Meet the Team

Lorell Marin founded LEEP Forward in 2001 out of her desire to create innovative and inclusive learning environments for all children. She expanded this vision in 2018 to include a school focusing on Diverse Learners.  Lorell holds a Masters in both Social Work, Teaching, specializing in Special Education and a host of other credentials that may just complete the alphabet! She believes in offering a choice by listening to the child's voice (she knows kids communicate in a variety of ways so being a detective and honing your observation skills is helpful). 

Lorell Marin

Founder & CEO

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

Jacob Morgan

Director of Institutional Performance

Jacob arrives at LEEP after serving as Director of Sports Operations at Chicago Public Schools where he oversaw logistics for over 20,000 student-athletes and compensation of over 1,500 coaches. His previous stints were as a Dean in the Noble Network of Charter Schools, Assistant Principal at Intrinsic Schools, and Acero Schools respectively. 

 

Jacob earned his B.S. in Education from Northern Illinois University. He also received a Masters in Education (M.Ed) in Educational Leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

 

Jacob resides in the Beverly community and enjoys spending quality time with his wife, Ashanti and their three children, Jacobi, Miles, and Aubrey.

Michaja Johnson,

Executive Clinical Director

 M.S. OTR/L

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. 

Anna Gray,

Senior Physical Therapist

PT, DPT

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.

Lesa Bricker-Reich ,

Office Administrator 

Lesa is honored to be part of the Quantum team in the Administrative offices and be witness to the magic that happens everyday. Prior to working at Quantum, Lesa was a Concierge at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago. When not working at Quantum, you can find Lesa living her life’s passion acting in Chicago and hanging out with her Husband and twin boys. Lesa feels gratitude for such an amazing life and looks for the joy everywhere!

Erin Gaffney,

Speech and Language Pathologist

M.S., SLPCF

 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

MS, OTR/L

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

MS, OTR/L

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

LCSW

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. 

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. 

Amanda Bird,

Senior BCBA

Amanda is originally from the south suburbs of Chicago. She has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Millikin University and a Master's degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. As a BCBA, Amanda has worked in public schools, therapeutic schools, private homes and workshop settings with children, adolescents and adults. She has also worked as a Master Trainer for QBS, Inc., training individuals across the U.S. to be Safety Care Trainers and Specialists. 

 

When Amanda is not working, she enjoys spending time with her young daughter and friends, exploring new and free events in the community, listening to live music and decorating for her favorite holidays

Halloween and Christmas.

Alli Stark,

Mentor 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,

Mentor 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

MS

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,

Classroom Coordinator

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

disabilities.

 

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.

Will Nicholson,

Classroom Coordinator

Bio coming soon

Danni Krehbiel,

Classroom Coordinator

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.

Ella Zhu,

Assistant Clinician

MSW

Bio- coming soon

Ashley Agustin,

Assistant Clinician 

Ashley is a Chicagoland native born and raised in the north suburbs of Chicago. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Human Physiology at the University of Iowa in 2016. Ashley is currently completing a dual master’s degree in Human Development and Special Education through an online program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

 

Ashley’s experience working with children began with volunteering at local and university hospitals where she was planning on pursuing a career in child life. She later completing a practicum at Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center working with children who had suffered some sort of physical, emotional, or sexual trauma. She also completed a year as a behavior therapist where she primarily worked with children who were non-verbal on the autism spectrum. This is where she began wanting to pursue a different path, wanting to become a developmental therapist. 

 

When Ashley isn’t working or studying you can find her working out at Pure Barre, exploring Pinterest for recipes and interior design ideas, spending time with friends and family, and traveling.

Molly Campbell

Assistant 

Clinician- MSW

Molly is a recent graduate from Dominican University where she earned a Masters Degree in Social Work. Before that she completed a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology Human Services and a minor in Leadership Studies at St. Norbert College. 

 

During graduate school Molly worked at a therapeutic elementary school serving young children who struggle with the social, emotional, and behavioral demands of school. She also had an internship creating a safe and stimulating environment with older adults who experienced physical and cognitive concerns. She has spent the last year assisting diverse individuals and their loved ones with their continuity of care by organizing safe and suitable discharge plans at an Oak Park medical center. After working with and experiencing many different individuals and populations, Molly is excited to return to her passion of working with children and their families. She is hoping to get her clinical license in future. 

 

In her spare time, Molly loves spending time with family and friends, cheering on the Cubs, and all things Halloween. She never turns down a Dunkin’ iced coffee and is always on the search for the best slice of pizza. She is so excited to be joining the LEEP team! 

Grace Flowers

Assistant 

Clinician

Grace is a recent University of Iowa graduate where she received her B.S. in Therapeutic Recreation with a certificate in Disability Studies. Her passion of working in this field was solidified during a summer experience in a residential facility with chronically ill children. Through this experience, she realized that she wanted to pursue a helping profession to assist every child in reaching their full potential.

 

She has completed an internship at Chicago’s Lurie Children’s Hospital where she fell in love working with children diagnosed with behavioral and cognitive delays. Grace has worked in a wide variety of settings with diverse clientele ranging from community camps to clinical settings. She’s passionate about applying her skills and knowledge in order to help children flourish. She hopes to continue her education by earning her Child Life degree in the near future.

Alexandra Stark

Assistant 

Clinician

I grew up in the north suburbs of Chicago. I received a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Illinois State University, Go Redbirds! While attending, I was a research assistant in the developmental psychology department for two years studying young adolescents and fellow ISU students. After graduation I started working as a special education associate in my hometowns district. After two years of being a one on one associate, I began working in an educational life skills classroom that was brand new to our district. 

 

In my free time I like to spend time with friends, cuddling with my family's dog, reading, and binging the occasional netflix show! I am also a big Cubs fan! 

I am very excited to be joining the LEEP team and can't wait to start!

Megan Michaels,

Assistant Clinician

Megan is a native of the southwest suburbs of Chicago and recently earned her bachelor's degree in applied psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Since the start of her high school education, she has been volunteering and working with children and adolescents in various settings- most recently, she supported youth at her internship with Gads Hill Center last fall. Megan is so excited to begin her journey at LEEP Forward!

 

In her free time, Megan enjoys practicing yoga, spending time with her dog, scrapbooking with her grandma, and learning about filmmaking.

Brianna Cameron, 

Assistant 

Clinician

I am a Chicago native. I received a Bachelors in Biology from the HBCU, North Carolina A&T State University. After graduating in 2019, I came back to Chicago and worked as a Mental Health Counselor at a therapeutic residential program with students on the autism spectrum that have suffered from depression, anxiety, sexual and emotional trauma. This included transitional learning experiences and crisis intervention. 

My favorite thing to do is gain new experiences during my free time so exploring unknown locations or trying new food are my go-tos! 

Emily Rourke

Assistant 

Clinician

Bio Coming Soon

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Quantum LEEP Academy

1447 W. Montrose

Chicago, IL. 60613

(773) 944-0864