Meet Our Doctors

Meet Our Doctors

Dr. D. Gant Ward, Ph.D.

Dr. Ilse D. Carrizales, Ph.D.

Dr. Kimi L. Carson, Ph.D.

Dr. Miracle N. Goetz, Psy.D.

Dr. Lori A. Holmquist-Day, Ph.D.

Dr. Dave S. Kerby, Ph.D.

Dr. Justin H. Ory, Ph.D. 

Dr. Rachel B. Smiley, Ph.D.

Dr. Allison G. Vrieze, Psy.D.

T. Nicole Ward, M.H.R.

Deanna Wheeler, APRN-CNP

Sarah P. Whitewater, L.P.C.

 

Deanna Wheeler, APRN-CNP

Deanna is a Certified Nurse Practitioner. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2001. She earned her Master of Science from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 2006.  She is nationally board certified in family practice via the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, and has been in practice since 2006.

Dr. D. Gant Ward, Ph.D.

Dr. Ward  was the drum major for the Jones Longhorn marching band before transferring to the residential Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, where he was a member of the high school’s third graduating class. He attended the University of Oklahoma on a Regent’s scholarship and graduated magna cum laude and phi beta kappa with a Bachelor of Science in psychology, and completed three, semester-long language programs in France, Mexico, and Italy. While at OU he was a middle blocker on the university’s club volleyball team, and was awarded the distinction of being the 1998 OU Intramural Athlete of the Year. From OU he directly entered the University of Missouri-Columbia’s doctoral program on a Ridgel Fellowship, earning his Master degree along the way. He completed his predoctoral internship at the Oklahoma City VA Hospital, and was awarded his PhD in Counseling Psychology, with an emphasis in Sport Psychology in 2004. Dr. Ward earned a postdoctoral degree in the treatment of Chemical Dependency in 2005 from the OU Health Sciences Center. He obtained licenses to practice psychology in Kansas and Oklahoma in 2006. Dr. Ward’s clinical activities are primarily individual therapy with adolescents and adults, Social Security Disability Evaluations, court-ordered DHS parenting evaluations, specialized substance abuse evaluations for the Oklahoma Board of Nursing, and the training and supervision of his group’s postdoctoral fellows. Also, from time-to-time he is asked to speak on issues of substance abuse or mental illness, most recently speaking at the Edmond chapter of Parents Helping Parents. Dr. Ward wrote a sport psychology column for the Moore American newspaper from 2008 to 2010. He has had a presence in the television media as well, appearing on KOCO 5 News and Fox 25 News locally, and nationally on the Dr. Phil Show, CNN Live, and the NBC Nightly News.   He is the owner and clinical director of the Moore Counseling Center, P.C. and Moore Autism Center, P.C., and was recently elected by his psychologist peers to a Director position on the board of the Oklahoma Psychological Association.

Dr. Ward’s basic approach is to work jointly with clients to make the changes that they desire. He pays primary attention to his clients’ concerns, drawing upon his clinical expertise to rule out or include additional areas in need of treatment. During therapy sessions Dr. Ward focuses on the client’s thoughts, feelings, and personality, and how these are hindering or helping his or her situation. By (a) increasing awareness and appropriate expression of emotions, (b) correcting faulty, distorted thought patterns, and (c) improving interpersonal functioning, Dr. Ward works collaboratively with clients to address their concerns.

During the first session clients can expect Dr. Ward to take an extensive psychiatric history, to develop diagnostic impressions, to answer all questions about diagnoses, and to develop a mutually agreed upon treatment plan. Therapy sessions are then scheduled on a weekly basis for a typical duration of between eight to ten weeks.

Though Dr. Ward has a broad range of clinical experience, his areas of specialization include depression, personality disorders, substance abuse, sport psychology, and group therapy.

Dr. Ward on Fox 25 News

Dr. Ward on the Dr. Phil Show

Dr. Ward on CNN Live

Sarah P. Whitewater, LPC

“When we are no longer able to change our situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” Vicktor Frankl

Sarah’s goal as a counselor is to engage her clients in meaningful ways and encourage them to achieve goals for treatment.  Her approach in therapy integrates experiential techniques and cognitive behavioral strategies to help strengthen and support positive mental health. These evidence based approaches promote greater emotional awareness and increased insight into patterns of thoughts and behaviors. Sarah collaborates with clients to focus and create a balanced, healthy lifestyle that brings well-being and fulfillment to individual needs. Through counseling process, clients can acknowledge the power of their choices and begin to use their voice to overcome their own unique challenges.

As a valued counselor at Moore Counseling Center, Sarah focuses on working with children, parents, and families. Specifically, helping children in out-of-home placement including, foster care, or temporary guardianship situations. Sarah completed her internship with the Moore Counseling Center in Dec 2015. Her experience as a Psychological Technician allowed her to assist the MCC doctors with Psychological Evaluations for ADHD, learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral problems, academic, personality, and overall cognitive functioning. Sarah has previously functioned as a community mental health counselor serving the El Reno, Mustang, and Yukon areas from Nov 2016 to Oct 2018.

Sarah began her career in crisis intervention, in 2009, when she started working at Deaconess Emergency Room as an admissions coordinator.  This experience played an important role in fueling her passion for helping those in crisis and disaster situations. Sarah is a current volunteer for the American Red Cross and a member of the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation.

Sarah holds a Master’s degree in Community Counseling from Southwestern Oklahoma State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology awarded by the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. She completed her Practicum experience with Integris Mental Health and her Internship with the Moore Counseling Center. She has completed over three thousand hours of supervised experience, required by the Oklahoma State Licensure Board. Upon completion, she was approved as a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Oklahoma in Dec 2018.

Dr. Allison G. Vrieze, Psy.D.

Dr. Vrieze received her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from

Dr. Justin H. Ory, Ph.D.

Dr. Ory received his doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Louisiana State University, and attended the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center for his Predoctoral Internship and Postdoctoral Neuropsychology Residency. Dr. Ory’s training included assessment and therapeutic services for adults with severe mental illness and assessment of adults with cognitive complaints. Additionally, his residency included training in pediatric neuropsychology assessing children with acquired and congenital medical and/or neurodevelopmental disorders. His services primarily include neuropsychological evaluation of adults and children. Dr. Ory is a member of the International Neuropsychological Society and the National Academy of Neuropsychology.

Dr. Kimi L. Carson, Ph.D.

Dr. Carson has had a lifelong interest in the intersection of the mind and body, especially in regards to the intersection between the neurological system and behavior. She attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee as an undergraduate, graduating summa cum laude in the top ten of her graduating class. During her tenure at Vanderbilt University, she  was a founding member of Vanderbilt University’s PLAY (Performing and Learning Actively with Youth), a community-focused music and performing arts outreach group that provides free performing arts education to the most underserved schools in Nashville. She also worked on several grand-funded projects studying neural regeneration as well as the fundamentals of the therapist-patient relationship as part of the Vanderbilt Psychotherapy Project.  Dr. Carson went on to graduate school at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, first to continue the work of the Vanderbilt Psychotherapy Project, before developing an interest in clinical neuropsychology. Dr. Carson completed a predoctoral internship in Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, with an additional emphasis on behavioral medicine.  Following her internship, Dr. Carson completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University and the New York Presbyterian Hospital in clinical neuropsychology and forensic psychology.

Dr. Carson’s current interests include neuropsychological evaluation, including the diagnosis of various dementias, the aftereffects of concussion, stroke, brain injury, seizure and cognitive effects of other medical conditions.  Dr. Carson also has a subspecialty in the area of behavioral medicine and rehabilitation psychology, assisting patients in adjusting to chronic illness, depression, somatic complaints, and anxiety with a variety of techniques including clinical hypnosis, guided relaxation, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Dr. Carson also has an interest in the evaluation of bilingual and Spanish-speaking individuals, with an emphasis on the need for multicultural understanding of the patient.

Dr. Carson’s approach to treatment focuses on the value of a warm and compassionate relationship between the client and the psychologist to allow for effective intervention. Dr. Carson believes in the value of living a full life to realize the potential of every person.

Dr. Dave S. Kerby, Ph.D.

Dr. Kerby received his doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  During his graduate clinical training experience, he worked with a wide range of issues, including assessment and treatment planning for adolescents in the criminal justice system, therapy and relapse prevention for clients with psychotic disorders, and assessment for early intervention among pre-school children.  He provided services to adults with intellectual disabilities, such as the design and delivery of a token economy system, and group home services designed to provide adults with the least restrictive environment.  Dr. Kerby conducted program evaluation of early education programs, focusing both on academic and behavioral outcomes.  He pursued studies in health psychology, and worked in the university sleep laboratory, conducting assessments and interpreting both behavioral and psychophysiological data.

Dr. Kerby completed a pre-doctoral internship at the University of Arizona Health Sciences in Tucson, Arizona.  As part of his duties in his internship year, he delivered a number of clinical services, including addressing problems such as recurring major depression, panic attacks, social anxiety disorder, management of bipolar disorder, anger issues, eating disorders, and substance abuse.  He completed a rotation in the sexual disorders clinic, where he conducted both individual and group therapy.  Dr. Kerby worked in the sleep disorders clinic, applying stimulus control and other cognitive-behavioral methods to the promotion of sleep.  He also completed rotations in neuropsychology and geropsychology.

Since obtaining his doctorate, Dr. Kerby has been interested in health psychology and health promotion, developing analytic techniques to assess multimorbidity and to report treatment outcome measures in ways that are intuitively meaningful to health providers and consumers.  He has taught psychology at the graduate level, including courses in health psychology, geropsychology, clinical diagnosis, and methods and techniques in counseling.  His therapeutic stance is cognitive-behavioral, and he works to establish a collaborative relationship with the goal of promoting psychological flexibility and valued living.

Dr. Lori A. Holmquist-Day attended the California School of Professional Psychology for her Doctoral Training Program in Clinical Psychology, and attended the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center for her Postdoctoral Neuropsychology Fellowship. Dr. Holmquist-Day provides assessment and therapeutic services for children with acquired and congenital medical and/or neurodevelopmental disorders. Her services include neuropsychological evaluations, group therapy, individual therapy for children adjusting to chronic medical conditions, and specialized evidence-based therapies for children with Tourette’s Syndrome. Dr. Holmquist-Day has given numerous presentations on Neuropsychological Services for the OU Medical Center and the University of Tulsa. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, Oklahoma Psychological Association, and the National Academy of Neuropsychology.

Dr. Ilse D. Carrizales, Ph.D.

Dr. Carrizales earned her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Psychology from St. Edward’s University, Austin, Texas in 2007. She then attended Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma from 2008 to 2012 where she earned her Master’s of Science degree (2009) and her Doctor of Philosophy degree (2012) both in Educational Psychology with a specialization in Counseling Psychology. She completed her pre-doctoral internship in Clinical Psychology at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio (UTHSCSA) where she completed rotations in a juvenile facility, in a forensic hospital, in a hospital’s psychiatric emergency services, in a university psychotherapy clinic, and in a group private practice. She later completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Forensic Psychology at the University of Washington and Child Study & Treatment Center in Tacoma, Washington, a child and adolescent psychiatric hospital, where she worked with children, adolescents, and their families in a clinical and forensic capacity.

While in graduate school, Dr. Carrizales completed rotations in various clinical settings where she worked with a diverse clientele including community members, college students, children, and incarcerated adolescents. She provided group, individual, family, and couples therapy as well as conducted psychological assessments.

Throughout her training and research experience, she developed a specialty in working with juveniles diagnosed with conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder as well as with their families. Aside from therapeutic interventions, Dr. Carrizales specializes in conducting court ordered psychological evaluations with pre-adjudicated and adjudicated juveniles. She also gained experience conducting forensic evaluations with adults.

Dr. Carrizales provides clinical services for both English and Spanish language speakers. She is multiculturally competent and believes that a supportive environment is necessary to develop a therapeutic alliance. She works together with her clients to set therapeutic goals and uses evidence based treatments such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy to help them reach their goals.

 

La Dra. Carrizales obtuvo su Licenciatura en Artes en Psicología de la Universidad de St. Edward en Austin, Texas en el 2007. Luego asistió a la Universidad Estatal de Oklahoma en Stillwater, Oklahoma 2008-2012 donde obtuvo su Maestría en Ciencias (2009) y su Doctorado en Filosofía (2012), tanto en Psicología de la Educación con especialidad en Psicología de Asesoramiento. Realizó su intern ado pre-doctoral en Psicología Clínica en la Universidad de Texas Health Science Center en San Antonio (UTHSCSA) donde realizó rotaciones en un centro de menores, en un hospital forense, en los servicios de urgencias psiquiátricas de un hospital, en una clínica de universidad psicoterapia, y en una clínica privada de grupo. Después obtuvo un post-doctorado en Psicología Forense de la Universidad de Washington y Child Study & Treatment Center en Tacoma, Washington, un hospital psiquiátrico para niños y adolescentes, donde trabajó con los jóvenes y sus familias en una clínica en una capacidad forense.

Mientras que en la escuela de postgrado, la Dra. Carrizales completo rotaciones en diversos entornos clínicos donde trabajó con una clientela diversa incluyendo miembros de la comunidad, estudiantes universitarios, niños, y adolescentes encarcelados. Ella proporcionó terapia de grupo, individual, familiar y de pareja, así como evaluaciones psicológicas realizadas.

A través de su experiencia de formación e investigación, desarrolló una especialidad en el trabajo con los menores diagnosticados con trastorno de conducta y trastorno negativita desafiante, así como con sus familias. Aparte de las intervenciones terapéuticas, la Dra. Carrizales se especializo en la realización de evaluaciones psicológicas de orden tribunal con juveniles pre-adjudicadas y adjudicadas. Ella también ganó experiencia en la realización de evaluaciones forenses con adultos.

La Dra. Carrizales ofrece servicios clínicos en Inglés y Español. Ella es multicultural competente, y cree que un ambiente de apoyo es necesario para desarrollar una alianza terapéutica. Ella trabaja junto con sus clientes para establecer los objetivos terapéuticos y utiliza tratamientos basados ​​en la evidencia, como la terapia cognitiva-conductual y la terapia dialéctica conductual para ayudar a alcanzar sus metas.

Dr. Miracle N. Goetz, Psy.D.

Dr. Goetz received her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Alliant International University, California School of Professional Psychology in Fresno, California. She completed her pre-doctoral internship with Youth Consultation Services (YCS) Institute of Infant and Preschool Mental Health in East Orange, New Jersey. As part of the internship, she was the psychological intern at the YCS Therapeutic Nursery of Essex County.  Dr. Goetz worked with a specific population including infants, toddlers, children, adolescents, and families. Additionally, she provided treatment within outpatient, school, and urban settings. She also conducted dyadic therapy with first time mothers and their infants. As a part of her rotation, Dr. Goetz co-facilitated a weekly parent-child group to foster attachment and attunement.

During her graduate clinical training experiences, Dr. Goetz earned her certification in Infant-Preschooler Mental Health. The certification meets the Knowledge Domains in the Birth to Five Standards for training in Infant and Preschooler Mental Health as defined by the California Infant-Family and Early childhood Mental Health Guidelines. As an Infant-Preschooler Mental Health Specialist, Dr. Goetz can support, evaluate, intervene early, and treat the mental health needs of young children and their families in many settings, including primary health care, early care and education, foster care, and home-visiting services. While working with families, she collaborated with parents to increase the bond with the child and to reduce the child’s behavior and emotional challenges. Dr. Goetz also worked with individuals experiencing depression, anxiety, relational, adjustment difficulties, and psychosis. In addition, Dr. Goetz developed a specialty in assessment, working to identify in clients potential learning disabilities, ADHD, behavior and mood difficulties, and other mental health concerns.

During her training at Alliant International University, she also worked at Sierra Vista Child and Family Services, an outpatient counseling center. Dr. Goetz serviced several programs including, Head Start Consultation, First 5, and Mental Health Outpatient. The Head Start and First 5 programs provided a continuum of community based mental health services for children and their families including outreach and engagement, individual assessment and service planning, counseling and intervention, parent education and support, group support services for children, and case management and referral. Additionally, the Mental Health Outpatient program serviced school aged children. Dr. Goetz worked with the local Mental Health agency and other support services to provide a therapeutic special day class setting for emotionally disturbed children, as well as Inclusion Services to children who struggle with emotional issues in their home school. By providing therapy to children transitioning from higher levels of care back to their home school, the program prevented children from needing higher levels of care.

Dr. Goetz provides psychological evaluations, including diagnostic interviews with children and parents/guardians as well as teacher reports, intelligence, achievement and emotional/behavioral measures, while incorporating behavioral observations into her report and recommendations. Dr. Goetz also provides therapy for clients with a variety of concerns, including trauma, anxiety, depression, and ADHD. Her approach in therapy is primarily integrative, providing therapeutic interventions based upon the presenting problem, the clients’ strengths and resources, and evidenced-based practices. During the initial session, Dr. Goetz will obtain a thorough history related to the client and family structure, health and developmental background, and academic and social functioning. Additionally, treatment options will be discussed and a collaborative treatment plan will be developed with the child and his or her parents. Parent education and support will be incorporated into treatment, if applicable.

 

 

Dr. Jennifer L. Morris, Ph.D

Dr. Morris is a Clinical Child Psychologist, specializing in working with children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders. She has been at the Moore Counseling Center since 2008, and she currently serves as a post-doctoral supervisor and as the Director of Autism Spectrum Services at the MCC. She received her doctoral degree from the Clinical Child Psychology program at the University of Alabama.  She completed her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Arkansas. She is a member of the American Psychological Association and APA’s Division 53: Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.

Dr. Morris received specialized training in Autism Spectrum Disorders at the University of Alabama’s Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinic and the UAMS Child Study Center’s autism program. She also received advanced clinical training on the ADOS diagnostic instrument, the gold-standard assessment for Autism Spectrum Disorders. She has been working with children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders for more than 10 years. She is involved in local events for the autism community, including regularly presenting at the Oklahoma Statewide Autism Conference and participating in the Oklahoma PieceWalk and 5K for Autism.

Dr. Morris provides diagnostic evaluations, individual/family therapy, and social skills therapy children and adolescents with ASD and their families. The diagnostic evaluation process includes a detailed parent interview, diagnostic play session (using the ADOS-2), intellectual testing, behavioral assessment, and adaptive behavior assessment.

Autism Spectrum Disorders, or Pervasive Developmental Disorders, are typically first observed in children during toddler years.  These diagnoses can affect a family in a variety of ways.  Because of this, her work focuses not only on working with the child’s strengths and weaknesses, but also on supporting the family.  Parents and caregivers are a necessary part of the evaluation and treatment process, as they know their children best.  It is her hope to collaborate with families, while providing parents with support and information to help with home life and school adjustment.

Therapy sessions are typically held weekly or biweekly, with the agreement that families will work on skills outside of the sessions.  Because of the unique nature of ASD’s, treatment goals are individualized to meet the needs of each child and family.  Individual and family therapy services involve developmental and behavioral interventions.  Dr. Morris is trained in using behavioral and structured teaching methods with children with ASD’s. Dr. Morris also provides psychological testing and individual/family therapy services for children and adolescents with other clinical issues (such as ADHD, anxiety, mood, or behavioral disorders).

Dr. Rachel B. Smiley, Ph.D.

Dr. Smiley received her undergraduate degree in Psychology in 2003 and her master’s degree in Community Counseling in 2006 from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. In 2011, she completed her doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in Kansas City, Missouri. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas. As a part of her internship, Dr. Smiley worked at a university counseling center as a primary rotation and completed a secondary rotation at a community mental health center. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Moore Counseling Center and stayed on as a psychologist after completing her fellowship. She has been working at the Moore Counseling Center since 2011.

During her graduate and post-graduate clinical training experiences, Dr. Smiley has developed a specialization in working with children, adolescents, and adults with a variety of presenting concerns including depression, anxiety, self-esteem problems, interpersonal concerns, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and others. Dr. Smiley also has experience providing psychological evaluations for diagnostic clarification and determination of potential of learning disabilities and ADHD. Her approach is primarily eclectic, providing therapeutic techniques based upon the presenting problem, clients’ strengths, and evidenced-based practices.
Currently, Dr. Smiley works primarily with adults in individual therapy and provides psychological evaluations for children and adults. Therapy sessions are typically held on a weekly or biweekly basis. During the first session, Dr. Smiley works to get to know her clients by obtaining a thorough history related to the individual’s family, social functioning, and developmental history. The client will also have an opportunity to discuss initials concerns motivating them toward therapy. Treatment goals will be discussed and a treatment plan will be developed collaboratively with the patient. The therapy process often focuses on improving coping skills, identifying and changing maladaptive thought and relationships patterns, and improving overall wellness. Improvements in self-esteem and self-awareness are also a focal point for therapy.

Whitney R. Lyons, L.P.C.

Whitney Lyons completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology in 2007 from the University of Oklahoma. She went on to complete her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2011. After graduation, Whitney began work for a community mental health agency providing home- and school-based counseling services to children and adults. During this experience Whitney was able to work with individuals and their families to address a multitude of issues including anxiety, depression, anger management, behavioral problems, and relationship problems.

Whitney values an evidence-based approach to counseling, primarily using Cognitive-Behavioral skills in her counseling method; however, Whitney recognizes each client as an individual and tailors her therapy style to the client’s strengths and needs.  She also recognizes the value of a good therapeutic relationship for making progress in therapy, making this a primary focus of her first few sessions with each individual.

Karyn S. Taylor, A.P.R.N.

Karyn is a native Oklahoman. She was raised in Apache, Oklahoma and graduated from a class of 30 students as Valedictorian in 1994. She then attended Cameron University as a Presidential Scholar and obtained her B.S. in Psychology in 1998, then her B.S. in Nursing in 1999 from the University of Oklahoma. She was active in the Army Reserve Nurse Corp while working as a critical care nurse and finishing her Master’s degree and certification in 2005 to become a Nurse Practitioner.

As a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner, NP, Karyn is able to perform physical assessments, order labs and x-rays, and write prescriptions. She focuses on a holistic, teamwork approach to provide the best care possible. Over the past 5 years Karyn has worked in family practice, internal medicine, urology, pediatrics, & psychiatry.

T. Nicole Ward, M.H.R.

Nicole Ward joins Moore Counseling Center as an education consultant to families with school-aged children who have been diagnosed with a disability or other impairment that interferes with the child’s ability to function to his/her potential and experience success in the school setting. With over 7 years experience as a classroom Special Education teacher, and having completed graduate and post graduate coursework and fifteen hundred hours of supervised practice in behavior analysis, Nicole combines her knowledge of both areas to provide caregivers of these children applicable insight into how the public school system’s special education departments function and how caregivers can appropriately participate in and advocate for their child in Individualized Education Program (IEP) and 504 meetings.

Prior to joining Moore Counseling Center, Nicole has been and continues to be a Special Education teacher in a local public school district. Nicole has written and managed well over one hundred IEPs addressing every student’s individual needs, both academically and behaviorally, by writing specific and attainable IEP goals, and developing a plan for each student to address and ultimately make gains toward these goals. In her first five years of teaching, Nicole supervised and trained up to five teaching assistants in the high school’s Autism program to ensure their understanding and accurate implementation of behavior modification and academic programs specific to every student. She currently serves in a dual role as a self-contained teacher and co-teacher with the general education teachers in a middle school. As a co-teacher, Nicole identifies necessary general education program modifications and develops and provides the general education teacher necessary accommodations for mainstreamed students on IEPs. She collects and analyzes data relevant to each student’s goals.

From 2005 through 2011, Nicole was Norman High’s Autism Program teacher, managing a caseload of at least fifteen students at a time, on the autism spectrum including Asperger’s syndrome. She worked closely with administrators and general education teachers to ensure compliance with the IEP and state and federal laws.  In addition, Nicole successfully advocated for students with special needs and worked tirelessly to teach acceptance both in the school and in the local community. She created and supervised a student organization at Norman High called Students Assisting Students (SAS) that brought in student peers to work directly with the students with special needs. The organization was a huge success and made such an impact on the peer students and students with special needs that friendships and assistance is still maintained beyond some of their high school careers.  Some former student aides have even gone on to major in and graduate with degrees in Special Education as a direct result of participation in the SAS organization.

Previously to this, Nicole served as a noncommissioned officer in the US Navy at the Pacific Headquarters in Hawaii, under a one star Army general.  She was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and Enlisted Person of the Quarter during her four year tour.

Nicole holds a Master’s degree in Human Relations (MHR) and a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education both awarded by the University of Oklahoma. She completed fifteen post graduate hours in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) through the University of North Texas, and fifteen hundred hours of supervised ABA practice under Dr. DJ Moran.