"The instructors have such a kind and gentle way with our kiddos. Thank you.

Laura loves it."

-Maria, parent

KIA PICKER, ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT, RECREATION THERAPY GROUP ASSISTANT

  • Began with Rec2Connect in 2016
  • Graduate of Ohio State University with Bachelors in Psychology with Minor in Business
  • Previous experience includes: Certified provider with the Department of Developmental Disabilities, Driver for Fare-Cle for individuals with special needs, Office Assistant and Classroom Aide for Solon Jewish Preschool, Volunteer for Jewish Family Services -Youthability

HALLE DLUGOLINSKI, AQUATIC SPECIALIST

  • Began with Rec2Connect in 2019
  • A graduate of Bowling Green State University with a bachelor's degree in Psychology 
  • Currently pursing her master's degree in Occupational therapy at Cleveland State University
  • Previous experience: Achievement Centers for Children and volunteering with adaptive football/basketball through the ACC
  • Certifications include: BLS and first aid

LAUREN PEYTON, SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR

  • Began with Rec2Connect in 2018
  • Currently enrolled at Cleveland State University in the College of Sciences and Health Professions studying Communication Sciences and Disorders  and Psychology
  • Previous experience: Behavioral Aid, Sunday Circle Group Leader, and Camp Leader at the Friendship Circle, Caregiver at the Ohio University Respite Program, Mentor and Group Leader at Alpha Phi Omega Delta Gamma


​Kim Fennell, CTRS, Aquatic SPECIALIST

  • Began with Rec2Connect in 2018
  • Graduate of the University of Toledo with a Bachelor of Science  in Therapeutic Recreation
  • Previous experience includes: Recreation Therapy Coordinator at Clear Vista Geriatric Behavioral Health Unit, internship on the spinal cord injury floor at Metrohealth Physical Rehab, volunteering as volunteer coordinator and TEAM program lead at GiGi's Playhouse and in the outing program at Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities
  • Certifications include: Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, CPR and First Aid, Non Crisis Prevention Intervention, and Certified 200 YTT Yoga


​Stephanie carroll, Aquatic Specialist

  • Began with Rec2Connect in 2016
  • Graduate of Ohio state University with a Bachelor's in Education and Masters in Education with a focus in moderate-intensive special education
  • Currently works as a Coach with Autism Personal Coach and is an HPC provider through the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities
  • Previous experience includes: Intervention Specialist at Bedford Highschool, Intervention Specialist at Glendale Primary School in Grade 3, Private in-home tutor,  Tutor at Bedford and Solon City Schools for extended school year program,  Intervention specialist at Oakland Elementary

 


​Daisy Norman, Aquatic SPECIALIST

  • Began with Rec2Connect in 2015
  • Graduate of Cleveland State University with a Bachelor's in Education with a focus in English Language Arts and Secondary Education
  • Previous experience includes:Student Teacher at Lincoln West High School in 9th Grade English, Methods Student at Collinwood High School, Direct Childcare provider at Signature Health, Office Support Staff at Cleveland Marshall College of Law Legal Clinic
  • Volunteer Youth Group Coordinator at Fairport Congregational Church
  • Currently works as an Associate Teacher at Re-educational Services Inc


ERIN ALEXEFF, CTRS,  AQUATIC SPECIALIST

  • Began with Rec2Connect in 2018
  • Graduate of the University of Toledo with a Bachelor of the Arts and Sciences in Recreation Therapy
  • Previous experience includes: CTRS at Windsor-Laurelwood Center for Behavioral Medicine, Activities Therapist at Arrowhead Behavioral Health, and Program Coordinator at Gigi's Playhouse
  • Current Certifications: Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, American Heart Association CPR, Non-Crisis Prevention Intervention

Rec2Connect’s team consists of professionals from a variety of backgrounds and skill sets. Our team includes Recreation Therapists, Intervention Specialists, and Special Education Teachers.

All of our team members have a passion for providing goal driven and meaningful recreation therapy services in a community setting.

We work together to continue to grow and learn as a team, to be up to date on new practices and standards, and create a positive and supportive environment for all.

Erin Witschey, CTRS, Program Director, Recreation Therapy Manager

  • Began with Rec2Connect in 2012 running group programs then working with aquatic therapy clients
  • Currently full-time with Rec2Connect as Program Director
  • Graduate of Ashland University with a Bachelor's of Science in Recreation with a concentration in Therapeutic Recreation 
  • Previous experience includes: Gross Motor Instructor at Monarch Center for Autism,  Retreat Coordinator at Camp Wise, Program Specialist in Aquatics at Easter Seals Camp ASCCA, Associate Program Director at Camp Speers-Eljabar YMCA, Recreation Therapy Intern at Friendship Ventures, Outdoor Adventure Instructor at Camp ASCCA.

CASEY BURNS, MARKETING COORDINATOR

  • Began with Rec2Connect in 2019
  • Graduate of Radford University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts
  • Currently employed as the Marketing Coordinator at Rec2Connect. She has taken on an active role within the organization to market current and new programming that Rec2Connect offers
  • Casey looks forward to working with the families and friends of Rec2Connect 

BRITTANY SHARP, AQUATIC SPECIALIST

  • Began with Rec2Connect in 2019
  • Graduate of Cleveland State University with a Masters of Education in Exercise Science and a Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science from Kent State University
  • Previous experience includes: Exercise Physiologist at the YMCA of Greater Charlotte working with the Medical Referral Program, Exercise Specialist in Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation at Parma Hospital. Personal Trainer
  • Certifications include: ACSM Exercise Physiologist, CPR and First Aid 

Our Team

RACHEL LEWAND-PARKER, AQUATIC SPECIALIST

  • Began with Rec2Connect in 2019
  • Graduate of Cuyahoga Community College in Health and Applied Science, and The Ohio State University with a Bachelors in Hospitality Management and a Minor in Business Management
  • Previous experience includes: Licensed Physical Therapy Assistant with experience in pediatric, acute, and aquatic therapy, and as an Aquatic Director from 2006 to 2016

DAN LISY, SWIM TEAM COACH, ADAPTED AQUATICS INSTRUCTOR

  • Started with Rec2Connect in 2017
  • Swim coach at Olmsted Falls High School
  • Previous experience includes: Pool Manager/Lead Instructor at Fastlane Sports, Home Programmer for Support for Teachers and Families, Swim Strong Age Group Coach, Classroom Associate at PEP educational services 

Jen Knott, Ctrs, ATRIC, owner, Executive Director

  • Began Rec2Connect in 2009 with 2 clients
  • Graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelors in Leisure Studies with Concentration in Recreation Therapy and a minor in Psychology
  • Previous experience includes: Classroom Behavior Therapist at Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism, Job Couch at Goodwill Industries, Volunteer in Aquatic Therapy at Hattie Larlham in Physical Therapy Department, Internship and Recreation Therapist in Recreation Therapy at The Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital for Rehabilitation, Volunteer as Recreation Therapy Assistant at Respite and Recreation Program
  • Member and Presenter at the  Aquatic Therapy and Rehab Institute 
  • Certified Lifeguard, Aquatic Therapy and Rehab Certified, and Certified Therapuetic Recreation Specialist

SAMANTHA CASTER, CTRS, AQUATIC SPECIALIST

  • Began with Rec2Connect in 2018
  • Graduate of the University of Toledo with a Bachelor of Science in Recreational Therapy
  • Currently employed as a Recreation Therapist at Clear Vista Health and Wellness
  • Previous experience includes: PRN Recreation Therapist at the Cleveland Clinic, Recreation Therapist at Parkside Villa, and Job Coach Substitute at Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities
  • Certifications:  Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, BLS Certified, First Aid, Adult Services Worker Certification

Rec2Connect  

Building connections and achieving goals through recreation therapy and aquatic therapy       

​Lisa hollender, Aquatic and recreation SPECIALIST, Researcher, and volunteer coordinator

  • Began with Rec2Connect in 2017
  • Currently full-time with Rec2Connect
  • Graduate of University of Central Florida with a Bachelor's of Science in Biology and Cleveland State with a Bachelor's in Health Sciences in Physical Therapy
  • Previous experience includes: Behavioral Research Technician at Sea World, Biologist at Greater Cleveland Aquarium, Chemist at NPA Coatings, INC, Research Assistant at Cleveland State University GobabyGo lab, Teaching Assistant in Human Physiology Lab at Cleveland State, Physical Therapy Internship at Genesis Rehab Services

 


Interested in joining our team?

We are always looking for highly motivated and committed staff and volunteers that have a passion for working with people with special needs.    

Email Rec2Connect@gmail.com

or contact us using the link below to inquire.

ALEXA MANOLIO, CTRS, AQUATIC SPECIALIST

  • Began with Rec2Connect in 2018
  • Graduate of Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in Recreational Therapy
  • Previous experience includes: Internship at Louis Stoke Cleveland VA Medical Center, facilitator at Slippery Rock Parks and Recreation, volunteering at Accessing Independent Leisure and Social Skills program, Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center, Storm Harbor Therapeutic Riding Center
  • Certifications: Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED, Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist