Executive Board 2016-2018


 Barbara Hecht

Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech Boston
Past President

Barbara F. Hecht, Ph.D., is Director of the Boston area campus of Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech and Co-Director of the tVisit project, a collaborative tele-intervention initiative.  She received her bachelor’s degree in Linguistics and Psychology from Harvard University and her doctorate in Linguistics and Child Language Development from Stanford University.  She has worked with families of young children with hearing loss and has trained parents, teachers, pediatricians and other professionals in the field for more than 25 years.  Prior to her work at Clarke Schools, she served as President of John Tracy Clinic.  Dr. Hecht is a regular presenter at national and international conferences on telepractice, early intervention and the early education of children with hearing loss.  She has served in leadership roles for professional organizations and on state and national advisory committees for children with hearing loss.



Hannah Eskridge

The Children's Cochlear Implant Center at UNC 

Hannah Eskridge currently serves as the OPTION Executive Board President.  She has previously served as Vice President, the chair of Governance and Strategic Panning as well as participated in the Communications Committee.Hannah is the Co-Director of the Children's Cochlear Implant Center at UNC.  She is a speech-language pathologist and LSL Cert. AVT. She has been working with children with hearing loss and their families for over 15 years and is especially passionate about training professionals in Listening and Spoken Language to increase access to quality intervention.



Lynn W. Miskiel

University of Miami Debbie School
Vice President

Lynn W. Miskiel, M.A., CCC-SLP/A, LSLS Cert. AVEd is the current chair of the Governance Committee as well as serving on the Annual Meeting Planning Committee.   She is the Director of the Auditory-Oral Education Program at the University of Miami Debbie School where she has been working with children with hearing loss and their families since 1988.  She received her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Colorado and her Master’s Degree at the University of Illinois.  Lynn has served in leadership roles in a variety of local, state, and national professional organizations and has presented nationally and internationally on intervention for young children who are deaf and hard of hearing.



Danielle Chalfant

Carle Auditory Oral School

Danielle Chalfant has had the pleasure of serving on the Executive Board of OPTION since 2010, with one term as Secretary followed by two terms as Treasurer.  She is currently serving a second term as Secretary.  Danielle is the director of Carle Auditory Oral School in Urbana, IL and has been an active member of the organization since 1998.  Danielle has held a variety of roles at Carle Auditory Oral School, including deaf educator and aural habilitation therapist during her time at the school.  Currently, she provides some direct support to individual children and families, and works to coordinate therapy and educational services provided at the school.  Danielle enjoys working with university students, volunteers, and program visitors to share her passion for the work of the school and stories of the lives that have been impacted by listening and spoken language services.    As part of the Carle system of healthcare in central Illinois, Carle Auditory Oral School and the ECHO Program provide comprehensive medical, audiological, therapy and educational support to children with hearing loss and their families.



Laura Covello

CHAT Center 

Laura Covello is Executive Director of the CCHAT Center – Sacramento and licensed audiologist as well as teacher of the deaf. Laura joined CCHAT in 2004 and was promoted to principal in 2006. She earned her B. A. in Communication Disorders from California State University, Long Beach, an M. A. in Communicative Disorders - Audiology from California State University, Los Angeles, and an M. Ed. in Special Education from the University of Utah. She currently holds an Administrative Services Credential.



Meredith Berger

Clarke Schools for Hearing & Speech 
Director at Large

Meredith Berger an OPTION member since 2009 is the director of Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech/New York campus.  Meredith’s committee work includes the Annual Planning Committee and the Data Committee prior to joining the Executive Board as a Director-at-Large in July 2016.  In addition, Meredith is proud to represent OPTION with the Common Ground Project, a collaboration between OPTION and CEASD.  Meredith received a B.S. in Education (Special Education/Elementary Education) from SUNY at Buffalo State College and a Master’s degree in Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education from Canisius College. After teaching for 15 years in roles including Early Intervention, Preschool Teacher and Itinerant Teacher of the Deaf, she joined the Cochlear Implant/Hearing and Speech Center at what is now The Ear Institute at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary.  In her role as Deaf/Hard of Hearing Education Consultant, she had the opportunity to collaborate and support families of children who were deaf or hard of hearing, consult with local schools and professionals to advise and support them in creating an educational program to meet the needs of students with hearing loss, and to organize educational conferences to support the professional development of those working with students who are deaf or hard of hearing. In 2008, Meredith became the Director at Clarke/NY. She oversees a comprehensive birth-preschool program that supports children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families from the earliest point of diagnosis. Meredith presents locally and nationally on topics related to the education of children with hearing loss, including understanding the role of the itinerant teacher of the deaf, meeting the needs of families from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, Early Intervention/Part C testing implications and working with children with microtia/atresia.



Pam Dawson

Hear Me Now 
Director at Large 

Pam Dawson has been in the field of Early Intervention for over 25 years, and has been the Executive Director at hear ME now in Maine since 2007.   She holds a Masters in Early Intervention from University of Maine. Before joining hear ME now, she owned an inclusive early education program that served 450 families in 17 years. Pam’s personal connection with music drew her to hear ME now.  She feels fortunate to be part of an organization that brings the shared human experience of listening to, and participating in, music to children with hearing loss.



Jill Muhs

John Tracy Clinic 
Director at Large 

Jill Muhs, MEd. is the Vice President of Programs at John Tracy Clinic (JTC) and is passionate about serving parents and their children with hearing loss.  She has more than 30 years of experience at JTC including the parent infant program, preschool classrooms, family education and graduate instruction. She supervises all direct service staff and is the lead collaborator for ABIs and other service models.  Jill frequently speaks at both national and international conferences, and recently co-authored a chapter on listening and spoken language in the second edition of Clinic Management of Children with Cochlear Implants. Jill has served on several boards, including AG Bell CA Chapter, Training and Advocacy Group (TAG), and First Five’s Best Start Metro LA Community Guidance Board.



OPTION Announces...


"The Listening and Spoken Language Data Repository (LSL-DR): Design and project overview,"

LSHSS-16-0087 for Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, has just been published in the Newly Published section of the LSHSS site on ASHAWire. 

You can read the article here

Please share with your colleagues.


Be a Part of OPTION!

Career Opportunities

Career Opportunities at OPTION Schools!

Read more…