FOUNDER & DIRECTOR
I am a certified speech-language pathologist (SLP) with over fifteen years of clinical experience. I believe my responsibility as a therapist is to help empower every client to live their most confident, secure, and joyful life.
I have always specialized in dyslexia and enjoy training other professionals in best practices for speech, language, and literacy interventions. I created Launch to be a place where SLPs and literacy experts could work together to help individuals with communication, whether that be in oral or written form. I have always striven to be authentic, even with the youngest of clients, and believe that authenticity and personal connection are the keys to positive intervention. My staff reflect that core value and share a common mission of effective service.
It has been a joy to work with so many wonderful clients over the years and to celebrate their successes with them.
LAUNCH LITERACY LEAD
Barrie holds a Master’s Degree in Reading and Literacy Studies and holds a Wisconsin Reading Specialist license. Her 20 years of experience has included roles as a classroom teacher, professional developer, literacy coach, and reading interventionist. No matter her role, she is always committed to improving the literacy and learning lives of students by making learning more accessible for all.
Barrie believes creating meaningful relationships to be a central tenet for success with learners. Everyone approaches learning in their own unique way; she enjoys discovering each child’s learning potential through a strength based, multimodal approach and uses her knowledge of literacy to support students in reaching their individual goals. The ideal environment she strives to create is one where students feel supported and respected, and where all involved are excited and passionate about learning.
LAUNCH SPEECH LEAD
Audra is originally from Minnesota, but fell in love with Madison when she attended UW-Madison for her undergraduate. After, Audra attended graduate school at Minnesota State University Moorhead where she gained exposure to a variety of high tech AAC with both adults and children in their Regional Technology Center. Audra also has experience within public schools, skilled nursing facilities, private practice, and teletherapy.
Audra is trained in ABA and PROMPT. Her areas of interest include phonology, childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), and Autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Audra loves putting the “fun” in functional when providing treatment, and enjoys working with kids and adults of all ages.
Tasha has focused primarily on pediatric therapy over a large age range from early intervention through high school in the clinic, school, and home health settings. She also has experience working with geriatric clients for a variety of language, cognition, and swallowing difficulties in the outpatient and home health settings.
Tasha is PROMPT Trained, Hanen Trained, and ABA Trained. Her areas of interest and specialty include fluency disorders, motor speech disorders, and oral motor difficulties. She also has extensive experience working clients of a variety of ages with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Jeff is an Orton-Gillingham certified practitioner who believes in systemic and multisensory instruction with an emphasis on developing patience, building confidence, and reading for satisfaction. After teaching predominantly at-risk students in Minneapolis, Jeff recognized the need to help his students with their literacy skills. He undertook the process of getting his Wisconsin Reading Teacher certification at the University of Wisconsin-Stout and completed the Orton-Gillingham practitioner training at the Children’s Dyslexia Center in Madison, WI.
Jeff is a flexible reading instructor who believes that relationship building is of the utmost importance. His approach is proven to be successful with dyslexic and non-dyslexic students as well as students needing help with their growing fluency, decoding, spelling, writing and comprehension.
Jeff loves his outdoor adventures and holds a commercial pilot’s license. He lives in Madison with his wife and two daughters. He enjoys spending time in Northern Wisconsin and making his yearly excursions to what he considers his second home, Asheville, NC.
Jessica has over 15 years of experience working with infants and toddlers through school-age children. She started her career by working in private speech-language clinics and gained valuable knowledge during her years working at a reading center that followed the Orton-Gillingham approach. After moving to Wisconsin, Jessica worked as a school-based speech therapist for Early Childhood and Elementary students and as an early interventionist with the Birth-to-Three program in Dane county. She has closely studied and practiced the Parent Coaching philosophy, helping caregivers practice communication, sensory, and feeding strategies with their children in daily routines.
Jessica was born and raised in MT and loves to take her husband and two children out west for family visits and adventures. In WI, she and her family like to discover beautiful, unique hiking and camping locations.
Angy has been a speech and language pathologist for more than 20 years. Working in both public schools and private clinics, Angy has experience with children and young adults in early childhood through high school.
Angy believes that communication is the most powerful skill we possess. Whether communicated through speech, sign, pictures, technology, or written word, everyone has a unique and valuable voice. Angy focuses on explicit instruction and consistent engagement with all of her students and has particular interest and training in speech sound disorders, social cognitive disorders, language, literacy, and AAC.
Angy lives with her husband, daughter, and a variety of animals. At home, she likes to draw, read, and sing loudly in the car. Theater is one of Angy’s passions and she has enjoyed acting and working behind the scenes in several community theaters in Wisconsin and Alaska.
Gail is an Orton-Gillingham certified practitioner as well as an elementary Montessori teacher. As a proponent of multisensory reading instruction, Gail creates and delivers language lessons that are systematic, sequential, cumulative, explicit, and diagnostic. She believes her responsibility as a reading instructor is to provide students and their families with evidence-based reading instruction through a structured literacy approach informed by the science of reading.
Gailrecognizes that students learn best in an environment that cultivates a growth mindset, persistence, and resilience, sharing this motto with all her students: Practice makes progress. Building relationships and focusing on strengths are key to successful learning experiences, and Gail prioritizes the creation of safe and warm learning environments for her students.
Gail has her WI teaching license in Montessori elementary education as well as dyslexia practitioner certification through the Children’s Dyslexia Center in Madison, WI. She also holds a master’s degree in education with a focus on teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL).
Katelyn grew up in Chicago and attended Bowdoin College in Maine, where she double majored in Biology and Mathematics. Throughout college, she worked at Children’s Hospitals, with public schools in Maine and Chicago, and with the Head Start Program. After college, Katelyn spent two years teaching second grade in North Carolina with Teach for America. In 2019, she relocated the Madison area and taught second grade at Bridges Elementary School in Prairie Du Sac. In addition to teaching in the classroom, she has over 10 years of tutoring and providing intervention services in all academic areas, including with students with dyscalculia.
Katelyn still lives in the Madison area, but is taking courses through Boston University to pursue her master’s degree in Elementary Education and will be receiving an additional certificate in elementary math instruction. Katelyn’s strengths and passions are in teaching math and sharing her love for numbers. Her goal as an educator is to enable every child to reach their full potential. She emphasizes creativity and developing a long-lasting love for learning.
Alison was born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin but has lived as a proud Madison resident for over 9 years. Alison has a degree from UW Madison in Interior Design as well as a Minor in International Studies. She began her career in design. First as an Interior Designer, then as a Fire Protection Designer; both in which she created safe, functional, and beautiful spaces (and systems) for her clients to enjoy. While her eye for detail and organizational skills are put to good use in the office management portion of Launch, Alison is most excited about continuing her involvement with client care. Alison has always had a passion for helping others. She loves making everyone feel welcomed and has experience working in the therapeutic setting with children and families with special needs. Working with children and families has truly been a rewarding experience for her and she looks forward to continuing to help make life a little brighter and a little easier for all our Launch clients and staff. When not in the office, Alison loves traveling, cooking, art, and being with family and friends. She is excited to be part of the Launch team and can’t wait to meet YOU!
Sharon has recently retired from a long and fulfilling career working as a multi-county director in the Illinois Head Start Program . She relocated to Madison to be closer to her family and is now embracing the Wisconsin lifestyle! She is excited to be a part of the Launch team and to continue serving families and children.