Our Staff

Paula Beckett Herrington

Paula founded CLASS, Inc. in 1998 in order to provide functional, meaningful and life enhancing speech therapy services to child and adults. Her passion for children is supported by an extensive background and experience in child development and speech-language-communication disorders, with in-depth training in apraxia of speech and autism spectrum disorders. Her passion for working with adults is demonstrated in her dedication to provide age appropriate and meaningful activities that teach functional communication goals that increase independence and home, workplace and community.

Paula is an experienced PROMPT level II therapist. Additionally, she is trained in the following methods of treating apraxia, articulation disorders and oral motor challenges: Beckman, Kaufman, and Rosenfeld-Johnson. Working with many children who are non-verbal or minimally verbal spurred Paula to develop expertise in Augmentative and Alternative Communication. She is a founding member and past president of the Northwest Augmentative Communication Society and a current member of ASHA's special interest division on Augmentative and Alternative Communication. At CLASS, Inc., Paula provides both diagnostic assessments and therapy for children who benefit from picture boards, PECS, and computerized speech generating devices.

Paula has extensive training and experience in the treatment of autism spectrum disorders including: ABA, SCERTS, RDI, sensory integration and advanced FloorTime Training at the International Council for Learning Disabilities with Stanley Greenspan in Virginia.

Over the last 30 years as a speech-language pathologist, Paula has also enjoyed success with feeding therapy, that CLASS, Inc. offers to children both individually and in small groups. She has developed ways to make feeding therapy fun and successful for even the most sensory sensitive children.

Paula has worked as a special education preschool teacher, school-based speech language pathologist, and international consultant to families of children with autism spectrum disorders. She has served as the speech-language pathologist for the ASTAR Center, under the medical direction of neurologist Gary Stobbe, where she provided diagnostics, individualized therapy and social skills development groups for autistic children. She has served on numerous professionally related boards, including the ASTAR scientific advisory board, and was a founding member and past president of the Pacific Northwest Augmentative Communication Society.

Paula received the 2003 FEAT, Washington's "Reach for the Stars Educator of the Year" award. She has contracted with school districts locally and nationally to provide in-service training and expert support for staff working with children on the autism spectrum as well as direct services to children for whom successful therapy is especially challenging within the school district setting.

Paula has been nominated for the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association's 2010 Speech-Language Professional of the Year. View nomination

Paula was a 2013 Women's Business Owner of the year finalist.

More recently, Paula has been enjoying presenting at prestigious national conferences including: the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) annual convention, the Assistive Technology Industry Association annual conference and Closing The Gap yearly conference. In addition, Paula instructs graduate students from colleges and universities across the country during their clinical fieldwork internships and mentors speech therapists during their clinical fellowship year.

Kacie Cole

Kacie is a native to the Puget Sound area and grew up with a passion for speech-language pathology, having received speech therapy herself as a child. She graduated from Eastern Washington University with honors obtaining her degree in Speech and Communication Disorders and is a speech language pathology graduate student. Kacie's professional experiences include working with children diagnosed with CAS (childhood apraxia of speech), feeding therapy, teletherapy (using Skype to provide services), and treating a wide age range of individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Kacie particularly enjoys the collaborative atmosphere that CLASS, Inc. provides. "Everybody here is so genuine and kind; the entire staff feels like a family. I am so thankful to be a part of this team and develop such great relationships with the families as well", Kacie says.

In Kacie's free time, she likes to weight lift, do makeup artistry, and curl up in warm blankets with a cup of coffee.

 

Sara Gratz

Sara moved to Washington at the age of two months, and her love of coffee, rain, and mountains confirm her identity as a true Pacific North-Westerner. She earned both her Bachelor of Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences, and Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Washington.

Sara has clinical experience with both children and adults experiencing a range of communication challenges including: articulation, social communication, feeding/swallowing, stuttering, voice, and cognitive communication. She has provided evaluation and treatment services at an outpatient clinic, diagnostic clinic, and an early intervention agency. During her clinical fellowship, Sara worked at a pediatric outpatient clinic, and completed the Introduction to PROMPT training.

Sara appreciates CLASS, Inc.'s emphasis on functional goals, and great diversity of clients. is passionate about providing quality collaborate with families and coworkers to best serve her clients at CLASS, Inc.

Sara lives in Tacoma with her husband and two cats. When she is not at CLASS, Inc., Sara enjoys biking, hiking and backpacking, cooking, reading, listening to podcasts, photography, and exploring her new hometown. She is also learning how to be the homeowner of a lovely old house. Most of all, she likes spending time with her family and friends. She aspires to travel absolutely everywhere, learn to play the piano, and become fluent in Spanish.

Sara can be reached at: sara@classinc.net

 

Stacy Landas

Stacy was adopted from Korea at the age of two and was raised in a small steel town in NW Pennsylvania within a non-traditional blended family of 11 children that included: adoptive siblings, step siblings, and a foster sibling. Stacy was inspired by the speech therapist that worked with her during elementary school and hopes to pay it forward by inspiring others.

Stacy graduated with a B. A. in Speech and Hearing Sciences from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania where she enjoyed working in the Upward Bound program for at-risk, high school students. Stacy has a broad range of clinical speech therapy experience with both children and adults that includes working with Down's Syndrome, cleft palates, language delays, selective mutism, stuttering, cerebral palsy, feeding aversions, hearing and vision impairments, behavior disorders, apraxia of speech and autism spectrum disorder.

Two of Stacy's special clinical interests are selective mutism and stuttering. A third interest is working with culturally diverse populations. She has received specialized professional training in cultural diversity and leadership and has worked with the Hispanic-migrant communities in Eastern Washington and different Native American tribal communities across the country.

Coming from the east coast, Stacy is enjoying the rainy, cooler climate of the PNW and doesn't miss driving in those east coast blizzards! She is an animal lover and looking forward to adopting a dog in the near future.

Stacy can be reached at: stacy@classinc.net

Jesse Moore

Jesse moved to Tacoma after earning his Master of Science in Communication Disorders from the University of Texas. Jesse has experience in a variety of settings including private practice, outpatient rehabilitation, acute care, and NICU. He was drawn to CLASS, Inc. because of the quality of service provided to clients of CLASS, Inc. and the collaborative atmosphere of the staff that encourages new ideas.

Jesse enjoys working with individuals who have complex communication, cognitive, and swallowing challenges. He has a special interest in working with people living with Parkinson's disease, dementia and challenges resulting from stroke. A clinical result of these special interests is Jesse's advanced training in two specialized speech and voice treatments: LSVT and SPEAK OUT!.

Jesse joined CLASS, Inc. to help continue the clinic's mission to meet the speech therapy needs of the community. His favorite part of working at CLASS, Inc. is being able to grow the clinic to help even more people.

When he isn't working, Jesse enjoys exploring Tacoma and trying new coffee shops. He can often be found enjoying a book and a latte around downtown. If you spot him, please pull up a chair and enjoy a cup o' joe with him!

Jesse can be reached at: Jesse@classinc.net & 253.873.9300

Anna Politi

Anna graduated from Hochschule Fresenius University of Applied Science (Germany) with a Bachelor of Science in Speech and Language Pathology in 2013. While still in Germany she obtained her SLP certification and license thru the dbl (Deutscher Bund der Logopaeden equal to ASHA). Now in Washington State she has received her Speech and Language Pathology Assistance license in 2015 with the Department of Health. Her professional experiences include pediatric speech and language, AAC, swallowing disorders, stuttering, adult rehabilitation and hearing treatments after cochlear implant operation.

In order to make therapy exciting Anna loves to create new games or modify old favorites to suit her client's needs. She is passionate about working with children and their families and to help them achieve new communication skills.

Cindy Ray

Cindy moved all the way from California to work at CLASS, Inc. where she amazes us with her scheduling wizardry and all the other things that she does to keep CLASS, Inc. running in top-top shape. When asked why she made the transition to CLASS, Inc. all the way from California, she said, "I worked for twelve years in a large real estate office and when I moved here I was looking for a more family type place to work. I found CLASS, Inc! The therapists are all caring people who are devoted to their clients. The atmosphere is always upbeat and fun. The best part is the joy I see when children show improvement or when they have progressed so much that they no longed need services. CLASS, Inc is a very rewarding place to work."

Cindy can be reached at: cindy@classinc.net

 

 

Dave Tsuru

Dave graduated from California State University-Northridge with his Master's in Communication Disorders and Sciences. What attracted me to CLASS, Inc. is the calm serenity of the environment. Upon first walking into the facility I could sense it was different than many other medical offices I have been in. I immediately felt at ease and at home. I thoroughly enjoy working at CLASS, Inc. because of the patients and their families. They are motivated, hardworking and dedicated individuals who are pleasure to work with. Also, a well tuned collaborating staff that is willing to help in any situation at any moment is priceless. Dave has experience in schools, skilled nursing facilities and outpatient clinics. Dave enjoys working with people of all ages and strives to improve the quality of life in every person he works with. His passion for becoming a speech pathologist began when he spent time with a family friend who had speech deficits. Since then, he has worked or volunteered in a therapeutic setting to gain as much knowledge as he can in the area of speech and language. His areas of interests are cognition, articulation, feeding, AAC and many others. He is currently LSVT certified. In his free time he likes to exercise and dance. You can often find him dancing from Olympia all the way up to Bellingham.

Jaylynn Bondy

Jaylynn was drawn to working at CLASS, Inc. because she has fond memories of her own childhood speech therapy sessions, her love of helping others and professional training in business management. Jaylynn holds an Associates Degree in Business with a certificate of Business Management and Supervision from Pierce College in Puyallup, WA. Originally hired as an administrative assistance, Jaylynn was quickly promoted to clinic manager. She developed an interest in helping clients obtain insurance coverage for speech therapy and is now the CLASS, Inc. finance manager. As a part of the administration team, she enjoys witnessing how CLASS, Inc. clients make progress everyday!

Jaylynn is the second oldest of seven children and grew up enjoying the craziness of a big family in small town near Mt. Rainier. Jaylynn can often be seen enjoying the adventures of new foods at new restaurants with her husband, spoiling her "fur-children", and challenging her self with painting and glass art. If you are at one of the many Disney Lands across the world, you just may spot Jaylynn and her husband; they have traveled as far as Japan to enjoy the Disney Land experience!

Jaylynn can be reached at: jaylynn@classinc.net

 

Bijou

In just one short year, Bijou has become one of the most valuable therapists at CLASS, Inc.! Bijou's quiet calm and ever-loving nature makes her a natural as a therapy dog for children who have challenges regulating their sensory systems. Bijou never barks and loves to have her tummy rubbed! Bijou is one of the first therapists to step in to calm angry or aggressive outbursts, provide deep pressure on a lap or back that helps organize and allow a child to improve his/her focus, be a patient play partner during back-and forth ball throwing, a cuddly source of security by sitting on a swing with a child, or a trusting companion who teaches leadership by being led on walks along our private waterfront park.

Bijou In The News: Bijou the dog "works miracles" at Tacoma autism clinic