Meet our Board of Directors
Stefanie Lai Rushatakankovit, LEP, BCBA
Stefanie is a Licensed Educational Psychologist/School Psychologist with Wiseburn Unified School District in the South Bay and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Stefanie is also a PEERS® School-Based Certified Provider. Within Wiseburn, Stefanie currently serves as the school psychologist for the preschool population, provides behavior support from kindergarten-8th grade, and trains para-professionals. Prior to Wiseburn, Stefanie was a school psychologist in El Monte City School District for nearly 8 years. Stefanie’s support of children with special needs and autism began with UCLA undergraduate classes with Dr. Ivar Lovaas. She has worked in non-public school, clinical, and home settings before obtaining her MA in Educational Psychology from Loyola Marymount University. Stefanie also has a special interest in trauma informed care. Stefanie plans on obtaining licensure as a Licensed Educational Psychologist in the future. As a mother of twin boys, Stefanie enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, reading, attending concerts, and trying to get winning lottery tickets to see Hamilton someday!
Jessica is an Elementary and Pre-School teacher with many years working in education, special education settings and early childhood development. Her understanding of curriculum and her creativity with lesson plans make her an outstanding educator. She has worked as a Behavior Interventionist for both non-public agencies and school districts and is trained in Non-Violent Crisis Intervention. Jessica is a Certified Sibshop Facilitator. In her spare time, Jessica loves to decorate and plan events! She also loves to travel, loves anything Italian, and loves her family dog Romeo.
Julie Brown moved to Southern California in 1984 from Massachusetts. As part of a nationwide marketing team, she came here to do Market research. Feeling at home in Redondo Beach, she settled down, raised two children and started an event planning company. He company Mise en Scene, Event Planning is a perfect partner for Our Village. She brings to us, twenty years of experience in event planning and event production. Her favorite pastime is cooking so that she has great food to eat while watching Football.
Dr. Albert Knapp is a Clinical Psychologist (PSY # 25873) in California, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral and a Registered Play Therapist- Supervisor Level. Dr. Knapp completed his doctoral research on studying the effect of autism spectrum disorders on parental stress, anxiety, and coping, which was recognized by Argosy University as an “Outstanding Clinical Research Project”. Furthermore, Dr. Knapp has extensive professional experience working with infants through older adults with developmental disabilities, behavioral problems, and dual-diagnoses (learning disabilities and severe mental illness) in various capacities, including direct service, supervision, consultation, school/paraprofessional training, parent training, assessment, and psychotherapy. Dr. Knapp currently operates a mental health clinic in Redondo Beach that provides assessment, CBT therapy, play therapy, and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to children and adolescents who present with ASD, and other mental health concerns. Albert loves Disneyland, football and his puppy "Britney"!
Monica is a mother of two, a Marriage and Family Therapist
(MFT # 47541) a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Registered Play Therapist- Supervisor Level. Her dedication to the autism spectrum community started as a behavior therapist under Dr. Lovaas at UCLA and continued through her work as Clinical Director at various top non-public agencies in Los Angeles. She also worked as Clinical Director at Walk With Sally, a non-profit providing mentoring support to children affected by Cancer. Currently Monica works in private practice where she combines her expertise in Play Therapy and Applied Behavior Analysis to consult with school districts, provide talks and workshops to the community and help children and families everyday. Monica also is an instructor at UCSD Extension in their Play Therapy Certificate Program, and a frequent speaker at conventions, schools, trainings and more! Monica loves travelling and adventure, and has a passion for cooking, volunteering, musicals and "Rocky" movies.