Leadership




Board of Directors
Administrative Staff   /   Behavior Analysts   /   Special Education Staff   /   Related Services   /   Clinical Support Staff
Instructional Staff



Board of Directors

Our board members are dedicated to the present and future success of The Birchtree Center.

Andrew E. Smith, Ph.D., President Allison Bussiere, Secretary
Ann Tarlton, MA, Vice President Glicka Kaplan, MS, Past President
Dennis Riendeau, CPA, Treasurer   Sandra Pierce-Jordan, PhD, BCBA-D, Executive Director*
Christopher Clement, MBA, Director Richard Guare, PhD, BCBA-D, Director
Pascal Orliac, MBA, Director   Nicole M. T. Paul, Esq., Director
Kelly Raiche, Parent Representative Amy Smucker, MS, Director
Peter Tarlton, MBA, MSc, Director Erin Conlan, MSEd, BCBA, Staff Representative*

*non-voting board members




Program & Staff Leadership

Leadership of The Birchtree Center is governed by vision, values and motivation. Our leadership team is comprised of managers and clinicians who possess specific skills in behavior analysis and special education for students with autism. Our team of special educators, behavior analysts, an occupational therapist, and a speech-language pathologist oversees programs and ensures the progress of every student. Our leadership team is comprised of experienced experts in the field of autism and all hold advanced degrees.


Executive Director / Program Director

Sandra Pierce-Jordan, PhD, BCBA-D, received a bachelor’s degree from Colby College and the MEd and PhD degrees from Northeastern University. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.  Dr. Pierce-Jordan joined The Birchtree Center as a Behavior Analyst in October 2007. She has worked with children and adults with autism and Asperger’s for 25 years in a variety of roles, including consulting and providing direct services. Dr. Pierce-Jordan has worked collaboratively with schools and families in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine, providing functional behavioral assessments, behavior support plan development, individualized educational plans, curriculum development, applied behavior analysis programming, diagnostic evaluations, program evaluations and consultation, staff and parent trainings, and workshops. In 2014 she received an Outstanding Woman in Business Award from New Hampshire Business Review.

Executive Director



Administrative Staff

Director of Human Resources

Sarah Ouellette has over twenty years of broad-based human-resources experience, including work in recruitment, employee relations, employee training, employee safety, performance management, policy development, and organizational development.   Her past positions include Human Resources Director, Human Resources Consultant, and Corporate Recruiter.  Ms. Ouellette has worked primarily in the field of education; before joining Birchtree’s staff in January 2011, she worked for eleven years in human resources at a Fortune 500 educational publishing company and at an educational testing company. She holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration from the University of Maine at Orono.


Director of Finance

Holly Robacher, MBA, joined The Birchtree Center in 2009.  She brings professional experience spanning a diverse array of industries including non-profit, high tech and aeronautics. Ms. Robacher has contributed in various finance roles for small local businesses to large corporations and has held the positions of CFO, Accounting Manager, Business System Analyst, and Cost Accountant.  She holds an MBA from Southern New Hampshire University and a BS in accounting from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh.

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Director of Development & Community Relations

Jessica Files Squier, MA, has worked at nonprofits throughout the northeast including Strawbery Banke Museum, the Newport (R.I.) Historical Society, Mystic Seaport, Plimoth Plantation, and the Chester County (Pennsylvania) Historical Society.  Her responsibilities have included public relations, grant writing, program planning, tour-guide training, public speaking and more.  Her graduate studies at the University of Delaware included coursework in not-for-profit management, fundraising and publicity.  She has an MA in history with certification in museum studies. She first joined the Birchtree team in 2007.

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Board Certified Behavior Analysts

Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Erin Conlan, MSEd, BCBA, earned her master’s degree from Simmons College in Behavioral Education.  She has over fifteen years of experience working with individuals of all ages with developmental disabilities/ delays and mental illness, and with their families and caregivers.  Before coming to Birchtree in 2004, Ms. Conlan worked as a case manager, family life skills coordinator, and behavioral assistant.  She has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2008.

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Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Christina Debourgknecht, MEd, BCBA, is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who holds a Master of Education degree from Endicott College in Special Needs and Applied Behavior Analysis. She joined Birchtree’s staff as a Clinical Instructor in 2013, was promoted to Senior Clinical Instructor in 2015, and was promoted to Behavior Analyst in 2017.  Prior to joining Birchtree’s team, she provided in-home support for children with autism and worked in public schools.

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Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Brittnay Duguay, MS, BCBA, holds a graduate degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Antioch University and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She joined Birchtree’s staff as a Clinical Instructor in 2014, was promoted to Senior Clinical Instructor in 2016, and was promoted to Behavior Analyst in 2017. Before arriving at The Birchtree Center, she worked with adults with disabilities.


Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Marianne Evans, MS, BCBA, is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with eleven years of experience working with individuals with developmental disorders. She earned her master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Simmons College. Before she arrived at Birchtree in 2014, Ms. Evans was part of a multi-disciplinary clinical team in a hospital-based developmental disorders program; her responsibilities included providing clinical oversight of all behavioral and educational programming, conducting behavioral assessments and data analysis, developing behavior support plans, conducting in-service training, and training and supervising direct care staff in the implementation of behavior support plans.


Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Julianne Johnson, MS, BCBA, holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Boston College and a master’s degree in Behavior Analysis from Simmons College. Before joining the Birchtree team in 2014, she worked as a Behavior Analyst for an educational collaborative in the Boston area. Ms. Kanner is a Board Certified Analyst with eight years of professional experience working with children and adults with special needs in a variety of settings, including private homes, private and public schools, residential facilities, and camps.


Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Blaire Luebkeman, MSEd, BCBA, earned a Master’s in Education with a focus on Curriculum and Instruction in Autism Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire.  Ms. Luebkeman has worked in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis since 2003, providing in-home support services to a child with autism and his family before joining the Birchtree team as a Clinical Instructor in 2006.  She was promoted to Senior Clinical Instructor in December 2008 and was promoted to Behavior Analyst in March 2013. She has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2013.

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Outreach Clinical Director

Stephanie Morin, MSEd, BCBA, holds a master’s degree in Behavioral Education from Simmons College and has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2008.  Her 12+ years of experience working with children with disabilities includes time as a transition specialist, special educator, and mental health counselor. Before coming to Birchtree in 2007, she led an experiential learning program that supported integrated employment for young adults with developmental disabilities.


Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Brianne Pileggi, MEd, BCBA, earned a Master of Education degree from Endicott College in Special Needs and Applied Behavior Analysis. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and is licensed in General Special Education by the state of New Hampshire. Prior to joining Birchtree’s team in 2011, Mrs. Pileggi provided in-home support for children with autism and their families. She has over eight years of experience in the education field and was promoted to Behavior Analyst in 2014.

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Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Sarah Turner, MEd, BCBA, holds a Master’s of Education degree in Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Before she joined The Birchtree Center’s staff in 2012, she worked with students with autism in public-school and home-based settings and also worked at a group home for at-risk youth. She joined Birchtree’s staff as a Clinical Instructor in 2012 and was promoted to Senior Clinical Instructor in 2014 and to Behavior Analyst in 2015.


 

Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Rebecca Walsh, MSEd, BCBA, is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with twelve years of experience working with individuals with developmental disorders. She earned her master’s degree in Behavioral Education from Simmons College in 2008.  Prior to joining The Birchtree Center’s staff in 2004, Ms. Walsh received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire and provided one-on-one instruction to students with autism in a public school setting. She has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2008.

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Special Education Staff

Director of Special Education

Shelly Fagen, MIT, received a bachelor’s degree from The University of Georgia and a Master of Initial Teaching, K-12, with an emphasis in Special Education from Gonzaga University. Ms. Fagen has worked in the field of special education for over 15 years and has served school districts in Hawaii, California, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine. Ms. Fagen’s professional experience includes special education case management for students aged 2-21 with varying disabilities in public and private school settings. She has also provided supervision, training and mentoring for special education staff. Shelly holds a New Hampshire Department of Education Experienced Educator credential with endorsements in Special Education Administration and General Special Education. She joined the Birchtree staff in 2007.

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Special Education Case Manager

Michelle Laing, MEd, holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and psychology and a master’s degree in special education, both from the University of Rhode Island. Her professional experience includes providing home-based therapeutic services and early intervention services to children with a range of disabilities and serving as a pre-kindergarten teacher and assistant director in a private daycare setting. Ms. Laing joined the Birchtree staff as a Clinical Instructor in 2012. She was promoted to Special Education Teacher in 2013 and to Special Education Case Manager in 2015. She holds teaching licenses in the state of Rhode Island and New Hampshire for both elementary education and special education.
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Transition Coordinator

Debbie Patten, MEd, has a graduate degree in Special Education from New England College and has over 18 years of experience as an educator and service provider for individuals with disabilities.  Her professional experience includes work in public schools, home-based services, and a residential program for children with disabilities.  Ms. Patten joined The Birchtree Center as a Clinical Instructor in 2006 and was promoted to Transition Coordinator in 2011.  She holds a New Hampshire Educational License in General Special Education.

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Special Education Case Manager

Mary Sheehy, MEd, holds a master’s degree in Special Education from Southern New Hampshire University and a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art from Coastal Carolina University. She joined the Birchtree staff as a Clinical Instructor in 2016 and was promoted to Special Education Case Manager in 2017.


Special Education Case Manager

Jaclyn Silva earned a bachelor’s degree from Rhode Island College in elementary education and special education with a focus on severe intellectual disabilities. She holds a New Hampshire Education License for Elementary Education and General Special Education. Before she joined the Birchtree staff, Ms. Silva worked as a Special Education Teacher at a nonprofit special educational school serving students with developmental disabilities and other challenges. She has also worked as a lead preschool teacher and as a camp counselor serving campers with special needs. Ms. Silva joined the Birchtree team in 2015 and was promoted to the role of Special Education Case Manager that same year.

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Related Services

Consulting Speech-Language Pathologist

Cathy Booth, CCC-SLP, BCBA, holds a BS in Early Childhood/Family Services and Communication Disorders, an MS in Communication Disorders from the University of New Hampshire, and an EdS in Behavior Education from Simmons College.  Ms. Booth is a certified speech language pathologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Ms. Booth is trained in the Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing (LiPS) and Seeing Stars programs. She has experience programming and implementing a variety of augmentative and alternative communication systems, including voice output and PECS. Ms. Booth has worked with children from birth through high school diagnosed with ASD in public school settings and private practice. She has provided workshops on the use of visual supports for Southeastern Regional Education Service Center, Inc. (SERESC).

Speech-Language Pathologist


School Nurse

Kim Coffey-Philbrick, RN, BS, holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire in Molecular Biology and a nursing degree from New Hampshire Community Technical College. She has over seventeen years experience as a pediatric RN, with experience ranging from well child care, special education, pediatric home care, and school nursing. She most enjoys working in special education with medically complex students.


Occupational Therapist

Kelsey Crowell, MS, OTR/L,  holds a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of New England and a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her clinical experience includes work in an elementary school and at a skilled nursing facility; she also has experience as a Rehabilitation Aide and a Special Education Technician.



Clinical Support Staff

Occupational Therapy Aide

Sara Amacio earned her bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the Pennsylvania State University. Before joining Birchtree’s team as a Clinical Instructor in 2014, she provided home-, school-, and community-based support and services for children with autism as an Outreach Specialist and Therapeutic Staff Support. She was promoted to Occupational Therapy Aide in 2015.


Senior Clinical Instructor

Joe Campbell earned his bachelor’s degree in English Teaching from the University of New Hampshire. Before joining The Birchtree Center’s team in 2015, he worked for an educational publisher. He was promoted to Senior Clinical Instructor in 2017 and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Endicott College.


Senior Clinical Instructor / PE Instructor

Laurie Hounam holds a bachelor’s degree in Sports, Fitness & Leisure from Salem State University and worked as a recreation program director before entering the education field. She has over nine years of experience working with students with autism. She joined Birchtree’s team in 2011, was promoted to PE Instructor in 2013, and was promoted to Senior Clinical Instructor in 2016. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism from Endicott College.


Senior Clinical Instructor

Becky Ormond joined the Birchtree team as a Clinical Instructor in 2015 and was promoted to Senior Clinical Instructor in 2017. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history and sociology from the University of New Hampshire and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Behavior Analysis at Simmons College. Her professional experience also includes work as a case manager at an intermediate-level residential treatment program for at-risk youth.

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Instructional Staff

Our instructional staff is comprised of special educators, clinical instructors, and the individuals named above.  All instructors are specially trained and highly qualified, with extensive training in Applied Behavior Analysis and special education.  Instructors also receive training in social skill development, communication sciences, and augmentative and alternative communication systems.

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