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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

Founder & CEO

Speech-Language Pathologist

Literacy Specialist

Courtney Overton, EdD, CCC-SLP is a Speech-Language Pathologist and Literacy Specialist. She is the Founder & CEO of Speech of Cake. With a passion for shaping future clinicians, Dr. Overton also serves as a Clinical Fellowship Mentor at Speech of Cake, a Clinical Supervisor for several universities, and a Clinical Professor at the University of Maryland. For the past few years, Dr. Overton 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.

Dr. Overton received her doctorate in literacy, culture, and language education at Indiana University with a minor in educational leadership and public policy. She also earned a certificate in entrepreneurship from Cornell University. Dr. Overton attended Emerson College 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. Dr. Overton 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. 


Dr. Overton 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. Dr. Overton is a 3-time 40 Under 40 recipient in DC, Alexandria, and Northern Virginia!

Leigh Poole



General/Special Education Teacher

Mrs. Poole meets with students at the summer enrichment program. 

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.

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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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. 


Tracie Parker

Speech-Language Pathologist

Mrs. Parker meets with students at 601 King Street Alexandria, VA 22314 year-round. She also meets with students at the summer enrichment program. 


Tracie Parker joined the Speech of Cake team in 2023. She earned her MA in Speech-Language Pathology and her BA in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from UNC-Greensboro. Tracie began her career practicing in North Carolina before moving to Virginia in 2021. She has experience with phonological disorders, expressive and receptive language disorders, fluency disorders, and pragmatic language disorders in children ranging from elementary to high school in the school-based setting. Tracie believes in providing individualized training that keeps children engaged, and she is eager to make a positive impact on the lives of children and their families.

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Tyiesha Elliott

Speech-Language Pathologist

Ms. Elliott meets with students via teletherapy.

Tyiesha joined the Speech of Cake team in 2023. Tyiesha Elliott earned her MA in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Hampton University and her BA in Communications from Northwestern State. She has several years of experience working in settings ranging from long term care with geriatrics to early intervention with little ones. She is extremely passionate about working with children while creating connections with them and their families. Ms. Elliott is a Hanen Certified therapist and has participated in trainings in Oral Placement Therapy and Natural Language Acquisition.

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Jessica Shields

Speech-Language Pathologist

Mrs. Shields meets with students at 601 King Street Alexandria, VA 22314 year-round. 

Jessica Shields joined the Speech of Cake team in 2023. She earned her MHS from the University of Missouri and an undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Kansas State University with a minor in Mandarin Chinese. Her professional experience spans from working with the 0-3 population in early intervention to adult home health services and private practice serving preschoolers and elementary schoolers with autism. Jessica has a keen interest in language comprehension and literacy. In addition, she has a passion for seeing her clients make progress and gain confidence in their speech, language, and literacy skills. She has received certifications in Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and Melodic Based Communication Therapy. 

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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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