Our team is composed of dynamic professionals who are Master’s level clinicians licensed as applied behavior analysts, (LABA) and Board Certified Behavior Analysts, (BCBA). They are experienced and well-trained in supporting individuals with Autism and other developmental disabilities. They are also knowledgeable in helping individuals with coexisting health conditions and consider their clients’ overall needs in creating a treatment plan. They teach parents and caregivers how to effectively and compassionately help their loved ones and also provide them with evidence-based tools and methodologies to enable positive changes in social, emotional, educational and behavioral development. Our employees undergo a complete background check, comprehensive orientation training and continuing education.
Jessica Stott, M.S., BCBA, LABA is the Executive Director for Key Connections ABA Services. She has worked in the field of education providing ABA- based services for over 15 years. Her experience ranges from working with individuals from early intervention through adulthood both in the public and private sector, with a desire for providing compassionate care through quality family driven services. Prior to joining Key Connections ABA Services, she has held positions overseeing center-based services and consulting within public schools to children with various learning profiles. Jessica specializes in parent education, staff and program development, consultative services, system development, Autism Spectrum Disorders and Special Education. Jessica is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, licensed applied behavior analyst in the state of Massachusetts and a former instructor at Endicott College as well as a Safety Care Trainer.
Erica Kusz joined Key Connections ABA Services in April 2020 as the Program Director of home, community and center services. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and a Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Endicott College. She became a BCBA in 2015 and has been in the field for 8 years. Erica has experience working in a private ABA school system as well as insurance-based home and center services for individuals diagnosed with ASD and other developmental diagnoses. Previously, Erica was an Assistant Director of Early Intervention and then an Assistant Clinical Director of home and center services for the Worcester, MA region at Behavioral Concepts Innovations. Her expertise is in early intervention, parent training, supervision of BCBA’s, managing an ABA center and social skills curriculum development. She was recognized in the Worcester Business Journal for the Movers and Shakers in 2020, and is a member of the Berkshire Association for Behavior Analysis and Therapy.
Ashley Gello joined Key Connections in December 2020, as the Administrative Coordinator. She has worked in the childcare and healthcare field for over 10 years, as a professional nanny, medical assistant, and front-end coordinator at an out-patient pediatric office. She received her bachelor’s degree in Nutrition with a minor in Psychology at Framingham State University, and hopes to go back to school to receive her Master’s degree in the near future. She is also a mom to two sweet and active boys. Through her work and life experiences, Ashley has grown a driving passion for working with and helping children with autism and their families to thrive. She hopes to help make a positive impact on the families we serve here at Key Connections. Outside of work, Ashley enjoys reading, going on adventures with her boys, and spending time at her lake cottage in Maine.
Nancy Taylor, M.S., BCBA, LABA joined Key Connections ABA Services in October of 2020 in a part time BCBA role to dip her toes in after having been in the school system for over 20 years. In January she dove into a full time BCBA role ready for a new endeavor. She feels fortunate to work with a professional and knowledgeable staff who challenge her to continue to learn and grow and to use those skills to benefit the clients we work with. Nancy obtained her Masters in Autism Studies-UMass Lowell and her Bachelor of Science Elementary Education-Salem State University. Some of Nancy’s personal interests include biking, hiking, kayaking and her dogs. “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” Mother Teresa
Merrill Koontz M.S., BCBA, LABA joined Key Connections in February 2021 as a BCBA. She holds her Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis from Northeastern University, Boston MA as well as her Master’s in Art of Teaching from Plymouth State University, Plymouth NH where she graduated Suma Cum Lauda. Merrill has a background in teaching within a public school setting as well as working in a center-based ABA program. Merrill’s interests within the field include organizational behavior management, equine therapy, and early intervention. In addition to her passion for behavior analysis, Merrill enjoys traveling and photography.
Kellie Harries M.Ed, BCBA, LABA joined Key Connections in August 2021 as the Clinical Coordinator for home, community, and center-based services. She holds her Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis from Endicott University as well as her Bachelor’s in Science of Community Health and Psychology from UMASS Lowell. Kellie has a background in school and insurance-based home programming, as well as working in a residential setting. Kellie’s interests within the field include BCBA supervision, daily living skills, and Functional Communication Training. Kellie has a variety of hobbies, including plants, puzzles, and gymnastics.
Katie Entwistle M.S., BCBA, joined Key Connections in April 2022 as a BCBA. She holds her Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis from Bay Path University, as well as her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from the University of Vermont. Katie has worked in the field of ABA for 7 years, working in center-based and home-based settings. Her interests in the field include early intervention, and trauma-informed care. Prior to discovering ABA, she held positions as a preschool teacher at a Head Start program, a site director at an after-school program, and a nature and outdoor skills director at a YMCA camp. Katie’s personal interests include anything nature-related (self-proclaimed bird nerd), and anything food-related (i.e. tacos). When not working, she can be found with her boyfriend and their two guinea pigs, Charizard and Mew. A future dream of Katie’s is to one day use her ABA background to work with and study the behavior of corvids, specifically ravens.
Tayla Carroll M.S., BCBA, LABA joined Key Connections in September of 2022 as a part time BCBA. She holds her Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis from Simmons University as well as a Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Tayla has worked in the field of ABA for 5 and half years, working primarily in early childhood, home-based services. She also has experience in center-based services and social skills. In addition to social skills, Tayla’s primary interest within the field of ABA is early intervention. Outside of work Tayla enjoys spending time with her family, photography, and tackling DIY projects. Tayla hopes to one day open an integrated preschool program.
Crystal Lee Antunes joined Key Connections in December, 2020 as a Behavior Technician. Crystal attended the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and obtained her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. In addition to these degrees, she also obtained a certificate in Developmental Disabilities from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Prior to joining Key Connections, she completed two internships at Lowell High School, working in special education and then worked for Lowell Public Schools as a substitute teacher. Following this, Crystal started her ABA career providing in home services, as a Behavior Technician. Crystal aspires to go back to school to obtain her Master’s level degree, and become a BCBA. Outside of work she enjoys skateboarding, gardening, and cars as well as duckpin bowling and walking her dog.
Stephanie Pires joined Key Connections in October 2021 as a Behavior Technician. She currently attends Middlesex Community College with plans to transfer to Umass Lowell to receive her degree in Autism Studies to become a BCBA. Stephanie has been working with kids for several years as a nanny and an infant teacher. About two years ago she started working in the field of ABA and fell in love with it. Her favorite part of her job is being able to see all of the kiddos accomplish their goals whether it is as simple as pointing at what they want or being able to initiate conversations with their peers. In Stephanie’s free time, she likes to hang out with her friends and family. She has a 3-year-old toy poodle named Lilah who loves to play and cuddle.
Sara Spies-Karotkin joined Key Connections September 2021. She obtained her Masters at Lesley University- 2019 in Special Education with Moderate Disabilities K-8. Throughout her educational and professional experience, she has acquired numerous skills that make her an invaluable asset in the education field. Sara has over thirteen years of experience teaching diverse groups of students with disabilities. Those years of experience as well as her skills in differentiated instruction, assisted technology, and lesson planning allow her to create a welcoming environment that caters to the needs of every client. Sara is always looking forward to further her professional development so she can enrich the lives of her clients. Sara’s hobbies include interior decorating, traveling, going to the beach, as well as spending time with her family and friends and her new dog Paisley.
Wes Putten joined Key Connections as a Behavioral Therapist in October 2021. He obtained an associate’s degree in psychology in 2018 and will be returning to school the upcoming spring to obtain his BA in Psychology. His greatest accomplishment is being able to grow and contribute to this field of work, and the families that we service. His current interest these days is music! He loves to write songs, record, and play for people. A side goal he has is to make music another source of passive income.
Olivia Senneville joined Key Connections in February 2022 as Behavior Technician. She holds her Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology with a minor in Elementary Education from Worcester State University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. Olivia has worked in childcare for nearly a decade and has a background in neurodevelopmental research. She hopes to go back to school to obtain her Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis to become a BCBA. Outside of Key Connections, Olivia loves photography, traveling, and sitting down with a good book.
April Farley joined Key Connections in March 2022 as a Billing & Credentialing Specialist. She received her High School Diploma from Greater Lowell Technical High School with a concentration in Marketing. She has been in the Behavioral Health field for over 20 years, starting out as a receptionist, and working up to Practice Management. April’s current interests are Nascar, crafting, family, and working on her farmhouse in the mountains.
Cam Conlon joined Key Connections in April of 2022 as a Behavior Technician. He attended Middlesex community College from 2019-2021, graduating with an Associates in Liberal arts and sciences, with a concentration in Psychology. In the fall, he will be starting his senior year at UMass Lowell and hopes to graduate in May 2023 with his BA in Psychology with a concentration in Behavior Analysis. After getting his BA, his goal is to get his Masters in Behavior Analysis, then go for his BCBA. Cam’s hobbies include golfing, reading, and exercise.
Erika Benzing joined Key Connections in September 2022. She graduated high school from home and attended Nashua Community College while deciding on a career path. Erika has 7 years of experience working with children of all ages in childcare centers. Her interests include reading, listening to music, and animals!
John Roop joined Key Connections in October 2022 as a Behavior Technician. He worked in inpatient psych for the past 2 years, which taught him a lot about human behavior. He then decided he wanted to expand his knowledge in the field of psychology and ABA. John also works part-time as a Youth Coordinator at First Parish in Lexington and really enjoys serving his community with the senior high youth group. John loves working with people of all ages and especially enjoys working with younger children. In his free time, John spends time in nature, hanging out with his two dogs Dude and Lola, and playing basketball and baseball.
Michelina Roy joined Key Connections ABA Services in December of 2020 as a Behavior Technician. She graduated from Assumption College with a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art and Human Services. Michelina has gained over 6 years of experience working with individuals with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities, brain injury and neurobehavioral disorders, and other special needs. Michelina is also enrolled in the Special Education – Severe Disability Master’s program at Endicott College. Michelina is very excited to be part of the Key Connections team. She will be sitting for the RBT exam soon and hopes to continue to make a positive difference in the lives of the children we serve.