Meet Our Team

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Caroline Long

Executive Director

Caroline’s life was drastically changed with the births of her two children, and then again a few years later when they were both diagnosed with autism. Since then, Caroline has devoted herself to navigating the trials and triumphs of their day-to-day lives in a world where the recognition and treatment of autism are still in the very early stages. Grounded in her faith in God, Caroline’s drive to learn about every facet of autism spectrum disorder has proven invaluable in helping her two children live and thrive in a typical environment amongst their peers. Through this first-hand experience with her own children, Caroline decided to share her knowledge with other individuals and families who were facing the same challenges. St. Gerard House was formed as a resource center for families with autism to provide services and also to give hope and stability. Now 8 years later, Caroline’s dream to build a place where the weary and despairing could come and feel encouraged about autism treatment possibilities has come to life. Because of St. Gerard House’s impact in the community, Caroline was the recipient of the 2014 Athena Award for Henderson County. When she is not busy at St. Gerard House, Caroline enjoys spending time with family and friends and taking advantage of the great outdoors in Western North Carolina.


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Rachael Cushing Cook MA, LPA, BCBA

Clinical Director

Rachael first learned about autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in the early 1990’s when her younger sister Catherine was diagnosed with moderate-to-severe autism. Catherine’s poor prognosis changed once the science of applied behavior analysis (ABA) was introduced to her educational and life skills curricula.  From that point on, Rachael’s course of study and future life goals focused on helping other children with ASD and their families. Rachael received her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina Asheville. While completing her bachelor’s degree and upon graduation, Rachael served as a lead behavior therapist for many years, working with several local individuals with autism using ABA. During this time, she received direct training from consultants out of UCLA’s Young Autism Project. In 2009, Rachael received her master’s degree in clinical psychology (clinical concentration in ABA) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington.  Shortly thereafter, she became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and acquired her North Carolina license to practice psychology (LPA). Rachael is excited to be working again in Western NC where so much of her initial training in the field of autism and ABA originated. It is her goal to enhance the local autism community by sharing all that she has learned since beginning this journey over 20 years ago.


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Brad Ward

Director of Finance

Brad is a native North Carolinian with ties all over the state. He came to us via Arthur Morgan School, a farm-based school near Burnsville, NC, where he lived and worked with his partner Kristen and their two children for five years.Brad served as the school's Finance Director. He graduated from the University of North Carolina - Greensboro with a BA in History and a NC teaching license and has worked in education, management, and finance. Brad brings an array of skills to the St Gerard House admin team.


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Lupita Aguillon RBT

Therapist

A graduate from North Henderson High School, Lupita holds a cosmetology license, as well as an Associates degree in Early Childhood Education. In addition to working at St. Gerard House, Lupita volunteers her time working with the Hispanic community for the diocese of Charlotte and is very passionate about her work with the youth at Immaculate Conception Church. She began volunteering with the Grotto school in 2010 and became a St. Gerard House staff member in the spring of 2012. St. Gerard House is extremely grateful to have Lupita’s dedication and passion at the Grotto school.


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Courtney Aker, RBT

Therapist

Courtney is originally from Orlando FL where she attended the Univeresity of Central Florida. She received her Associates of Science in Nursing in December of 2016. Her path changed when she met the wife of a dear friend who was a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. After hearing her story and shadowing her work, Courtney fell in love with ABA. She decided to go back to school and obtained her Bachelor of Science in Psychology in the summer of 2018. Courtney worked for an in-home therapy comapny while she finished up her degree. Courtney and her fiance decided to move to Asheivlle to be close to family and to begin her career at St. Gerrad House.

 

 


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Alexandra Bacon RBT

Therapy Team Lead

Alexandra was born in Florida and moved to New Hampshire when she was 12. She attended Plymouth State University for her bachelors in Criminal Justice. Alex was introduced to the autism community when she started working at a residential treatment facility in Northfield, NH. Shortly after her introduction, she knew that she wanted to continue to work with this population and further her knowledge in this field. She moved to North Carolina in 2015 and started working on her masters in Applied Behavior Analysis. Alex is also currently working towards obtaining her BCBA certification. In her free time, Alex enjoys hiking and kayaking.


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Jenny Baker RBT

Grotto I Program Coordinator

Jenny was raised in Hendersonville, NC and graduated from West Henderson High School.  After high school Jenny moved to Charlotte, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from UNC Charlotte.  In Jenny's past she danced on many dance teams, including UNC Charlotte Gold Dusters, Charlotte Checkers, and Carolina Panthers.  Her love of working with children on social, emotional, cognitive, and physical growth lead her to be an instructor and Manager at The Little Gyms of Charlotte for 3 years. She moved back to Hendersonville in Summer 2015 as a Lead Teacher in the Grotto Integration Summer Camp.  During integration, she was introduced to ABA and fell in love.  Jenny feels blessed to be back in the mountains, where she feels most at home.  In her spare time, Jenny likes to do yoga, go on hikes, visit the White Water Center in Charlotte, and go to the beach!


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Wilma Baldwin, RBT

Therapist

A lifelong resident of Hendersonville, Wilma is proud to call the mountains of WNC home! She has spent the last 15 years as an Early Childhood Educator, serving as lead teacher in a Pre-K classroom. In 2016 she worked as a Pre-K teacher in the St. Gerard House summer program, and fell in love with the job. She returned for the summer of 2017, and ended up working full time at G2 later that same year! Wilma is married to her high school sweetheart of almost 25 years, and says the hardest and most rewarding work of her life was helping to raise her three grown children. She has also served as a cross country coach (and proud team mom), youth group leader, hike leader for the Fontana area, and has spent two amazing summers working in the orphanages of the Dominican Republic. Her hobbies include hiking, cooking, spending time with family, and downtime with her two fur babies! Wilma is so excited to be a part of the amazing team here at the St Gerard House!


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Danielle Coronado, RBT

Therapist

Danielle was born and raised in West Monroe, Louisiana. She earned her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology at the University of Monroe Louisiana. Danielle started her journey with special needs working at a summer camp in 2009. There she learned how ABA changes not only the lives of children but the lives of their families. She moved to the beautiful mountains of Asheville in January 2017. In her spare time Danielle enjoys playing the piano, cooking, and exploring the city with her husband. She is so thankful she has found a place at SGH with great leadership and guidance in bettering herself as an ABA therapist.


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Cliff Cowan, BCBA

Senior ABA Supervisor

Cliff grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana, and received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from The University of the South (Sewanee) in 2010. That summer, after working as a counselor in Tuxedo, NC, he wanted to find a job related to his college major. He stumbled upon this place called St. Gerard House and, before he knew it, he was working as a front-line therapist at the Grotto Therapeutic Center. Over the next six years, Cliff gained knowledge and experience in a variety of SGH programs. He began pursuing a master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and took on the role of program coordinator, assisting with the development and oversight of consumer interventions. In 2016, Cliff had to move to Blacksburg, Virginia to be with his wonderful wife, Cate, as she attended the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. While in Virginia, he worked as a Senior Lead Behavior Technician at a center in Roanoke, serving students from 12 to 20 years old. Cliff graduated from Florida Institute of Technology with a master’s degree in ABA in the fall of 2017 and became a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) the following Summer. Cliff was elated to find out that there was a job opening at St. Gerard House after 2 years of being away. He and his wife moved back to Western NC and Cliff now works as a Behavior Analyst back where he started!


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Dawn Danner, RBT

Therapist

Dawn grew up in Pennsylvania and attended culinary school at IUP Academy of Culinary Arts after graduating high school. She relocated to WNC to complete an internship at The Grove Park Inn, and loved the area so much she decided to make it her home! She enrolled in AB-Tech as an Early Childcare major until she switched to Human Services in 2007. Dawn discovered her passion for helping people in 2013 while working at an adult day program in Swanananoa, and has been in the field ever since. She is now working on obtaining her RBT certification. Dawn is glad to be part of St. Gerard’s team, where the passion, caring and professionalism is unlike any program she’s seen.


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Yesenia Dominguez

Receptionist

Yesenia was born in Mexico and moved to Asheville when she was three years old. She graduated from Asheville High and then moved to Hendersonville in 2011, where she worked various administrative jobs before finding St. Gerard House in 2017. This is Yesenia’s first time working with individuals on the autism spectrum. In her spare time she enjoys cooking and spending time outdoors with her three children and husband. She is blessed to have found St. Gerard House and is excited to continue this journey to help bring awareness and hope to families in need.


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Zane Duncan, RBT

Therapist

Zane was born and raised in the Piedmont of North Carolina but has always had an attachment to WNC. He graduated with a bachelors in psychology from Appalachian State University in 2014. After spending a year seeing the country, he decided to settle in Asheville. Zane worked alongside individuals with autism as a one on one for ASNC. He fell in love with what he was doing and wanted to help in a more technical way. He learned about SGH through the Feed the Need program and became part of our team soon after. When he's not working Zane enjoys music, the outdoors, and traveling with his dog Mavis.


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Malindi Galloway, RBT

Therapist

Malindi is originally from Naivasha Kenya, she moved to North Carolina 7 years ago to go to college. Malindi earned a B.S. in Outdoor Education at Montreat College. This led her to teaching children, environmental education but took a turn when she started working as a social worker. Malindi worked at a treatment facility for teens for 2 years and found a deep passion for wanting to make a difference in the lives of children. Through good contacts of friends and family, Malindi was informed of St Gerard’s house and was excited to join the team. She could see St. Gerard House was making a difference in the lives of the most wonderful kids and wanted to be a part of it.


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Sophia Greco BCBA

Senior ABA Supervisor

A West Virginia native, Sophia graduated from West Virginia University in 2013 with her Masters in Special Education and General Education K-12. After graduation, Sophia spent three years in Charleston, South Carolina working as a Registered Behavior Technician for a company providing in-home applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy. Sophia moved to Asheville, NC in 2015 and began working as an RBT for St. Gerard House. In 2016, Sophia became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and took on the role as program coordinator for the Grotto Therapeutic Center in January 2017. Sophia is excited to call Western North Carolina her home and to have found St. Gerard House.


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Anna Hale, RBT

Anna was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. She earned her BA in mass communication from Georgia College & State University in 2016, and moved to Asheville shortly after graduation. Anna has always loved working with children. She worked at several summer camps and volunteered with a long-term youth development program for students living in underserved areas of Atlanta. She learned about SGH through a friend/current staff member, and quickly knew she wanted the opportunity to be part of this unique team and community. She's excited to learn from all the wonderful people at SGH and expand her knowledge in this field. When she's not working, Anna enjoys exploring the outdoors, cooking, and traveling.


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Brandi Hansen, RBT

Therapist

Brandi recently moved from Wisconsin with her husband and five children where she was working as a certified nursing assistant. She learned about St. Gerard house and ABA when looking for services for her oldest son who is on the spectrum and for her daughter who is hemiplegic. Brandi volunteered in the Grotto and her children began participating in the after-school programs offered. The life changing work being done and the amazing people motivated her to become an Registered Behavior Technician and do her field experience at St. Gerard house. Brandi will be obtaining her Bachelor's in Human Services in the fall of 2017. Brandi feels blessed to have found the St. Gerard house for her children and grateful that she can be part of such amazing work.


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Lainey Harrison RBT

Therapist

Lainey grew up in Charleston, SC. She majored in visual arts at Charleston County School of the Arts for both middle and high school. She earned a Bachelors in Studio Art at the College of Charleston with a concentration in painting. Lainey first began working in this field in 2012 with The Enola Group in Morganton, NC doing art therapy with participants at Signature Day Program. She joined The Grotto in 2016 and currently works in the Garden, Art, and Culinary programs for Feed the Need.


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Erica Hill, BCBA

ABA Supervisor

Erica Hill moved to Asheville from Charleston in 2012 after spending her second summer at a nearby girl's summer camp. Erica studied psychology at the College of Charleston and provided in-home ABA services for children with autism. Since moving to Asheville, she has enjoyed the opportunity to  work with both adolescents and young children at St. Gerard House. Erica is thrilled to be a part of the team at St. Gerard House and is thankful for the opportunity to work with wonderful people every day!


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Juliette Jacov, RBT

Garden Therapist

Juliette Jacov is originally from New York, where she received a bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in Global Studies from Binghamton University in 2016. She moved to Asheville in 2017 and began working in the mental health field as a residential counselor at a psychiatric treatment facility. Juliette found St. Gerard House in her search for a smaller organization that celebrates creativity and allows its employees to intertwine their interests and skills with their work. She has found gardening to be an amazing platform for communication and growth, and she is grateful to have the opportunity to explore this field through that framework. In addition to her work at St. Gerard House Juliette runs the sustainable candle production business Sage and Sunflowers.

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