Leadership




Board of Directors
Administrative Staff   /   Behavior Analysts & Senior Clinial Instructors   /   Special Education Staff   /   Related Services
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   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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Behavior Analysts & Senior Clinical Instructors

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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Outreach 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.

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Outreach Behavior Analyst

Julianne Kanner, 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.


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Outreach 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 Behavior Analyst

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.

Behavior Analyst


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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Outreach Behavior Analyst

Jeron Trotman, MS, BCBA, holds a Master of Science degree in Psychology with a specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis from Kaplan University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of New Hampshire. Mr. Trotman did a 100-hour internship at The Birchtree Center in 2013. He joined Birchtree’s team as a Clinical Instructor in 2015, was promoted to Senior Clinical Instructor that same year, and was promoted to Behavior Analyst in 2016, when he became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Prior to joining Birchtree’s team, he provided behavioral intervention services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in public school, clinical, and home-based settings.

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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.

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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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Senior Clinical Instructor

Christina Debourgknecht holds a bachelor’s degree from Providence College and is currently working toward 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 and was promoted to Senior Clinical Instructor in 2015.  Prior to joining Birchtree’s team, she provided in-home support for children with autism and worked in the public school setting.

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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

Lindsey Greene, MEd, earned a master’s degree from Southern New Hampshire University in the area of Elementary Special Education and a bachelor’s degree from Keene State College with a double major in Early Childhood Education and Psychology. Before joining The Birchtree Center’s staff in 2015, Ms. Greene worked in public schools and early childhood settings as a special education intern, para-professional, long-term substitute, and Pre-K teacher. She was promoted to the role of Special Education Case Manager in 2016.


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

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


Speech-Language Pathology Assistant

Kimberly Maki, SLP-A, earned a BS in Family Studies from the University of New Hampshire and a Leveling Certificate in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences from the Metropolitan State University of Denver. She has completed thirteen hours of basic training in Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS). Before joining Birchtree’s staff in 2013, Ms. Maki worked at a nonprofit hearing, speech and language center, where she served as an instructor and then as Assistant Coordinator for an early literacy program serving underprivileged children (including children with learning disabilities and behavioral disorders). She has also administered vision, hearing, speech, language and developmental screenings and has worked as an educational assistant in a special education classroom.

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Speech-Language Pathology Assistant

Justine Mariano, SLPA/L, holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders (Speech Language Pathology and Audiology) from the University of Rhode Island. She has worked in the field of special education for 10+ years as an instructional assistant and speech and language pathology assistant. Before joining the Birchtree staff in 2011, she worked as a licensed SLPA for 4 years at a collaborative based program for children and adults ranging from ages 5 – 22 with Autism Spectrum Disorders and developmental disorders. She has experience programming, training, and implementing various augmentative and alternative communication systems, including voice output, and has completed thirteen hours of basic training in Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS).

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Occupational Therapist

Nicole Sheaff, OTR/L, holds a BS in Occupational Therapy from the University of New Hampshire and has completed training in autism, sensory integration, vision, vestibular integration, handwriting, and executive functioning.  Before coming to The Birchtree Center in 2012, Ms. Sheaff worked for 15+ years as an Occupational Therapist in settings including a public school, a private school, an early intervention program, and a sensory integration clinic.  Ms. Sheaff is also a parent of children with special needs and a strong advocate for special education and parent involvement.

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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.

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School Nurse

Tammy A. Fyten, BSN, earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Saint Anselm College and has 25 years of experience as a nurse. Before joining the Birchtree team in 2015, she provided home-based care for pediatric patients with special needs and complex health concerns. She has also worked as a nurse in rehabilitation for young adults with brain injury and one-on-one with children in the school setting.

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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 a bachelor’s degree or higher in a related field and 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.

See Birchtree’s Instructors in Action

 

 

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