MEET THE CREW
Learn a little about our awesome Special Kids team.
Staff A-L | Staff M-Z
grace mcclendon, MS, CF-SLP
speech language pathologist
Grace loves helping the kids. Her favorite part of her work is being with the kids all day and spending time with them. When Grace is away from the kids, she enjoys walking her dog and being a fervent animal lover.
Bailey Reilly-Montes, MOT, OTR/L
LEAD Occupational therapist
Bailey loves building relationships with the kids. Her favorite part is being a part of their journey. When Bailey is away from the kids, she's gardening, watching baseball (Go Angels!), and spending time with her son. Being from sunny California, Bailey loves being outside hiking or playing catch.
Warner works to keep our therapy and nursing services running smoothly, being an extra set of hands and huge blessing to our staff. He enjoys getting to play ‘Avengers’ with the children and teaching them the ‘Avenger’ moves. When Warner isn’t playing superheroes with the kids, he can be found camping with his family, training to box, and at long-distance shooting practice.
Jessica's favorite part of her job is dancing and singing silly songs with the children. Jessica is always a great help to our nursing staff to be an extra set of hands with the kids and to jump in and serve however. In her free time, Jessica enjoys reading books, writing in her journal, swing dancing, and, yes, the occasional time spent knitting.
maria noya, cfle
Maria can often be found chasing the kids around the Nursing Center. Her favorite part of her job is getting to see the kids grow. When Maria isn't playing with the kids, she can be found at a Predator's game, playing board games with friends, or spending time outdoors with her dogs.
christa olson, ms, otr/l
Christa loves working in an environment where she can find ways to love on, encourage, and motivate all of God's precious children. Her favorite part of her job is seeing how God truly cares for His children. When Christa isn't helping the kids, she enjoys going on adventures with her camera and hammock, and more inside the city limits, she likes to get lost and explore new places, especially local coffee shops. Her favorite pastime is hanging out with Jesus, family, and friends.
insurance/ billing specialist
Karen is the all around support for the staff and families at the Kleinau Nursing Center. She continually goes above and beyond to help wherever she can. Karen's favorite part is helping families get the most benefit out of their insurance. With her own family, Karen loves hiking with her husband and spending time with her grandchildren.
Director of Administration
Jan is the financial person guru at Special Kids. With her background in accounting, Jan uses her giftings to serve needs of the whole team. When Jan is away from the numbers, she enjoys watching her girls play sports and spending time with her family. Jan loves being a part of a ministry that has such a powerful impact on so many families.
rachel polk, ms, ccc-slp
speech LANGUAGE pathologist
Rachel loves building relationships with our families and showing them that we are here to support them any way we can. Rachel's favorite part of her work is seeing the faces of the kids light up when they have accomplished a goal. When Rachel isn't helping children say their first word, she can be found traveling with her husband and spending time with their dog, Otis.
Tarina is our biggest cheerleader and helps to keep everything running smoothly. Her heart to serve is evident in how she cares for the staff and the families. When Tarina is away from her work desk, she’s at her home desk working on obtaining her bachelor’s degree. Tarina also enjoys bowling, skating, and watching her children play sports.
alexis ramsey, ctrs
director of strategic initiatives
Alexis is a long-time servant at Special Kids, having expanded our nursing program and created Camp Ability in her previous role. She loves getting to witness the big and small miracles every day at Special Kids. Today, Alexis explores areas for Camp Ability to grow and possibilities for new programs to develop from our existing ministries. When Alexis isn't being a rockstar program starter, she can be found traveling with her husband or playing with her four-legged children, Darth and Leia.
Connie loves loving on the kids. After beginning as a volunteer, Connie joined staff and has enjoyed the Christian environment and attitude she is surrounded by every day. When Connie isn't playing with the children here, she's playing with her own grandchildren and spending time cooking, hiking, reading, and doing crossword puzzles.
Libby has served in several capacities with Special Kids over the years. Her most recent venture uses Libby's enjoyment of computers and determination to not let them outsmart her. When Libby isn't making strides in the IT world, she came be found reading, spending time with her family and friends, going to auctions with her husband, and attending church functions.
kellyann roush, MS,otr/l
occupational therapy specialist
KellyAnn is a ball of energy and fun. She loves that she gets to be at a place where 'work' is 'play!' KellyAnn enjoys empowering children and family with skills they didn't know they were capable of. When KellyAnn isn't at work playing, she is spending time with loved ones and learning about 'Southern traditions.' She loves exploring middle Tennessee and wrangling her cat, Boozle.
cathy rungee, rn
Cathy has been a long-time friend of Special Kids, having started as a volunteer for our Hoofbeats therapeutic riding program. She loved seeing the extraordinary relationship between the horses and the children and now enjoys having fun with the children in our nursing center. Cathy loves what she does, the staff, and the constant chatter of little voices. Her favorite part of her work is receiving the affirmation of a hug, smile, or a fist bump from a Special Kid.
Ashley is the person behind the scenes, getting there early, staying late- all to make sure our event guests have the best experience possible. She loves using her gifts to fulfill the greater purpose of serving the children at Special Kids. When Ashley isn't pulling all nighters for events, she can be found at concerts with friends, eating chips and salsa, and doing a barre workout after chips and salsa.
gena schmahl, rn
Gena feels blessed to work on-call with the wonderful children and staff at Special Kids. Her favorite part of her job is watching her fellow staff members serve the children, families, and one another as Jesus' hands and feet. For fun, Gena loves to bargain shop, cook, play board games, and have family fun nights with her kids and husband.
investor relations SPECIALIST
Kelly wears many hats as she cares for our donors and supports our development team. Kelly's favorite part of her job is working with the staff and getting to know the children and families we serve. When Kelly is away from the office, she is spending time with her husband and two mini Australian Shepherds. Kelly also enjoys kayaking, camping, and spending time with friends and family.
KAtie taylor, m.s., ccc-slp
prn speech language THERAPIST
Katie loves watching the kids achieve their goals! She says that working with the children and families is extremely rewarding. When Katie isn't helping the kids, you can find her traveling or playing at an escape room... or both! She and her husband enjoy traveling to new places and competing in the escape rooms that town has to offer.
hailee truelove, Ma, CCC-SLP
lead speech language pathologist
Hailee loves to witness the first time a child learns a new skills. Her favorite part of her work is connecting children to others by helping them learn to communicate. When Hailee is away from the kids at work, she is cooking healthy meals for her own family and learning about health and wellness. Hailee can also be found outdoors jogging with her husband.
Mary Elizabeth Tucker
Investor Relations Specialist
Mary Elizabeth is excited to have the opportunity to serve Jesus by serving at Special Kids and giving back to the community she grew up in. When she’s not working, she enjoys running, reading, traveling, and working in the middle-school ministry and serving on the worship team at her church.
christian vaughan, ms, ccc-slp
Christian’s favorite part of Special Kids is getting to know the families so well. She loves when they feel comfortable and safe coming to us for ideas and suggestions. When Christian isn’t teaching children to communicate, she can be found listening to live music at a concert or a restaurant or going down a river with her family.
courtney wall, cota/l
occupational therapy assistant
Courtney enjoys getting to play all day for her work. Her favorite part is being a kid with the kids. When Courtney isn’t playing for work, she can be found outdoors hunting, fishing, and camping. For some indoor fun, Courtney also enjoys quilting and getting together with her family after church each week.
sheri weber, MSW
Director of Therapy
Sheri is focused on serving the families at Special Kids. She loves that at Special Kids she can help families beyond our doors and be a resource to the whole community. Sheri also currently serves as the interim Director of Rehabilitation, where she is passing her love and passion for caring for our families to our Rehab team. With her own family, Sheri loves vacationing, especially taking cruises where her whole crew can unplug and enjoy time away together.
Erin Weiss, ms, ccc-slp, AAA/at
speech language pathologist
Erin loves helping the kids learn to communicate and have a voice in the world. It brings her great joy to listen to what they have to tell her! When Erin isn't helping the kids, she loves playing with her own kids, be it outside, with legos, or simply coloring. Erin and her family also enjoy exploring Tennessee on day short day trips.
development program assistant
Tracie enjoys being a support to the development team and helping to fill the needs for the kids. She sings the praises of her co-workers and loves working in a family-like atmosphere. When Tracie isn't assisting her work team, she's cheering on her home team at marching band shows with her husband and chasing her spunky little girl around the park.
Karin is the graphic artist behind the Special Kids brand. She is passionate about sharing stories through images and having Jesus' Word at the forefront of our ministry. When Karin isn't designing the latest website page, she can be found reading on the front porch of her log cabin. She loves supporting her husband and kids to see them reach their dreams and carries that love over to supporting the needs at Special Kids to help the kids.
<< Staff A-L