Kelly Tobenski, BCBA
Kelly graduated from Illinois State University in 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in music education (BME). In 2010 she received her Master’s in Child and Adolescent Psychology (MS) from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and received her teaching certification in special education. Kelly obtained her BCBA in 2013 after completing coursework at the Florida Institute of Technology. Kelly holds a certificate in Organizational Behavior Management from Florida Tech.
Kelly has previously worked in the area of special recreation, serving clients with various disabilities ranging from age 3-99 as a summer camp director and program leader. She was previously employed by the public schools as a Behavior & Autism Specialist. Kelly also worked in the charter school system as the Director of Behavioral Supports for the Nashville Academy of Computer Science.
“I attribute my passion for continuing education and working with individuals with disabilities to my dear friend and mentor, Sharon Woolf, who unexpectedly passed away in January of 2012. I adore every single one of my learners and their families; I have absolutely no idea what I would be doing if this field didn’t exist, but I would hope that it would involve working directly with individuals with disabilities.
I strive to be better every day – I love learning about new techniques and observing professionals who do things differently than I may do them. I believe that honesty and feedback are crucial to making me the best provider possible for the wonderful individuals that I work for.”
In her free time Kelly enjoys cuddling with her dogs Reggie & Bella and watching movies with her husband, Denton.
Jessica Bradford, RBT
Jessica holds her Masters in Education in Curriculum and Instruction in ABA, with 7 years of experience working with children with disabilities in public school, clinic, and in home settings. Jessica is currently pursuing her BCBA certification. Her two passions are working with learners and families within their homes, as well as guiding them within the educational setting.
“I instantly fell in love with this field once I saw the impact I could make in a child’s life.
I love the impact the teams can make in my learners’ lives, as well as their families. My favorite part is being able to see the progress and skills being learned that can assist learners function in their everyday lives.”
Jessica loves spending time with her husband and daughter. Her favorite thing to do with them is go on adventures and create fun crafts.
Mary Hawkins, RBT
Mary has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis. She has worked as an RBT since 2018, gaining experience working with children and adults diagnosed with autism and other disabilities. Mary is currently pursuing her certification as a BCBA.
“I have always had a passion for helping others. I primarily enjoy working with children and found interest in children with disabilities when I worked in a daycare and had a couple students with autism and ADHD. I began to grow more interested in ABA upon entering graduate school and studying the area more.
I absolutely love seeing progress in my learners and knowing that I am making a difference in their family’s lives. I love building relationships with my learners and their families and learning more about my learners’ strengths and weaknesses.”
In her free time Mary enjoys taking naps, watching Netflix (especially Friends), cleaning, and spending time with her family. She loves dogs and enjoys swimming and going to the beach.
Sara Bingham, BcaBA
Sara has a bachelor’s in child development and family services. She has previously worked at Head Start as a preschool teacher, in daycares with children ages 6 weeks to 5 years of age, and was a special education assistant in the public schools for 5 years. She earned her RBT certification in 2018 and then completed graduate coursework through Florida Institute of Technology in ABA and became a BCaBA in November of 2019.
“The science of ABA is fascinating and I love to see our learners learn and grow with ABA.
My favorite part of working with our learners is getting to bond with them and their families and seeing the progress that is made!”
In her free time Sara enjoys horseback riding, walking her dogs, and watching TV. She collects Pyrex bowls and enjoys watching comedies and medical TV shows.
Holly McLaren, RBT, Technician Liaison
Holly joined TBAS in 2017. She leads and participates in various programs, including our in-school services, social skills groups, pre-k groups, and summer recreation. Holly is our lead Technician Trainer.
“I started school as a behavioral psychology major, but stopped in order to be a full time mom. When it was time for me to get back into the workforce, my best friend invited me to observe what she does. I instantly fell in love. My husband has also started working as a behavior technician, and now our life is very focused on ABA and and my love for the field has only deepened.
I love seeing the growth in learners. There is nothing much more satisfying than seeing skills you have been teaching somebody actually be used to improve their quality of life.”
In her free time Holly enjoys spending time with her husband, their 2 daughters, and her bestie. They love to play games, dance, and swim. When she is alone she usually has a book in her hand or Star Trek on the TV. Holly collects interesting hats or headscarves.
Megan Pullum, BCBA
Megan is from Mount Juliet, TN. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Special Education Comprehensive from Tennessee Tech University in 2013. She holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis. Megan has been teaching preschool in the public schools since 2013.
“I have always had a desire to work with individuals with academic, social/emotional, and behavior deficits. Once I had taught special education for 4 years, I had learned so much more about the ABA field through trainings from TRIAD (Vanderbilt) and I was super inspired to go back to school to get my masters and certification in behavior analysis. BEST decision ever!!! I LOVE teaching, but now I also have another ‘door;’ another opportunity to work individuals with specific behavior needs.
My favorite part of working with learners is watching them change and GROW! I enjoy being on the journey with them to become more successful in all areas: socially, academically, behaviorally, etc. Watching their independence in daily living skills increase and helping them break “inappropriate” habits to learn new habits that are going to positively affect their life, relationships, etc. In the end, just seeing the CHANGE in their abilities to be the best they can be! Helping them make friends, complete non-preferred tasks, regulate emotions, and so much more! #bestjobever”
In her freetime Megan enjoys spending time with her husband and family: boating, being at the lake, shopping, reading, and planning events. She loves teaching Pre-K and enjoys being with her church family. Megan is a proud aunt and soon-to-be proud Mom!
Katie Dell, RBT
Katie currently resides in Murfreesboro, TN. She is a mom to 4 kids, one that is grown and three smaller, including one set of twins. She was born in Indiana moved with her family to Minnesota, then Virginia, then to Tennessee. Katie earned a Masters in Education with a focus on school Library science. She worked as a children’s librarian for 3 years in a public library. She is now working towards earning her BCBA certification.
“I chose this field because I have three children that are diagnosed with Autism: one set of twins. In my effort to help my children I started researching things that might help them. ABA of course was one of the top listed things. And as a Librarian, I researched about this field and became totally interested in how and why this works. Then I found a wonderful team of ABA people and implemented ABA within my life with my kids and ever since I am totally hooked. The difference that ABA has made in my children, as well as my life is amazing! I am in awe of this field.
My favorite part of working with the learners and families are the moments when I start to see the learners excel, and make progress.; meeting and teaching families principles and ways of ABA so that they can help their children and their families day to day life. ”
In her free time Katie enjoys hanging out with her kids, reading with her kids, and reading on her own. She loves to make things and bake!
Abby has been working with individuals with ASD since 2007 in a variety of settings including center-based teaching, in home, and in schools. Abby graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2006 and her master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling in 2009 from Middle Tennessee State University. She holds her LPC-MHSP as a licensed counselor.
“I chose the field of ABA because there was an evidence based treatment with real data to look over and actually see people meet their goals! After seeing how effective ABA could be for individuals with ASD that I knew personally, I knew I had to learn more about it.
There is no better feeling than seeing a learner have the ‘aha!’ moment – something just clicks and is working for them. Helping families find a way to connect and engage with their loved one is rewarding. To see someone gain independence and to see one’s self confidence increase is one of my favorite parts of being in the field.”
In her free time Abby enjoys cuddling with her dog Scout, reading for fun and educational purposes, trying new recipes, going to concerts/seeing live music.
Kathryn Schagren, RBT
Kathryn is a native of Murfreesboro, TN. She holds her Masters in Special Education, Mild to Moderately Disabled. She previously worked as an Autism Specialist in the public school system, and has been working in schools, homes, and center-based environments since 2011.
“Working with learners one on one has always drawn me to the field of behavior analysis. Seeing the change in lifestyle learners can have when taught independent tasks or skills is a wonderful thing to be apart of and celebrate with families. We are there every step of the way for small and big victories alike! Generalizing skills learned in schools and with other specialists creates a great community approach to help our learners succeed not just in their home but in everyday life. The job is different day to day, learner to learner, minute to minute, and keeping work engaging and mentally stimulating is something I have loved to be apart of.
My favorite part of working with learners and families is that you get to be apart of something real and fluid. A problem today might not be tomorrow and tackling those issues with families week to week help create a bond and trust between you, the learner, and themselves that creates a foundation for a great relationship to learn and grow.”
Kathryn enjoys working out, going to the lake, and playing with her corgi, Churchill. She loves to read suspense novels: her current goal is to read 26 books this year. Napping is something she considers herself an expert at and sometimes hinders her reading goal. Her husband and her are fans of most anything on Netflix and in the fall and root strictly for the Buffalo Bills during football season. They regularly dress their dog in a bowtie.
Will grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and lived there until he graduated high school in 2012. He moved to Birmingham, Alabama to attend Samford University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Will had grown up with family in Nashville and always loved visiting. Around the time he was graduating college, his mom and siblings had decided to move there so it provided a great opportunity for him to move up here to look for work.
He is currently working on his Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis at Lipscomb University and upon completion will sit for his board exam to earn his BCBA. Will is currently working 1:1 with a learner outside of the country.
In his free time he enjoys physical activity including hiking with his dog, yoga, and martial arts. Will is also a huge movie buff and an avid live music fan.
Rachel is currently an MTSU student who is interested in becoming a speech therapist. She has worked in church settings with children with disabilities, as well as our summer recreation program.
“I chose this field to help give me a better understanding of behavior, which would help me to work with children more effectively.
I love the days that may be a little difficult, but we can still see progress. I love getting to watch as my kids grow and see the how the parents appreciate that growth as well.”
In her free time Rachel teaches music lessons, plays volleyball, and attends her classes, She enjoys cooking and watching the TV show Friends.
Mallory moved to Manchester when she was 7 and has been there ever since. She has worked for Centerstone for over 5 years where she began as a case manager helping mentally disabled clients with daily living tasks, including connecting them with community resources. 2 years ago, Mallory transferred to the psychosocial education day program where she runs the program along with one co-worker for over 2 years. In this program she teaches life skills for recovery from mental illness ranging from mild depression to severe schizophrenia.
Mallory received her bachelor’s in Psychology with a focus on mental health treatment and minored in sculpture in 2011. She is currently enrolled in the ABA program with Capella online University and will attain her masters in ABA in March of 2018.
In her free time she enjoys drawing, painting, hiking, hula hooping, fire hooping, fire eating, fire breathing, and pretty much anything arts-and-crafty. She has recently found a passion for areal silks like they perform in the circus and hope to be able to pursue this more in the future.
Kathy is a Specialized Structured Special Education teacher. She has worked as a tutor for students with special needs and has been teaching since 2009.
“I enjoy working with students that need just a little extra love and help to become successful individuals.
I love getting to know the new learner and talking with the family to help them with learning the strategies.”
In her free time Kathy enjoys hiking, backpacking, reading, boxing, and yoga. She loves finding new parks to hike, traveling, and wants to travel to all 50 states. She is a big NCIS fan! Kathy has 3 dogs and would have more if she could afford them!
Trista is originally from Okoboji, Iowa. She graduated from Faust Institute of Cosmetology in 2006. Trista has been working with children since 2003, volunteering as a peer helper for children with disabilities in high school, teaching in daycare centers, and working in public schools systems. Trista moved to Murfreesboro, TN five years ago and worked as a pre-k teacher at a learning center. She began working for Rutherford County Schools in 2013.
Having the opportunity to work in the county schools with children with special needs has been a huge blessing and is the most rewarding job she has ever had. Trista would love to further her education in sign language interpreting.
Trista loves going back home to Iowa to see her family and friends, and enjoys boating and doing anything outdoors with her dogs.
Amy currently works as a preschool teacher at head start and has worked with children with a diagnosis of autism, adhd and other disabilities.
“I chose the field of applied behavior analysis to work with individuals one-on-one to complete goals and master programs. I enjoy the entire experience of working in homes with learners and families!”
In her free time Amy enjoys crafting, repurposing furniture, being outdoors, and blogging. Her husband and her collect national park magnets.
Sarah has previously worked in the public school setting with children with disabilities. She also has experience working in a center-based ABA program.
“I chose the field of behavior analysis because I believe it’s important in aiding society. I love developing relationships with my learners and families and enjoy feeling like I am helping them.”
In her free time Sarah enjoys being outside with her kids;she is a mom of two (a boy and a girl) and likes to read and do yoga.