Melody Crane


M. Ed.

Melody is the founder and Executive Director of The Riley Center. Melody has a Master’s degree in Special Education, Undergraduate degrees in Special Education and Administration. She has worked with children with special needs for over 20 years serving as a teacher, administrator and educational consultant. Her oldest son, Patton Riley, was diagnosed with autism in 2001. The Riley Center became a place of hope for Patton. Melody’s passion is to share that hope with other families.

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Amy Summers



Amy graduated from George Washington University with a Master’s in Special Education, and taught in the DCPS school system before moving to Huntsville, AL. She loved teaching in a 1:1, smaller environment, working through challenging behaviors, and helping students learn/achieve more than they thought possible. Out of this passion to empower kids to reach their full potential she found The Riley Center and began working towards her BCBA from Kaplan University. She started as a therapist in one of the primary education classrooms and since then has gained experience as a classroom teacher, in-home therapist, and early intervention specialists. Amy now serves as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst at the Asbury Campus. She loves working with children and their families, learning from them and partnering with them in their pursuit to be all they were created to be!


Alicia Leslie





Kelly Mason



Kelly graduated from the University of Alabama in 2008 with a B.A. in Psychology. She immediately began working for The Riley Center as an ABA Clinic Therapist. Since, Kelly has obtained a Master of Science degree in Counseling, specializing in Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis, from Nova Southeastern University. She also became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Being a former military wife, Kelly travelled with her family, gaining additional experience in early education, school, home, and community settings with civilian and military families- both at the center and abroad. Kelly now serves as the Day School Consultant for the Secondary 1 classroom, and she is happy to finally be back home at The Riley Center to stay. Kelly loves seeing all the little pieces come together for her students and their families because every day counts!

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Amanda Lackey



Jennifer Heidt



Jennifer began working at The Riley Center as an ABA Clinic Therapist while completing her undergraduate coursework in 2010. Jennifer grew to love the mission of The Riley Center and realized this was the field for her. After receiving her B.A. Psychology from The University of Alabama-Huntsville in 2011, she earned her M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis & Autism from Sage Colleges. Jennifer became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in 2014. Jennifer has been privileged to serve as an ABA therapist, in-home therapist, and preschool shadow for the past 4 years, and is now the ABA Clinic Administrator/Case Manager at The Riley Center. Jennifer’s favorite part of her job is how truly rewarding it is to help students and their families reach their goals each day.

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Lana Hagood



Lana is a native of Madison, Alabama and holds a B.S.B.A. from The University of Alabama in Huntsville with a concentration in Human Resources Management. She has over 20 years experience in HR management and Business Systems operations. She spent 10 years at Sci-Quest where she was HR Manager, Business Systems Manager, and Assistant to the Executive Director. After a few years away from the non-profit world, she is excited to be back in the non-profit sector and once again, experience a culture where employees are truly inspired by the mission and vision of the organization.

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Bobby Phillips



Bobby grew up in the Huntsville area and received his B.S. in Psychology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2008.  In 2011, he earned his M.S. in Psychology (with specialization in Behavior Analysis) from West Virginia University and remained in WV the following year to help Dr. Susannah Poe build up a new Autism Clinic at the WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities.  In 2012, Bobby moved back to northern Alabama, joined The Riley Center, and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).  He has since served in the Center’s ABA Clinic, three of its Day School classrooms (P1, P2, and P3), and Extended Day.  His favorite part of the job is sharing a good laugh with the students.

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Sandy Groger



Sandy began her career as a recreation therapist working with mentally ill veterans in Miami. She discovered occupational therapy and returned to school, receiving her BS in 1997 from Barry University in Miami Shores, FL. She worked at the Bay Pines VA Medical Center with mental health, geriatric psychiatry and outpatient rehabilitation until moving to Madison, AL in 2005. She currently works exclusively in pediatrics, providing services to children served through The Riley Center. Sandy received her clinical doctorate in 2011 from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions.

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Julie Yockel



Julie is a Certified Speech-Language Pathologist who received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Communication Disorders at Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama.  She has over 20 years of experience working with children with Autism and other Speech and Language Disorders/Delays.  She is a native of Alabama and lives in Harvest with her husband and daughter.  Along with providing services to The Riley Center, she also provides Early Intervention Services to children from Birth to 3 and their families.  Her passion has always been children and equipping them and their families with the tools they need to develop their communication and language skills, to be excited about learning and to have a voice in their community.  She also has extensive experience working in the field of Assistive Technology/Augmentative Communication and providing children with the technology they need to communicate with their friends and family members.

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