Meet Our Staff

TLC Staff Photo 2016

Not pictured: Ryan Miller, Jan Ewing, Heather Bigley, and Dave Kokales

Meet our expert professional staff.

CarolDr. Carol Utay (Dr. Carol), Executive Director

Dr. Carol is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and an expert in learning disabilities and reading with a doctorate in special education. Dr. Carol has experience as a principal, Orton-Gillingham reading therapist, teacher, consultant, international speaker, professor, author, and mother. She is a founding board member of the Western Pennsylvania International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and board member of Pennsylvania IDA. Dr. Carol is known for putting complicated education information into parent friendly language. Dr. Carol has been the recipient for many awards including as a nationally recognized Athena Award winner for community service and an avid Internet-based education community builder.

JoeDr. Joe Utay (Dr. Joe), Director of Counseling and Evaluations

Dr. Joe is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, with over 35 years of experience in psychology and education. Before he and Dr. Carol returned to Pennsylvania to create TLC in 1999, he served three terms as President of the Kentucky Mental Health Counselors Association and was Chief Editor for the state professional counselor’s journal. He is also a former professor for the University of Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he taught school psychology and school and community counseling. Dr. Joe is a certified school psychologist, author, father, and with a Black Belt in Kung Fu, is a long-time Tai Chi practitioner.

Diane HDiane Hartman, Senior Director

Diane works tirelessly on behalf of children.  Over the past 30 years, she has partnered with multiple child and young adult servicing systems, while serving on more than 25 advisory and planning committees for students with learning differences.  While developing educational support and strategic planning goals and objectives for organizations such as the Pennsylvania Department of Education and Mental Health Association, she consistently aligned efforts with federal and state guidelines on best practices for students with disabilities. Diane was the recipient of the state award for Child Advocacy in the State of Pennsylvania.

MaryMary Soisson, Director

Mary has been a leader at TLC for seven years.  She is an alumna of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  With a passion for changing students’ lives, Mary wanted to enter the education field after watching other students struggle in school.  Through TLC she found educational programs that utilize an individualized approach and provide fairness in student’s curriculum by focusing on the students’ needs. She has also developed strong relationships with parents, students, and school district professionals in the Pittsburgh area during her career. Whether through teaching or coordinating efforts between teachers, other staff, and students, Mary has a special talent for making certain every student makes progress every hour.

Kimberlee Employee SpotlightKimberlee Bement, Director of Testing and Training

Kimberlee has been helping students succeed at TLC for 15 years. She studied Elementary Education at Pennsylvania State University and completed post-graduate work in reading instruction for special education.  She is passionate about helping children learn to read.  Kimberlee is known for her combination of being both professional and friendly when evaluating new and current students. That’s why she’s a natural for training both new and experienced evaluators and teachers.

Lauren Neigh Staff PhotoLauren Neigh, Outreach Coordinator

Lauren truly enjoys helping students and families.  She is an alumna of Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Skilled in communication skills, Lauren works closely with parents to ensure that each child’s needs are met. She enjoys the holistic approach that TLC’s programs provide and witnessing student progress from start to finish.


kylie-staff-photoKylie Chiu, Outreach

Kylie works hand-in-hand with the outreach coordinator and administrative staff to ensure that Total Learning Centers delivers a clear message to all clients. She works hard to ensure that those who have need our the services at TLC are properly informed, and seeks out new ways to bring that information to the public. As such, she loves listening to TLC parent success stories and sharing those with others. She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with two degrees.

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