Our Staff

Erin Bolyard- Executive Director

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Erin Bolyard is an experienced professional in the fields of nonprofit administration, business administration, and autism intervention. Erin started her career in autism services in 2012 as a paraprofessional at a privately owned for-profit center for autism services. She spent two years working directly with the students, families, and school districts in this role until she moved to administration in 2014 as the Assistant Director. During her time working in these different capacities, Erin was able to experience and identify her passions for both working with individuals with disabilities, and for facilitating their access to services through effective small business management. In May of 2016, Erin received her B.A. in Nonprofit Administration from Cleveland State University. In July of 2016, Erin began to take on projects for Giving Insight, LLC, a nonprofit database consulting company. Through Giving Insight, Erin worked for several major Cleveland-area nonprofit organizations, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Lakeview Cemetery, and Holden Forests and Gardens, where she transitioned into the role of Database Manager for both the Cleveland Botanical Garden campus and the Holden Arboretum campus. Additionally, Erin has extensive fundraising experience through organizations such as the Suicide Prevention Education Alliance (now LifeAct) and a local nonprofit organization for individuals with autism, where she served as a conference coordinator in 2015. Erin was born and raised in Euclid, Ohio, and now resides in Mentor-on-the-Lake, Ohio. Erin is dedicated to pursuing her passion for working with individuals with autism, and is looking forward to growing Footprints Center for Autism with her talented business partners.

Nicole Best- Clinical Director

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Nicole Best is an experienced professional with 10+ years in the special education field as an early childhood special education teacher and 2+ years in the medical field working as an occupational therapy assistant. Nicole’s recent work experience includes serving as the intervention specialist and occupational therapy assistant at a privately-owned autism treatment center, as well as at Blue Sky Therapy as an occupational therapy assistant for Ashtabula County Nursing Home. Most recently, Nicole has been teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) to children overseas through a program called VIPkid. She received her BS in Early Childhood Education in 2005 and MS in Early Childhood Special Education in 2007, both from Youngstown State University. She began working in the Special Education field in 2005 in Ashtabula. In 2012, Nicole decided to further her education in the medical field and graduated from Kent State University-Ashtabula in 2015 with an AAS as an Occupational Therapy Assistant. During her clinical fieldwork, she was fortunate to have had the opportunity to be placed in a clinical setting working directly with individuals with autism. It wasn’t long before she realized her longtime dreams of working with children with autism both in the education field and medical field could easily be combined into one. With both degrees, Nicole is able to view the clinical and educational aspect of treatment and seamlessly combine them for a more comprehensive treatment session. She loves working with children and her focus has been on treating children with autism since she received her Masters in Special Education in 2007. Native to Ohio, Nicole was born and grew up in Ashtabula, Ohio and recently moved to Lake County, Ohio where she now resides with her husband and three children.

Claire Caldarea- Clinical Director

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Claire Caldarea is an intervention specialist with 2 1/2 years of experience teaching children with disabilities and 6 years of experience working with children with disabilities overall. She graduated from Bowling Green State University with her Bachelors of Sciences in Education and licensure as an Intervention Specialist Moderate to Intensive in May of 2015. Claire has had the opportunity to work in many different learning environments over her years of teaching. She has worked as an intervention specialist at a treatment center for students with autism and has taught at an elementary and high school in Lake County. Most recently, she serves as an Early Childhood Prevention Specialist, where she consults with step up to quality daycares to provide students, teachers, and parents with supports and resources in the classroom and at home. Throughout her career, she has worked with students from preschool age to high school age with numerous disabilities, including autism. Claire believes that all children have the ability to learn. Every child is unique and they all have different abilities. It is important to understand every child’s needs and how to best provide support for each child. When the families and professionals work as a team, it can provide students with the opportunity to learn and grow in all aspects of life. Claire was born and grew up in Concord Ohio. She currently resides in Mentor with her husband. She is dedicated to serving children with Autism and their families and is excited to be a member of the Footprints Center for Autism team.