Directors - George Thompson

George Thompson

Director of Performance Arts

George Thompson is an accomplished professional musician with a recording and performance history nationwide. He has earned two degrees in anthropology and sociology and worked in the music industry for 15 years. He has produced two albums and has collaborated with singer/songwriters in New York and other locales. Adept at playing multiple instruments (guitar, bass, Native American flute, trumpet, piano, vocal, and percussion) he has effectively taught adults with developmental disabilities for the past five years at TERI. George has written developmentally-appropriate curriculum for Music Program participants and is working to further expand the Music Education Program offerings. Dedicated to his craft, George derives personal and professional satisfaction through opening up the world of music as a means of communication for participants most severely affected by their disability.

Learn more about our Performing Arts Program

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Directors - Natalie Hill

Natalie Hill

Director of Therapeutic Equestrian Services

A life-long horse lover, Natalie Hill loves watching the TERI clients celebrate their abilities and unlock new possibilities all on the back of a horse. Her mission is to help each individual, whether horse or human, achieve their full potential.

Since she was a girl, Natalie dreamed about working with horses. After volunteering at TERI’s Equestrian program in high school, she began her equestrian career as an Equine Sports Massage Therapist. But it didn’t take her long to discover that her true passion was helping both horses and people as a therapeutic riding instructor.

A student of natural horsemanship, she is an accomplished horsewoman who develops training strategies for each unique horse personality. And she applies her knowledge of equine physiology to ensure that all of the horses at the TERI barn enjoy optimal health and quality of life.

Natalie is certified in Equine Sports Massage Therapy and Equine Myofacial Release.

She believes that every person can benefit from equine interaction, and she strives to create a healthy environment where both clients and horses thrive so that they can achieve new physical and emotional milestones.

Learn more about our Therapeutic Equestrian Program

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Directors - Chef Jana McMahon

Chef Jana McMahon

Director of Culinary

Chef Jana McMahon’s interest in food started early… in the kitchen of her parents and at the ovens of her grandmothers. A degreed horticulturalist and cuisine savvy, her dishes utilize locally grown fresh product, simply yet elegantly prepared. Her 20 plus years of cooking experience spans from working “in the trenches” under accomplished Colorado chefs in several fine dining restaurants in Denver and Vail, partner in Glorious Food Catering in Maui, Executive Chef on board the Hawaiian Based, Yacht Kakela, to owner of a Maui based private chef service. Jana has appeared on The Travel Channel and Hawaiian Moving Company. She has created an allergy free cooking show currently available on THE AUTISM CHANNEL called “Cooking with Jana”. She is a Hawaii Master Gardener, a beekeeper, and grows organic produce and herbs for her client’s meals. She also has her own laying hens. She is a member of Slow Food, Chef’s Collaborative and South Maui Sustainability Group. – See more at:

Learn more about our Culinary Program

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Directors - Rhonda Maxson

Rhonda Maxson

Director of Adaptive Fitness

Rhonda Maxson began employment with TERI in April 2013.  Rhonda believes that everyone needs and deserves opportunities to become healthy, happy and physically fit.  She enjoys working with both the students and staff at TERI and her goal is to help everyone at TERI enjoy the happier, positive lifestyle of a healthy person.  She holds an M.Ed. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in Physical Education and is certified to teach many different aerobic classes and is certified as a Personal Trainer.  She is thrilled to be a part of the TERI community.

Learn more about our Fitness Program

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Directors - DeAnn Brewer

DeAnn Brewer

Director of Residential Services

Although born and raised in the San Diego area, De Ann comes to TERI most recently from northeast Ohio.  In Ohio, she developed a 120 acre, working organic farm run by adults with autism in the farming community of Hiram.  Prior to moving to Ohio, she was the Director of Community Employment Services for The Arc of San Diego for nearly 14 years.

When not working she enjoys:  cooking, organic gardening and spoiling my grandchildren!

Learn more about our Residential Services

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Directors - Amy Schaffner

Amy Schaffner

Director of Family Support Services

Amy Schaffner has been with TERI for 33 years providing support to people with developmental disabilities. Her career began in Early Childhood Development when she developed an interest and love for working with special needs children. Amy works with the San Diego Regional Center providing advocacy, referrals, in-home respite, out-of-home respite and recreation programs to families. Amy enjoys being active outdoors, biking, hiking and kayaking and spending time with her three grown children and two grandchildren.

Learn more about our Family Support Services

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Directors - Tommy Wooley

Tommy Wooley

CAL Program Director

Tommy first began his career at TERI in 2004 where he worked in multiple departments, including CAAE and The Learning Academy. In 2014 he made the transition over to CAL as the Program Specialist, before assuming the role of Director later that year. Having grown up with several siblings with special needs himself, Tommy understands the importance of maintaining a day program that not only improves the client’s quality of life while at the program but at home as well. He believes that designing goals should be a team effort and that the goals should focus on functional skills that can be generalized in all environments.

“When not working I enjoy: spending time with my wife and kids, reading a good book, music, cooking, and playing video games (especially with my son).”

Learn more about CAL

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Directors - Pat Friedman

Pat Friedman

Learning Academy Director

Pat Friedman first became interested in Special Education during college when she started working at a group home for children with developmental disabilities. She graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and Special Education. She moved to San Diego in 1988 and worked for the Arc of San Diego for 19 years.

At Arc, Pat served as Director of ICF/DD-H Operations, overseeing 13 group homes, with 78 residents and 120 staff. In 2007, Pat was hired by Area Board XIII, the Office of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities and worked on the Life Quality Assesment project. Pat joined the Teri team in 2010 as the Director of the Learning Academy. As Director, Pat is amazed at the progress she sees on a daily basis with the students. Pat values greatly the importance of listening to individuals and families to determine the best way to provide quality services.

Learn more about The Learning Academy 

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Directors - Shane Hamilton

Shane Hamilton

Country School Director

Shane Perterson-Hamilton started with the Country School as a teacher in the Elementary classroom. She received her Clear Multiple Subject Credential in 2000. Once she was hired by TERI as a one-on-one aide, she discovered her new passion was in Special Education so she went back to school to get her credentials. Shane now has her Moderate/Severe Education Specialist Instructional Credential and her Masters of Science in Special Education. Shane has learned so much from working with her students and wonderful families. She believes that every student has the right to a valuable and rewarding education. She also feels it is our duty as educators to provide students with tools to achieve this. Shane loves her job and looks forward to coming to school every day!

Learn more about The Country School

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Directors - Jeff Horne

Jeff Horne

Director of Behavioral Support Services

Jeff Horne, M.A., BCBA is a board certified behavior analyst with over 20 years of experience in the field and at TERI. Jeff is the Director of our Behavior Support Services, coordinating the needs of all those who attend TERI. He provides assessment and consultation services, working with families in their homes to solve behaviorally based problems, and participating in our research initiatives directed at better understanding how to support individuals with intensive behavioral needs.

Learn more about our Behavioral Support Services

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Directors - Karyn Searcy

Karyn Searcy

Clinical Director of TERI Crimson Center for Speech & Language

The author of Here’s How to Do Early Intervention for Speech & Language: Empowering Parent (Plural Publishing, Inc.; 2011), Karyn founded Crimson Center for Speech & Language in March 2003. Throughout her more than 40 years in the field, she has used multiple evidence-based treatment programs, with a strong focus on parent-child interaction. Karyn has served on several community committees, including research grant programs, in an effort to promote caregiver roles in the treatment. She has taught multiple seminars, workshops and continuing education courses throughout the country, and has been a clinical faculty at San Diego State University’s Communicative Disorders Program since 2010.

Learn more about TERI Crimson Center for Speech & Language

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Directors - Rolando Arrazola Reyes

Rolando Arrazola Reyes

Director of Transportation

Rolando joined TERI in 2008 after graduating from Cal State University San Marcos with a Bachelors in Sociology. He started at the Adult Program as an aide and quickly became an instructor. He then became a supervisor for the Adult program. His accomplishments have given him the opportunity to emerge his passion for serving individuals with special needs and the world of vehicles. Teri is the perfect place where his talents, knowledge, and understanding of vehicles are used to make a positive change in the individuals he serves.

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