Very Reverend Father Timothy Baclig, MDiv
Archpriest Timothy Baclig has been the Pastor of St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church in Van Nuys, California for the past 26 years. He was a graduate of St. Vladimir’s Seminary and has served in the Holy Priesthood for 34 years. He is a co-founder of Faithtree Resources and is currently serving as the Secretary of the Pastoral Committee of the Assembly of Orthodox Bishops.
Very Reverend Father Anthony Yazge, MDiv, BS Special Education
Fr. Anthony Yazge graduated from St. Vladimir Seminary in 1988, after previously earning his BS degree in Special Education from The University of Maryland College Park. He served as the pastor of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Terre Haute, Indiana for almost 20 years, and now is serving in his 10th year as Director of the Antiochian Village Camp for the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese. He also serves as the Chairman of the Department of Camping for the Antiochian Archdiocese. He is on the Keystone Council of Leaders for the American Camp Association, an Executive Committee Member for Orthodox Christian Fellowship and is the Chairman of the Department of Young Adult Ministry for the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese. He has served as the NAC Teen SOYO Spiritual Advisor, and for over a dozen years as the Midwest Teen SOYO Spiritual Advisor. Since 2001, he has been the NAC Teen SOYO Special Olympics Camp Coordinator, a program he brought to the Antiochian Archdiocese when he himself was a teenager. For that, he has been honored as the recipient of the Al Senavitis Lifetime Achievement Award for the service that he offered to Special Olympics athletes through Special Olympics training camp which he oversees at the Antiochian Village every summer. As the father of a Special Olympics athlete, an educator in Special Education, and clergyman, Fr. Anthony brings a wealth of great perspective to the Removing Barriers team. He and his wife Stepfanie have three children and live in Pennsylvania.
Annie Baghdayan, PhD, BCBA-D
Dr. Baghdayan is the Executive Director of the National Center for Disability Education and Training (NCDET). Currently, she leads the NCDET team on two
federally funded projects: Add Us In (Office of Disability Employment Policy) and Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Project (Social Security Administration) as well as state contracts with the Department of Rehabilitation Services. Dr. Baghdayan spends part of her time on South Central Comprehensive Center as the Center’s representative with the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). She is an adjunct faculty with the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Education.
Dr. Baghdayan was an adjunct assistant professor and lead behavior analyst at the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. She worked as an instructional coach with special education teachers for Oklahoma Public Schools. She has worked in a multitude of settings including school, home, church and clinical settings with individuals with various disabilities for more than a decade. She also was the director of The Autism Day School at Easter Seals.
Her most recent projects include providing professional learning opportunities for professionals who work with individuals with disabilities, specifically, autism spectrum disorders. Her research focuses on parents’ and educators’ perceptions of how to include students with ASD in inclusive settings, quality of service delivery in applied behavior analysis, promoting culturally competent environments for individuals with disabilities, and building the capacity of parents of and professionals who work with individuals with ASD. She has presented in a myriad of local and national conferences including OSAC, LDAOK, Governor’s Conference, Children’s Behavioral Health Conference, CEC, TED and ABAI.
Dr. Baghdayan is a nationally Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and licensed in the state of Oklahoma. She is a certified legal advocate for individuals with disabilities. She is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), Association for Behavior Analysis International and Association of People Supporting Employment (APSE). She serves as a board member on the Oklahoma Licensed Behavior Analyst Board and on the Oklahoma Council for Exceptional Children Board. She and her husband live in Norman, Oklahoma with their two children and attend St. Elijah Antiochian Orthodox Church in Oklahoma City.
Shannon Kulp, CEd Therapist, NILD, MEd Candidate, Exceptional Students
Shannon Kulp has a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development from California State University in Northridge, California. She is a Professionally Certified Educational Therapist through the National Institute for Learning Development (NILD) and isStandard, Level 1 and Basic, Level 2 certified in Feuerstein’s Instrumental Enrichment Program which focuses on strengthening learning skills through a variety of cognitive exercises. Currently, she is working on a Master’s Degree from Southeastern University with a Master’s in Education in Exceptional Student Education with an emphasis in Educational Therapy. She works at Trinity Classical Academy in Santa Clarita, California as the Academic and Therapy Services Coordinator, in addition to serving as an Educational Therapist. She has long been involved in a variety of Christian Children’s ministry and attends Valencia Hills Community Church with her husband Jeff and their three sons. She works at Trinity Classical Academy in Santa Clarita, California as the Academic and Therapy Services Coordinator, in addition to serving as an Educational Therapist.
Jerri Mamey, OTR, Specializing in Sensory Integration
Jerri is a retired Pediatric Occupational Therapist who practiced for over 25 years. Jerri started out as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) working with adults, young head injury inpatients and outpatient pediatrics at Glendale Adventist Hospital, Rehabilitation Unit. She went on to get her OTR through the career mobility program and the University of Southern California, specializing in sensory integration. In her 25 years of practice she focused her continuing education and research in sensory integration (A. Jean Ayres), neuro-developmental treatment and developmental therapy. She continued her work at Glendale Adventist Hospital treating outpatient pediatrics and in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Jerri also worked at private and state funded schools in Pasadena, CA for the developmentally delayed. Responding to the rise and significant needs of children with autism, Jerri was lead to be part of a team that started classrooms for the very involved autistic child. Subsequently, she went into private practice. With two partners, also OTs, she helped open up a private pediatric clinic in Pasadena to service the rapidly growing need for pediatric services in a variety of disciplines including: OT, PT and ST services for children from birth on. Jerri’s focus and passion was on using sensory integration techniques as a basis of treatment. She continues to stay informed and connected in this field, which remains her life passion. She and her husband have 8 children and two grandchildren. They live in Orange County, California. They attend and are active participants at St. Mark’s Antiochian Orthodox Church in Irvine, California.
Michelle Moujaes, MSW
Michelle Moujaes is the founder, Executive Director and chief content developer for Faithtree Resources, a parish-based ministry of St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church in Van Nuys, California. She is a married, stay-at-home mom and an active member of St. Michael Church. After graduating from Boston University with a Masters degree in Social Work/Community Organizing, she worked with a variety of agencies including the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Monster.com’s Making it Count Program, Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless and the Easter Seals School for Children with Autism. She has always been extremely active in the Orthodox Church including roles as New England Regional Youth Director for the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese, Chair of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Committee for IOCC, Orthodox Christian Fellowship National Board Member, Founding Chair of St. Elijah Orthodox Church Mom’s Day Out in Oklahoma City, Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee for St. Michael Church, among others. She currently sits on the Sustained Giving Team at Trinity Classical Academy in Santa Clarita, California and speaks internationally on the topic of autism and interventions for adults and children with Extraordinary Needs. When she is not creating content, leading workshops or giving speeches for Faithtree, you will find her at home with her husband and co-founder of Faithtree, Waleed, and their four beloved kiddos - Dimitri, Alexander, Jonah and Sabine.
Kouri Simon, M.A., CCC-SLP
Kouri Simon has a Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from University of Oklahoma and a Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology from Wichita State University. Her passion from an early age has been in helping individuals be understood, have a voice, and ultimately successfully communicate with those around them. Kouri has worked with both adults and children with a focus in early intervention. She has her Certification of Clinical Competency (CCC) through the American Speech Language Hearing Association. Over the past four years, she has had extensive experience working with a great diversity of patients, including: in the outpatient private practice setting, in acute care for patients with stroke and brain injury, and in outpatient rehabilitation at Children’s Hospital. Currently, Kouri resides in California where she attends St. Mark Antiochian Orthodox Church in Irvine, and works at Children’s Hospital of Orange County, serving patients with medically fragile conditions. Her scope of practice includes evaluation and management of disorders in feeding and swallowing, speech and language, cognition, breathing, and voice. Outside of work, Kouri is a volunteer at Club 21, where she works with parents of children with Down Syndrome. In this organization, she consults with families regarding developmental milestones that pertain to speech and language, feeding, and ways to expand play routines. Kouri is now an involved member of the Removing Barriers team and is excited to contribute her passion and knowledge to this ministry.
Mary Evelyn Smith, MLIS
Mary Evelyn Smith is a children's librarian, writer, and advocate. She graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2005 and earned a Master of Library and Information Science degree with a focus on school librarianship from the University of Pittsburgh in 2008. Mary Evelyn is on the board of the Central Ohio Spina Bifida Alliance (COSBA) and works closely with newly diagnosed parents in the Columbus area. She writes about disability issues, raising a child with Spina Bifida, and general parenting at www.whatdoyoudodear.com and her work has been featured on Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scope UK. She speaks on disability with local parenting groups in an effort to foster awareness and remove stigma. Mary Evelyn lives in Columbus Ohio where she attends St. Gregory of Nyssa Orthodox Church with her husband and two children.
Beth Thielman, M.A.
Beth Thielman is a blogger, copywriter, and proofreader who is passionate about helping others find the right words for their unique voice. A lifelong disability advocate, she also has a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector that includes a Master's in Nonprofit Organizations from the University of Georgia, and a strong focus in services and supports for people with disabilities. A member of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Nashville, TN, Beth is honored to contribute her perspective to this project, and to learn from all of its uniquely gifted contributors.