STUDENT SUPPORT



SHAWNA ALLEVATO  |  ABA Therapist

Ms. Shawna comes to us from the country roads of West Virginia.  She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from West Virginia University, then went on to receive her Master's in Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. After graduating, Ms. Shawna worked in wraparound services as a Behavior Specialist Consultant for children with Autism in home, school, and community settings.  When moving to Washington, D.C., she decided to further her work with children by seeking board certification in Applied Behavior Analysis to become a Behavior Analyst.

Ms. Shawna is so thankful she found Bridges, and loves helping students make meaningful progress everyday!  

When Ms. Shawna is not at Bridges, she loves to run and exercise, explore D.C., play volleyball, and travel! 

Email Shawna: sallevato@bridgespcs.org


MYRA BRANCH  |  Occupational Therapist

Ms. Myra was born and raised in western Washington State. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Washington (Go Huskies!). She then moved across the country to New York City to attend Graduate School at Columbia University's Programs in Occupational Therapy. After graduating, Ms. Myra worked in public schools in the Bronx, Head Start programs in Manhattan, and at a private sensory clinic. She then picked up and moved again to Washington, DC and found Bridges!

Ms. Myra loves to work with children, families and classroom teams to help make sure that all children are able to participate fully in their roles as early learners.

Ms. Myra loves to listen to live music, eat Thai food, sail and spend time with family.

Email Myra: mbranch@bridgespcs.org


MANDIE CAYTON  |  Occupational Therapist

Ms. Mandie comes to us from the wonderful city of Boston, Massachusetts.  In college she studied Recreation and Leisure studies at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree and played field hockey.  Later, Mandie went on to earn a Master of Occupational Therapy degree from Bay Path University in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. 

Ms. Mandie loves so much about occupational therapy, and some of her favorite parts include using the sensory equipment and making obstacle courses for the children.  When the kids are doing the obstacle courses, she enjoys watching their imaginations come to life as they act out stories of outer space or haunted houses while crawling through the cloth tunnel.

When she's not at Bridges, Ms. Mandie loves taking nature walks and is grateful to live so close to Rock Creek Park.  She also loves traveling.  She is currently planning her next great adventure to Iceland to see the aurora borealis.  (Update: She went.  Loved it!)

Email Mandie: acayton@bridgespcs.org


KATHRYN FITZPATRICK  |   Speech-Language Pathologist

Ms. Kathryn was born and raised in North Carolina.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Disorders at North Carolina State University and a Master of Science in Communication Sciences at East Carolina University.  Before joining the Bridges team in August 2012, Ms. Kathryn provided early intervention speech therapy services in North Carolina, as well as services at an outpatient hospital clinic, school settings, and private practice in Washington, DC.  Her specialized experience and trainings include: PROMPT training, development of language routines for the natural environment and classroom, parent training, sensory-motor feeding therapy, oral placement therapy, Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol for children with apraxia, language development, development of visual schedules and supports.

Ms. Kathryn loves the team collaboration at Bridges between service providers, teachers, and parents.  She loves seeing the kids smiling faces each day.  Ms. Kathryn loves Washington, DC and the opportunities it gives students for exploration.

On a bright, sunny day, you can find Ms. Kathryn making the most of our beautiful city - running through Rock Creek Park, having a picnic on the mall, or hanging out on a rooftop.   

Email Kathryn: kmeador@bridgespcs.org


BINTA GARRETT  |  Reading Specialist

DSC03089.JPG

Ms. Garrett is a teacher who is living her dream!  She made a career change in 2004 from working for many years as a computer programmer.  She wanted to help the children that needed the most help, especially in reading.  Ms. Garrett believes in keeping a positive attitude about life and anyone who knows her can testify to that; she has a perpetual smile on her face.

Ms. Garrett went to Lincoln University in Pennsylvania for her undergraduate education and studied business administration. Many years later, she went back to school and earned a master's degree in special education at George Washington University. A few years later, she went back to GW to earn a reading and literacy certificate to better equip her in her work helping struggling readers.

“What I like best about Bridges is the pleasant working environment. There's a camaraderie among my colleagues that continues to grow each year. I also like the feeling that my efforts are valued and appreciated at Bridges. And, I love the kids, of course. For most of my teaching career, I have worked with older students, so it's a joy to work with younger children who still have a curiosity and thirst to learn.”

Email Binta: bgarrett@bridgespcs.org


LINDSAY KNUDSEN  |  Speech-Language Pathologist

Ms. Lindsay was born and raised in North Carolina, but lived in Iowa and Seattle before moving to Washington, DC in 2012. Prior to joining the Bridges team in 2015, she worked in hospitals as a pediatric speech-language pathologist. Ms. Lindsay went to UNC-Chapel Hill for her undergraduate education, where she earned degrees in both Communication Studies and Spanish. For her graduate degree program in Speech-Language Pathology, Ms. Lindsay attended the University of Iowa.

“I am proud to be part of a strong team of therapists who consistently go above and beyond for each child and their families. I enjoy partnering with teaching teams and families to make each child as independent as possible.”

Ms. Lindsay loves to dance, travel, and spend time with family and friends. She can often be seen walking her dog, Smuckers, around town.

Email Lindsay: Lknudsen@bridgespcs.org


SARA LIND  |  Occupational Therapist

DSC06633.jpg

Ms. Sara is from Frewsburg, NY a small town in Western New York south of Buffalo. Her town is so small that they don't have a traffic light and she graduated high school with 56 students. Ms. Sara went to school at D'Youville College in Buffalo New York and graduated in 2016 with a Bachelors in Human Occupation and a Masters in Occupational Therapy.

Bridges is Ms. Sara's first job out of college.  "It has been WONDERFUL," she says. "There are so many amazing teachers, TAs, DAs, therapists, and administrators here. However, the students are what keeps me excited to come to work everyday, sometimes I even feel like these kids are a  part of my family."

When she is not at work, Ms. Sara loves to spend my time outside going for walks and exploring DC with her boyfriend or spending time indoors with her 2 cats Dixie and Oliver. 

Email Sara: slind@bridgespcs.org


URSULA PETERS  |  Speech-Language Pathologist

This will be Ms. Ursula's sixth year working as a speech therapist.  Before coming to Bridges, she worked for preschool and elementary programs in New York City and Brooklyn.  Ms. Ursula earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from Loyola University in Maryland and a Master of Science degree in Communicative Sciences and Disorders from New York University.

Ms. Ursula loves working with kids and helping them connect to their world.  "My favorite thing is supporting the children to be able to interact and communicate with the people around them."  

Ms. Ursula also loves spending time outdoors, especially at the beach, drinking iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts, and doing crossword puzzles.  

Email Ursula: upeters@bridgespcs.org


SHAYNA SARGENT  |  Social Worker

Shayna has been a Social Worker for many years, working in both school and hospital settings with children, youth, and adults. She received her Clinical License in April 2015 and joined the Bridges PCS team in September 2015.  Shayna went to Christopher Newport University and received a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, and Virginia Commonwealth University where she earned a Masters in Social Work.

Shayna enjoys working in therapy groups and in individual sessions with students.  “School is where children learn and grow. I hope to make a positive impact on their journey of who they become.”

In her spare time she enjoys cooking, being outdoors, playing sports, spending time with friends and family, and traveling. She also coaches lacrosse for a high school in Fairfax County, VA and is a member of the Bridges Soccer Team.

Email Shayna: ssargent@bridgespcs.org


STEVEN TILGHMAN  |  Behavioral Specialist