About Us

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Soaring Therapy and Learning Center began

when the three owners, Steve, Dawn, and Julie, combined their expertise and talents in pediatric therapy to dedicate a center that is needed in North Georgia. We opened our doors in 2020 and serve hundreds of patients in our two locations: Cleveland and Blairsville. Children’s healthy and happy futures are everyone’s passion here, and we invite you to explore what we can do to help your child be their best.

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Our vision is to invest in the children of our communities to inspire them to soar to unlimited heights of independence in all life experiences. We work with all children up to 21 years of age.

meet the team



JULIE BARRETT, Co-Owner and Clinical Director of Occupational Therapy

Julie has enjoyed treating children in home health settings and school systems for nearly 20 years. Julie is a graduate of Brenau University where she received her BS and MS in Occupational Therapy. She has practiced as an occupational therapist in various settings including pediatric home health care and aquatic therapy. Julie sees patients in the school system, in their home and in natural environments in Habersham, White, and Lumpkin Counties. Julie has extensive practice and continuing education in sensory integration theory and practice, aquatic therapy, oral motor and feeding therapy, including the Beckman Oral Motor Protocol, and Therapeutic Listening therapy. Julie is married with 2 sons and 2 daughters. She enjoys hiking, playing tennis, traveling and spending time with her family and friends.


Steve Dalin, Co-Owner and Clinical Director of Speech Language Pathology

Steve Dalin received his undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders at University of Montana and MS in Communicative Disorders from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He is a Life Member of the American Speech and Hearing Association. His career began in Idaho working in speech and language pathology as director of various government and university human development centers. He relocated to Georgia as the Director of the Americorps grant program through the University of Georgia. Steve returned to his passion for direct services as a Speech and Language Pathologist for Habersham County Schools and retired in 2020 as Department Head of the Speech and Language department overseeing a dozen therapists. Steve pursued his dream of opening a pediatric rehabilitation center in Cleveland, Georgia – your very own Soaring Therapy and Learning Center!


Dawn Grindle, Co-Owner and Clinical Director of Physical Therapy

With more than 25 years of experience in physical therapy, Dawn Grindle has worked in long-term care, acute care, outpatient-neuro/pediatrics. Dawn received her undergraduate degree in Biology from North Georgia College (now University of North Georgia) and her MS degree in physical therapy at The Medical College of Georgia (now Augusta University). She spent 10 years in home care as Director of Therapy Services. She has always served as a rural provider of Early Intervention through Babies Can’t Wait. She has clinical expertise in serving children in their natural environments, inclusion pre-k and school settings. Dawn has worked in the neonatal intensive care setting to optimize neuro-motor development from birth in the tiniest of babies. Her love for making a difference in the lives of children and families is targeted in working with those with complex medical issues, genetic anomalies, and severely impaired. She is married with a son and three daughters. She enjoys reading, scrapbooking and traveling with her family while enjoying the great outdoors.


Occupational Therapy

Julie barrett, Co-owner and clinical director of occupational therapy


Anna Black, Occupational Therapist

Anna Black is from Cleveland, Georgia. She graduated from OT school at the University of Saint Augustine and enjoys being a pediatric occupational therapist. Anna believes that there is nothing better than helping children reach their goals. She loves coming to work each day and seeing all the smiling faces. She and her husband have a young child.


Amber Gilbert, Occupational Therapist

Amber Gilbert has been an Occupational Therapist for 20 years. She has worked in many settings including the school system, hippotherapy, aquatics, adult home health, and now our private pediatric clinic. Amber graduated with honors from Brenau University with her Master’s degree. She is married with two daughters. Amber enjoys sharing with parents the progress that their kids are making. In her free time she bakes and sews.


LAURIE TISON, Occupational Therapist

Laurie was born in China. She was adopted by her family at age five and grew up on a family farm in South Georgia. She is a recent graduate of Brenau University with a MS in Occupational Therapy. She holds a BS in Education with a concentration in Exercise Science and Wellness and a minor in Psychology from Georgia Southwestern State University, and AS in Allied Health from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. She has experience with treatment of various conditions including ADHD/ADD, Autism, Down Syndrome, sensory processing disorders, and other developmental delays. Laurie plans to continue education in pediatric care to encompass treatments to aid in feeding, sensory integration, therapeutic listening, and oral motor skills.


Emily Nonnemaker, MS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist

A native of White County, Emily Nonnemaker received both her BS and MS degrees in Occupational Therapy from Brenau University. She is also the Occupational Therapist for White County School System. She has a certification in Feeding Therapy and is excited to continue learning and developing therapeutic techniques. Emily finds joy in helping her patients develop skills that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.


ASHLEY BARDASH, Occupational Therapist

Ashley Bardash loves working as a pediatric Occupational Therapist because it brings her joy to watch children discover their unique strengths and master new skills to succeed in their daily activities. She graduated from University of Georgia with a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition Science, and obtained a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Brenau University. She and her husband are raising their two young boys and love making Blairsville their home.


Madison Odom, Occupational Therapist

Madison Odom received her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Brenau University. She loves helping kids and their families develop tools and strategies that support them to thrive in their daily lives. She also works on foundational skills that children can carry with them the rest of their lives. She is from Blairsville and loves her Golden Retriever, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.


SHELBY BRAMLETTE, MS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist

Shelby Bramlette’s prior occupational therapy career was in skilled nursing and home health settings with seniors. She always wanted to expand her knowledge to specialize in pediatric therapies. She helps children in general pediatrics with a focus on sensory integration and feeding. Shelby graduated from Brenau University with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. She and her husband have a daughter, two dogs and live in Cleveland.



Meredith Palmer graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from North Georgia College and State University and her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Brenau University. Meredith's favorite part about being an occupational therapist is watching a child light up when he or she successfully accomplishes a new task. She is a certified feeding specialist using The S.O.S (Sequential Oral Sensory) approach to feeding. Meredith has trained in Integrated Listening Systems (iLs), Blomberg Rhythmic Movements, Handwriting Without Tears, SOS Food Scientist Model, Visual Vestibular Assessment, and more. When Meredith isn't crawling around on the floor and building obstacle courses, she enjoys being with her husband and two young boys and their three Goldendoodles. Originally from Buford, Meredith and family reside in Cleveland.

Physical Therapy


Abbie Jones, DPT, Physical Therapist

Abbie Jones’ drive for being a pediatric physical therapist is to make movement fun and to help kids come alive to their movement potential. Abbie holds a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of North Georgia and a BS in Exercise and Sports Science from the University of Georgia. Abbie was trained as a pediatric physical therapist at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. She found her love for working with kids of any age and ability from summers spent working at camps for children with disabilities and time spent working in nurseries. Abbie and her husband reside in Dahlonega. She enjoys walking her two dogs, working out, and baking.


Cam Christopher, DPT, Physical Therapist

Cam Christopher loves the North Georgia mountains and this community where she and her husband and two children reside. She holds a doctorate in physical therapy from the University of North Georgia and is an APTA board-certified clinical specialist in pediatrics. Cam teaches part-time in the physical therapy program at UNG in addition to working with kids in the outpatient setting. She has been a pediatric physical therapist for 22 years and loves seeing children achieve their fullest potential. Cam enjoys hiking, camping, spending time outside with her family, reading, and playing in the river.


Kellie Collins, Physical Therapist

Kellie Collins returned to her town of Blairsville and is glad to be back home. She graduated from North Georgia College & State University with her BS degree in Physical Therapy. In her decade+ career she has been in pediatric therapy for most of the recent years. Kellie plays and works with kids of all ages and helps families reach their goals. She is trained to treat children with pelvic floor physical therapy needs. Kellie and her husband have two dogs. She loves to be outside, whether it’s running, fishing, hiking, playing pickleball, or reading.


Laura Fenton, Physical Therapist

Laura Fenton grew up in Camilla, Georgia and with her husband and their two boys; they are acclimating to the higher elevation in Cleveland. Laura has always loved working with children and taught dance and swimming lessons in college. She earned her doctorate from Armstrong State University. In her free time Laura participates in marathons.

Speech Therapy


Haley Hatch, M.S. CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist

Haley Hatch provides patients with the skills and strategies they need to become confident communicators in a world where communication is crucial for survival. She works with children who are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, hearing loss, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). She also provides services for those who need Augmentative and Alternative Communication Devices (AAC). She describes the wonderful feeling when a child says their first word, signs for the first time, or pronounces a word clearly. Haley has her MS in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Georgia Southern University – Armstrong. She and her husband and fur baby live in Cornelia, her hometown. In her free time, she enjoys antique shopping, board games, movies, camping, and her friends and family.


Jessika Runquist, M.S., CCC-SLP, Speech Therapist

Jessika graduated from Western Illinois University where she earned her B.S. in Speech Pathology and M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders, and worked her first year at an elementary school in Habersham. Her career is fulfilling, because Jessica loves having the opportunity to help a child meet and exceed their own goals while increasing their ability to communicate. Jessika moved to Georgia to be closer to family and loves everything Georgia has to offer. She enjoys baking, reading, and spending time with her fiancé and two cats.


Lenda Morris, M.Ed., CCC-SLP, Speech Therapist

Lenda Morris began her career in public schools as a speech-language pathologist. She holds both her B.S.Ed. and M.Ed. in Communications Sciences and Disorders from the University of Georgia. Throughout her career, she has worked in schools, an outpatient clinic, and with Babies Can’t Wait. She partners with families to help their children achieve positive communication outcomes. One of her favorite parts about working as a speech-language pathologist is watching a child’s frustration decrease as they begin to develop communication skills. Kids grow in confidence when they can overcome a wide range of speech difficulties and find their voice. She and her husband Kyle have three children in high school and college. They spend time with their dog and family, and travel to the mountains.


Cassondra Greene, CF-Speech Language Pathologist

Cassondra Greene is originally from Blairsville, but also called Perry, Georgia home for half her childhood. She graduated from Valdosta State University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s in Education, Communication Sciences and Disorders. She then pursued a career as an SLPA for 10 years in both the home health and school system setting. Cassondra returned to VSU in 2020 and graduated with a Masters in Education, Communication Sciences & Disorders in December 2022. Cassondra lives in Cleveland, Georgia with her husband, Cam Greene, and dogs Allie and Hunter. She enjoys watching Georgia football and relaxing near the water in her free time.



Malinda Schindler, Cleveland Office Manager

Malinda Schindler moved to Georgia with her husband and three children after living in various states, and here in Sautee she feels at home. She spent 20 years in the dental industry as a dental hygienist and retired from that industry to accommodate family. Her love of people, especially children, and being a part of a team drew her to Soaring Therapy. She enjoys the outdoors, watching her children play sports, and traveling.


Ihara Twillie, Blairsville Office Receptionist

Ihara Twillie is the first to greet families and helps them feel welcomed and loved. Originally from Puerto Rico, Ihara finds Georgia her home where she is raising her young son. She graduated from Truett-McConnell University with a BA in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. Her passion for working for an organization that is helping kids achieve different goals makes her happy. She loves to watch how therapy is changing their lives and inspiring smiles across all our faces. Ihara loves to travel, read, work out, and watch movies.


Kathy Bentley, Front Office Assistant

Kathy Bentley loves each smile, hug and high five she receives from the kids at Soaring Therapy. Kathy is originally from northwest Indiana and brings to her part-time position a diversity of experiences in her career, including restaurant manager, realtor, certified nursing assistant, and substitute teacher. She enjoys going to her grandchildren’s baseball games, hiking, shopping, and family trips to the beach.