Staff Bios

Executive Team

Louis Ranieri, B.S., Co-Founder and CEO;
RCS Learning Center

RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting, LLC
Mini-Miracles Early Education & Child Care Center

Louis Ranieri, B.S., co-founded Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS), and serves as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Lou is a member of the Board of Directors for RCS Learning Center, a non-profit organization created to improve education for children with developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorder.

Prior to collaborating with his wife Denise Rizzo-Ranieri at RCS, Louis worked in human services including state-funded educational facilities and home-based settings. He had a passion for providing a safe, committed and loving educational environment for children with developmental disabilities and believed he and Denise had much to offer. Together they created RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting in 1997, followed by the Learning Center in 2006 to provide excellent educational opportunities for children with developmental disabilities, particularly children with autism, and to offer them an opportunity for a future following their education at RCS Learning Center. In 2007, they opened Mini-Miracles Child Care Center which houses the Rising Stars Integrated Preschool Program that opened in 2013. RCS Learning Center services 45 students and RCS Consulting has two offices in Woburn and Framingham.


Denise Rizzo-Ranieri, M.S. Ed., President and Co-founder, Chief of Design & Innovation;
RCS Learning Center
RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting, LLC
Mini-Miracles Early Education & Child Care Center

Denise Rizzo-Ranieri, MS Ed, is President and Co-founder, and Chief of Design & Innovation of Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) and a board member of RCS Learning Center, a non-profit organization created to improve education for children with developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorder.

While working for an agency that served children with developmental disabilities, Denise met her now-husband, Lou Ranieri. The two shared a concern for the agency’s practices and the accepted treatment of children with disabilities. After pursuing a Master of Science in Intensive Special Needs from Simmons College, Denise left the agency to work as a public-school teacher.  Frustrated with the lack of quality services and education for children with developmental disabilities, Denise and Lou started RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting in 1997. Denise consulted with public school teachers in the classroom and with parents in their homes and designed some special education programs. But they knew they could do more and in 2006, they opened the RCS Learning Center with a goal of providing the highest quality of individualized behavioral and educational services for children with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities. A year later, the duo opened Mini-Miracles Early Education and Child Care Center and in 2013 launched the Rising Stars Integrated Preschool Program.


Natalie Rizzo, B.S., Chief Operating Officer;
RCS Learning Center
RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting, LLC
Mini-Miracles Early Education & Child Care Center

Natalie Rizzo, BS,
is the Chief Operating Officer for Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS). She came to RCS in 2003 as Director of Operations for all three organizations-RCS Learning Center, RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting and Mini-Miracles Early Education and Childcare Center. She serves on the Board of Directors for RCS Learning Center, a non-profit organization created to improve education for children with developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorder.

Natalie has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Keene State College. With extensive experience in both non-profit and for-profit organizations, she is well-versed in the areas of accounting, payroll and human resources. She attends HR professional workshops and webinars for the betterment of RCS, resulting in additional training opportunities for her colleagues.

A leader in the development and strategic planning for Realizing Children’s Strengths, Natalie is a member of the Metrowest Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis International Organization, Massachusetts Association of Approved Private Schools as well as local networking organizations throughout the community to consistently brand, communicate, and acquire customers and funding.

Spearheading the new building project, Natalie oversees all facets of the project in addition to guiding the three companies within the organization to ensure daily business operations along with a seamless transition.
                                                                                                                                                –  nrizzo@rcslearning.org


Christina King, PH.D., BCBA, LABA, Executive Managing Director
& Chief of Research and Application;

RCS Learning Center

Dr. Christina M. King, PhD, BCBA, LABA, has been the Executive Managing Director for Realizing Children’s Strengths since 2017. Dr. King began at RCS in 2006 as a Supervisor, became the Assistant Director of the Learning Center after just four months, and served as the Director of RCS Learning Center from 2007 to 2017. She also serves on the Board of Directors.

An adjunct professor and a mentor at Simmons College in the Behavioral Education Master’s Degree program, Dr. King also worked as a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) prior to joining RCS and she was an Inclusion Specialist in the Wellesley Public Schools and a Lead Behavior Therapist. She was a Behavioral Therapist in Natick Public Schools and began her work in behavior therapy as a private consultant while earning her degree.

Dr. King is a member of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, Massachusetts Association of Applied Behavior Analysis, Berkshire Association of Behavior Analysis and Therapy, Association of Professional Behavior Analysts, Council for Exceptional Children, and Massachusetts Association of  Approved Private Schools and the Government Affairs Committee. She is proficient in American Sign Language and in addition to her BCBA and Licensed Applied Behavior Analyst (LABA), she is certified in Crisis Prevention Intervention, First Aid, CPR and is trained in Strategies of Limiting Violent Episodes (SOLVE).

A nationally-known speaker, Dr. King has researched and presented or co-presented more than two dozen symposiums and poster sessions on a variety of topics relating to the field of applied behavior analysis and therapy.  Her areas of expertise include Applied Behavior Analysis, Verbal Behavior and teaching communication, instructional design, training and BACB supervision, and higher education.

She has a Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Behavior Analysis, has completed coursework as an Educational Specialist in Moderate Special Education, and holds a Master of the Science of Education in Behavioral Education, all from Simmons College. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Disorders with a Concentration in Deaf Education from Boston University’s Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation.
                                                                                                                                                 – cking@rcslearning.org


Allison Genovese , M.S. , BCBA, LABA, Vice President of Early Childhood Programs;
RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting, LLC
Mini-Miracles Early Education & Child Care Center

Allison Genovese, MS, ABA, LABA, BCBA, holds multiple positions at Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) as Vice President of Early Childhood Programs for the Behavioral and Educational Consulting and Mini Miracles Early Education and Childcare Center, as well as the past Director of Admissions at RCS Learning Center.  She came to RCS in 2008 as a Program Manager and within six months became the Clinical Director and Executive Team Member of the Learning Center. In 2011, she took on the role of Director of Admissions. Previously Allison worked at Merrimack Special Education Collaborative-Early Childhood Center as a teacher and Behavior Specialist/Consultant, and the May Institute as an intern and teacher/senior teacher.

Allison’s expertise is in autism, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), verbal behavior, early childhood education, child development, behavior management, curriculum development, staff management, program development, early intervention and developmental disabilities. She has researched and co-presented on various topics including Out-of-Seat Behavior, Mand Training, and Performance Objective Matrix (POM) at several Association for Behavioral Analysis International (ABAI) Conferences.

She is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and Licensed Applied Behavior Analyst (LABA) with a Master of Science in ABA from Northeastern University. She also has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a specialization in Developmental Disabilities from UMASS Amherst.  Allison is a member of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, Massachusetts Association of Applied Behavior Analysis, and the Berkshire Association of Behavior Analysis and Therapy. A notable blogger, Allison has been published in both industry and parenting publications.
                                                                                                                              – agenovese@rcslearning.org


Jennifer Rutland, M.S. Ed.,BCBA, LABA, Executive Vice President;
RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting, LLC.
 
Jennifer C. Rutland, MS Ed, BCBA, LABA, is the Executive Vice President (EVP) at Realizing Children’s Strengths’ (RCS) Behavioral and Educational Consulting and oversees all departments and divisions. She began at RCS as Behavior Therapist/Supervisor in 1998 before becoming the Director of Consulting in 2005, a position she held until her promotion to EVP in 2017. She is also an RCS Executive Team Member. Jennifer has served as a mentor at Simmons College, a Behavior Therapist at Chelmsford Public Schools and Children Making Strides.

Her areas of expertise include autism, Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), special education, independent educational evaluations, program development, parent training, curriculum design, and staff development. She serves on the RCS Learning Center Board of Directors, and is a member of the Greater Boston Association for Behavior Analysis, the Association for Behavior Analysis and the International Association of Nonviolent Crisis Intervention.

Jennifer has a Masters of Education in Behavioral Education from Simmons College and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology of Learning and Development from Framingham State College. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and Licensed Applied Behavior Analyst (LABA), and a Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI) Certified Trainer. Jennifer has studied extensively in the areas of verbal behavior and teaching to children with autism and related disabilities.
                                                                                                                          – rutland@RCSConsultingNE.com


Colleen Yorlets, M.A., M.S., BCBA, LABA, Chief Clinical Specialist;
RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting, LLC.

Colleen Yorlets, MS, MA, BCBA, LABA is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and a Licensed Applied Behavior Analyst (LABA) who serves as Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) Chief Clinical Specialist, overseeing the research and training departments and collaborating with Clinical Directors. Colleen joined RCS in 2007 as a Supervisor, was promoted to Assistant Director in 2010, and Clinical Director of General Consulting in 2014. Before working with RCS, Colleen was a Behavior Technician at Northwestern Human Services in York, PA, working directly with children with developmental disabilities.

Colleen is also an adjunct faculty member at Simmons College, teaching behavior analysis graduate courses. From 2013-2016 she served as a mentor to the Simmons College BCBA graduate students.  She is a member of the Massachusetts Association for Applied Behavior Analysts, Berkshire Association for Behavior Analysis and Therapy, Association for Behavior Analysis International, Association for Professional Behavior Analysts, and the Council for Exceptional Children.  Colleen specializes in stimulus control, stimulus equivalence and verbal behavior and presents at industry conferences throughout the country.

She has a Master of Science in Behavior Education from Simmons College, a Master’s in the field of Psychology from Boston University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Franklin & Marshall College.
                                                                                                                             – cyorlets@RCSConsultingNE.com


RCS Learning Center Administrative Staff

Elizabeth Kelsey, M.S., BCBA, LABA, Assistant Director;
RCS Learning Center

 Elizabeth received her Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology with a specialization in developmental disabilities from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Elizabeth further received her Master’s of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis from Northeastern University, and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2010. Prior to joining the RCS team, Elizabeth worked with adults with disabilities in a day habilitation program and residential settings. Elizabeth began her career at RCS Learning Center in 2006 as a Behavior Therapist, and in 2007 Elizabeth became a Program Manager. In 2012, Elizabeth was promoted to the position of Assistant Director and is now responsible for assisting the Director in overseeing the operational policies and procedures at RCS Learning Center. Elizabeth’s areas of interest include teaching self-help and vocational skills, preference assessments, reinforcer selection and organizational behavior management.

  – ekelsey@rcslearning.org


Megan Breault, M.S. BCBA, LABA, Clinical Director;
RCS Learning Center
Megan received her Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education and Sociology from Stonehill College. Megan attended Simmons College to obtain her Master’s of Science in Behavior Analysis and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in August of 2013. She began her career with RCS Learning Center in August of 2010 as a Behavior Therapist/Floater and was promoted to a Program Manager in July of 2013.  In 2015, Megan was promoted to the position of Clinical Director, and is currently responsible for overseeing the clinical operations of RCS Learning Center.  Megan’s areas of interest include assessments, errorless learning, and staff and parent training.

mbreault@rcslearning.org


Erin Kostigen, M.S. Ed., BCBA, LABA, Educational Administrator
RCS Learning Center
Erin received her Bachelor’s of Science in Special Education and Mathematics from Lesley University. She went on to pursue her Master’s of Education in Mathematics Education from Northeastern University. Continuing with her interest in Special Education, Erin received a Graduate Certificate in Behavioral Intervention in Autism from UMass Lowell in 2012, is licensed in Moderate Special Needs, and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in 2013. Erin began her career at RCS Learning Center in 2009. Since starting at RCS, Erin has held the positions of Behavior Therapist and Special Education Teacher in the Learning Center, and Clinical Liaison in RCS Behavioral and Educational Consulting, LLC. In 2014, Erin started her role as Educational Administrator where she is responsible for overseeing the Special Education Team at RCS. Erin’s areas of expertise include math education and curriculum for students with special needs, and inclusion facilitation.

– ekostigen@rcslearning.org


Jacqueline Adams, M.S., BCBA, LABA, Vocational Coordinator
RCS Learning Center

Jacqueline received her Bachelor’s of Science in Human Development with a concentration in early childhood education from Wheelock College. In 2010, Jacqueline received a Master’s of Science in Behavior Analysis from Simmons College, and went on to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2011. Prior to joining the RCS team, Jacqueline taught in a variety of private schools and daycare settings. Jacqueline began her career with RCS Learning Center in 2008 as a Behavior Therapist, and in 2010 was promoted to the position of Program Manager. As a Program Manager, Jacqueline is responsible for the educational and behavioral programming for a variety of students at RCS. In 2014, Jacqueline also began her role as Vocational Coordinator. As Vocational Coordinator, Jacqueline is responsible for arranging on-and off-site vocational skills training and transition planning for RCS students aged 14 and older. Jacqueline’s areas of interest include behavior management, social and vocational skill programming, and verbal behavior.

  – jadams@rcslearning.org


Clinical Staff

Lauren Donovan, M.S., BCBA, LABA, Clinician
RCS Learning Center

Lauren received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from Stetson University, and went on to receive a Master’s of Science in Behavior Analysis from Simmons College. In addition, Lauren is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Prior to joining the RCS team, Lauren utilized applied behavior analysis working with children in a private school in Florida.  In 2012, Lauren began her career at RCS Learning Center as a Behavior Therapist.  Lauren also gained supervisory experience working as an Assistant Supervisor in RCS Behavioral and Education Consulting, LLC.  IN 2014, Lauren was promoted to the Clinician position in RCS Learning Center.  In this role, Lauren is responsible for the educational and behavioral programming for a variety of students at RCS.  Lauren’s professional interests include functional communication training and stimulus prompting.

Abigail Kupris, B.A., Clinician
RCS Learning Center

Abigail received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from the University of Connecticut, and is currently pursuing a Master’s of Science in Behavior Analysis from Simmons College. Prior to joining the RCS team, Abigail worked with young children in a home setting. In 2016, Abigail began her career at RCS as a Behavior Therapist and was soon promoted the Special Education Teacher position. In 2017, she was promoted to the Clinician position. In this role, Abigail is responsible for the educational and behavioral programming for a variety of students at RCS.

Lindsey Leistinger, B.S., Clinician
RCS Learning Center

Lindsey received her Bachelor’s of Science in Communication Disorders with a minor in Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Lindsey is additionally pursuing a Master’s of Science in Behavior Analysis from Simmons College. Before joining the RCS team, Lindsey worked with children and adults in a variety of settings. Lindsey began her career at RCS as a Behavior Therapist in 2015, and was promoted to the Special Education Teacher position in 2016. In 2017, Lindsey was promoted to the role of Clinician.

Melanie Bergmiller, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist
RCS Learning Center

Melanie received her Bachelor’s of Science in Health and Sciences Studies and her Master’s in Occupational Therapy from Quinnipiac University. Before coming to RCS, Melanie gained experience providing occupational therapy services to children and adults in private schools and rehabilitation centers. Melanie began her career at RCS in 2015 in the position of Occupational Therapist. In this role she is responsible for providing consultation services for each student at RCS in the areas of fine and gross motor skills, self-help skills, vocational skills, and body regulation. Melanie’s occupational therapy interests include sensory integration, functional fine motor skills and mental health. Melanie is also interested in the therapeutic impact of animals as it relates to her field of study.

Kerry McColgan, M.A., CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist
RCS Learning Center


Sarah Grady, R.N., School Nurse
RCS Learning Center

Sarah received an Associate’s in liberal arts from Massachusetts Bay Community College and Associate’s in nursing from Laboure College. Sarah is licensed as a Registered Nurse and is trained as an American Heart Association CPR instructor. Prior to joining the RCS team, Sarah worked as a home health nurse to high-risk women and healthcare supervisor for an organization providing services to individuals with autism. Sarah has additionally done volunteer work with both children and adults with disabilities. In 2014, Sarah joined the RCS team as a School Nurse, where she is responsible for providing medical care and maintaining medical records for all students at RCS. Sarah enjoys working with children and developing skills in the area of pediatric nursing.

RCS Administration

Jessica Smith, Director of Operations;
RCS Learning Center
RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting
Mini-Miracles Early Education & Child Care Center

Jessica is the Director of Operations for Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS). Jessica joined RCS in 2011 as the Human Resources Representative and was promoted to Assistant Director of Operations in 2014. In 2017 she was promoted to Director of Operations for all three organizations-RCS Learning Center, RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting and Mini-Miracles Early Education and Childcare Center. Jessica received her Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management with a concentration in Human Resources from Bridgewater State University. Her areas of expertise include recruiting, organizational behavior, staff management and training.

– jsmith@rcslearning.org


June Lee, Finance Assistant
RCS Learning Center

RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting
Mini-Miracles Early Education & Child Care Center

June received her Bachelor’s of Science from Bridgewater State College. June has served as the Finance Assistant for RCS Learning Center, RCS Behavioral and Educational Consulting, LLC and Mini-Miracles Child Care Center since 2014. June has 30 plus years experience with accounting and bookkeeping and 8 plus years in tax preparation. June’s areas of expertise include Accounting, Finance and Bookkeeping.

 jlee@rcslearning.org


Kelly Sandler, M.S. BCBA, Director of Training;
RCS Learning Center

– ksandler@rcslearning.org 

Theresa Hayes, Human Resources Manager;
RCS Learning Center
RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting
Mini-Miracles Early Education & Child Care Center

–thayes@rcslearning.org

Julie Falcucci, Development Manager;
RCS Learning Center
RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting
Mini-Miracles Early Education & Child Care Center

– jfalcucci@rcslearning.org 

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