Our Staff members are the foundation of MOSD, bringing with them a combined 200 years of experience, specialized training, and lots of love for the MOSD students.
Teresa Schwartz - Executive Director, Retiring
Teresa is MOSD’s Executive Director, bringing more than 40 years of experience in and out of the classroom to her position. She has been working with the school for the past twenty-five years after receiving her degree in Deaf Education from Washington University in Saint Louis. Teresa loves to watch the children learn, particularly, as she says, “when the lights come on and they say their first words, or crack the code with phonics and begin to read and write – it is a thrill every time and it is a great honor to walk this journey with our parents!” She is always amazed at the many miracles that have come to pass during the 50 year history of the Memphis Oral School for the Deaf, urging all to come and be a part of modern miracles that still happen everyday with the help of dedicated parents, staff, and new technological advances.
Lauren Hays-Executive Director
Lauren Hays became the MOSD Executive Director in March 2018. Lauren has served MOSD as Development Director since 2016 and understands the importance of community support in our efforts to serve children with hearing loss from all over the Mid-South. Ending a 10-year professional career in television, Lauren hopes to increase community support through her established Mid-South networking platform and wishes that everyone will come to realize the life-long impact MOSD programs make in the lives of children who are deaf and hard-of-hearing. Lauren is actively engaged in the Mid-South community and is a current member of Leadership Germantown Class of 2018. She is passionate about raising community awareness about MOSD programs and reaching parents of newly diagnosed children with hearing loss. Most importantly, Lauren is the mother of a child with hearing loss currently enrolled at MOSD. She is excited to give hope to other MOSD parents since she experiences the miracle of her child talking every day. Lauren is proud to be an advocate for MOSD to spread the impact of MOSD programs to the community.
Dr. Elizabeth Domico, Au D., CCC-A, FAAA
Dr. Elizabeth Domico has served MOSD families since 2000 and is dedicated to working with our students to help them hear their very best. With all of the services and education offered, she is overjoyed to see the progress the children make each and every single day. In addition to aural habilitation therapy, Elizabeth provides counseling to parents considering cochlear implantation for their child, to adults thinking about cochlear implantation for themselves, and has been providing cochlear implant activation and mapping services to patients in the Mid-South for over 30 years. She also works with patients interested in osseo-integrated hearing aids. Elizabeth feels blessed to be part of the MOSD family!
Rachel Lunsford, Au.D., CCC-A
Rachel Lunsford has been an audiologist with MOSD since 2017. Prior to this, Rachel worked in a hearing aid private practice helping patients of all ages and their families to meet their hearing health needs. As an audiologist, she enjoys educating individuals with hearing loss and their loved ones about the effects of hearing loss, intervention strategies, and expectations of assistive technology. Rachel is excited to witness the great strides children and adults can achieve with their hearing devices along with aural rehabilitation and habilitation.
Mackenzie Livingston, M.A., CCC-SLP
Mackenzie joined the MOSD team in August 2016. She completed her Master’s degree at the University of Memphis. Mackenzie served the adult and geriatric population in rehabilitation hospitals and skilled nursing facilities for five years. She is thrilled for the opportunity to work with the children of MOSD. Her favorite part about working at MOSD is the language-rich environment and the smiling, talking children that fill her day.
Julie Ariemma, M.A., CCC-SLP
Julie has been a Speech-Language Pathologist at the Memphis Oral School for the Deaf since August, 2013. Prior to working at MOSD, Julie served the pediatric population in a private practice in Florida and has also served children in a variety of early intervention settings throughout Shelby County. Julie completed her Master’s degree at the University of Memphis. She enjoys being a part of the speech and language development of the children as they are learning to listen and talk.
Mary Ellen White, M.A., CCC-SLP
Mary Ellen is a Speech-Language Pathologist and joined the MOSD family August, 2011. She loves being a part of helping the children find their voices. Mary Ellen also loves being a part of the fun activities that happen at Memphis Oral School for the Deaf!
Katie McLeod, M.S., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT
Katie joined the MOSD team in the summer of 2013. She is an Auditory-Verbal Therapist (LSLS Cert. AVT) serving children birth through school age. In addition to providing speech-language services at MOSD, she coordinates and provides family training for our Sound Beginnings program. Katie completed her Master’s degree at Vanderbilt University and spent two years at a similar, auditory-oral preschool in Nashville, Tennessee. With a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish, Katie serves as an interpreter for MOSD parents while promoting bilingual language development for our Spanish-speaking children. She enjoys having the opportunity to work closely with families at MOSD to incorporate listening, language and speech into every part of the day.
Maureen Noland, M.S., CCC-SLP
Maureen Noland is a Speech and Language Pathologist and has been working at MOSD for 24 years. She provides off-site speech and language therapy to pre-school and school-age children. She takes great joy in seeing the progress of her students and being a part of their success in school. Maureen loves being a part of the MOSD family.
Cyndi has been a Teacher at MOSD for over nineteen years, working hands-on everyday with our children. To her, the children are an incredible inspiration to everyone. The parents and staff add to the amazing atmosphere at MOSD with their support. Cyndi encourages anyone and everyone to visit MOSD so they can see for themselves what a remarkable place it is.
Suzanne Montgomery, M.Ed.
Sue works as a Pre-School Teacher and has been a part of MOSD for over fifteen years. She has many favorite parts about the school, especially her fellow teachers, as everyone is willing to go the extra mile. She loves watching the babies new to the program adjust to school, make friends, and develop new skills. The parents’ commitment to helping their children talk, listen, and learn is awe-inspiring and encouraging, invigorating Sue and her work.
Holly Strasberg, B.S. in Deaf Education
Holly has taught at MOSD for over 16 years. With a Bachelor's Degree in Oral Deaf Education from Kent State University, she is inspired by the children, and families in our program. She loves being part of the early process as children develop their auditory and language skills. Tracking the children's progress, from using one to two-word phrases, to carrying on conversations and answering complex questions, puts a light in her eye and brings her great joy.
Abby Meister, M.S.D.E., CED
Abby Meister joined the MOSD family in 2012 after receiving her Master’s degree in oral deaf education. She enjoys teaching her two and three year old students in the classroom, combining aspects of speech, language, listening, and pre-academic training throughout the school day. Abby loves watching these little ones start the school year with only a few words or sounds and ending it by combining words and sentences! The students at MOSD amaze her every day.
Chelsea joined MOSD in May of 2016 and has enjoyed getting to know each and every child. She takes great joy in seeing the excitement on the kids faces when they reach new milestones. Chelsea has loved seeing the potential these kids have and seeing the miracles that happen daily!
Miss Sam has been working with MOSD as a Teacher’s Assistant for over eight years, loving every minute of it. She takes great joy in seeing the progress made every day, especially since the children are working so hard at such a young age. Miss Sam lets all visitors know that deaf children really can talk – and if people do not believe her, send them on out and she’ll show them.
Ashley Heath joined the MOSD Staff in 2018 as a Teacher Assistant. Ashley has a long history of supporting MOSD. Beginning in high school, Ashley knew she wanted to help MOSD students learn to listen and talk. She assisted MOSD teachers in classrooms during her summer and winter breaks through college. Ashley received her Bachelor's Degree from the University of Memphis and has a well-rounded experience of working with children in various schools around the area. Ashley is excited to return to MOSD for the daily rewards she receives through working with our incredible students. She is eager to come to work each day, loves watching students grow and learn, and takes pride in celebrating their language victories.
Cheryl Horton - Director of Business Operations
Cheryl joined MOSD in November of 2014 as our Insurance Consultant. She has 26 years of experience in insurance billing, business management and accounting. Cheryl was previously employed with a local ENT and audiology practice serving children and adults. As we know health insurance is ever changing, we have children at MOSD who need the support services of speech therapy and aural habilitation therapy to enhance their speech and language development. Cheryl feels it is very important to work closely with the insurance companies, providers and staff to help the families maximize the most of their benefits. Cheryl loves seeing the smiling faces and progress the students make every day; it is such a rewarding experience. She feels very blessed to be a part of the MOSD family & knows this is right where God intended her to be.
Kathy Christiansen - Administrative Assistant
Kathy has been with MOSD for 11 years as our Administrative Assistant. Prior to becoming a part of the MOSD staff, Kathy has been a Subsidium member for 27 years, formerly volunteering at the school. Kathy takes great joy in watching the two-year-olds walk through the door and start school for the first time, and in four years graduate with the ability to hear and talk, mainstreaming into a normal school setting – quite a miracle!
Lauren Hays - Development Director
Lauren joined the MOSD team as Development Director in 2016 and is actively engaged in the Mid-South community. Lauren served as a Broadcast Meteorologist in television markets around the Southeast and Ohio Valley for more than 10 years, including Local 24 News in Memphis. In 2014, Lauren and her husband, Callen, became proud parents to twin boys, Landon and August. The first day as a parent was full of joy and uncertainty when they learned that Landon had failed his newborn hearing screening. Learning about oral deaf education and the specialized services at MOSD prompted Lauren to make an extreme career shift to follow her true passion--spreading awareness that deaf children can learn to listen and talk. Lauren is excited to give hope to other MOSD parents and provide encouragement in their individual journey. She has the determination of a parent, the networking platform to increase community support, and the heart to help every deaf child become independent.
Ginger Ragan, B.B.A., Development Associate
Ginger gives back to the school that once taught her child. Abbey, now 19 years old is successfully enrolled in Shackouls Honors College at Mississippi State University, giving hope to other hearing impaired children to excel in a world of sound. Ginger joined the MOSD family in January, 2010. She loves the nurturing learning environment that is provided for the students and the opportunity to be a part of everyday miracles. For her, the most exciting moment is when a child discovers that sound has meaning and they begin to vocally interact with the world around them! With a Bachelors Degree in Business/Marketing, she loves to share all the heart warming stories, school events and milestones the children make with everyone via the MOSD HearSay Newsletter, the MOSD website and all social media outlets.
Brittany Pellegra, B.S., Development Associate
Brittany and her oldest brother were both born profoundly deaf to hearing parents. She attended Memphis Oral School in 1989 and graduated from the program in 1992. During her time as a student, she received her cochlear implant at the age of 4. Brittany received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Memphis in 2009. Having a deep desire to help other deaf children learn to listen and talk, Brittany served briefly as a teacher’s assistant at MOSD after graduation. She then served as Alumni Director at Lausanne Collegiate prior to accepting a position with Cochlear Americas, the manufacturer of her cochlear implant. For more than 5 years, Brittany held the position of Engagement Manager which gave her the opportunity to travel around the world educating people with hearing loss and sharing the benefits of cochlear implants. Brittany joined the MOSD team in January 2018 as a Development Associate and she is forever grateful for this career opportunity to serve where it all started for Brittany!