Dr. Carol Utay, 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 a parent-friendly language. Dr. Carol has been the recipient of many awards including as a nationally recognized Athena Award winner for community service and an avid Internet-based education community builder.
Dr. Joe Utay, Director of Counseling & 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 of the state professional counselor’s journal. He is also a former professor at the University of Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky University and the Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he taught school psychology and school and community counseling. Dr. Joe is a certified school psychologist, author, father, earned a Black Belt in Kung Fu, and is a long-time Tai Chi practitioner.
Diane Hartman, Outreach Specialist
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.
Leah Schram, Special Education Coordinator
Leah is a dedicated, passionate member of the TLC team. With degrees in Special and Elementary Education and years of classroom experience, she brings that thoroughness and professionalism to her current students in the Total Learning Academy. As the TLA Special Education Coordinator, she goes above and beyond for each student and family to help them on their journey through the education system. She is a true advocate for her students, and loves what she does! You’ll find her teaching, collaborating with other teachers, communicating with school districts, and attending meetings, all for her students.
JT Kordesich, Test Preparation Coordinator
JT wears many hats at TLC! Not only is he a Total Learning Academy teacher and afternoon tutor, he also is in charge of our comprehensive Test Preparation program, which include SAT and ACT tutoring. JT teaches Science and Social Studies to his TLA students, and does whatever it takes to help them succeed. You’ll find him helping out other teachers and staff, prepping for his exciting lessons, and taking care of student needs.
Olivia Benton, Outreach Coordinator
Olivia graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a major in Anthropology and a minor in Communications. She is thrilled to have been brought on to do Outreach for Total Learning Centers as it allows her to combine her enthusiasm for learning with her background in culture and communication. In her position as outreach coordinator Olivia hopes to spread awareness of TLC and help expand access to the extraordinary services that TLC has to offer.
Samara Drennan, Operations Coordinator
After graduating from Grove City College in 2016 with a Psychology degree, Samara went on to become an HR Representative for two years before coming to TLC in 2018. She manages our Human Resources, hiring, payroll, as well as other important admin duties. Be sure to say hi to Samara the next time you’re visiting the Center!
Ashley Burger, Administrative Assistant
Ashley graduated from LaRoche College with a degree in Psychology in 2018. She is excited to be apart of TLC, and will use her talents to answer phones, schedule students, and manage our office. She hopes to one day become a school psychologist! You’ll find her at our Welcome Center desk, and she is happy to help you, or answer any questions.
Victoria Zulick, Marketing Assistant
Victoria graduate of Grove City College with a degree in Communication Studies and Studio Art in 2018. She is excited to be focusing on marketing, advertising, and communications for TLC, and will be working on the TLC website, social media platforms, and other in-center marketing materials. Be sure to check out her posts on the TLC Facebook page and give us a ‘like!’
Teachers & Tutors
Special Ed Coordniator, TLA Instructor
B.S. Special & Elementary Education
Total Learning Academy
Test Preparation Coordinator, TLA Instructor
B.S. in History & Education
SAT Prep, Math, Social Studies, Reading, Brain Maps
Psychology, Social Work, Rehabilitation & Special Education
Orton-Gillingham Reading Instruction, All Subjects for Grades K-8th, Level III Educational Therapist
Teacher Assistant, Office Manager
B.S. in Architecture, B.A. Sociology/Psychology
Reading, Reading Comprehension, Writing, Math
Speech & Language Pathologist
B.S. in Speech-Language Pathology
B.A. in English, B.F.A. in Acting
Teacher, TLA Instructor
B.S. in Physics
Physics, Chemistry, Calculus, Trigonometry, Pre-Algebra, Algebra
Rae Ann Cooper
B.A. in English, M.A. in Education
Reading, BrainMaps, Elementary Math, School Coaching, Writing
Math, SAT Prep, BrainMaps, School Coaching
Reading, Reading Comprehension, Writing
M.S. Electronics & Electrical Engineering
Teacher, TLA Instructor
BrainMaps, SAT Prep, School Coaching, Study Skills, Writing, English
Reading, Reading Comprehension, Writing, BrainMaps
Teacher, TLA Instructor