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Meet the Team

ashley shapiro

Ashley Shapiro, MA, BCET

Board Certified Educational Therapist
Executive Director & Founder

Ashley’s work began in 2006 as an academic tutor while attending graduate school for psychology.

"I realized my unique gift for working with kids with learning differences when the owner of the tutoring company told me they referred me to the 'difficult kids'. I never thought of my kids as difficult; I thought of them as brilliant."

Ashley was promoted to Director of Tutoring Services. The company opened her eyes to the number of kids who needed support beyond what academic tutors were able to offer, so she went on to become a Board Certified Educational Therapist (BCET).

“As a tutor, I could support my students on a given assignment, but who was going to teach them the underlying skills and processes necessary to read, write, and do math independently? That’s when I knew I wanted to be an educational therapist."

She founded edcahoots in 2010 and since then has been providing services for hundreds of children. In addition, she consults with schools and lectures about reading difficulties and executive skills.

“I look for the best in everyone, which is essential to my work with students whose difficulties can negatively impact self-esteem. Acceptance and respect lay at the foundation of my work with each and every student – this practice enables me to genuinely connect with students who come to see that I am more than just an educator, but rather a mentor who is truly invested in each student’s success and well-being.”

Ashley received her BA from UC Berkeley where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. She earned a MA in Psychology from Pepperdine University and completed educational therapy coursework at CSUN and UCLA. She is a member of the Association of Educational Therapists, the International Dyslexia Association, and the Phi Beta Kappa Society. While in graduate school, she conducted a qualitative research study on clinicians’ preferred interventions for school-aged children with ADHD.

Ashley, a native Angeleno and graduate of Chaminade College Preparatory High School, currently lives with her husband Beau, a rabbi at Wilshire Boulevard Temple, and their toddler Evelyn. When she is not at edcahoots, she can be found training for a marathon, trying out new restaurants, and traveling with her family.



sarah spiwak gelbart

Sarah Spiwak Gelbart, MA, ET/P

Associate

Sarah is an Educational Therapist/Professional (ET/P) who has been in the education field since 2007. After graduating from the University of Southern California, she worked as a fourth- and second-grade teacher in downtown Los Angeles. While she loved her time in the public sector, she felt a calling to work with students who have learning differences. While completing her Masters in Special Education with an emphasis in Educational Therapy at California State University Northridge, Sarah worked as a classroom teacher and reading specialist at Park Century School. Sarah left Park Century in 2015 to work full time as an Educational Therapist.

As a product of the special education system herself, Sarah’s motivation and empathy for her students is unparalleled. Her favorite aspect of Educational Therapy is teaching to the whole child. Sarah believes that the only way for a student to be open to learning is to be taught in a learning environment where he or she feels comfortable and understood. Sarah is also trained as a yoga teacher and integrates her mindfulness training into her work with students. In her free time, Sarah can be found practicing yoga, playing with her daughters Emma and Nomi, and hanging by the beach.



lauren rubey

Lauren Rubey, MSEd, ET/P

Associate

Lauren is an Educational Therapist/Professional (ET/P) who has worked in the field of education in both New York and California. She has taught at multiple schools for students with learning disabilities, language processing disorders, ADHD and other learning challenges. She began her education career in 2008 while working in various New York Public Schools. Lauren felt her true calling was to work with students with learning disabilities. She began working at The Windward School where she was intensively trained in various reading, writing and math programs. Lauren moved to California and worked at Park Century School for 4 years, where she continued to attend professional development opportunities and trainings for various math, executive functioning and reading remediation programs.

Lauren believes that children learn differently and that students who struggle need an encouraging and supportive environment to thrive. Lauren received a BA in Sociology from Siena College and a MSEd in Childhood Education and Special Education from The College of New Rochelle. Lauren lives with her husband Roger and in her free time she enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and friends.



hanna alster milgrom

Hanna Alster Milgrom, MSEd

Associate

Hanna is an Associate Educational Therapist who believes that fostering confidence and self-advocacy skills can enable students to reach their highest potential. Prior to joining edcahoots, Hanna was a classroom teacher at an independent school located in New York City that serves bright children with language-based learning differences. Her teaching experience has proven that students can build a positive outlook toward school and their learning challenges if they are encouraged to learn about the way their minds work and implement strategies that work for them.

Hanna has experience working with students with a range of learning differences and has an extensive background in teaching executive functioning and writing skills. She enjoys creating a supportive, enthusiastic, and fun learning environment for the students she works with. Hanna holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MA from Bank Street College of Education in General and Special Education. Hanna lives in Los Angeles with her husband Jonathan, son Henry, and daughter Hazel. In her spare time, Hanna enjoys playing soccer, trying new restaurants, and reading historical fiction.



gina kushynski

Gina Kushynski, MSEd, ET/P

Associate & IEP Consultant

Gina is an Educational Therapist/Professional (ET/P). She has a Masters degree in Special Education and is a Resource Specialist at a local charter high school. Gina received her Bachelors degree from UCLA where she majored in psychology and discovered her passion for education while working as a learning specialist assistant for the world renowned athletics department at UCLA. She went on to get two teaching credentials and a Masters degree from Mount St. Mary's University. During her summers, Gina worked at a Lindamood-Bell Learning Center where she quickly recognized the power of working with students in and individualized setting and gained knowledge and experience in implementing successful academic interventions. Gina's goal is to become a Board Certified Educational Therapist and use educational therapy to meet the needs of all students who come her way. In her spare time, Gina and her therapy dog Murray visit libraries throughout LA to promote literacy and a love for reading by having children read to Murray aloud.



Hayley

Hayley Ehrlich, MSEd

Associate

Hayley is an Associate Educational Therapist who feels strongly that academic performance and emotional intelligence go hand in hand in achieving personal and academic growth. After graduating from NYU with a degree in Social Work, Hayley made a slight career change and followed a path as a Special Education teacher and learning specialist. She has worked within a variety of settings with students one-on-one, small groups, and within the larger classroom. Most recently, Hayley was the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program Coordinator at The Clinton School in NYC, where she also taught collaborative courses as a learning specialist. As the Diploma Program Coordinator, Hayley worked with her administration to establish an "IB for All" philosophy, making it one of the few International Baccalaureate Programs that is inclusive of all student learners. Her whole-child philosophy is also informed by her experience training at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.

Hayley is a recent LA transplant and lives with her husband and twin daughters, Jo and Bebe. She is excited about making LA home with her family, having an outdoor space for her compost worms, and adopting a dog!