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About VtABA

VtABA hosts an annual meeting in the winter for its members to keep them up to date on the chapter's activities over the year. Board Member nominations take place after the annual meeting and elections are held online in the spring.

VtABA organizes and provides an annual conference to professionals and the community by bringing nationally recognized leaders in the fields of applied behavior analysis and education to speak on topics ranging from current research to implementation of behavior analytic principles in an applied setting.

VtABA firmly believes that current research is the cornerstone of effective behavior analytic principles and thus supports and promotes behavior analytic research within the state of Vermont. Our goal is to advocate for the implementation of effective behavior analysis services across disciplines to meet the individualized needs of persons within the state of Vermont.

  • Utilize the VtABA website and social media to increase communication between members and provide resources that will benefit behavior analysts and the greater community.
  • Offer continuing education credits for BCBA’s and BCaBA’s by providing local trainings on topics relating to the field of applied behavior analysis.
  • Organize networking events for behavior analysis professionals.
  • Advocate for and ensure that certification through the Behavior Analysis Certification Board is the standard for professional behavior analysis practice in Vermont.
  • Support and advocate for an accurate representation of behavior analysis outside the field of applied behavior analysis within professional presentations, materials and media.
  • Contribute to the common goal of supporting the betterment of others through effective practice by engaging in and adhering to a respectful and effective collaborative working relationship with other professionals.

Board Members


The Team Behind the Vermont Association for Behavior Analysis

Cheri Keith, MA, BCBA, LBA

Chair

Cheri has worked for Northwestern Counseling and Support Services since October of 2011 and has experience in school, home, community, and center-based settings. Cheri became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2016 and currently holds a position as a Senior Behavior Consultant. In this role, she provides consultation for ABA-based interventions, including the assessment and treatment of challenging behavior as well as skills assessments. She also supervises those seeking the BCBA credential. Cheri has completed a Graduate Certificate program in Organizational Behavior Management and has experience providing guidance to businesses to improve their performance. Other areas of interest for Cheri include behavior-based feeding disorders, behavioral pediatrics, and trauma.

Audrey Hoffmann, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA

Chair Emeritus

Audrey Hoffmann is a doctoral-level BCBA and specializes in the assessment and treatment of problem behavior. Dr. Hoffmann has experience working with a range of populations including individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and individuals with emotional and behavioral disorders. She is also experienced in working with individuals across the lifespan. Dr. Hoffmann is fortunate to teach Vermont’s future BCBA’s in the Northern Vermont University Applied Behavior Analysis program.

Joy Brewster, BCBA, LBA, LABA

Vice Chair

Joy Brewster is the founder and president of Joy Brewster & Associates, Inc. She founded the agency to meet the need for qualified behavior analysts to support the needs of children and adults who have special needs. Since the agency’s inception in 1998, we have served hundreds of individuals who have a myriad of diagnoses- autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and other developmental delays or mental health issues. 

Mrs. Brewster has been a board-certified behavior analyst since 2001 and has licensure in Vermont, New York, and Massachusetts. During her 25 years of experience applying the science of behavior analysis to effect positive change in herself and others, she has been privileged to serve in nursing homes, residential programs, vocational programs, clinics, schools, and home-based programs. Her professional role has also included providing supervision and mentoring to people pursuing board certification.

Her graduate studies include behavior analysis, counseling psychology, biomedical sciences, and literacy instruction; she is pursuing a doctorate in education with a concentration in curriculum and instruction. Her mission is advancing the science of behavior analysis to improve the lives of others.

Megan Gargano, MA, BCBA, LBA

Treasurer

Megan received her Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis from Northern Vermont University and recently became a BCBA. Megan has been working for Northwestern Counseling & Support Services in the School Based Autism Program since April 2013 where she began as a Behavior Interventionist. She is currently one of the Team Leaders of this program, working to provide services to children with Autism and other Neurodevelopmental disabilities in the public schools of Franklin and Grand Isle counties.

In addition to her primary role at NCSS, Megan has been a Handle With Care Trainer for three years and uses this experience to educate mental health professionals and team members on least restrictive interventions and ethical treatment practices. Her experience as an Interventionist, a Behavior Consultant, and now as a BCBA supervisor have allowed her to gain a wealth of knowledge that she uses to create effective and ethical treatment for clients receiving ABA services. 


McKenzie Bover, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA

Vice Treasurer

McKenzie Bover is currently a Behavior Analyst at S D Associates, LLC. She initially began working at S D Associates, as a new graduate from Castleton University, where she received a degree in Developmental Psychology. She worked as a behavioral instructor in her first year, implementing and following behavior support plans under the supervision of many admirable and talented Board Certified Behavior Analysts. McKenzie is a recent graduate from Arizona State University with a master’s degree in Instruction and Curriculum. Currently, McKenzie works with children and adults with developmental disabilities, ranging in age from three to 27 years. In her first year as a BCBA she has grounded herself in empirically supported interventions, data analysis, and collaboration to continue her growth in the field and adhere to the standards of the BACB.

Amanda Larose, MA, BCBA, LBA, Special Educator

Secretary

Amanda graduated from Castleton State College in 2012 with a degree in Elementary and Special Education. During her first year of teaching special education, she consulted with BCBAs from NCSS and SD Associates. Her collaboration with these companies motivated her to pursue her masters in Applied Behavior Analysis. Currently, she works at SD Associates where she wears the hat of a BCBA and Special Educator. Outside of work, you can find her on a mountain with her dog, Hugo, or on the sidelines coaching for the Franklin County Maple Leafs Special Olympics team.

Yoanna Vaughan, MA, BCBA, LBA

General Member

Yoanna Vaughan currently supervises students aspiring to obtain their BCBA certification. Yoanna was previsously employed as Behavior Analyst providing consultation and program oversight to familys and school teams with an expertise in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Yoanna has 10 years' experience working with individuals with Autism and other dissabilities.  joined the board in 2019 with a goal of enhancing her expertise in the field of beahvior analysis. Ensuring that families have the best support and services for their kids is an important part of her practice. Yoanna became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in February 2015 and joined the board in 2019 with a goal of enhancing her expertise in the field of beahvior analysis. Ensuring that families have the best support and services for their kids is an important part of her practice.

 

Damien Owczarski, M.Ed., BCBA

General Member

Damien has worked for Washington County Mental Health Services (WCMHS) in Children Youth and Family Services as a School-Wide Behavior Clinician and has been part of the WCMHS agency since 2017. The Children, Youth & Family Services Programs encompass a wide variety of office and community-based services, as well as school and home-based services for children and their families living with mental illness.  Prior to his time with WCMHS, Damien has experience working with at-risk youth, providing classroom therapeutic support; providing case management to adults with co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse disorders; and working as a behavioral health clinical intake specialist for Capital District Physicians Health Plan in NY. Damien has recently received his Master’s in Education: Applied Behavior Analysis at Northern Vermont University – Johnson. Other areas of interest consist of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, traumatic stress in children and adolescents, life space crisis intervention (LSCI), and positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS).

Mike Lonergan, M.S.Ed, BCBA, LBA

General Member

Mike graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in Childhood Education and master’s in Special Education in 2014. He soon found his way to Vermont and entered the world of ABA as an RBT at SD Associates. While there, he held many different job titles while earning his certificate in ABA from the Florida Institute of Technology. He is currently in his first year as a BCBA with SD Associates and enjoys working with schools and students with a verity of needs in northern Vermont. Mike likes to go back home to the Adirondacks to spend his free time backpacking and photographing the landscape.

Jessica Waldron

Student Member

Jessica works as the Parent Training Coordinator for Kingdom Autism and Behavioral Health.  In this role she is able to collaborate with parents and client teams, provide education and support, and work directly with clients with Autism and related challenges.  Jessica has experience working with children with special needs and their families for over 15 years in the fields of education, parent training and human services. Jessica enjoys working with children, families, and organizations to help them reach their goals.  Jessica graduated from the Applied Behavior Analysis Master’s program at NVU-Johnson and is accumulating her supervision hours to sit for the BCBA exam.

April Wright, MA, BCBA, LBA

General Member

April graduated from Northern Vermont University in August of 2015 and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in August of 2017.  She has worked for Northwestern Counseling and Support Services (NCSS) for ten years and has held several positions with a focus on providing effective and family centered treatment to those living in Franklin and Grand Isle Counties.  April began at NCSS as the Parent Child Center Administrative Assistant and quickly developed a passion for providing early intervention services.  She began early intervention work as a Developmental Educator and soon after enrolled in a graduate program for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).  Just prior to graduating with her masters in ABA, April took a position providing ABA services to children and families as a Behavior Specialist and later as a Behavior Consultant for the Applied Behavior Services Team.  Currently, April is the Team Leader for the Applied Behavior Services team which provides home and community based ABA services to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. 

April has experience providing ABA services to children in the home, community, and center-based settings and is dedicated to ensuring families receive high quality ABA treatment.  In addition, April has experience as a BCBA supervisor and enjoys supporting others to further their education and careers in the field.

Jenna Kasza

Student Member

Jenna works as the Clinical Assistant at Keene Perspectives, PLLC. In this role, Jenna enjoys supporting client intervention, aiding in staff training, and coordinating clinical needs. She has found a passion for working in early intervention through her time as an RBT and Clinical Assistant. Jenna is a student at Russell Sage College working towards her M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism. Jenna plans to graduate in December 2020 and is currently accumulating supervision hours. Outside of work and school, you will find her enjoying time with her family and exploring Vermont. 

Angela Elcan, MS, BCBA, LBA

General Member

Angela Elcan graduated with a Masters of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis from Western New England University. While working at The New England Center for Children in both Boston and Abu Dhabi (UAE), Angela gained valuable experiences with children and young adults in both residential and day programs. Although different experiences, Angela's work in both programs focused on communication, self-help, and vocational skills for children with autism.  During her time in Abu Dhabi, Angela gained  experience running Functional Analyses and developing treatment plans for a variety of maladaptive behaviors under trained and experienced BCBAs. When Angela returned to Vermont, she took a job with Northwestern Counseling & Support Services. In 2019, Angela became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.  Angela is currently a Behavior Consultant at Northwestern Counseling & Support Services where she works with children ages 0-8 in a home, community, and clinic-based services. 

Haley Helstein

Student Member

I currently work as a Lead Behavior Instructor at SD Associates, LLC. I started working at SD after graduating from Northern Vermont University-Lyndon in May of 2018. I am a current graduate student at Northern Vermont University-Johnson in pursuit of my Master’s of Education and Applied Behavior Analysis.

Lauren Mercik, MS, BCBA, LBA

Board Member

Lauren Mercik is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst originally from Suffield, Connecticut. Lauren received her undergraduate degree at St. Michael’s College and continued her education at Massachusetts’ Bay Path University where she completed a Master’s program in 2015. Lauren previously worked at the May Institute before accepting a position at St. Albans’ Northwestern Counseling and Support Services, returning to Vermont in 2016. Lauren specializes in programming for school-aged students with autism and developmental disorders in classroom, residential, and clinical settings. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys spending time on the lake with friends and family, and watching sporting events.
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