Meet the Team

Lorell Marin

Lorell Marin founded LEEP from her desire to create innovative and inclusive learning environments for all children. In 2004, she founded LEEP Forward Developmental Therapy Clinic & Therapeutic Preschool. In 2018, Quantum LEEP Academy opened it's doors at 1447 W Montrose. Lorell holds a Masters in both Social Work and Teaching, specializing in Special Education. She is a credentialed Developmental Therapist, DIR® Floortime Certified, a certified Play Project Consultant in training,  also currently training in Sensory Enrichment Therapy™ or Mendabilty, and is completing her Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) certification. 


Her expertise in multiple approaches fueled the LEEP philosophy, of marrying the methodologies to create individual programs and watch each child flourish. Lorell has expanded on that vision creating LEEP Beyond Non-profit.

Founder & CEO

MST., DT., M.S.W.

Michaja Johnson,

Clinical Director


Michaja is the Director of Related Services as well as Occupational Therapy.  She received her masters degree in Occupational Therapy from Western Michigan University. She is driven by a passion for her work with parents and children who are affected by sensory processing challenges.

Ashley Ganski, 

Chief Operating Officer

Ashley is a Chicagoland native with a passion for executing visions and supporting professionals making an impact in their field. She is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a Bachelor’s Degree in communications and has spent her career gaining experience in communications, marketing strategy, project management and sales execution across various types of industries including healthcare, finance, media and entertainment.  

Dana Hutchins

Head of School

M.S., D.T.

Dana is a credentialed Developmental Therapist, she received her professional DIR-FCD Model certificate in Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Development through the Profectum Foundation. 


 Dana received her undergraduate degree in ElementaryEducation from the University of Wisconsin and taught in the public schools in Aiken, South Carolina. Dana returned to Chicago and graduated from The Erikson Institute with a Master’s in Science with a focus in working with children with special needs. 

Elena Martinez,

Director of Billing and Insurance

Elena is the LEEP Forward Medical Insurance Advisor, Communications & Office Manager, helping families navigate through insurance benefits as swiftly and painlessly as possible.   Born in Chicago, she is a graduate of DePaul University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce. 

Maia Brake,

Senior Social Worker


Maia holds a Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from Michigan State University. During graduate school, Maia's focus was on working with children and families experiencing trauma. This gave Maia experience working with therapeutic models such as Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), Mindfulness and Interpersonal Neurobiology. 


After graduation, Maia spent time providing crisis intervention services to low-income children and young adults. Here, she developed skills for providing safety planning, crisis assessment and management, as well as an in-depth knowledge of the hospital system. 

Maia is a Basic DIR/Floortime Provider through The Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning (ICDL), as well as an Interactive Metronome (IM) provider. 


Maia has experience providing therapeutic and case management services to children, adolescents and their support people in outpatient, home-based and residential settings. In her spare time, Maia enjoys yoga, eating tacos and reading.

Anna Gray,

Senior Physical Therapist


Anna Gray grew up in Albany, NY and received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) from Ithaca College. Anna spent two clinical affiliations in pediatric physical therapy care, working in school-based and early intervention. She continued to work with children after graduation in a an outpatient pediatric setting in Boston, MA that further emphasized her love for working with all children.

Anna has always enjoyed movement as she played and coached soccer throughout her collegiate work. She has found her passion working, playing and building relationships with children, as well as incorporating movement and fun.

Alex Blank

Curriculum & Instruction Coordinator

Alex is a native of Northwest Indiana. She is the Curriculum and Instruction Coordinator at Quantum Leep Academy. Alex has a passion for creating unique and memorable experiences for children with learning differences. She is receiving her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Indiana Wesleyan University. Prior to receiving her master’s degree, Alex attended Purdue University where she received a dual bachelor’s in Elementary Education and Special Education.  

Alex has several years experience teaching children with autism, emotional and behavioral disabilities as well as speech and cognitive delays. Alex is excited about the opportunity she has at Quantum Leep to work with a multitude of children with different needs. 

Erin Gaffney,

Speech and Language Pathologist


 Erin graduated from Northern Illinois University with her masters in Speech-Language Pathology in May of 2018. Prior to attending NIU, Erin graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelors in Communication Sciences and Disorders.  Erin found joy in working with young children and also helping to empower parents.


 Erin has experience treating children on the autism spectrum as well as many speech and language disorders such as expressive/receptive language delay, articulation disorders, apraxia of speech, feeding disorders, and augmentative and alternative communication.

Lindsey Adams, Occupational Therapist


Lindsey grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago and received her Master's degree in Occupational Therapy from Midwestern University in Downers Grove, IL. Lindsey also has a Bachelors of Social Work (BSW), which she received from Indiana University, Bloomington. Much of Lindsey’s clinical and employment experiences involve working with children, including working for Ray Graham Association as the Activities Coordinator for their camp for children and adolescents with disabilities. Her demonstrated passion is to provide services to promote and support participation in everyday activities across multiple environments. She finds joy in seeing every child flourish and grow to their greatest potential.


In her spare time, Lindsey loves walking her 100 pound yellow labrador retriever, running along the lake, and spending time with family and friends!

Maggie Sladick, Occupational Therapist


Maggie was raised in the suburbs of Detroit, MI, before venturing to Kalamazoo to get her bachelors degree at Western Michigan University. Maggie discovered her passion for occupational therapy during her freshman year, and hasn’t looked back since! Maggie graduated with a bachelors degree in Interdisciplinary Health Services with a dual minor in psychology and holistic health care. She then took a year off to pursue another passion of hers, travel! Maggie moved down to Nashville, TN and worked as a full time nanny. Maggie’s been nannying for over 10 years- which made working in pediatrics second nature! While she loved the southern hospitality in Tennessee, she decided Midwest was best, and returned to WMU in Grand Rapids, MI to get her masters degree in occupational therapy.


In her free time, Maggie enjoys spending time with family and friends, trying out new restaurants, traveling, and attending barre workout classes! She is thrilled to be joining the LEEP team, and to start her time in Chicago- another new city to explore! 

Courtney DeBeul,

Social Work


Courtney is originally from Michigan and moved to Chicago in 2018. Courtney earned her Bachelor's degree in Social Work from Oakland University and went on to receive her  Master's degree in Social Work from Michigan State University. She is licensed by the State of Illinois as a clinical social worker (LCSW). Her education and career have always been focused on her passion for working with children and families. Courtney has been working with children with disabilities on and off for the past 5 years in school and clinical settings. In her free time she enjoys snuggling up with her two lazy dogs, going to concerts and spending time with her family and friends! Anna Gray

Jessica Carlisle,

Art Therapist

.Jessica is native to the Chicago land area. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Therapy from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. Jessica continued her studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and recently graduated with her Master of Arts in Art Therapy. Jessica has experience working alongside individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities. As an art therapist and trained professional counselor, Jessica focuses on building upon individual strengths and following the artist's lead. Her therapeutic approach is grounded in the notion that the process of making art can assist in enhancing one's well-being. Art therapy provides benefits such as building emotional literacy, providing sensory regulation, strengthening interpersonal awareness, enhancing self-confidence and independence, and strengthening problem solving skills. Jessica is excited about the opportunity to blend art making and art therapy to the person-centered model that already exists at Quantum Leep. 

Allyce Tayor, 


Bio coming soon

Caroline Smith,

Organizational Manager

Born and raised in Wheaton, IL, Caroline joined LEEP and Quantum LEEP Academy with more than a decade of child development experience working with children from a wide range of different developmental levels, cultural backgrounds, and various settings/environments.  She holds a BA in Human and Child Development from University of Texas-Austin and master's degrees from Erikson Institute in Child Development, and the coursework for a master’s degree from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Applied Behavior Analysis and is in the process of completing her BCBA.  She also completed internships at Chicago's Lurie Children's Hospital, Northwestern, and Central Dupage Hospital - All ’Bout Children (ABC) Pediatrics.   While she was a student at The Erikson Institute she worked for a medical researcher and spent the summer terms living and doing research on early child development programs in France and Singapore.


Caroline has found that her love of performing arts (speech, theatre, and dance) continues to enrich her professional interaction with children— broadening her ability to communicate effectively with them and their families. 

Alli Stark,

Lead Teacher

Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Alli moved to Chicago back in 2011. She graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 2015 with her B.S in Education specializing in Reading Instruction.  She has spent the past 3 years substitute teaching in Chicago Public Schools. Alli lives in Lakeview with her cat Josie, and spends her free time performing improv comedy.

Annie Jackson,

Lead Teacher

Minnesotan at heart, Annie moved to Chicago in the fall of 2017 after receiving her Bachelors degree in Vocal Music Education at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. There she found a deep passion for Adaptive Music, bringing music to all abilities. Since arriving in the city, Annie has completed the Second City Conservatory program and the iO improv program. She enjoys singing with her friends, trying new flavors of kombucha and finding new ways to use her crock pot. 

Kate Walker,

Lead Teacher

Kate attended Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana from 2012 to 2018. In 2016 she graduated with a B.S in Child Development and completed a Developmental Therapy internship where she fell in love working with children with autism and developmental delays. Kate then continued her education to receive a Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) with an emphasis in autism. During her Master’s program, she worked at the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders on Ball State’s campus as a peer mentor for students with autism who attended the university.


 Kate is hoping to sit for her BCBA exam this year to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst!

Elena (Leni) Rameriz,

Lead Teacher


Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Leni moved to Chicago in the summer of 2015! She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education granted from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico back in 2011 where she thought for four years . She has thought both in English and Spanish and loves to get messy!  She enjoys classic horror movies, doodleling, writing, playing scrabble and playing fetch with her cat Dr. Lamino Pickles! 

Evan Clayton,

PE Teacher

Majoring in Health and Human Performance with a minor in Recreation, Evan recently worked for the Whitewater Parks and Recreation Department.  Serving as an athletic coordinator for the City of Whitewater, Evan was also heavily involved with programming and teaching for the Whitewater summer/after school program as well.  Whether it is in a classroom or on a basketball court, Evan has developed an extreme passion for being around and working with kids of all ages.

Brooke Chelew,

Senior Assistant Clinician

Brooke is a recent graduate from Saint Louis University where she earned a degree in Psychology. While at school, she volunteered at an Equine Assisted Therapy facility where she

discovered her passion working with young children who have developmental and physical



She a year serving for an AmeriCorps program assisting in a 4th grade

classroom at an under-resourced school in North Lawndale. She hopes to continue her education by earning a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy

in the future.

Nakia Harvey,

 Assistant Clinician

Bio coming soon

Nyesha Jenkins,

Assistant Clinician

Nyesha Jenkins. is an alumna from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.  She aspires to become a pediatric occupational therapist. 

Danni Krehbiel,

Assistant Clinician

Bio coming soon

Nate Mount,

Assistant Clinician

Raised in both the Chicago suburbs and Northern Michigan Nate helped raise his now 14 nieces and nephews. He has spent three years as a member of RECESS the outreach program at the Playground theater where they play improv games with children in hospitals and youth centers. Through multiple programs he has worked with children in schools for recess, after school programs and Summer camps for four years.

Will Nicholson,

Assistant Clinician 

Bio coming soon

Cole Schlesinger

Assistant Clinician

Bio coming soon

Education Designed Differently. 

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Quantum LEEP Academy

1447 W. Montrose

Chicago, IL. 60613

(773) 944-0864