About Us

Meet The Staff

Elisa Chrem, MA CCC SLP

Principal - Speech Pathologist
Ms. Chrem holds a Masters Degree in Speech Language Pathology and in Educational Leadership.  She is a member of the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders and is obtaining her certification in DIR (Developmental Individual Relationship) Therapy.  Elisa has extensive training and experience in Augmentative Alternative Communication.  She has worked with children with autism through Early Intervention, in Preschools and K-12 School Settings.  She is trained in Applied Behavioral Analysis, DIR- Developmental Indidvidualized Relationship Based Therapy, Visual Cognitive Therapy, PROMPT and the Lindamood Bell Program.

Janet London, MS CCC SLP

Assistive Technology Specialist
Janet London has been a practicing Speech Pathologist for over 40 years. She served as a Staff Developer for the NYC Dept. of Education where she trained speech therapists on how to better serve the speech and language needs of severely handicapped students with multiple physical and cognitive deficits including Cerebral Palsy and Autism. She currently has a private practice and is a consultant for Imagine Academy as well as Accessible Learning Teaching Alternatives.  She evaluates non-verbal or limited verbal students for Augmentative devices and  supports staff on how to facilitate the maximum use of those devices.

Courtney Bitting, MEd, BCBA, LBA

ABA Director
Courtney has been working with individuals with Autism, their families, and their clinical teams for 8 years since receiving her degree in Special Education, Early Intervention with a Specialization in Autism from the University of Pittsburgh. From there, Courtney went on to obtain her Board Certification in Behavior Analysis in 2010 and has been working in direct support and as a behavioral consultant in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and New York. She has worn many hats in her professional work including leading social skills groups, being a transition coordinator, extensive school consulting, program supervisor of a home-based ABA program, and professional development trainer.  All of these roles have helped her grow as a clinician to provide eclectic, collaborative, and individualized supports to the students and families whom she serves.
 

Raquel Savdie, M.S., CCC-SLP, TSSLD

Director of Speech-Language Pathology
Raquel is a certified speech-language pathologist. She has devoted the last eight years to treating children with mild-to-severe speech and language impairments and feeding disorders in association with autism spectrum disorders and developmental disabilities. She is trained in PROMPT, PECS, It Takes Two to Talk, and Floortime. Raquel is also very experienced with programming and using AAC devices. Raquel holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Speech-Language Pathology and a Master of Science Degree in Communicative Sciences and Disorders from New York University. As an active member of the university community, Raquel holds a position as an adjunct instructor, specializing in language development and disorders and the principles of speech-language intervention. 

Abie Levi, OTRL

Director of Occupational Therapy
Abie received his Masters in Occupational Therapy from NYU in 1992.  He began his career working with students with hearing impairment where his knowledge of sign language was utilized.  His speciality is implementing sensory integrative therapy.  He has worked at various schools and has focused on sensory procesing, motor learning and cognitive perceptual skills.  He has his certification in the Therapeutic Listening Program, Level II Cuevas-MEDEK-Exercises and has his Level II advanced DIR certification.  He recently received a second Master degree in Education from Broolyn College.

Deena Kress, OTRL

Occupational Therapist
Ms. Kress is a Registered and Licensed Occupational Therapist.  She has been working with children with disabilities for 12 years.

Vera Antebi, M.S., CCC-SLP, TSSLD

Speech-Language Pathologist
Vera began working at Imagine Academy in 2012. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Brooklyn College and a Master of Science degree in Commuicative Sciences and Disorders from Columbia University. She is trained in PROMPT and Floortime, experienced with PECS, and well-versed in programming and faciliatating AAC device use with students. 

Jesse Kleinman, M.S., CF-SLP, TSSLD

Speech-Language Pathologist
Jesse is a Clinical Fellow of Speech-Language Pathology. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Cognitive Science from University of Delaware and a Master of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from La Salle University. She is trained in Floortime and is experienced in social thinking as well as programming and facilitating AAC device use with students.

Inbar Algov Kaplan, MS, MT-BC, LCAT-lp

Music Therapist
Inbar is a board certified music therapist, a creative arts therapist specializing in music psychotherapy, and a DIRFloortime® provider. She earned her BS and MS in music therapy from Molloy College and completed an advanced post-graduate music psychotherapy training and certification as a NICU music therapist at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Mount Sinai Hospital, NYC. Inbar has extensive clinical and supervisory experience at various educational and clinical settings with a wide range of population across the lifespan. She specializes in providing music-centered, relationship-based music therapy tailored to meet the emotional and sensory needs of children and adults on the autism spectrum, and has presented her clinical work on practicing music therapy within DIR® framework at professional conferences. In addition to her clinical experience, Inbar is a professional musician with over 20 years of international experience in voice, guitar, piano, percussion, saxophones and dance.  

Jill Yedid, BS-RN, CES

Nurse
Jill has been a registered nurse for over 30 years in clinical settings, providing pediatric care.   She has been a full time school nurse for 10 years treating students with special needs, ensuring health, well-being and safety.  She is able to administer medication, monitor seizure activity and feeding tube sessions as well as provide acute emergency care.  She attended NYU School of Nursing and has worked at Cornell, NYU Medical Center and Mount Sinai.

Yocheved Pollak M.A., Sp. Ed.

Teacher
Yocheved has been working for Imagine Academy since the very beginning. She started as a classroom instructor and has worked her way up to a classroom teacher. Her years of experience and training have translated into a teacher who can seamlessly integrate both ABA and DIR/Floortime methodologies for her students.

Aylona Arama, M.S., SpEd/Ed

Teacher
Aylona began volunteering at Imagine and evolved from a classroom instructor to a head teacher. She graduated with a Master of Science degree from Touro College in 2012. She is trained in CPI, Floortime, and ABA and integrates these methodologies seamlessly into her teaching. 

Lea Besinger

Controller
Lea Bensinger is the Controller at The Imagine Academy School and Foundation.  She is responsible for the management and functioning of the finance department. She has over sixteen years’ experience working in the non-profit financial sector. Lea received her B.S. in Accounting from Touro College and is a Certified Public Accountant.