Lighthouse Therapy’s Founder and CEO, Janet Courtney, MS, CCC/SLP, has been a practicing Speech-Language Pathologist since March, 1994 with a Master of Science from Purdue University. Her passion has always been people. Helping them to become the best they can be in whatever avenue of life their paths cross.
Lighthouse Therapy™ is an online therapy company specializing in telepractice for speech therapy, occupational therapy, and mental health counseling.
As an experienced Speech-Language Pathologist, Janet has a demonstrated history of working in the e-learning industry for over 9 years. Her skills in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Hearing Impairment Disorders, Language Disorders, Articulation Disorders, Customer Service, Pediatrics, and Public Speaking position Lighthouse with a leader who understands the needs of our school partners and the clinicians we hire.
As COO, Carissa understands that schools need more therapists, and students deserve the care that will help them thrive. She is the heart of the day to day operations of Lighthouse Therapy keeping things running smoothly for everyone: schools, therapists and students.
Carissa’s sense of service becomes clear when asked what she likes most about her position: “I enjoy all the people I get to help on a day to day basis”. Ms. Courtney has worked with Lighthouse Therapy since it was founded. Under Carissa’s leadership, Lighthouse Therapy has grown by more that 600%, allowing more schools to have the therapists they need and students across the United States to thrive.
Michael Courtney has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Baker College of Jackson Michigan. Mike is a certified IBM Professional and previously worked as a lead application developer for EBUSINESS STRATEGIES. Mr Courtney has helped with the company since its inception and came on full-time in April of 2020. As Chief Technology Officer, Mike helps schools succeed by implementing and overseeing technology that allow students to receive online therapy services in the safest and easiest ways possible.
Amanda Tinkle previously worked as a Human Resources and Operations Coordinator for a community college before joining Lighthouse Therapy in 2020 as DIrector of Human Resources. Amanda makes it a priority to always be available to answer questions or be a listening ear. As the Director of Human Resources, Amanda oversees employee benefits, compensation, and personnel document management, as well as the onboarding process for new therapists and employees. When asked what she likes best in her position, Amanda said, “solving problems and taking care of our therapists and employees so they can in turn help the students that we are all here to serve.”
Mark understands that making vendor decisions can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Mr. Wallenwine loves empowering school leaders to understand the benefits of online therapy services and strives to make working with Lighthouse Therapy easy. Mark has worked in the marketing industry for over ten years. Before working at Lighthouse Therapy, he helped non-profit organizations raise millions of dollars through major donor events. He is a former StoryBrand Guide and Copywriter. StoryBrand is a proven framework to help simplify complex issues and make clear messaging. In the modern, fast-paced world of education, Mark enjoys using his training to make complex topics easy to understand, so educators can make the best decisions possible.
Erin O’Connell, Director of Clinical Services for Lighthouse Therapy, is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) who has been serving students for 19 years. She received her B.A. degree in Elementary Education/ Exceptional Student Education from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida in 1999. She earned her Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida in 2003. Erin also completed a continuing education advanced series in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) through the Florida Institute of Technology from 2009-2011. Erin is licensed and/or certified as a School Psychologist in Florida, California, and South Carolina.
In 2016, Erin began utilizing teletherapy to provide social, emotional, and behavioral counseling to individual and small groups of students in grades K-12, administer psycho-educational assessments, collaborate with teachers and staff regarding student’s Individual Education Plans (IEPs), and consult with parents in regards to educationally relevant student concerns. Working online has enriched Erin’s career and demonstrated that rapport can be built and services can be delivered worldwide with an internet connection and a secure therapy platform. Erin strives to help you (whether you are the teacher, school administrator, therapist, or parent) help your student!
Shelly Kaufman, OTR/L, has been a practicing Occupational Therapist since 1995 with a BA in Occupational Therapy. Shelly graduated from St. Catherine University and moved from Minnesota to Missouri to practice as a rural therapist for four years servicing the community for any OT needs including pediatrics, hospital, and schools. Shelly moved back to Minnesota and continued to practice in predominantly pediatrics servicing hospitals, clinics, home health, schools, Early Childhood Special Education, and Early Childhood Family Education to name a few. In 2003, Shelly focused on a large school district and worked there for 13 years. Four years ago, she decided to focus solely on pediatric telepractice.
Melody Benson CCC/SLP Melody received her Bachelor’s degree at Southwest Texas State University and her Master’s degree in Communication Disorders at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, TX. Melody has been a speech-language pathologist for over 20 years, primarily focusing on children and adolescents in the clinic, home health, school, and teletherapy settings. She is passionate about helping students improve their communication skills, which are vital in everyday life, so they can experience happy, successful lives.
Melissa Richards MS/CCC-SLP Melissa received her Master’s Degree from Miami University in 1991 and has specialized in teletherapy since 2012. Before working in teletherapy, Melissa worked in outpatient therapy at All Children’s Hospital for ages zero - 21, the public school system for grades k - 5th, home health for birth - senior citizens, and inpatient therapy in a nursing facility for stroke victims and people suffering from traumatic brain injury. Now working as a Clinical Supervisor for Lighthouse Therapy, Melissa enjoys helping students communicate better. So they can successfully interact with the world around them.
Julie Bending MS CCC/SLP Julie received her bachelor's and master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. She first began working at Lighthouse Therapy in July of 2020. Julie specializes in Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) evaluations and presentations. Julie supports our clinicians and students in AAC, autism, down syndrome, language and speech, and sound disorders. Before working at Lighthouse Therapy, Julie had an extensive background working in brick-and-mortar schools and private practices. Julie enjoys putting students first to help them meet their academic needs.
Millie Mason OTR/L Millie received her Bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University in 1996. She has spent her entire career in the school setting providing occupational therapy services to children ages birth - 26. In addition to occupational therapy, Millie administers assistive technology services. She provides training for the best tools to enable students to participate fully in their school, home, and community environments. Millie says, “Nothing is more rewarding than seeing a child’s face light up when they experience success in performing a task that has always seemed impossible to them.”
Chanelle Williams M.A., M.Ed., PPSC Chanelle received her BA in Psychology in 2009; her MA in Counseling Psychology in 2011, and her MA in Education School Psychology in 2020. She has been with Lighthouse Therapy since February of 2021. Chanelle guides parents to understand how their student learns best. She also works with students on their behavior and social and emotional needs. Chanelle helps each student become successful in their academic career and enjoys being able to help students achieve their full potential by using multiple therapeutic methods.
Elizabeth Kriston MS/CCC-SLP began practicing speech-language pathology upon obtaining her MS from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1999. Liz has spent her career working with children and families primarily in early intervention. She has branched out into academia, school aged students and private practice. She is also a published author of children’s books. Due to her close contact with families over the bulk of her career, Liz brings a unique skill set to her teletherapy sessions and strives to support families along with the students to ensure that each child receives personalized and meaningful interventions that build on strengths to support needs. Liz invites discussions with caregivers and parents to ensure that each student gets the comprehensive intervention he or she needs to reach the goals set. In 2020, when Liz joined the Lighthouse Therapy team, she found herself working with top notch professionals whose mission for supporting children and families matched hers, and also found a support system to enable her to thrive within that mission.
Bryanna Resh MS OTR/L has been working with Lighthouse Therapy since October 2021. She began her career working in an outpatient pediatric setting after graduating from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA with a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy in 2017. After her first year at Lighthouse Therapy she advised that she enjoyed working alongside a team of warm and friendly professionals as well as collaborating with families and educators for the development and growth of students. Bryanna provides occupational therapy services to students K-12 in order to enhance their functional skills for participation in the educational environment. Her favorite part of being a therapist at Lighthouse Therapy is “being part of a student’s journey toward independence as they gain skills that will be valuable for the rest of their lives.”
Perri Waisner CCC/SLP has worked with Lighthouse since October 2021. Perri received her bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology at Kent State University and her master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology at Ohio University. When speaking about her time at Lighthouse Therapy, she said, “Even though I've never met anyone in person I feel a connection with lots of my colleagues. The same goes with my students - I've never met any of them in person but I truly do feel I am able to connect with them on an individual level as well as help them make progress towards their communication goals.” When asked what she loves best about being an SLP, Perri said, “Getting to know my students and their interests. I love to create digital materials that are related to their interests that also can be used in speech-language therapy. I think there is way more buy-in from students (and parents) when you can work towards their goals while also tying things into their interests. One of the best parts of my job is watching my students' communication skills grow throughout the school year/s and hearing from parents about improvements in day-to-day life. I'm excited to work more closely with other therapists this year to help them help their students grow as well”.