Our Staff

Melissa Smith, Ph.D.
Director of  Testing, Tutoring, and Counseling

Dr. Melissa Smith is a clinical psychologist trained in individual, group and family therapy for children, adolescents, and adults, as well as comprehensive psychological and psycho-educational evaluations. Previously, she was the Director of Well-Being at Monument Academy Public Charter boarding school, where she developed the well-being program for the school. In this role, she oversaw a team of clinicians, a psychiatrist, and outside service providers in the delivery of well-being interventions for middle school youth in or at risk of being in foster care. She also developed universal and tertiary well-being programs, including mindfulness and yoga activities for youth, while also creating crisis intervention procedures for clinicians, teachers and other staff. In addition, she provided therapy and conducted assessments for children at the school.

Dr. Smith received her Ph.D. from the Catholic University of America, with a concentration in Children, Families, and Cultures. She has worked in multiple schools and outpatient settings, including The Kennedy Krieger Institute; The University of Maryland Parent Consultation Clinic; Kimberly Brooks, Ph.D. & Associates; The Milton Hershey School and the Washington Jesuit Academy, treating children with developmental disabilities as well as those exposed to traumatic life experiences.

A director, Dr. Smith will continue to increase visibility to the Testing, Tutoring and Counseling Department, while also highlighting the amazing expertise of the individuals who work here. She’ strives to fulfill TLC’s mission of improving lives and expanding possibilities for individuals with special needs and serving the community.


 

Kristin Olsen, Ph.D.
Psychologist

Dr. Kristin Olsen is a clinical psychologist who has been licensed in the state of Maryland (License # 04107) since July 2005.  In terms of training, she received her doctoral degree from the University of Virginia.  In her education and clinical experiences at the University of Virginia Curry Programs in Clinical and School Psychology, she received extensive training in counseling with children, adolescents, and families, as well as in the assessment and diagnosis of learning disabilities and attention disorders.  This included coursework and clinical experiences specifically related to learning disabilities and ADHD, cognitive and academic assessments, evaluations conducted under supervision at the program clinic, and a year-long practicum in the schools.

Dr. Olsen’s predoctoral internship was at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.  During this full-time training year, she conducted a number of evaluations in various settings related to diagnosing and making recommendations related to learning disabilities and ADHD.  She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s National Medical Center, in the Child Development Program, conducting evaluations of young children and receiving further training in neurodevelopmental disabilities such as autism.

Dr. Olsen has now been working as a psychologist at The Treatment and Learning Centers since 2005 and has conducted over two hundred evaluations of children, adolescents, and adults with learning or attention difficulties, as well as social or emotional concerns, often needing to diagnose learning disorders and make appropriate recommendations for home, school, and testing accommodations.  Throughout her time working at TLC, she has continued her education in the areas of learning disabilities, attention and executive functioning concerns, anxiety and autism by attending a number of conferences and workshops, as well as reviewing the latest research.


 

Sarah Towne, Psy.D,
Psychologist

Dr. Sarah Towne has been licensed in Maryland (License #: 04834) since July 2010.  In terms of training, she received her doctoral degree in 2008 from Argosy University in Arlington, Virginia.  Her clinical training included coursework in therapies and assessment, with a specific focus on children and families.  Her clinical experiences included an externship at in the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Children’s National Medical Center, a one-year internship at the Watson Institute in Sewickley, Pennsylvania specializing in the assessment and therapeutic treatment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and a two-year post-doctoral residency at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.

In the first year of her post-doctoral residency program, she engaged in specialized training in the neuropsychology department conducting psychological assessments for learning disabilities, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, intellectual disability, and mood/anxiety related issues for children and young adults (ages 4-21).   In her second year of residency, she trained at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) Program and became proficient in the administration and interpretation of assessment measures often utilized with young children with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorders, including the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), Bayley Scales 3rd Edition, Differential Abilities Scales (DAS), and Vineland Adaptive Scales, 2nd Edition.

In her work here at TLC, Dr. Towne conducts psychoeducational and developmental evaluations of children, adolescents, and adults with learning, attentional, and social difficulties.  She also sees children, adolescents, and young adults for counseling.  Dr. Towne has taught graduate level course work at The Chicago School in Washington, DC, instructing doctoral candidates in the areas of intellectual assessment and developmental disabilities, and is currently the primary supervisor for our graduate externship program.


 

Moses Kushaba, PsyD., LCSW-C
Clinical Social Worker

Moses Kushaba, PsyD.,LCSW-C is a clinical social worker licensed in Maryland (#25005) with extensive experience in individual, group and family therapy for children, adolescents, and adults. Moses received his Master in Social Work from University of Southern California and his PsyD from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and is licensed as a Psychology Associate in Maryland (A0493) and DC (PSYA00354).

His clinical experiences included an externship with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department where he provided counseling to at-risk youth. He completed his predoctoral internship at California State Prison-Los Angeles where he provided therapy to incarcerated male adults in an outpatient setting. Dr. Kushaba has worked in different settings including transitional housing program, community outpatient mental health clinics, and California correctional facilities (Avenal State Prison and Salinas Valley State Prison) treating people with depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, traumas as well as supporting people with life-challenging illnesses.

Moses focuses on helping people grow and build confidence in themselves by using the qualities they were born with through an integrative approach, that draws upon several theoretical orientations, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, and Positive psychology. He is a great listener and provides a safe space where you can fully be yourself and talk about your concerns to learn the life lessons needed to create and maintain a high quality of life.

In his work here at TLC, Moses supports YMCA -IFPS program by providing psychotherapy services to children, adolescents, and adults with learning, attentional, and social difficulties. He is also receiving post-doctoral supervision under Dr. Melissa Smith with a focus on the administration and interpretation of assessment measures.

Moses is a proud veteran of the United States Armed Forces. He served 8 years in the Army.


 

Robyn Davy, MA, BC-DMT, LCPC-S

Robyn E. Davy’s past educational experience is unique in that she received a Master’s degree in both Dance Movement Therapy and in Counseling; therefore, she has developed both verbal counseling skills and Dance Movement Therapy skills, with a specialization in the field of Psychotherapy. She believes that movement can provide a great outlet for individuals to express their needs. Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) is a modality, which she believes, provides true corrective emotional experiences. Such therapy also provides the context of the human connection, demonstrating how relationships can be healing. Her experience has shed particular competency in working with children and adults with severe emotional disorders, anxiety/mood disorders, trauma, crisis prevention, attachment, and parent-child relational issues. Specifically, she has been trained extensively in using Dance Movement Therapy as an approach and modality for healing and alternative methods of expression. In working with children and adolescents in an alternative setting for over five years, she has developed a particular proficiency in facilitating group therapy augmented by dance movement therapy techniques and theory. As a therapist, her style is achieved by being playful and firm, challenging and nurturing, and ready to leap into the moment with her clients, joining their journeys. It is a goal of hers to always bring inner needs, thoughts, feelings, and impulses back to the body, thus balancing verbal with nonverbal methods. Robyn Davy, takes a whole centered approach to working with children of all ages, within their family systems. 


Charmyn Henderson, MSA, LCPC
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

Charmyn Henderson, MSA, LCPC is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the state of Maryland. She has a unique blend of professional experiences serving children, young adults and families within the fields of Mental Health and Special Education. She holds master’s degrees in Mental Health Counseling and Education Administration. She also completed graduate coursework toward certification in Special Education/Emotional Disorders. With this combination of training, Charmyn has provided close to 30 years of early intervention, transition, vocational and/or mental health services to families and youth ages 4 -22 within public and private, academic and mental health settings across the Baltimore/Washington Metropolitan area.

Charmyn completed her Mental Health Counseling training in 2014 at Bowie State University in Bowie, MD. While there she chose Adlerian therapy as her concentration and uses this family-focused psychoanalytic approach to help identify the root causes and triggers for behaviors and thought patterns that may impact or impede interactions with the world around us as we move throughout the natural life cycle. Since that time, Charmyn has received additional training in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Play Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence, and Abuse Intervention. Charmyn uses this aspect of her training to address the mental health needs of children and families in crisis as well as helping youth and families to adopt self-advocacy and prevention strategies to deter exposure to trauma, abuse and/or crisis.

Prior to her transition to Mental Health, Charmyn served as a Special Education teacher, coordinator and policy administrator in our area’s public and private school systems. She now uses these experiences to help youth and parents normalize the transitional needs identified during the school years, especially those needs surrounding placement in Special Education programs and determining Individualized Education Plan (IEP) outcomes. Given her collective training and experiences, Charmyn most enjoys opportunities that allow her to use her experiences together. As a result, she has developed a passion for helping young children through teens develop the social and self-regulation skills needed for school readiness, positive self-esteem, healthy identity formation and a sense of overall wellness.


Monica Pimienta, M.A.
Psychology Associate

Monica Pimienta is a Psychology Associate in the state of Maryland. She received her Master of Arts degree in psychology from The American University in Washington, DC in 2007. She completed the child track of the clinical psychology internship at Columbia University Medical Center where she specialized in the treatment of disruptive behavior disorders. Monica is trained in a variety of treatment orientations, including psychodynamic psychotherapy and behavioral and cognitive behavioral techniques. She is trained in a number of evidenced-based treatments including Parent-Child Interaction Therapy for young children with behavioral problems and Interpersonal Psychotherapy for adolescents with mood disorders. She has experience in individual psychotherapy, family psychotherapy, group therapy, and psychological assessment.

Monica has 12 years of work experience with children and adolescents in home based outpatient therapy programs, community mental health centers, and schools. Since 2013, she has worked as an ESOL Counselor for Montgomery County Public Schools where she provides crisis intervention and individual and group multicultural and bilingual counseling services to ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) elementary and middle school students. She specializes in culturally competent and trauma informed practices in her work with students and families.

Monica takes a holistic, resilience based, and collaborative approach to counseling, working closely with clients, families, and other professionals to develop the most effective treatment plans. She believes in providing a safe space in which to process and explore emotions, as well as develop effective coping skills and strategies that result in improved social and emotional wellbeing.


Tutors

Ginny McDonald
Tutoring Supervisor

Ginny McDonald earned a BS degree in business administration from George Mason University. She has tutored at TLC for 19 years. Ginny is certified to teach the Phono-Graphix reading system. She also uses Visualizing & Verbalizing, TouchMath, and other programs as needed. She teaches preschool through middle school reading, writing, math, and study skills. Ginny has worked with students with diagnosed learning differences in math and reading (dyslexia), ADHD, executive functioning difficulties, and autism spectrum disorder.


Kum Akab-A-Sei

Kum Akab-A-Sei holds a BS degree from Bowie State University where he studied Math education. He is also a Master of Education holder from Concordia University, Nebraska. Kum Akab-A-Sei began his teaching career as a high school Physics and Math teacher and later became the Principal of a High School in Cameroon for six years before relocating to the United States of America. Here in the US he is a certified math teacher (7-12) and has worked as such in the Montgomery County Public Schools, Maryland. Currently, he is a digital Math teacher with Arizona State University Academy Prep School. Kum has thus been a seasoned Math teacher for over 20 years. He tutors in math for TLC, especially the middle school and higher levels of math.


Andrew Barrett

Andrew Barrett has a B.A. from LaSalle University and a MA.Ed from Eastern University in St. Davids, PA. Andrew has been teaching for the past 19 years with 17 of those at the middle school level. He is certified in communication and middle school math in PA and Middle Years Math in Maryland. Andrew currently teaches Middle School Math in Prince George’s County Public Schools. Andrew tutors math from middle school to mid-high school Level. Andrew has been a tutor for many years in various positions as well as a coach for sports teams with teens.


Faith Beltran

Faith Beltran received her International Montessori Certification for Primary age students from University of California, Irvine. She taught in Montessori schools in both California and Maryland for pre-school, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade for twelve years. In 2013, she received her Masters of Arts in Teaching in Elementary with a focus in Special Education from University of Southern California. She has been employed with MCPS for the last seven years as a third and second grade teacher teaching in an inclusive classroom. She currently tutors in the areas of reading skills, writing, and math skills for students of all ages and disabilities and is also experienced with teaching study skills, executive functions, and other attention/ time management needs. Faith believes that all children are capable of learning if given the proper motivation, interest, experiences, time and repetition.


Anne Bouchard

Anne Bouchard received an MA degree in Public Communications from The American University and a B.S. in Languages & Linguistics from Georgetown University. While at Georgetown she began tutoring students in two of her fluency languages: French and Spanish. Since 2012 she has been a substitute for teachers and para educators with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). Anne has extensive experience working with students in the elementary grades, including those with learning differences. At TLC Anne works with students of elementary age in reading and writing and applies an adaptive, patient, and caring approach to encourage optimal learning.


Mindy Hicks

Mindy Hicks graduated from the University of Maryland with a BS in general elementary education and Special Education She was a special education teacher for several years before working in the IT sector as a business analyst. Since then, she has worked with children with the National Center for Missing and Exploited children and as a court-appointed advocate. When she isn’t working with children she enjoys learning about health and wellness. She has run marathons, half-marathons, and 10Ks. As a child, Mindy really enjoyed going to school and loved her teachers. She knew that she was destined to teach children. Her long-held view is that early education is vitally important to inspire children to advance in life emotionally, intellectually, and socially. Mindy tutors students in math, reading, and writing in Kindergarten through 6th grade.


Jennifer Joseph

Jennifer Joseph received her BA in English Literature from the University of Maryland. She has worked as a tutor for TLC for 15 years. Jennifer works with middle and high school students as well as adults in reading comprehension, grammar, spelling, and writing skills. In addition, she teaches time management, organizational and study skills, as well as test preparation for the Verbal and Essay portions of the SAT and ACT exams and the English/Verbal and Reading portion of Montgomery College’s Accuplacer Assessment Test. Jennifer has worked with students and adults with ADHD, dyslexia, executive function difficulties, and autism spectrum disorders.


Robin Mesnard

Robin Mesnard has been a certified Special Education Teacher for more than 30 Years.  She has recently retired from a career with Montgomery County Public Schools.  She is a Highly Qualified teacher for grades k-8, and a certified Special Education teacher for students ages birth – 21.  Robin received a BSED in Special Education from the University of Delaware and did her graduate work at the  University of Maryland and Hood College.  She was also a CPR instructor and a Hebrew School teacher.  Robin is currently tutoring for TLC in Reading (including Phonics), Writing, Elementary Math, and Organizational skills.  Robin uses an upbeat -” fun” approach to learning where her students can shine.


Jeanie Motsinger

Jeanie Motsinger has a B.S. degree in Psychology/Marketing from Texas A&M University.  She began her tutoring career at TLC and is returning after years of private tutoring in the area.  Jeanie enjoys working with students in elementary, middle and high school.  She tutors in the areas of math, reading, writing and organization skills.  The greatest reward in tutoring is watching a student progress and gain confidence in their abilities.  It is always a bonus to hear the words “Oh, now I get it!”


Charlotte Rest

Charlotte Rest received her B.S. from the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana and her tutoring certification from The Kingsbury Center in Washington, D.C. She has 10 years tutoring experience focusing on middle school, high school, and adult students. Ms. Rest’s area of expertise is mathematics, including statistics and pre-calculus. She also tutors for school admission tests and executive functioning coaching.


Edythe Runett

Edythe Runett has a B.S. in Education from the University of Maryland, and a Masters Equivalency. She has taught elementary school in Baltimore County, Montgomery County, and overseas for the Department of Defense Overseas Dependent Schools. She teaches all ages in reading, using phonics-based reading programs including the Wilson Reading System, Explode the Code, and Primary Phonics. Edythe has been with TLC for 22 years.


Judy Taylor

Judy Taylor, M.Ed., tutor and longtime educator has served in teaching roles from primary to adult education programs. She is focusing on the elementary-age student at TLC for reading, writing, and math.

Judy’s previous experience in education also included a local newspaper column on education issues in Colorado and serving as a Colorado education news reporter. Her volunteer work included the role of publicist for a Children First campaign and guest writing teacher.

Judy enjoys hiking and participating in local Maryland Senior Olympic events in her spare time, as well as family-related activities with her eight-year-old grandson.


Adam Vogel

Adam Vogel went to Towson University where he graduated with a degree in History. He currently works with high school students with special needs at the Katherine Thomas School. In particular, he teaches social studies and career development at KTS. Adam has years of experience working with individuals with various disabilities, ranging from fifth grade through adulthood. He specializes in tutoring social studies and reading comprehension for middle school and high school students. Additionally, he has worked with students on in test-taking strategies and skills, as well as executive functioning techniques.