Our Team

Joel Arick, Ph.D.

Dr. Arick has experience working as an educator, researcher and trainer in the field of autism for over 30 years. He is the lead author of the nationally used STAR (Strategies for Teaching based-on Autism Research) Program and Links Curriculum. He is also a co-author of several other published programs in the area of autism. These programs include the ASIEP-3 (Autism Screening Instrument for EducationalPlanning-3, 2004), the KADI (Krug Asperger Disorder Index,2003), and the FACTER Program (Functional Assessment and Curriculum for Teaching Everyday Routines, 2004). Dr. Arick, with colleagues, has been measuring the progress of children educated using the STAR Autism Program, over the past ten years. He is also an author of a chapter entitled “School-based Programs for Children with Autism” in the Handbook on Autism (2005). Dr Arick is Professor Emeritus at Portland State University.


Lisa Kemmerer, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Dr. Kemmerer has been working with children with autism since 1994. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and received her PhD in Special Education with an emphasis in applied behavior analysis from the University of Iowa. Some of Lisa’s work experiences include: faculty positions at multiple universities, autism coordinator for the University of Iowa, Children’s Hospital Autism Center, behavior analyst with school districts in Iowa and West Virginia, special education teacher, and paraprofessional.


John Gill, MS

John has worked in public education since 1989 as a regular education teacher, special education teacher, district facilitator, autism specialist and paraprofessional. During six years with Portland State University, in addition to his teaching duties he conducted workshops and extensive hands on training to teachers and staff of students with autism as part of a statewide project in Oregon to develop training sites around the state. As a trainer for STAR Autism Support since its inception, John continues to provided workshops and in-classroom training around the country. John is a recognized contributor to the STAR Program, as well as a co-author of the STAR Program Training Videos and the Sunshine Literacy Kit.


Sheila Magee, MS

Sheila has served in public schools for over 30 years as a classroom teacher, school psychologist and administrator. She has coordinated programs for children with autism at both the pre-school and school-age level. The programs she coordinated have implemented the STAR Program and served as model training sites. She has many years of experience coaching and implementing the strategies found in the STAR Program, including: Discrete Trial Training, Pivotal Response Training, Teaching Functional Routines and Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports. In addition to her work in the schools, Sheila has also taught classes at the university level preparing educators in the field of special education.



Misten Daniels, MS

Misten has worked with children with ASD and other developmental disabilities for over 15 years, providing direct services and consultation to children, families and professionals in home and school settings. Since 2004, she has provided training and support to special education providers across Oregon as part of the state-wide training project (OrPATS). In addition to her work in Oregon, Misten joined STAR Autism Support in 2008, training educators around the country on the STAR Program and Links Curriculum in person and through distance consultation. Misten has Masters Degrees in Special Education and Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education.


Cami Algaier, MS CCC-SLP, BCBA

Cami Algaier, MS CCC-SLP is a Speech-Language Pathologist. Cami worked within the private sector for 6 years and the public school setting for 14 years.Within the school setting Cami was a part of the Assistive Technology team, Autism team, provided hands-on STAR training, supervised SLPs and graduate students. She provided support for Preschool Programs for Children with Disabilities, Functional Life Skills and Structured Teaching Method classrooms. She works with children and families with speech and language disorders, autism and other developmental disabilities. She also provides collaboration and support for students in need of Assistive Technology, Augmentative and Alternative Communication systems. Cami has a Masters degree in Communication Disorders and is currently seeking Board Certified Behavior Analysis certification. Cami enjoys connecting with educators and families, while bringing a realistic and supportive approach to presentations and classroom consulting.


Kara Magee-Arick, MS, BCBA

Kara has spent the last decade working directly with students that have Autism. She received her Master’s degree in special education from Portland State University and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). She is a co-author of both the Links Curriculum and Sunshine Literacy Program and currently travels the country conducting workshops and providing in-class training for STAR Autism Support. Kara is an experienced education professional having worked as a classroom teacher and Autism Specialist with students of all ages as well as with adults in community and vocational settings.


Aimee Dearmon, MS CCC-SLP, BCBA

Aimee works with STAR Autism Support to provide consultation and training to school districts throughout the United States. In addition to working as a Speech-Language Pathologist in Round Rock Independent School District, she helps train and assist teachers throughout the district to successfully implement the STAR Program. At her home campus, Aimee works to organize Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and provide services to students in the Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD) through 5th grade. She is an award-winning leader and fundraiser with her local chapter of Autism Speaks, where she serves on the Executive Committee for the Greater Austin Area Walk Now for Autism Speaks. In her second decade of serving children diagnosed with Autism, Aimee continues to seek opportunities for personal and professional growth, and is currently pursuing certification as a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).


Debbie Ware, M.A., CCC-SLP

Debbie is a Speech/Language Pathologist that works with STAR Autism Support to provide consultation to school districts throughout the United States. Debbie is currently working as a state-wide consultant with Easter Seals of Arkansas - Outreach Program. She is part of a team that provides hands-on consultation to teachers and therapist in the state of Arkansas. In addition, she is the coordinator of a week long summer training called Behavioral Approaches using STAR Implementation and Coaching (BASIC). The training provides a combination of modeling, coaching and hands-on experience using the STAR program. Prior to this she worked in the San Diego Unified School District in San Diego, CA. She received extensive training in the field of Autism while participating in a 3 year multi-agency grant project in San Diego County. Upon completion of the grant, she was on a team that opened the first pre-school classroom for children with Autism using evidence based practices in the San Diego Unified School District.


Darby Lasley, MS

Darby works with STAR Autism Support to provide workshops and hands-on consultation to classrooms throughout the country and in the state of Oregon with classrooms who have been trained to serve as model training sites (Oregon Regional Program Autism Training Sites/OrPATS). Darby brings classroom experience as an elementary life skills teacher who helped create the first elementary ORPATS training site in Lane County. For four years Darby served as a Program Supervisor overseeing the elementary life skills program and the regional autism program for Lane Education Service District. Darby also served as a senior instructor for Portland State University providing workshops and hands-on training to classrooms around the state of Oregon. Darby holds a Master’s Degree in Special Education, a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Development and a current Oregon Administrator License and Oregon Teaching License with endorsements Autism, Special Education and Early Childhood Education.


Jennie Willis, MS

Jennie has worked with students with disabilities for the past 15 years. She has served as an Early Intervention Specialist, classroom teacher for students with autism, and an Autism Specialist for a public school district. Jennie currently works as a trainer on a grant with the State of Oregon training public school teachers and staff throughout the state on research based instructional strategies for students with autism. She also serves as an Educational Consultant with STAR Autism Support providing trainings and consultation to school district staff throughout the United States. Jennie has worked with a broad range of learners and with students ranging in ages from toddlers up to students in post secondary programs. Jennie holds a Master of Science degree in Special Education and maintains an Initial Teaching License II.


Amy Barnhill

Amy has provided behavior analytic services to individuals on the autism spectrum since 1997. During the course of her career she has developed and implemented educational and behavior support programs for children and adults with autism, trained and supervised staff in a variety of settings, and consulted with multiple school districts. In 2003, Amy created and directed a Social Skills Intervention program, which continues to serve approximately 50 students yearly. Amy currently resides in Bloomington, Indiana where she works as a Behavior Specialist for a school district and as a Social Skills Instructor for young adults with Asperger’s. Amy joined the STAR Autism Support team as a part time trainer in July of 2013. She has completed postgraduate studies at St. Cloud State University and is a Board Certified Associate Behavior Analyst.


Tracy Uden M.Ed., BCBA

Tracy has worked in public education for over a decade as a classroom teacher, instructional coach, and as an autism specialist. Tracy works with STAR Autism Support to provide training during workshops and on-site consultations. She received her Master’s degree in education from Arizona State University and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). She currently resides in Grand Junction, CO.


Julie St. John, Ed.S.

Julie completed her Education Specialist degree in School Psychology at the University of Iowa in May, 2015, and has been working with students with autism and developmental disabilities for six years. Her professional experiences include assessment of challenging behavior, behavior reduction, skill acquisition, and diagnostic evaluation. She has worked in clinical and school settings but finds energy and passion in schools working directly with students, teachers, and paraprofessionals. Julie is always looking for ways to continue learning and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in School Psychology.


Kathryn Morrow, M.Ed.

Kathryn has worked in public education for nine years providing evidence-based practices to students on the autism spectrum. She was a special education teacher in Chicago Public Schools where she taught elementary aged students functional life, communication, and academic skills. Kathryn was an autism coach in an Oregon public school district for five years providing hands-on coaching to school staff in special and general education settings across elementary, middle school, high school, and post secondary levels. Kathryn currently resides in Holland, MI and works with STAR Autism Support to provide training and classroom consultations to school districts. She received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Special Education from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.


Nilma Aviles

Since 2011, Nilma has worked as a classroom teacher of children with autism, as well as those affected by a variety of other developmental disabilities. She is a graduate of the University of Puerto Rico, where she received a Bachelor of Education in Adapted and Elemental Physical Education. Nilma began working with STAR Autism Support as coach of the Puerto Rico Autism Project in February of 2015. As a coach in the project, she uses strategies and tools found in the STAR Program and Links Curriculum to support the implementation of evidenced-based strategies at multiple school sites throughout Puerto Rico.



Christina Davis B.S. Ed.

Christina has been educating students with autism and other developmental delays since 2012. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in special education and elementary education in 2011. As an active participant in the Arizona Statewide Autism Project (AzSAP), she implemented the STAR Program in her early childhood special education classroom and in 2015 became a STAR district trainer. Christina joined the STAR Autism Support team in 2016. She is currently working towards a master's degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Arizona State University and becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. 


Mary Jo Hammond, M.Ed.

Mary Jo has been employed in Arizona Public Schools since 1987 as a general education teacher, special education teacher, Special Education Instructional Coach and a Special Education Achievement Leader. During her last 3 years in Kingman, she was a member of the STAR training center at Little Explorers Early Learning Center and most recently the administrator for the LINKS program for the district. She is a graduate of Northern Arizona University where she earned a Bachelors in Elementary and Special Education and a Masters in Elementary Education. Mary Jo joined the STAR Autism Support team in 2016 as a training specialist and assistant product manager for the media center themed units. She is now living in Utah to be close to her children and grandson.


Tara Fleck

Tara has worked in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey since 2007. As a certified teacher, Tara taught in classrooms for preschool through sixth grade. After post-graduate studies at Temple University, Tara trained and supervised ABA therapists in the field of Early Intervention for 6 years, developing and implementing curriculum for Social Skills, Life Skills and parent training. Tara lives in Philadelphia as a Training Specialist for STAR Autism Support.