Volunteer Leaders

Heather Alexander


Heather is the leader of troop 21192, a Girl Scout Troop for girls with special needs that meets at the ASK center. Heather has been a special education teacher for 5 years and worked in the field for 8 years. She loves working with kids with special needs and helping provide more opportunities for them. Check the ASK calender to come join us for Scouts!

Devon Koren Alley


Devon Koren Alley is mother to two daughters, and her eldest is a teenager on the spectrum. Devon works as a Learning and Development Instructor at Pilot Flying J, and she also blogs for ADVANCE for Occupational Therapy Practitioners on the subject of autism and parenting. Devon lives in Powell, Tennessee, with her husband and their girls, and in her spare time, she writes short stories, poetry, and novels.

Sue Barnes


Sue Barnes is the mother of two busy teenagers and her son is on the spectrum. During the school year, Sue works as a pre-K teacher's assistant with Knox County Schools. During the summer and on some weekends, she works as a Medical Laboratory Technologist at a local hospital. Sue and her family love to go hiking and take trips to the beach.

Mitzi Burns


Mitzi has an MS degree in Occupational Safety and Health from UT-Knoxville. Prior to becoming a mother of two boys, both of whom are on the autism spectrum, Mitzi worked in human resources and safety for public and private sector organizations. She enjoys volunteer work, especially with groups which provide support and resources for individuals with autism and their families.

Veronica Cordell


Veronica is the parent of four children, two of whom have autism spectrum disorder. A former foreign language teacher, she is now Director at ASK and President of the Board of Directors of Artistic Spectrum. Veronica also serves on the Board of Directors of ASA-ETC, the East TN Autism Training Initiative committee, and the Special Education Parent Advisory Council of Knox County Schools. She enjoys writing, whitewater paddling, marketing, and program planning.

Christa Harder


Christa has three children, two of whom have ASD. Recently relocated to Knoxville from NC, she has implemented a monthly ASK Mom's Day Out. She is passionate about wine, likes watching trash TV in her spare time, and looks forward to those moments where she gets to go to Target alone.

Sara Heigaard


Sara is originally from North Dakota and has a degree is psychology from the University of North Dakota. She worked in the entertainment industry as a professional actor and stage manager for many years. After the birth of her daughter she started working as a TA in Special Education and found her passion for working with children with autism. Sara spent 7 years in the school system and is looking forward to working with ASK to support the needs of people with autism. Sara and her husband Chris have one daughter, Amy, and enjoy traveling and hanging out together.

Mandi Lawson


Mandy is an autism mom who is instrumental in organizing the Old City Cover Jam, ASK's annual fundraiser benefit concert. She is a licensed massage therapist who works with both the UT swim and tennis teams. She has recently written and starred in a film short about a single mom who has a child with autism spectrum disorder.

Michelle Mason


Michelle lives in Powell with her husband and their five year old son who is on the spectrum. Primarily a stay at home mom, Michelle also works PRN as a Medical Technologist at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. When she gets the chance, Michelle enjoys gardening, crafting, reading, and spending time in the Smoky Mountains with her family.

Angela McGuire


Angela is the parent of two children with autism spectrum disorders. She hosts Family Fun Night once each month at the ASK center. She loves cooking and going to the farmer's market and to the mountains with her family.

Steven McGuire


Steven has two children with ASD and is a resource coordinator at OmniVisions, working with children in therapeutic foster care. He enjoys helping with miscellaneous maintenance tasks at the ASK center. In his spare time, he likes skateboarding and playing video games with his children.

Tabatha Rainwater


Tabatha is a mom of three who loves the outdoors, running, and being in nature. She encouraged Regal to begin their sensory-friendly My Way Matinee program.

Karen Slater


Coming soon.

Current Interns

Lora Doherty


Lora is a Senior at UT in Therapeutic Recreation completing a Fall 2016 internship with ASK. She loves music, the outdoors, and planning fun programs for children with special needs.

Claire Mallicoat


Claire is a Therapeutic Recreation intern at ASK.

Susanna Yoder


Susanna is a Therapeutic Recreation intern at ASK for Fall 2016.

Jay Bryce


Jay is an intern from UT's FUTURE Program. He is interested in organizing a Yu-Gi-Oh competition for ASK.