Executive Team

Undoubtedly, Lionheart’s greatest asset is its staff.  The school’s concentration and caliber of teachers and licensed therapy professionals is unmatched by any other Special Education program in the Southeast.

Tamara B. Spafford, M.B.A.

Tamara serves as the Executive Director for Lionheart and is a founding parent. Tamara has a concentration in computer information systems, marketing and small business administration, working in various areas both as an employee, business owner and consultant. For the past 20 years she has attended continuing education seminars in learning disabilities and special education areas.  Tamara attends to the managerial aspects of Lionheart, maintaining financial records, hiring professionals, negotiating contracts, overseeing professional development and extending awareness of the Lionheart approach to others in the professional and parent communities. Tamara is passionate about expanding the reach of Lionheart and providing a place for parents to receive the best possible education and support for their child that deserves a respectful, nurturing and quality education.  It is her feeling that all children should have a place like Lionheart where they are loved and supported through their journey in life, and where parents’ hard work and support is carried through in school.

Elizabeth Dulin, M.Ed

Elizabeth is the Co-Founder and Head of School.  Elizabeth is certified to teach special education, pre-K to 12th grade in the state of Georgia.  She received both her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and her master’s in Early Childhood Special Education from Vanderbilt University.  Elizabeth has worked for over 30 years with children in various settings; including private school, public school, and private practice with families.  Elizabeth, along with Victoria McBride oversees every aspect of the child’s programming at Lionheart.  She works closely with families to carefully identify individual needs and address them accordingly.  She has a blend of sound teaching practices and specialized training to work with children.  Elizabeth is a training leader and expert DIRFloortime™ provider and supervises the implementation of DIR® principles into the curriculum.  She has a remarkable understanding of children, and uses the relationship-based approach to foster the growth and progress of each child.  She also works with children in small groups utilizing Floortime™.  Elizabeth is a fully certified service dog handler for Lionheart’s educational service dog, LANGLEY.

Victoria A. McBride, M.Ed., CCC-SLP

Victoria is the Co-Founder and Head of Therapeutic Services.  Victoria has a Master’s Degree from the University of Georgia and is a certified and licensed Speech and Language Pathologist.  She has worked for over 30 years with children in various settings; including private school, public school, and private practice with families.  Victoria, along with Elizabeth Dulin oversees every aspect of the child’s programming at Lionheart.  She works closely with families to carefully identify individual needs and address them accordingly.  Her many years of experience has afforded her the opportunity to work with the students to evaluate and assist them in successful transitioning to adulthood; overseeing the vocational and therapeutic aspects of the Lionheart for Life program.  She also works with children on their pragmatic language skills, articulation and oral-motor difficulties, as well as other language based challenges.  Victoria mentors and supports the teachers and therapists at Lionheart. She is a DIR® certified specialist, embedding DIR® principles in her intervention strategies while working with the students and supervising curriculum objectives.

Mary Ulich, B.A.

Mary joined the Executive Team of Lionheart in 2009, and serves as the Director of Operations.  Mary received her Education degree with an emphasis in Special Education from the University of Northern Colorado, and taught for 8 years in a variety of settings.  Through years of volunteering, she received training in development, marketing, communications, and constituent relationship management, and has worked in these areas with the American Cancer Society.  These are the areas she attends to for Lionheart.

Ashley Cheek, M.Ed.

Ashley is a Master level teacher, certified to teach pre-K to 12th grade.  She received her degree in Psychology and Childhood Development from The University of Georgia and earned a Masters in Education within the Multiple and Severe Disabilities program at Georgia State University.  The concentration of her degree was in autism spectrum disorders and she also obtained a reading endorsement. Ashley successfully completed the DIRFloortime™ training and is a certified Advanced DIRFloortime™ Provider.  Ashley was a lead classroom teacher for 8 years at Lionheart and is now supporting teachers with curriculum development, mentoring staff, specializing in educational technology, organizing the Heart & Sole 5K, and leading the Lionheart Junior Board to expand Lionheart’s reach in the community.

Ali Curtin, B.A.

Ali joined Lionheart as our office manager in the fall of 2011, and supports the executive team, as well as the teachers and therapists.  She received her degree in English at the University of North Carolina, and has over ten years of office management experience.  Ali has received her assistance dog trainer/handler certification through paws4people™ foundation and is the secondary handler for Lionheart’s educational service dog, LANGLEY.