GET TO KNOW US
Meet Our Clinical Team
JAMES OLSON, BCBA, LCMHC
Co-Founder and Executive Director
Jim is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor. He is currently the Executive Director of the BEL Center, where he oversees programming, working closely with children, families, BEL Center staff and other organizations, providing both direct services and general oversight.
Prior to his role as a founding partner of the BEL Center, Jim was the onsite behavioral consultant for a local K-6 elementary school. His role there enabled him to work closely with students, parents, teachers and support staff to support student success at school.
Jim has been been providing therapy and behavioral consultation services to individuals, schools and families for the last 15 years. After a number of years working in alternative educational settings, Jim spent 10 years working in community mental health providing therapy for a wide range of youth and families. In addition to providing therapy, he spent time working on a local mental health crisis team and was the program coordinator for the children's crisis team.
Between 2005 and 2011 Jim was the School Services Supervisor, providing clinical and behavioral consultation to schools and clinicians throughout Windham County, Vermont.
Between 2003 and 2011, Jim created and ran a therapeutic recreation summer program for local youth. This 10 person pilot program eventually grew into a program serving as many as 100 local youth each summer.
MICHELLE SANTANGELO, BCBA
Co-Founder and Clinical Director
Michelle Santangelo has an MS in Autism Studies and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Michelle is currently the Clinical Director of the BEL Center. She oversees all clinical services, working closely with children, families, BEL Center staff and other organizations, providing both direct services and program oversight. She provides clinical training and supervision to those seeking certification in Applied Behavior Analysis.
Previous to her role as a founding partner of the BEL Center, Michelle worked as the Behavior Specialist at a school for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), and provided assessment, consultation, and program planning for students ranging in age from 11-22. Prior to this, Michelle worked at a large agency in Massachusetts that provided a wide range of behavioral services. In this role, Michelle worked with individuals with Autism Spectrum Diagnoses with varying skills and behavioral needs. A large portion of this earlier work involved providing home-based Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention services for young children with ASD and their families. Michelle is also a certified Montessori teacher, trained to provide educational programming for children ranging in age from 18 months to 12 years.
As part of Michelle's Master's program, she conducted a program evaluation for a large agency that provided comprehensive support services for young adults on the Autism Spectrum focusing on independent living, social and vocational skills. Part of this work involved helping the agency analyze the effectiveness of it's coaching program, for which she also provided direct coaching services.
Michelle has an active yoga and mindfulness practice. She has lived in the beautiful pioneer valley of Western Massachusetts with her two children for 20 years. She loves to hike in the woods with her family and friends.
Supervising Behavior Therapist
Corinna has been working at the Bel Center for four years, currently under the title of Supervising Behavior Therapist and Program Leader. Before coming to the BEL Center, Corinna gained years of experience working in preschool settings, and later worked with students as a paraprofessional at a public elementary school.
Corinna is best known for her ability to work with clients of a range of ages and abilities, and every client under her care and guidance has made exceptional progress. She has been praised for her ability to train and support future behavior therapists because of her deep technical skillset, natural leadership, and people-oriented approach.
After recognizing her passion for early education, Corinna worked to complete the RBT training modules, as well as a handful of courses in early education and childhood development, including ESDM methodologies and extensive PECS training. She is also well versed in Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking curriculum.
When she’s not working with clients at the BEL Center, Corinna loves to spend time with her two young children, ride horses, and even do a little bit of gardening.
Behavior Therapist, Intern Track
Matthew Simpson is a certified special education teacher currently enrolled in a master's degree program in Behavior Analysis at Simmons University. Matthew previously worked as a special education teacher in North Carolina, where he discovered his passion for Applied Behavior Analysis and working with children with disabilities.
This is Matthew's 2nd year with the BEL Center working directly with clients in multiple roles, assisting with staff training/program development, and performing various indirect functions as required by his BCBA training program. Matthew's current goals are to finish his master's degree, complete his BCBA certification, and continue to improve his leadership skills by providing effective supervision and learning from experienced role models.
Some of Matthew's accomplishments are earning his bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan, receiving his special education teaching license, and serving in multiple leadership positions as a special education representative in the public education setting.
When he is not at the BEL Center or attending virtual classes, Matthew can frequently be found hiking with his family (and dog), reading an epic fantasy book, or attending a hockey game in full Minnesota Wild gear.