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! 

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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.

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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.

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SARA LIND  |  Occupational Therapist


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. 

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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.  

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LAUREN STEINMETZ  |  Lead Related Service Provider + Speech-Language Pathologist


Lauren loves being a speech-language pathologist (SLP) and has a passion for helping all kids learn, especially kids with a variety of special needs. Lauren grew up in the Midwest and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Speech and Hearing Sciences at Indiana University. She then went to the University of Iowa and earned her Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology. After graduating, Lauren worked in Iowa City Public Schools for three years before moving to the big city of New York with her family. She worked at KIPP NYC and in a private ABA school before relocating to DC and finding Bridges. 

Lauren believes Bridges is a wonderful place to work because the teaching team and administration are always looking for ways to grow and help every student learn! The Related Services Department at Bridges is one of a kind, creating a collaborative therapeutic program for children with special needs. 

When not working, you can find Lauren spending time with her family relaxing at the pool, hiking through parks, going to the zoo, and exploring DC. 

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