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Meet Our Team

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Providing both parents and their children with resources to enhance communication and literacy development:

  • Personalized

  • Pediatric  

  • Speech

  • Language

  • Literacy

  • Executive Functioning

  • Social Skills 

  • Orofacial Myology

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Courtney Overton



Speech-Language Pathologist

Literacy Specialist

Mrs. Overton is currently on maternity leave.

Courtney Overton, MS, CCC-SLP is a Speech-Language Pathologist and Literacy Specialist. She is the Owner and Founder of Speech of Cake. With a passion for shaping future clinicians, Courtney also serves as a Clinical Fellowship Mentor at Speech of Cake, a Clinical Supervisor at The George Washington University, and an Adjunct Professor of Speech Sound Disorders at Emerson College. For the past few years, Courtney has advocated for neurodivergent students and students of color by providing seminars, workshops, and keynotes on a national level through her organizations, DiverCity SLP and The SLP Guide to Dyslexia.

Courtney is a doctoral candidate in literacy, culture, and language education at Indiana University with a minor in educational leadership. She recently earned a certificate in entrepreneurship from Cornell University. Courtney attended Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts to earn a master's degree in speech-language pathology, and she obtained a bachelor's degree in speech-language pathology, minor in linguistics, and certificate in American Sign Language at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Courtney is a member of For(bes) the Culture, National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing, American Speech-Language Hearing Association, International Literacy Association, International Dyslexia Association, Pearl and Ivy Educational Foundation, Incorporated, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. 


Courtney is trained in PROMPT, Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTs), Tongue Tips, Thumbs Up!, Story Grammar Marker, Orton-Gillingham, Lindamood Bell, Lucy Calkins, Reading Mastery, Corrective Reading, Read Well, Language!, Wilson, Qualitative Reading Inventory, Dyslexia Fundamentals, The Logic of English, Social Thinking, and Unstuck and On Target. She specializes in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating orofacial myofunctional disorders, articulation disorders, phonological disorders, reading/writing disabilities, language disorders, and social skills. Courtney is a 3-time 40 Under 40 recipient in DC, Alexandria, and Northern Virginia!

Leigh Poole



General/Special Education Teacher

Mrs. Poole is currently on maternity leave.

Leigh Poole, M.Ed., is a Virginia state-certified Special Education teacher. She completed her graduate studies at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia to earn a master’s degree in Special Education. Leigh earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at the University of South Carolina. She began teaching as a first-grade teacher at an international school in Brussels, Belgium. Leigh then moved to Virginia and has taught in both the general education and special education setting for ten years! 

Leigh is currently a learning specialist at a local private school in Alexandria, VA. On a daily basis, Leigh implements responsive classroom practices to create a nurturing and safe environment. She believes in the science of reading. Leigh uses the Orton-Gillingham methodology to teach reading and writing skills, while using Heggerty to teach phonics skills. 

Working with children is Leigh's passion and she has experience helping children from kindergarten to sixth grade in the areas of reading comprehension, fluency, spelling, writing, math, and study skills. Leigh enjoys working with children with Autism, Learning Disabilities, Traumatic Brain Injuries, Intellectual Disabilities, Dyslexia, Cerebral Palsy, ADHD, and Emotional Disabilities. She is trained in Orton-Gillingham, VMath, Qualitative Reading Inventory, Dyslexia Fundamentals, Lucy Calkins, Step Up to Writing, Reading Mastery, FUNdations, Connecting Math Concepts, Read Well K-2, Number Worlds, Corrective Reading, Responsive Classroom, and Unstuck and On Target.

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Arynn Byrd 

Speech-Language Pathologist

Ms. Byrd meets with students age 4 and up at our office at 601 King Street Alexandria, VA 22314. She also meets with students at the summer enrichment program.

Arynn Byrd joined the Speech of Cake team in 2019. She received her MA in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Georgia. She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research interests include language development, code switching, dialect instruction, and non-mainstream dialects. She is particularly interested in African-American English and the educational impacts of code switching. Arynn enjoys working on speech, language, and literacy skills with elementary age children. She is trained in the Orton-Gillingham methodology. 

Phoebe Sullivan

Speech-Language Pathologist

Social Media Manager

Ms. Sullivan meets with students at both offices during the school year. She also meets with students at the summer enrichment program. 

Phoebe Sullivan joined the Speech of Cake team in 2020 as a Graduate Clinician. In 2021, she was promoted and became the Speech of Cake Social Media Manager. Phoebe added an additional role as a Speech-Language Pathologist in 2022, and she meets with students throughout the year at both offices for speech, language, and literacy therapy. 


Phoebe earned her MA in Speech-Language Pathology from The George Washington University and her BS in Speech and Hearing Sciences from SUNY Cortland. She has experience with articulation, language, and literacy skills with clients of all ages, and she particularly enjoys helping families with young children ages 2-5 navigate the most crucial time in their child’s speech and language development. Phoebe is a strong proponent of client-centered care that focuses on the family’s values and the child’s interests. She believes in building strong relationships with children to form a foundation for fun and engaging therapy. 


Riley Heslin

Speech-Language Pathologist

Mrs. Heslin meets with students at our office at 601 King Street Alexandria, VA 22314. She also meets with students at the summer enrichment program.

Riley joined the Speech of Cake team in 2023. She earned her MA in Speech-Language Pathology from The George Washington University and her BA in Linguistics from Florida Atlantic University. Riley completed her graduate clinical rotations in a pediatric private practice, a public high school, as well as through her university speech and hearing clinic, allowing her to evaluate, treat, and connect with individuals of various ages and diagnoses in a host of different settings. She has experience working with autism, fluency, articulation, and language skills with clients of all ages, however, she particularly enjoys helping children ages 12-17 navigate and successfully apply the rules of communication within everyday social interactions. With Riley, comes her personal experience with Autism Spectrum Disorders, which she’s found has made her a stronger advocate for those who have so much to say, but are looking for a medium to express themselves. Riley believes, "Everyone deserves a voice!"

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Alexis Clark

Summer Associate

Ms. Clark works with students during the summer enrichment program.

Alexis Clark joined the Speech of Cake team in 2022. She is currently an undergraduate student at North Carolina A & T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina. She is an honors student majoring in speech-language pathology and audiology with a minor in psychology. Alexis chose her career path because of a desire to teach and help people. She plans to pursue a master’s degree immediately after obtaining her bachelor's degree and hopes to gain experience working with special education students and the elderly in a hospital setting. Some day, Alexis would like to open her own speech-language pathology business.


As a dormitory resident assistant, Alexis has always had a passion to assist those in need and give back to others. As a high school student, she served as a teacher’s aide in an elementary school. Throughout middle and high school, Alexis was a member of Top Teens of America (TTA), a national nonprofit educational organization under Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc. dedicated to community service.  Alexis has held several leadership positions in TTA as well as her school’s National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA). 

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Rileigh Perkins

Summer Associate

Ms. Perkins works with students during the summer enrichment program.

Rileigh Perkins joined the Speech of Cake team in 2022. She is currently an undergraduate student at James Madison University pursuing a degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a double minor in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies and Chronic Illness. She is graduating from James Madison in May 2023 and moving on to a master's program in Speech-Language Pathology the following academic year. 


Rileigh is currently conducting her own clinical research regarding the benefits of texting for individuals with aphasia. She will present her findings at the Aphasia Leadership Summit in March 2023. She has a passion for working with individuals of all ages to create meaningful social connections and develop communication pathways to give individuals the opportunity to express their needs. In June 2022, Rileigh had the opportunity to travel to Thailand and collaborate with public and private health clinics that provide speech and language services to adolescents. This has provided her with a new perspective on multicultural considerations within the realm of healthcare and an interest in developing strategies to overcome communication barriers. Rileigh is passionate about allowing each individual to express themselves in their own unique ways and providing them with a safe space to do so.

Marina Gulak

Client Concierge

Ms. Gulak is our Client Concierge.

Marina Gulak joined the Speech of Cake team in 2022. She received her bachelor’s degree in Linguistics from Rutgers University. She graduated from New York University with a master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She has worked with a variety of pediatric, adolescent, and adult clients in schools and clinical settings. In addition to her clinical practice, Marina is an adjunct professor in the Linguistics Department at Rutgers University. Marina's practice has expanded into providing various consultancy services for private practices across the country. She is passionate about assisting private practices with client support, expansion, streamlining processes, and staff recruitment. 

Feel free to email her at any time at: 

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