Did you know?
Speech-Language Pathologists have extensive education and training!
120 credits for a Bachelor's degree as a pre-requisite to a required Master's program
A Master's program that includes 38 or more credits
400 Clinical practicing hours
9 month full time employment with direct supervision
Certification through the American Speech-Language Hearing Association ( ASHA )
At least 30 continuing education credit hours every 2 years
LOREN J. DLUGOS, M.S. CCC-SLP
Loren began her career as a speech-language pathologist after receiving her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees at Towson University. While at Towson, Loren graduated Magna Cum Laude in her undergraduate studies and was a recipient of the Faculty Award for Graduate Academic Excellence in graduate school. She has been a practicing speech-language pathologist for over 19 years. Loren has experience in evaluating and treating children and adults with varying diagnoses and disorders in a variety of settings. However, she has a passion for pediatrics and has chosen to specialize in childhood disorders and delays. She has received specialized training in Hanen’s “It Takes Two To Talk,” PROMPT and PECS. Loren holds her Certificate of Clinical Competency from the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and is licensed to practice in the state of Maryland. She has received an ASHA Award for Continuing Education (ACE) in 2008 and 2017 for her commitment to lifelong learning by attending above and beyond the required hours of course work to further her expertise within the field of speech-language pathology. She also subscribes to The Informed SLP to stay up to date monthly on the most recent research to implement into her evaluations and treatment sessions.
Crystal Palacios is a former Authorization & Referral Specialist. She currently lives in the state of Florida. She is the proud mom of three beautiful kids. She has a connection to therapy as her youngest daugther is autistic and recieves various therapies. Her daughter gives her a true passion for her job at Strides Therapy & Educational Services. When not at work, Crystal loves to listen to music and go on adventures with her kids.
Amy was born and raised on a dairy farm in Mars, Pennsylvania and grew up doing daily chores, milking and showing their cattle during the summer months. After high school she attended Butler County Community College in Butler, PA receiving her Associates degree in Applied Science with an emphasis in the medical field. Amy has several years experience working with children, their families and the public. Helping people, no matter what the age, has always been a passion for Amy. She became a stay-at-home mom for 7 years while her 3 children were young and then rejoined the workforce as a family liaison for a school-based behavioral health program. Amy then moved into a billing specialist position with the same agency and still works part-time for them. She is also still milking cows 3 days a week for a local farm to help pay for her horse habit. She currently resides in Greenville, PA and enjoys spending time with her kids, her animals and her friends. She has 2 dogs, 5 cats (only 2 indoor) and 4 horses. Her favorite thing to do in her spare time is haul her daughters to barrel races on the weekends and camp. She is a member of the Penn-Ohio Barrel Racing Association where she holds a position on the board and has held the website coordinator position for the last 3 years. Amy also loves watching her son play football.
BETHANY LEMAK, M.S. CCC-SLP
SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST / CLINICAL SUPERVISOR
Bethany’s passion for speech language pathology started early in her life. While working on her undergraduate degree
at Bloomsburg University, she was a member of the Bloomsburg University Honors Program. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. Additionally, she received a minor in Psychology at Bloomsburg University and was invited to be a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. She was selected to present her own Honors research study related to the field of speech language pathology at the National Collegiate Honors Council conference in Chicago in 2015. She went on to earn a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology at Towson University. During graduate school and beyond, she has worked in diverse settings to treat and evaluate both children and adult clients with widespread diagnoses and disorders.
JULIA KUSTUSCH, M.S. CCC-SLP
Julia’s passion for language and communication began early in life when she learned English as her second language at the age of 8. This experience emphasized the importance of language and communication. She earned her undergraduate degree in Hearing and Speech Sciences at the University of Maryland and her Master’s of science in Speech Language Pathology at Loyola University of Maryland in 2014. Julia has experience working with clients of all ages (infants-geriatric) in a variety of settings. Currently Julia services students in local public schools as well as our clinic.
Erin Taylor, M.S. CCC-SLP
EDUCATIONAL SERVICES MANAGER
Erin received her Bachelor and Master of Sciences in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. She has over 12 years of experience working in the educational setting with a few years of home health and SNF sprinkled in. Erin started her career as a CF in Pittsburgh, PA. She then moved to Orlando, Florida for two years. However, the majority of her time was spent in Phoenix, Arizona where she worked in both the public and private school settings. During her time in the public schools, she serviced students in all areas of educational disabilities from Preschool- 12th grade. Her last two years in Phoenix were spent at Foundation for Blind Children, a private day school for students with Visual Impairments. Servicing these students became a passion of hers and she spent an abundance of time learning all she could about the VI world. She was then able to take her knowledge learned to train other therapists at local universities, schools and the National ASHA Convention. Later in her career, she served as both the Related Services Manager and the Assistant Director of School Based services at the Foundation for Blind Children. She enjoys the opportunity to lead, train and develop staff in all areas of special education. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her husband, Conor, and their family. She recently relocated back to Pennsylvania to be closer to family.
Chelsey Yorks, M.A. CCC-SLP
BIO coming soon.
Radhiya Flanders, M.S. CCC-SLP
Radhiya Flanders lives in Chesapeake Beach, Maryland. She received her Master’s degree from Howard University in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Radhiya is licensed by the state of Maryland and has her Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She has been working as a Speech-Language Pathologist for over 19 years, primarily in early intervention programs, clinical and school-based settings. She has spent a large amount of her career working on increasing communication skills for elementary students and improving language, self-advocacy and transition skills for secondary students. Radhiya has worked in a number of schools in Maryland as well as Washington, D.C. and Connecticut. In her free time, Radhiya enjoys reading, shopping, traveling, dining at different restaurants around the DMV with friends and spending time with family. Radhiya looks forward to working with families on ways to increase communication skills in their child’s daily lives.
Brittany Chelchowski, M.S. CCC-SLP
Brittany’s desire to become an SLP began in high school after observing the transforming impact a family friend had on his students as an SLP in a public school and charter school. In 2013, she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology from Andrews University in Michigan. During her undergraduate experience, Brittany spent a year of service teaching 4th and 5th grade in the Philippines. While learning the Palawano language in the Philippines, Brittany realized the importance of her training as an SLP. She completed her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology at Towson University in Maryland. She holds her Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and is licensed in the state of Maryland. Brittany has worked for Anne Arundel County Public Schools for 5 years where she evaluated and treated children with a variety of diagnoses and disorders. While working in the school setting, Brittany helped complex communicators use AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication). She is looking forward to collaborating with families to help their children grow in their communication skills. In her free time, Brittany enjoys traveling and hiking with her husband.
Tyra Hedgepeth, M.S., OTR/L
Tyra is a graduate from Howard University, where she was exposed to a culturally diverse and research intensive occupational therapy program. She is passionate about working with all children of varying diagnoses, but has a special interest in those with autism spectrum disorder. She recently became a certified autism specialist and plans to continue learning about this unique and special population. She enjoys making each therapy session fun, creative, and individualized to meet each child’s needs. She is originally from southwest Virginia and now has been living in the DMV area most recently. She enjoys spending free time with her daughter, family, and friends.
Olivia zambruno, M.S. CF-SLP
Clinical Fellow Speech-Language Pathologist
Olivia Zambruno is from Mount Pleasant Pennsylvania. She attended Penn State University for both undergrad and graduate school. There, she completed her Master’s of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders. While at Penn State she played on the Women’s Golf Team for four years and graduated with honors. During graduate school, she presented her research on Language Profiles and Individual Differences of Autistic Adults at the ASHA national conference. She is passionate about helping individuals communicate through Augmentative and Alternative Communication and she is looking forward to expanding her knowledge about pediatric feeding disorders and early intervention therapy. Her interests outside of Speech Therapy are golfing, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. She is looking forward to her Clinical Fellow year at Strides Therapy and being part of the team.
NICOLE SPENCER, B.A., C-SLPA
SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY ASSISTANT
Nicole is a licensed and ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathology Assistant. Although her career began in the legal field, she was drawn to the field of speech pathology when her mother suffered a stroke and lost her ability to speak (called “aphasia”). She began pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in 2018 and graduated from University of Maryland (UMD), College Park, with a Bachelor of Arts in Hearing and Speech Sciences in the Fall of 2020. At UMD, she gained valuable clinical experience through observation, volunteering, and internships. Nicole also has more than two decades of childcare experience and is passionate about helping her clients succeed. Nicole also has certification from the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA). She loves helping families facilitate speech, communication, language, and play. Nicole strongly believes that communication is a foundational building block to developing relationships, and therefore takes pride in her work as she strives to help others find their voice.
BUSINESS MANAGER and SPECIAL EDUCATOR/TUTOR
Hi. I’m Karen Knight. I am excited to join the Strides Speech Therapy team! I am a former elementary school teacher and
a mom of 3 kids, 2 of whom currently receive speech therapy. I have 10 years of experience teaching in both MD and TX.
I have taught First, Second, and Third grade, as a General Educator as well as a Special Educator. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Master‘s Degree in Special Education. I am also National Board Certified in Early Childhood Generalist. I enjoy CrossFit, reading, and snowboarding when I get the chance. I also love Disney!
Linda Omole M.S. OTR/L
Bio coming soon
This is an an open position.
Melissa J. Boston, ABD / M. Ed.
SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER
Melissa (she/her/hers) has worked across DC and Maryland in the field of special education for 20+ years mostly within nonpublic/specialized K-12 schools and spent 8 of those years as a Principal. She is trained and certified in several areas including restraint and seclusion, restorative practices, and the science of reading, specifically Orton Gillianham approaches, Wilson, and SPIRE. Currently, Melissa is an educational consultant and co-founder of her non-profit Mindworks Collaborative. She also serves as program site-supervisor for the Early Childhood Special Education program within the Graduate School of Education and Human Development at George Washington University while working on her dissertation for her Doctorate program. Melissa’s research interests include Restraint and Seclusion Practices, Equity in Education, Teacher & Administrator Wellbeing, and Education Policy.