Founder & Executive Director
Dr. Colleen CornwallBCBA-DFounder & Executive Director
Kim RaiserBCaBAAssistant Director
Kristine KochBCBAClinical Director
Jen SchaaffBCBAOutreach Coordinator
Early Intervention / Clinical Team
Melissa PhillipsCertified Interventionist
Savannah ArcasCertified Interventionist
Shayne TreuberCertified Interventionist
Primary School Team
Alicia DavisCertified InterventionistCurriculum Coordinator
Ryan RomeroCertified InterventionistMusic Therapist
Secondary School Team
Cassie ChaseBCaBAWork Study Coordinator
Jake ZacariasCertified Interventionist
Maddie PetersonCertified InterventionistMusic Therapist
Nikki OpeoduCertified Interventionist
Founder and Executive Director of ABLE Academy, Colleen lives every day by her personal mantra, “Pursue Passion, Inspire Through Action.” She is a Nationally Board Certified Behavior Analyst who has been practicing ABA since 1996. Colleen holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Emotional/Behavioral Disturbances and Communication, a Master of Science in Varying Exceptionalities Education with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), and a Doctorate of Education in Special Education with an emphasis in Curriculum Design. As a classroom teacher, Colleen worked with a wide range of differently ABLE-d learners. Colleen also served as a Behavior Analyst for Collier County Public Schools, providing behavioral intervention to a wide range of children and educational programming to children with autism.
In 2013, Colleen co-authored an assessment and curriculum with colleagues, Dr. Patrick McGreevy and Troy Fry, entitled Essentials for Living.
As a consultant, Colleen works with teams across the US to build behavioral and educational programs, providing planning, development, training, and support. The three-tiered model of instruction developed by Colleen has been replicated in several states across the US. Colleen’s greatest honor was working with a team in Rwanda to develop programming and provide training to teachers and parents at Autisme Rwanda, the only school in Africa specifically for children with autism.
Colleen’s vision drives ABLE Academy’s mission and she enjoys the hands-on approach to the things that matter most ~ the education and growth of differently ABLE-d children.
Kim is the Assistant Director at ABLE Academy and has been a member of the team since 2001. She graduated cum laude from Florida Gulf Coast University with a degree in Emotional and Behavioral Disorder Education. Kimberly is a certified teacher and earned her Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst certification in 2003. Kim has worked with children with developmental disabilities and severe emotional disorders in home, community, and school settings in Naples since 1998. When Kimberly is not working at ABLE Academy, she enjoys spending time with her family, enjoying live music and spending time outdoors.
Kristine received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Hamilton College and her Masters Degree in Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis from Nova Southeastern University. Kristine is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who has experience working with individuals with special needs in school, home, and community settings since 2003. In Kristine's role as the Clinical Director, she provides direct service to clients, parent training, and staff supervision and support. Kristine's daily mission is to have a positive impact on those around her, whether it be clients, parents of clients, or other staff members, and she strives to make each day better than the last!
Jen practices her personal motto everyday ~ She who persists prevails. She received her Masters degree in Counseling with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis from Nova Southeastern University in 2010. Jen is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Coordinator of the STAR Outreach Initiative. She has been a member of the ABLE team since 2005. Jen specializes in the treatment of clients with problem behavior, developmental delays including autism, and clients with limited language repertoires. Jen provides direct service, training, and supervision in ten local childcare centers. She has been instrumental in designing programs for learners and in developing general protocols for preschool classrooms. Jen is a member of ABLE Academy's Leadership Team.
Maria graduated cum laude from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and eared her Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology from Capella University. Maria is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with ABLE Academy’s Early Intervention program who works tirelessly for her clients. She is driven by the success of children and is committed to providing them with skills and tools that will help them excel in life. Maria enjoys baking, eating sushi and spending time with family. Maria is a devoted cat and dog mom!
Melissa hails from Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University. She is the mom of an adult son who is on the Autism Spectrum and implemented his early education at home via the Ohio Virtual Academy. Prior to joining the ABLE Academy team, she taught at the Montessori Academy of Naples. Melissa knows how important movement is for all people, and brings a special certification as a POUND instructor to learners in the Early Intervention program. Melissa is an avid reader with a book in progress at all times. She is a firm believer of the message in her favoriteDr. Seuss book, “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”
Savannah is a graduate of Florida Gulf Coast University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She has always had a passion for working with children while being able to make a true difference in their lives, and has finally found it here at ABLE Academy. Savannah brings high energy group instruction and detailed 1:1 instruction to learners in ABLE Academy’s Early Intervention program. In her free time, Savannah loves to spend time with her loved ones, take her puppy boating, and be in the Florida sun adven-touring!
Born and raised in the Philippines prior to moving to Florida, Shayne received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Florida Gulf Coast University. She has always been driven to contribute her creative mindset to broaden the learning experience and opportunities for children of varying developmental disabilities and needs. Her passion lies in the progress made and achievements reached by the individuals she has instructed. In addition to working in the Early Intervention program at ABLE Academy, Shayne has helped to build and encourage a myriad of lifelong skills among adolescents and adults on the spectrum in the Fort Myers community. Outside of ABLE, Shayne enjoys spending time with family and friends by the water, learning about and interacting with marine life, and dancing to Latin music.
Originally from Rhode Island, Alicia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Lynn University. She has been teaching children of all ages and abilities since 2007. In addition to her teaching experience, she also has provided one-on-one therapy in both the home and community settings for children diagnosed with autism and other developmental disabilities. With a deep knowledge of developmental curriculum and a high level of creativity, Alicia serves as the Curriculum Coordinator across all school programs at ABLE Academy. Alicia strives to meet the needs of each child through effective instruction. A certified yoga teacher, Alicia brings additional support and development to ABLE Academy's commitment to mindfulness instruction for a wide range of learners. On the weekends, you can find Alicia chasing sunsets with her husband.
Ryan Romero is a board certified music therapist, practicing in the southern Florida area. She received her undergraduate degree in music education and psychology at the University of Memphis in Memphis,TN and her masters in music therapy at Loyola University in New Orleans, LA. While in New Orleans, she completed her internship at Children's Behavioral Health Hospital in New Orleans, working with children and teens ages 7 to 18, utilizing various creative music experiences to help her patients express a myriad of emotions and meet a multitude of goals. She also has experience with incorporating music into the educational process, helping her clients meet goals such as improving receptive and expressive language, sustained attention and strengthening self esteem. Ryan enjoys sharing her affinity for music in the classroom and aims to help her students grow and become their best selves.
Joining ABLE Academy as a volunteer while he was a freshman in high school in 2011, Jake found a true passion for working with individuals with unique needs. Jake's volunteer experience quickly turned into part-time employment while he completed high school and pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education at Florida Southwestern State College. Jake joined the secondary team as a full-time teacher in 2019. Jake is a natural born teacher and mentor to students in ABLE Academy’s Secondary Program and is an instrumental member of the team. A native of Southwest Florida, Jake enjoys fishing and spending time with friends and family on the weekends.
Maddie grew up in Naples and graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a Bachelor’s in Music Therapy. While in college, she completed a six-month internship at Golisano Children’s Hospital working alongside the medical team and the child life department. Her love for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities flourished while working for The House of Music Therapy. Creating opportunities for children to engage socially, improve their language skills, and provide a means of self-expression through music is a passion that she holds close to her heart. When she is not working, Maddie can be found on a boat, at the beach, or walking her dogs.
Nikki grew up in San Diego, California, and moved to Iowa at 17 to pursue her education and love for volleyball at William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa.
There, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Business Management where she graduated magna cum laude. Nikki enjoys bringing her business management education background and passion for entrepreneurship to ABLE's secondary business model program. She is steadfast in her goal to teach students necessary skills, while encouraging their creativity and nurturing their unique interests and passions.
At age 10, she began working with children with traditional and non-traditional needs at a children’s ministry. From there, her passion for working with children has only grown. Nikki has a love and a passion for people, serving her community, and advocating for marginalized communities.