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Meet our Team!

Dr. Laura Gormley: Director of Education

Dr. Laura Gormley, B.A. (Hons), M.Sc , PhD is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) who obtained her PhD from Trinity College Dublin.  Laura has over 11 years experience working as a behaviour therapist with children, adolescents, and adults and lectures part-time for the School of Psychology, Trinity College, Dublin.


In 2012, Laura took the position of manager at PALS Preschool for Children with Autism. In this role, she collaborated with the Department of Education to establish a group-based model of service provision for the children attending the preschool.  In 2015, she started her current role as the Director of Education at PALS Preschool and oversees the individualised education plans for each child attending the preschool.


Bróna O' Sullivan: School manager 

Bróna joined PALS in October 2018 to cover a maternity position. Bróna has an honours degree in Social Care from CIT and a Masters in ABA from Trinity College Dublin. Bróna has over 14 years experience working in the area of Autism and intellectual disabilities, with experience with both adults and children. Bróna specialised in staff training during her time in Trinity and believes if you put the time and effort into helping staff become the best they can be, then they will in turn be the best person to help the individuals coming through their services. Bróna is the Child Protection Officer for PALS and had received training from Barnardos. Bróna works under the Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) and with the Behaviour Assistant within PALS to develop and facilitate Behaviour Support Plans to increase children’s appropriate behaviour and participation in the school day. Bróna also provides inhouse training to staff in the most up to date research based training. She is currently working towards achieving certification as a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst. 


Head Teacher: Monika Ciemniewska

Monika graduated in Poland with an MA in Psychology, specialising in clinical psychology. She has been working with children with special needs and Autism for the past 12 years. Monika has completed a two day PECS training course and the Handwriting without Tears training course also. She is also trained in Paediatric first aid and in Child Protection being the assistant Child Protection Officer in PALS. As head teacher, Monika ensures that the children's lesson plans are being run correctly and that each child is moving on at an appropriate speed for them. Monika also provides in house training to staff in the most up to date research based training. Monika also runs the reading group here in PALS which has been a resounding success when trialled this year. 


Behaviour Assistant: Heidi Penrose

Heidi joined PALS in October 2017. She comes from the United States where she was a teacher of children with ASD for over 24 years. She holds a masters degree from Purdue University in Special Education severe disabilities with a focus on assisitive technology and augmentative communication. She is currently completing her Masters in Applied Behaviour Analysis in Trinity College Dublin. As Behaviour assistan, Heidi joins Bróna O' Sullivan and Dr. Laura Gormley, in developing and facilitating Behaviour Support Plans to increase children’s appropriate behaviour and participation in the school day. Heidi also conducts in house training for both staff and parents to ensure consistency across a child's life. Heidi is training in first aid and has experience with assistive technologies such as Proloquo. 


Class Teacher: Kathy Conroy

Kathy joined PALS in April 2018. She has a BA in English and Sociology and a H Dip. in Montessori Education from Saint Nicholas. Kathy is trained in paediatric first aid. She has four years experience in Montessori settings in both Ireland and Canada. She has a keen interest in art and yoga. 


Class Teacher: Amy deSalvo

Amy joined the PALS team in April 2019. Amy has a BSc in Psychology and is currently completing her Masters in Applied Behaviour Analysis from Queens University, Belfast. Amy has 6 years experience working with children with autism and is a great asset to our team here in PALS.


Class tutor: Bebhinn Harnan


Bebhinn joined PALS in April 2018. She has a degree in education from the University of Stirling, Scotland. She has recently also undertaken a certificate in Psychology from NUI Maynooth. She has a great background working in preschool and Montessori settings.



Class tutor: Aisling O' Loughlin


Class tutor: Naomi Forrest


Class tutor: Laura Gray


Class tutor: Eilis Wallis


Class tutor: Katie O' Hanlon


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