently resides with her partner Eric and their two dogs, Benjamin and Luke. Taysia hopes to continue to serve children and families in the community she grew up in through Applied Behavior Analysis.
Siti J. Ahmad was born and raised in the southeast-asian metropolitan city of Singapore. At age 21, she moved to the United States with her then husband, and built their first home in Liberty Lake, WA. After spending five years as a stay at home mom, she began teaching at private Montessori schools in Spokane Valley, then in Liberty Lake, WA. In 2008, she received her certification from the Montessori Institute of America, as a Certified Montessori Directress for children ages 3-6. Siti also has a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education (K-8 Endorsement) from Whitworth University, and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction (Applied Behavior Analysis) from Arizona State University. Siti is currently pursuing her Doctor of Behavioral Health (Management) DBH, with Arizona State University. Siti is a full-time single parent who lives with her three children in Spokane, WA. She is very passionate about her work in the field of ABA, and is dedicated in supporting the needs of individuals with disabilities. Her professional areas of interests include community outreach, integrated behavioral health programs, and performance measurement of behavioral health services.
Andrea Lyman holds a Bachelor’s degree from Eastern Washington University in Psychology and a Masters degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Whitworth University. Andrea lives in Spokane with her husband and has lived in the Pacific Northwest her entire life. Andrea is passionate about helping others and loves the families that she works with. Through her years working with children with disabilities she has seen ABA positively impact many families lives!
Steven Wright is a Supervisor with SOAR Behavior Services. He joined the SOAR team in the spring of 2017, and thoroughly loves the opportunity to work alongside such an outstanding team of individuals in supporting our unique clients and their families. Steven completed three years of his undergraduate program in at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado before transferring and graduating from Western Oregon University with a degree in Education and Adventure Education. Prior to working at SOAR, Steven spent time running High and Low Challenge Course programs and creating group leadership curricula. He has also worked in a residential treatment program for adolescents and young adults, and has worked in the public school setting as a Behavior Support Specialist. Steven is currently attending Capella University’s Master’s of Science program in Psychology with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis, and expected to graduate in the Spring of 2020. Steven is a certified trainer in RIGHT RESPONSE Crisis Prevention. He was born and raised in Colorado, and has an undying love for the outdoors. When not working or in school, Steven enjoys spending time traveling, hiking, fly fishing, snowboarding and spending time working in the yard and garden. He and his wife live in Spokane Valley with their growing family of 3 dogs, a large cat, fish, and their shrimp. While not necessarily denying that he is Batman, you will never see Steven and Batman in the same room.
Kristy Sheppard received a Bachelor’s degree in communication disorders in 2015 from Eastern Washington University and is currently in her Master’s program receiving a degree in Clinical Psychology and Applied Behavior Analysis from Capella University. Kristy has worked in the field of ABA for over two years, and loves working with kids and seeing the amazing progress that they make. Kristy lives in Spokane, WA with her boyfriend and puppy, as well as lives close to her parents. Her career in ABA has become her dream, and has a passion for this field of work.
Sarah Kelly is Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education with an Endorsement in Early Childhood Education, from Gonzaga University. She also holds a Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis, from Drexel University. Sarah has worked in various settings of education and ABA for nine years. She lives in Spokane with her husband, son, and dog. She has spent her life working passionately to bring support, services, and advocacy to individuals with disabilities, across the world. Sarah strongly believes that these individuals have so much to offer the world and we should see everyone for what they can do, rather than what they cannot. She greatly enjoys seeing the skills gained and quality of life improve as her client’s go through ABA services.
Chantae resides in Post Falls, ID with her husband, daughter, and three pets. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Gonzaga University in Special Education with a specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis. As she prepares for the Board of Certification as a Behavior Analysis from Saint Joesph’s University, she is earning her Master of Science in Special Education. She is an advocate for mental health awareness with a behavior analytic approach. She currently is an active part of an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy special interest group. Outside the workspace, she is an avid athlete and competes as a family in Spartan races with several medals from across the country.
Carly McElvaine graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation and a minor in Psychology. Carly is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS), Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT), and a Sibshop Faciliator. Carly has worked with people with developmental disabilities and their families since 2007 in recreation and clinical settings. Carly moved to Spokane from St. Louis, MO to attend Gonzaga University for a Masters in Special Education with an emphasis in Functional Behavior Analysis. In her spare time Carly likes to hike, spend time with friends/ family, and watch hockey. Let’s go Blues!
Bridgette Olsen began her career as a behavior therapist providing ABA therapy in school, community and home settings. Bridgette is currently a Supervisor. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree from Eastern Washington University in Psychology and Music. Bridgette currently attends Clarion University and is obtaining her MS in Special Education. Bridgette is from Spokane and lives with her boyfriend and three dogs. She recently bought her first home and is looking forward to graduating in May 2020. Bridgette is dedicated to providing families and children with the highest level of evidence-based treatment and reinforcement-based strategies in order to help those most in need. She is passionate about helping individuals of all ages learn to be more independent and live fulfilling lives.
Emma currently is pursuing a Masters in Special Education through Clarion University. Upon completion, she’ll begin testing for her BCBA certification in 2020. Emma completed her undergraduate degree through Eastern Washington University receiving a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology. She has resided in Spokane for the last 4 years with her husband and pup. She is eager to help change the lives of her families through ABA.
Lauren Thomas serves as a Supervisor at SOAR Behavior Services. She double majored in Psychology and Fine Arts at Eastern Washington University, and is currently finishing her Master’s in Psychology, with a Clinical emphasis at Eastern Washington University. Lauren discovered ABA and a passion for working with children and families when volunteering at an early intervention preschool 9 years ago. Since then she has worked with hundreds of families, devoting her studies and time promoting meaningful change in the lives of the children and families she serves. As a Supervisor, she is responsible for implementing, training, and supporting staff and families in ABA to help her clients increase their social skills, independent living skills, to be able to express themselves, and reach long-term goals. When she isn’t in the office, Lauren is often reading everything from comics to non-fiction, painting, hiking with her dog or simply spending time with her family and friends.
Kevin Kminek holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and is currently attending Capella University in pursuit of his master’s in psychology with an emphasis on ABA. Kevin is from Walla Walla, and moved to Spokane just about four years ago. Kevin recently bought a house in Spokane, and plans to live in the area for a very long time now. He worked as a direct therapist for two years before becoming a supervisor for SOAR. Kevin takes pride in his efforts to remain positive with everybody he interacts with, and loves the social component to this career, despite being a total introvert. Kevin’s interests are music, video games, and physical activity. Kevin has developed a love for the company’s values, and hopes to be here as long as possible.
April Benson is currently pursuing her Master’s in Special Education from Gonzaga University. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Eastern Washington University (Go Eags!) in Psychology with a Criminal Justice Minor in 2017. She became part of the Soar family in 2018 where she worked as a Registered Behavior Technician before becoming a Supervisor in 2020. Originally from Bellingham, Wa, April has lived in Spokane since 2013 and is looking forward to being able to continue to make an impact on the lives of her clients and their families.
Hannah Flaherty serves as a Supervisor at SOAR Behavior Services. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Arizona State University and is currently in her master’s program receiving a degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Capella University. Hannah is a Spokane native and lives with her husband, two young children, and three fur babies. She has spent her life working passionately with children and adolescents. Hannah has devoted time to volunteering as a soccer coach and providing animal therapy with her dog, Coco. Hannah entered the world of ABA almost two years ago. Since she joined the SOAR team, a career in ABA has become her dream. She has always had a love for working with individuals with disabilities. More importantly, she greatly enjoys the progress the clients make through ABA. When she isn’t in the office, Hannah is often spending time with her kiddos, gardening, enjoying the outdoors or simply spending time with her family and friends.
Jason Hammons is the go-to problem solver. By utilizing his large variety of professional experience, he excels in maximizing efficiently at the office. Experience that includes, but is not limited to, freelance graphics, IT support, and customer service. He strongly believes that a positive environment with an optimistic attitude is the utmost importance for an enjoyable life, and thus attempts to bring the same ideals to the workplace.
Sara is originally from Spokane but spent eight years in Chicago earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and developing a passion for food. She has an extensive work background in customer service, management, operations, and marketing. After returning to Spokane, she is excited and thankful to find herself in a position that allows her to use many of her professional strengths, while contributing to deeply meaningful work. She enjoys traveling with her husband, spending time with her family, reading, and is expecting her first child in July 2020.
Mellisa Jeppesen loves people, and coffee. She spends her time being a mom to two daughters. She enjoys spending time with her finacee, being outside, and baking in a clean kitchen. Mellisa’s heart is to serve others, and to be a help to those around her. Mellisa is passionate about using plants to care for her, and her families health. She believes that Earth is a gift given to use, and we should take advantage of it, each day.
Cydney was born and raised in Alaska, where she graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage with her bachelor’s degree in Psychology. During her undergrad, she worked in a chiropractic office in which she gained knowledge and experience with medical billing. In 2017, Cydney moved to Spokane with her husband and son, and began working with SOAR as a behavioral therapist. She quickly gained a passion for helping children and their families. After a year of working with kids, Cydney stepped behind the scenes to fill SOAR’s need for a medical biller. While the experience of working directly with our clients is irreplaceable, she is thankful to be a part of helping them receive ABA services in their time of need.
Jessica Stoliecki lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with her husband and two daughters. She received her Associates Degree in Business from Northern Michigan University in 2010. She has been working as a Medical Biller for over a decade. In her free time, she loves riding her horses, camping, and spending time with her family. She looks forward to making a difference with a company that has a huge impact on little lives when they need it most.
Elizabeth Brown holds a Bachelor’s degree in Children’s Studies from Eastern Washington University. Elizabeth lives in Spokane with her husband and dog. She is both a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) and a part of SOAR’s administrative staff. She is passionate about helping people achieve their fullest potential in all areas of their life. She believes ABA is successful in providing the tools necessary for a full, well-rounded life for children and adults with disabilities.
Holly has been with SOAR since March 2019. She works as both a scheduler and a Registered Behavior Technician. She has the amazing opportunity to see both sides of such a wonderful company. She has loved not only working with kids with autism but being able to work alongside their families. In 2017 she graduated from Whitworth University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She has always enjoyed cultivating relationships with people and this job has allowed her to do just that. Holly enjoys traveling, drinking coffee, and a good laugh. Holly loves being an aunty to three wonderful kids
Bobby White holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Eastern Washington University in Health Services Administration. He currently works as a Scheduler and a Behavior Technician for SOAR. In his free time he likes to hike, ride bikes, and read books. He is passionate about serving those in need, and giving back to his community.
Sue Burbridge has a Bachelor’s degree from Eastern Washington University in Business Administration. Over the years, she has enjoyed helping people while working in Customer Service related fields. She lives in Spokane with her husband Mark, three adult children and one special granddaughter Shaya. She loves to travel, garden, sew, and the outdoors. “If your’e lucky enough to live in the woods, you are lucky enough!”
Hannah Petty was born and raised in Spokane, currently residing in Deer Park with her husband and two kids. She has spent the last 12 years working in customer service. From a young age she has always had a passion for being able to work with and help people however she can. When not working, Hannah enjoys spending time with her family outdoors, camping, fishing, and spending time at the beach. She also has a huge heart for animals. Her family has 4 dogs, 1 cat and 1 snake. Animals and people are what make her most happy. Being with SOAR, feels like right where she is meant to be, doing exactly what she loves