STAFF BIOS

EXECUTIVE TEAM

Denise Rizzo-Ranieri, MS Ed, is President and Co-founder of Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS), along with Louis Ranieri. Denise is also Chief of Design & Innovation and is the President of RCS Learning Center’s Board of Directors.

RCS Learning Center is a non-profit organization created to improve education for children with developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorder.

Denise started RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting in 1997 and was later joined by Louis Ranieri. During this time, Denise consulted with public school teachers in the classroom and with parents in their homes designing special education programs. In 2006, RCS Learning Center opened 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, Mini-Miracles Early Education and Child Care Center opened and in 2013 launched the Rising Stars Integrated Preschool Program.

Natalie Sandmann, 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.

 –  nsandmann@rcslearning.org

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.

Dr. King also works as an adjunct professor at Simmons University in the Behavior Analysis Master’s Degree program.  Prior to joining RCS, Dr. King worked as a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in a variety of settings providing ABA services including, home-based, community, public schools as well as private schools.  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 First Aid and CPR and is trained in Strategies of Limiting Violent Episodes (SOLVE).

Dr. King is a published author and has presented or co-presented more than two dozen symposiums and poster sessions on a variety of topics related to the field of applied behavior analysis.  Her areas of expertise include Applied Behavior Analysis, Verbal Behavior, Instructional Design, and Supervision.

She has a Doctor of Philosophy in 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 University. 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

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

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

RCS LEARNING CENTER ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF

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 followed by Program Director in 2021, 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

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 Elementary 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 and Severe Special Needs as well as Mathematics, and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in 2013. Erin earned her Doctorate of Education in 2020 from Northeastern University.

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 Director 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, health and sexual education, and inclusion facilitation.

– ekostigen@rcslearning.org

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

Vasiliki (Teddi) received her Bachelors of Science in Psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) from Northeastern University.  Her career at RCS started shortly after she graduated undergraduate in September of 2016 as a Behavior Therapist and started her Master’s Degree from Northeastern in ABA.  In 2018, she completed her graduate program and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and was promoted to the position of Clinician that September.  In 2021 she took on a new position at RCS serving as the Head of Admissions and Family Engagement. Teddi’s areas of expertise include working with secondary aged students with specialized programming for behavior management, language and independent living skills. 

Lauren received her Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology from The University of Rhode Island in 2015. She went on to pursue her Master’s of Education in Special Education from Fitchburg State University. She also received a Graduate Certificate in Behavior Analysis from Fitchburg State University in 2018. Lauren became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2019. Lauren began her career at RCS Learning Center in 2015 as a Behavior Therapist. Lauren has also held the positions of Special Education Teacher and Clinician in the Learning Center. In 2021 Lauren transitioned into the role of Manager of Transition and Vocational Services.

Celina received her Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary and Special Education at Salve Regina University. She was first introduced to the world of ABA while working at Pathways Strategic Teaching Center in Coventry, RI. Her experiences there inspired her to return to Salve Regina University to pursue a Master’s of Applied Behavioral Analysis. Celina became a BCBA in 2020 and worked in home-based services. 

Celina began her career at RCS Learning Center in January 2022 as a Clinician. As a Clinician she is responsible for monitoring students’ programs and evaluating data.

Alex received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from College of the Holy Cross. She went on to pursue her Master’s of Applied Behavior Analysis from Simmons University. Alex became a BCBA in 2021. 

Alex began her career at RCS Learning Center in June of 2019. Since starting at RCS, Alex has held the positions of Behavior Therapist, Special Education Teacher, and now an Associate Clinician position. Throughout her time at RCS, Alex has worked with students of ages 12-22 and currently is the Associate Clinician for 18-22 year olds who have an emphasis on increasing their vocational skills.

Catherine Ianello received her Bachelor’s of Science in Early Childhood and Integrated Liberal Studies from Curry College. She then pursued her Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis at Simons University.

Catherine began her career at RCS Learning Center in 2016. She started work as a Behavior Therapist and then moved into the role of an Associate Clinician in 2021. As an Associate Clinician she is responsible for monitoring students programs and evaluating data.

Taylor received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2019. She then went on to pursue her Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis from Regis college in 2020. She began my career at RCS Learning Center in 2019. Since starting at RCS, she has held the positions of Behavior Therapist, Special Education Teacher, and now Associate Clinician. 

Earl Bombard, MS, RBT received his Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis from Simmons University. He received his Bachelor of Science from Vermont Technical College in Computer Engineering. Earl developed a passion for working with a diverse population of students when he started working at his local Boys and Girls club as an afterschool counselor while in college. His passion led him to RCS in 2019 where he worked with many of the older students as a Behavior Therapist, and now as an Associate Clinician.

RCS ADMINISTRATION

June received her Bachelors of Science from Bridgewater State University. June has served as the Finance Director 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

Theresa received her Bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College. She has served as the HR Manager for RCS Learning Center, RCS Behavioral and Educational Consulting, LLC and Mini-Miracles Childcare Center since 2017. Theresa has 25 years of experience in Human Resources in a variety of settings including, public, private, and not-for-profit organizations in New York, Washington DC and Boston.  Prior to joining RCS Theresa was the HR Director for the Public Works and Transportation Departments in the City of Boston and the HR Manager at a Dorchester based not for profit health care center.  Her areas of expertise include employee relations and recruitment. 

Ranjini Govender leads external communications and advancement for RCS including marketing, external relations, and brand development. Ranjini is deeply committed to RCS’s mission to ensure every child has the opportunity to fully realize their potential by helping develop their unique skills and providing a supportive learning environment. Ranjini has been a non-profit and education leader for over 20 years as a classroom teacher, education law attorney, and non-profit executive director. She has been frequently cited in local media outlets including WBUR, Comcast Newsmakers, the Boston Business Journal, and the Boston Globe. Ranjini holds a Juris Doctor degree from Syracuse University and a doctoral degree in Education from Cornell University.  She is grateful to have the opportunity to join a team dedicated to ensuring progress for every child, and an organization so committed to local communities.

 – rgovender@rcslearning.org