Our Educational Therapy Philosophy

educational therapy

Kapp Educational Therapy Group believes that every student can be taught how to learn in a way that works for them. With the right "tool box," every student can learn to advocate for themselves and take responsibility for their learning. The goal of our educational therapist team is for every client to become a successful, independent and autonomous learner. We love working with learners and families of varying learning profiles including executive functioning support, ADHD, reading and writing remediation, dyscalculia, and processing disorders.  Our approach is fun, engaging, and focused on the individualized needs of each learner.

Meet The Educational Therapist Team

Rachel Kapp, M.A., BCET, Owner

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Rachel grew up in Los Angeles. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Sociology and minored in Jewish Studies. Rachel began tutoring students in high school, eventually choosing to pursue a career in education. For over six years, Rachel was a lead preschool teacher where she gained a firm foundation in explicit teaching. Rachel has been a tutor in private practice since 2004, working with students in a variety of subjects including all levels of math, reading, history and writing. After working with so many types of students over the years and realizing she was passionate about building relationships with and helping students who learn differently, Rachel decided to become an educational therapist. She completed her coursework at the California State University, Northridge in December 2015 and Masters degree in December 2016. In her free time, Rachel loves spending time with her husband, Adam, and their dog, Fritzy, watching Cal Football, cooking for friends, and spinning.

Rachel is a Board Certified Member of the Association of Educational Therapists, an active participant in ongoing education through the International Dyslexia Association, and a member of Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD). Rachel is also trained in Wilson Reading Systems.

Katie Nolan, Educational Therapist, M.A., ET/P

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Katie was born and raised in Los Angeles. She decided to try out the east coast for college and received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The George Washington University. After graduating, Katie moved back home to sunny California and began her career working with kids at a charter school in Santa Monica. Inspired by her personal educational experience, Katie pursued a Masters of Arts in Special Education from Loyola Marymount University. She still desired the luxury of offering her students more individualized attention. As a result, she then went on to pursue her post-Masters Certificate to become an educational therapist.

Katie works closely with the International Dyslexia Association and is trained in Wilson Reading Systems as well as Wilson Foundations Level 1. Additionally, she is a member of the Association of Educational Therapists. Katie understands the importance of explicitly teaching students executive function skills whether it be organizing their time, breaking an assignment down into smaller parts or strategies for studying. She has experience using the SMARTS executive function program to help empower students to understand their own strengths and weaknesses.

In her free time, Katie enjoys snuggling on the couch with her dog and two cats and reading detective mysteries.

Katrina Gonzalez, M.A., Operations Director

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Katrina is a lifelong Californian who has lived in every area of the state. She earned her B.A. at St. Mary's College of California in performing arts with an emphasis in dance. After completing her teaching credential at California State University, Sacramento, she went on to teach for several years at Bay Area independent schools and ultimately completed her Masters Degree in Educational Therapy from Holy Names University.

 

Katrina has always been passionate about education, and she began her career as a high school student tutoring younger children after school in her mom's classroom. Since then, she has worked as an English teacher, SAT Writing and Grammar instructor, special education instructional assistant, dance teacher, and even a director of a tutoring center. She has years of experience helping to cultivate the strengths of diverse learners while encouraging autonomy for each individual. Katrina also enjoys the organizational aspect of helping small businesses run smoothly, which is why she loves supporting other ed therapists in the important work they do.

 

In her free time, Katrina can be found spending time with her husband and their two sons. She loves to dance, read, and spend time outside.

Alexyss Hernandez, Learning Specialist

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Alexyss was born and raised in Los Angeles. She graduated from Hope International University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies: Teacher Preparation with a concentration in Elementary Education. During this time she began working at Lindamood-Bell. It was here that Alexyss discovered her passion for working with students on a one-on-one basis. During her almost 5 years at Lindamood-Bell, Alexyss worked as a mentor, consultant, and site manager. In every role, her goal is to build relationships and create spaces where people feel safe to learn, grow, and communicate. 

Alexyss makes sure to emphasize the importance of executive functioning skills with students. From effective calendaring to study strategies, she provides each student with the tools they need to become an independent and confident learner.

 

Alexyss enjoys working with students both within and outside of educational settings. She has had the privilege of being a nanny to local families as well as an au pair in Germany. Additionally, she spent time as a cast member at the Disneyland Resort and is always happy to share a Disney fun fact. In her free time, Alexyss loves traveling, swimming, and eating ice cream.

Nikkia Pannell, Learning Specialist, M.A.

Nikkia is a southern California native who received an undergraduate degree in English and Comparative Literature at UC Santa Barbara and a Master’s degree in English at Chapman University. She has built her career on working with students to help them find learning accessible and fun. 

Nikkia has taught and worked individually with students from preschool through graduate school and specializes in executive functioning and study skills as well as literature and composition, history, and environmental sciences. She has been the Lead Program Manager of America Reads and Counts at an elementary school in Santa Barbara and is currently a Paraeducator for Special Services at a school in Orange County where she also teaches creative writing.  Nikkia’s position in Special Services focuses on learners with ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, and Processing Disorders. With fifteen years’ experience in education, Nikkia’s passion is with the whole child and their interaction with learning. 

Her favorite past times are reading, writing, coffee, DND, Animal Crossing, and staying too long in museums telling patrons fun facts about exhibits.

 

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Anna Aguilar Gardner, Learning Specialist, M.S. M.Ed

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Anna is an L.A. transplant, with roots in Central Texas. She attended the University of Texas at San Antonio and completed her undergraduate degree and graduate degree in Biology. It was during her graduate experience that she found her passion for teaching, and she returned to graduate school where she completed her masters in Science Education with a concentration in Special Education.

 

Anna has taught students from 5th through 12th grade in mathematics and science, at many diverse settings including independent, public, charter, rural, and urban schools. She currently serves as a middle school math teacher at an independent school in Los Angeles. Anna’s work focuses on developing understanding of the natural world by inquiry and exploration, using visual models to organize relationships, and developing academic vocabulary. These methods allow for all students to overcome challenges posed by ADHD, dyslexia (written expression disorders) and dyscalculia (math disorders), and connect with content.  Anna works with every student to develop their executive functioning and give them the tools to be organized, reflective, and self advocate for their own learning.

 

When not working with students, Anna can be found on a bike, on a trail or in the kitchen.

Deanna Tayag, Learning Specialist, M.S. Ed.

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Deanna was born in Okinawa, Japan (#NavyBrat). She spent her childhood in Kapolei, Hawai’i and then moved to Orange County, California in the fourth grade. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Literary Journalism with a minor in English from the University of California, Irvine and her Master’s of Science in Education from the Johns Hopkins University School of Education.

 

Deanna is a proud Teach for America alumna (2018). During her time in the corps, she served indigenous students in Wai’anae, Hawai’i as a 7th grade English teacher. She is now entering her fourth year of teaching in Huntington Park, California, where she also leads a Journalism Club and works as a Social Emotional Coach.

 

Deanna has taught and supported middle school and university students in understanding various academic content and developing their executive functioning skills. She acknowledges and embraces the unique experiences and needs of every individual and strongly believes in differentiated instruction that is data-driven and culturally-relevant. Deanna believes in inclusive practices so that every child may access a rigorous education.

 

When she is not working with students or listening to educational podcasts, you can find Deanna at the dog beach with her three dogs (Yogi, Apollo, and Sheba), exploring different cafés, or watching anime, Marvel movies, or sitcoms.