The Proactive team

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Leah Gongola, Ph.D., BCBA-D, COBA

  Leah Gongola, Ph.D., BCBA-D, COBA has licensure in general and special education. She taught in the classroom and was a home-based Medicaid provider. Gongola was also an Associate Professor in the Counseling, Special Education, and School Psychology Department at Youngstown State University. Dr. Gongola currently directs Proactive Behavior Services and Camp Sunshine of Aurora, a nonprofit summer camp designed to meet individualized needs for students with disabilities. Dr. Gongola is passionate about applying the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) across a variety of settings and in setting up plans and programs that infuse the science of ABA in tandem with behavioral artistry and the human connection. 

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Jen Gonda, BCBA, COBA

Jen is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in homes, public, and private schools. Jen has over a decade of experience passionately working in various settings with individuals with moderate to intensive disabilities as a teacher and behavior analyst. Jen spearheaded a non-profit, developing community programming for children with disabilities and served on the board of the Autism Society of Ohio. She worked at Camp Sunshine of Aurora for many years and founded and directed Camp F.R.I.E.N.D. in Youngstown, Ohio. She is currently the public policy chairperson for the Ohio Association of Behavior Analysis. She received her Bachelor degree in American Education and Inequality from New York University, a Master's degree in Education in Special Education--Autism and Related Disabilities from Youngstown State University, graduate certificate in ABA from Penn State University, and is working on her PhD in Special Education at Kent State University. Her research interests include functional behavior assessment with children in poverty, policies on the use of restraint and seclusion, and least restrictive settings for children with emotional and behavioral disorders. Jen has presented many times at state and regional conferences due to her excitement regarding behavior analysis and the growth of her clients. Jen enjoys being involved in the Ohio speech and debate community and uses behavior analytic principles to improve the public speaking and research skills of high school debaters.

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Jennifer Loudon, Ph.D., BCBA-D, COBA

Dr. Loudon is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D). She taught moderate to intensive special education elementary through middle school for 26 years and is an adjunct professor at Youngstown State University. Jen received a Masters in Supervision and Curriculum from Wright State University and a Doctorate in Special Education from Kent State University.  In 2017, Jen was awarded the Outstanding Special Educator award through the National Association of Special Education Teachers. Jen’s expertise is in the areas of autism, behavioral interventions, curriculum modifications, and accommodations.  

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Ashley Krznar, BCBA, COBA

Ashley Krznar BCBA, COBA, is a behavior analyst working with individuals with exceptionalities in home and school settings. She earned her bachelor’s degree in early childhood and special education and master’s degree in special education. Krznar co-developed Breaking Boundaries, a social skills group for adults with exceptionalities. 

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Andrea Speece, BCBA, COBA

Andrea Speece has a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science, a master’s degree in Special Education with a focus on Autism and Related Disabilities and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and Certified Ohio Behavior Analyst (COBA). Andrea was a licensed intervention specialist for seven years, working with students with moderate to intensive disabilities in kindergarten through fourth grade. In addition, Andrea has worked with students and families providing Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services since April 2011.

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Amanda Gillen, BCBA, COBA

Amanda Gillen is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst that provides consultative services to schools and families. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Youngstown State University and her Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis from Mercyhurst University. Amanda is passionate about the transfer of skills to caregivers and school teams, building their confidence with interventions as well as their relationship with the client. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her three dogs and kayaking with her husband.

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Colleen Larned, BCBA, COBA

Colleen Larned became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2011 after discovering her passion for working with individuals with special needs in 2005 at a summer camp in Ohio. She received a Bachelor of Science in Communication Science and Disorders and an American Sign Language certificate from the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. Colleen went on to receive her Masters in Special Education and Applied Behavior Analysis from Mercyhurst University. She has experience working with all ages across various settings, and was a licensed classroom teacher. She currently resides in Solon, OH with her husband and three children. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, camping, hiking, and playing games.

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Gay Dent-Yonkers

Gay Dent-Yonkers is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She earned her Masters Degree in Education with a major in Community Counseling and an emphasis on marriage and family. Gay achieved her board certification in behavior analysis (BCBA) in 2018. She is a certified CPI Nonviolent Crisis Intervention trainer. Gay worked for Orange City Schools for 33 years as an Intervention Specialist and Behavior Coach. She holds permanent teaching licenses across a variety of specialty areas and grade levels K-12. She has provided services across many different settings including in-home, separate facility, and school-based for children and adults with various emotional needs and abilities. Gay enjoys training families and other professionals about the application of behavior analysis. Her goal for all clients is to create comprehensive, evidence-based programs that encompass social, behavioral, and life skills, using the strengths and preferences of the individual.