Special Education Conference (Oahu) - Presenters

Amanda N Kelly

Dr. Amanda N. Kelly obtained her bachelors in Elementary Ed. (2002), her masters in Behavioral Ed. (2007), & her doctorate in Behavior Analysis (2013). Dr. Kelly has experience working as a paraprofessional, special education teacher, school counselor, & behavior analyst. Over the past two decades, Dr. Kelly has worked in home settings, public & private schools, residential placements, & community settings for children, adolescents, & young adults with social-emotional, cognitive, and behavioral needs; both in Massachusetts and Hawaiʻi. Dr. Kelly has served on several boards and committees and is currently serving on the board for the Hawai'i Disability Rights Center, on HABA, & as Director for Together For Our Keiki. Dr. Kelly's dedication and commitment in improving access to educational & medical services has resulted in numerous speaking engagements throughout the world, including talks in Canada, Philippines and Thailand. In 2016, Dr. Kelly became the first behavior analyst licensed in the state of Hawai'i. Amanda N. Kelly, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA is also known by her popular online persona, Behaviorbabe.

Andria Tupola

Andria Tupola formerly taught music at Leeward Community College. She has earned 2 degrees in music education (a M.A.  from the University of Hawaiʻi, Manoa and a B.M. from Brigham Young University) and is currently completing a PhD (also in Music). Andria is an honors graduate of Kamehameha Schools, Kapālama, and is an avid fan of both sports and the performing arts. She enjoys spending time with family, especially her husband, Tavo, and their two daughters. In 2018, Andria ran for Governor of the State of Hawai’i; she will also be running in 2022. Andria's vision is to create a Hawaiʻi where more local families can afford to live here for generations to come. Andria knows there are systemic issues in our state that must be addressed, which needs to start at the top. Andria believes we cannot solve the problems in Hawaiʻi with the same mindset in which they were created. We need new fresh leadership that puts the people first. Andria firmly believes that this State deserves more and that TOGETHER we all can work towards creating a better Hawaiʻi.

Ashley Monden

Ashley Monden is a Licensed Special Education teacher, who is in her second year teaching at an elementary school on Oahu. Before relocating to Oahu, Ashley worked as a teacher on Hawaiʻi Island. Prior to becoming a teacher, Ashley worked as an Educational Assistant (EA) for close to a decade. Currently, in addition to working as a public school teacher, Ashley also works part-time as a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) for an ABA Agency on Oahu. Ashley obtained her Masters in Special Education from Chaminade University and has completed the approved course sequence in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) from the University of West Florida (UWF). Ashely is an active member of the Hawaiʻi Association for Behavior Analysis (HABA) Legislative Committee. 

Crystal Amelang

Crystal Amelang graduated with a degree in Occupational Therapy from Colorado State University in 2002 and has now been working in pediatrics for 15 years. She has experience working in a variety of pediatric settings including the home, community parks,  beaches, public and private schools and play based sensory clinics. These opportunities have allowed her to treat children with a variety of developmental delays and given her extensive experience working with children on the Autism Spectrum and with Sensory Processing Disorders. Crystal is an Advanced Integrated Listening System (iLs) Practitioner, Advanced Pediatric Interactive Metronome (IM) Practitioner, an Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner (SIPT). Crystal has completed 500 hours of training in massage therapy, which she incorporates into her pediatric practice, as well as training in CranioSacral Therapy provided by the Upledger Institute. Crystal relocated to Hawaii in 2009 and realized there was a great need for specialized therapies for the pediatric population on Oahu. At that time she began her pursuit to bring Sprouts Therapy to life, founding the Oahu based program in December of 2010. 

Debi Hoo'huli

Debi Hoohuli, originally from West Oahu, has more than 15 years of experience working in various capacities and environments with children, adolescents and adults with special needs and their families in the State of Hawaiʻi. She has provided services to clients in therapeutic living programs, forensic housing programs, group homes, alternative learning centers, military facilities, preschools, public schools, private schools, community settings and home settings. Debi is a graduate student at the University of West Florida and enrolled in the Masters in Exceptional Student Education/Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Specialization program. Her recent professional preferences include Parent Training/Consultation and Direct Care Staff Training. Debi is committed to the dissemination and ethical implementation of behavior analysis throughout Hawai’i nei. Debi currently oversees the agency’s Department of Health -Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities (DOH-DD/ID) Medicaid Waiver Program as well as the Parent Education and Training Program for ABA agency on Maui. 

Jennifer Lonardo

Jennifer Lonardo has a Bachelors degree in Psychology from the American University of Paris and is fluent in French. She completed her Masters program in Professional Behavior Analysis at the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) and earned her BCBA. Jennifer has over 10 years of experience in the fields of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Human Services. She has worked in hospitals and schools, in-homes, and in residential programs for children and adults with mild, moderate, and severe impairments. Jennifer has completed internships in neuropsychology and ABA in hospitals and homes in Paris, France and has worked in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, California, and currently Hawaiʻi. 

Karen Tyson

Dr. Karen Tyson is a Pediatric Neuropsychologist and the Chief Clinical Psychologist at the LD-ADHD Center of Hawaii. She is a nationally recognized expert in the area of learning disabilities and special education law and advocacy. A graduate of the Wrightslaw Special Education Advocacy program at the William and Mary School of Law she is called upon to lecture and testify in court for learning-disabled students across the United States. Dr. Tyson’s clinic, the LD-ADHD Center of Hawaii has multiple offices on Oahu and also on the Big Island. She is an approved APPIC training site for graduate students pursuing their doctorate in clinical psychology and mentors and trains students across Hawaii. She specializes in learning disabilities, ADHD and Autism and conducts exhaustive neuropsychological evaluations to assist families and schools in better understanding a child’s strengths and deficits. She is also an active researcher; current research studies include gender differences in girls with autism as well as a reverse longitudinal study of the effects of Pitocin on the brain and possible correlations with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Lara Bollinger

Lara Bollinger is a third year law student at UDC Law. She has a B.S. in Family and Community Services from the University of Delaware, an M.S.Ed. in Special Education from Northeastern University, and certification in Behavior Analysis from FIT. Lara has been a BCBA since 2010 and has worked with individuals with developmental disabilities in a variety of settings. While in Hawai’i, Lara joined HABA Legislative committee, where she became an advocate for students with disabilities to state legislators, working to achieve successful licensure of Behavior Analysts and statewide Autism insurance reform in Hawai’i. Lara has volunteered with the following law clinics: Legislation, Tzedek DC, Community Development, and Juvenile and Special Education. She has also interned at Advocates for Justice and Education, where she assisted families with accessing appropriate educational services for their children. 

Lisa Sakuda

Lisa Sakuda earned her Bachelors in Family Resource Management Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi. She has experience working as a teacher's aide at Alani Childrens' Center. Lisa subsequently worked as a Classroom Preschool Teacher at The Childrens' Center for 6 years. She also has experience working as a Paraprofessional Tutor for the Hawaiʻi Department of Education (Hawaiʻi DOE). While enrolled in a behavior analysis certificate program at the University of West Florida (UWF), Lisa obtained her RBT (Registered Behavior Technician) credential. Lisa currently works full-time as an RBT for a local ABA-agency. She has completed her coursework towards certification in behavior analysis and is currently obtaining her supervision and mentorship, in order to be eligible to take the national exam.  Lisa is also an active member of the Hawaiʻi Association for Behavior Analysis (HABA) Legislative Committee.

Maureen McComas

Maureen McComas grew up in the Bay Area along with her 4 siblings, one of which struggled with severe disabilities. Because of the strong advocacy of her mother, her brother now lives a fulfilling and independent life. Maureen models that strong advocacy for her own 2 beautiful daughters who are both diagnosed with Autism along with co-occurring conditions. Maureen and her husband of 33 years have 4 wonderful children, and recently retired from 25 years of fostering medically complex infants. She is passionate about helping and supporting other parents to advocate for their children in the special education system.

Tori Sims

Tori Sims has a Bachelors degree from Trinity International University in Psychology and a Masters from Capella University in Psychology with a specialization in ABA. Tori has over 10 years experience working with children and adolescents and over 5 years experience serving individuals with autism and related disorders. Originally born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, Tori, her husband, Phil, and dog, Tank moved to Hawai'i in May 2018. In addition to working full time as a behavior analyst and voluntering as an advocate, Tori also serves on the Legislative Committee for the Hawai'i Association for Behavior Analysis (HABA). In her free time, Tori enjoys reading research articles for fun and spending time at the beach.