Irene Chang
Licensed Educational Psychologist

Irene brings to NCSA more than 20 years of psychological work in the schools. With a B.A. (1993) and M.A. from Wesleyan University (1994), Irene went on to complete her Ph.D. in School Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley (2005).  Irene focused on honing her child, adolescent, and family therapeutic skills while at Contra Costa County Mental Health: Child, Family, & Adolescent Services (1998) and while working in Bay Area elementary-high schools from 1995-2007, in Hawaii as a Clinical/School Psychologist for the Department of Education (2007-2013) and as a school psychologist and mental health provider from 2013 until present in Sonoma and Nevada counties. Her role in psychoeducational evaluations is grounded in cognitive neuropsychology, instruction, and learning development, an ability to assess patterns of student interests, strengths and weaknesses and their impact on learning, emotional coping, social skills/relationships, motivation, and engagement in the classroom and school community in order to support students with the most effective interventions and supports specific to their needs.

 

Irene is a life-long learner who integrates visual and movement expressive arts, mindfulness/meditation, neurobiological feedback, cognitive and dialectical behavioral therapeutic approaches, as well as sand-tray and play therapy approaches in her counseling work with students. Irene has advanced training from the Center for Mind-Body Medicine 2019) to incorporate evidence-based skills in self-awareness, self-care, and self-expression to help bring balance and resilience for healing psychological trauma and stress and Therapist Certification in Individualized Mental Health Intervention for Children with ASD (AIM-HI intervention, 2021). When not at work, Irene can often be found out in her garden enjoying her flowers, hummingbirds, and bees, or on the trails, yoga mat, or in the water with her husband and two boys. She also is a singer, violinist (classical and electric), Soul Motion/5 Rhythms ecstatic conscious dancer, and avid lace meditation shawl knitter.

Lidiya Badalyan
Nationally Certified School Psychologist

Lidiya has many years of experience working with children of all ages, as a behavior interventionist, substitute teacher, and eventually beginning her role as a school psychologist at NCSA. Her professional preparation includes undergraduate and graduate degrees in psychology and school psychology from the California State University, Sacramento. As a nationally certified school psychologist she has presented research presentations at both state and national conferences and serves two school sites in Nevada County. She is very passionate about collaborating with educators, parents, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments for all students. She also strives to provide the necessary support and services to ensure that all students are able to perform to their greatest potential. With experiences in psycho-educational evaluations, academic and behavioral interventions, individual and group counseling, as well as various professional experiences she continues to learn each day and strengthen her practices to better serve her community.

 

Lidiya extends her passion for children outside of  her work, as a volunteer for her church and various mental health and professional organizations. She also enjoys spending time with her family, reading, cooking, hiking, traveling with her friends, as well as creating art and craft projects. She is readily available to answer your questions and you may email her at any time. Her email address is lidiya.badalyan@ncsota.org.

Scott Mertz
General Ed Counselor
Jenn McKim
Lower Campus Resource Specialist
Ania Kapp
Middle School Resource Teacher
Ania works as a Resource teacher at NCSA, supporting neuro-diverse students. She began her career in education as a paraprofessional and fell in love with the job and the students. Ania decided to go back to school and pursue a graduate degree with a teaching credential.  For the past four years, she has been the elementary school Resource teacher at NCSA. This year, she is making a move up the hill to the middle school. Ania is passionate about her job and loves helping her students feel successful. She is constantly researching and trying to learn how to make the classroom equitable for all students. 
 
Ania holds a B.A. in Art from Cal State Hayward. She has an M.S. in Special Education and Educational Specialist teaching credential from National University. 
 
Ania was born in Poland and moved to the United States when she was 11. She loves learning about other cultures and dabbles in learning other languages. Ania enjoys hanging out by the lake and spending time with her family and friends.
Katie Moorehead
Reading Specialist
Nancy Norbriga
Math Specialist
Erika Haynes
Speech Therapist

Erika Haynes, MS, CCC-SLP

Speech Language Pathologist

 

Erika grew up in the hills of a tiny town in Mendocino County amongst oak, manzanita, and madrone trees. Prior to her decade long career as a speech language pathologist, Erika has always enjoyed working in social occupations.  In 1998, she received her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Humboldt State University.  Shortly after graduating from HSU, she taught preschool for many years in Marin County, before leaving to assist in therapy groups at the Kalmanovitz Child Development Center at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.  In 2007, she returned to school for her master’s degree in Communicative Science and Disorders at Cal State East Bay.  After receiving her degree, Erika worked in Bay Area schools for 6 years as an SLP before moving to Nevada County and working in Placer County school district for another 3 years.  She very happily began her work at NCSA in 2020, and is overjoyed to be supporting students in the community she loves.

 

Erika has worked in a variety of class settings; from general education to moderate-severe special education classrooms, supporting students with needs in the areas of receptive/expressive/social language, fluency and articulation.  She has received certification in Picture Exchange Communication (PECs), and has advanced training in Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC) in order to support students who benefit from using other modes of communication aside from speech. Recently, Erika piloted a language intensive preschool program to provide early intervention services for students with mild-moderate communication disorders.  Erika has implemented a variety of techniques in her therapy practice, including using music, visual supports, games, physical activity, and literature based curriculum.  Currently, she is interested in better understanding how to support and involve neurodiverse students so that speech/language therapy nurtures a sense of self-esteem in a world that can be challenging and overwhelming to a neurodiverse brain.

 

On the weekends and during breaks, Erika spends her time gardening, hiking, and swimming in the river.  Erika enjoys knitting while listening to audio books, wild crafting, herbalism, reading, cooking, baking, and hanging out with her husband, and wonderful menagerie of animals.  She feels grateful and excited to be working at NCSA, a school that encourages growth, community and creativity.