Board of directors

Our board includes individuals from a variety of backgrounds and professions that all share one thing in common - a dedication to improving the lives of children with autism and other special needs.

Jamie Dornink


Jamie Dornink is the president of The Superhero Center for Autism. She is a stay at home mom to her two kiddos, Aubrie age 5 1/2 and Brody age 4 and happily married to her husband Kirby. Before her daughter was born, Jamie graduated from Northern Illinois University and then became a sixth grade teacher at Machesney Elementary. Since Brody was diagnosed with autism, Kirby and Jamie have worked to create a special place for Brody in their Poplar Grove home to foster development and encourage Brody to be the superhero he was born to be. She feels that it's incredibly important to offer this same kind of safe, nurturing environment for other kiddos with special needs as well.  Jamie's dream is coming true with the support of Kirby and her kiddos.

Sara Svetich

Vice President

Sara Svetich graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Studies and later a Masters Degree in Applied Family and Child Studies. She has been a Second grade, Kindergarten, Kindergarten Special Education and Early Childhood Teacher in the Harlem School District. Since 2016 she has worked as the Early Childhood Diagnostician at Parker Center and works very part-time as a Developmental Therapist in Early Intervention. Sara believes "You can do anything with children if only you play with them"-a German proverb.


Ashley boyer


Ashley Boyer graduated from Northern Illinois University in December 2008 earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, with a middle school endorsement in Language Arts and Social Studies. She has been an 8th great Languages arts teacher since 2009.  Ashley has been happily married and has two beautiful boys. Her interests include spending time with her family, participating and watching sporting events, and volunteering at her church. There are many reasons why she wants to be involved in The Superhero Center for Autism. Working with children has always been a passion for Ashley, hence a large reason why she became a teacher. Being able to connect the positive impact the Superhero Center for Autism will have on our community and the students who need this type of resource in our local schools is another huge reason she wants to be involved. Growing up in the area, she would like to give back to the community she calls home. 

Barb Bressler


Barb Bressler is a developmental therapist for the Illinois Early Intervention Program.  She has a Master's degree in Early Childhood Special Education and have been working in the field of providing services for kids with special needs for about 40 years.  During this time, part of her role has been to help families access support services that they need to navigate the path that their superhero has led them down.  She is very excited to be a part of the dream and reality of The Superhero Center because she knows there are many families who will benefit from the information, support, and "safe place to be" that this center will offer!

Kelly Friesema

Kelly Friesema is a licensed speech/ language pathologist who provides services to students in the North Boone School District.    Kelly received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Eastern Illinois University.  She has accreditation from ASHA and holds her certificate of clinical competence.  Recently, Kelly completed coursework in the area of applied behavior analysis through Southern Illinois University to develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between communication and behavior.  Additionally, Kelly provides speech/ language therapy on horseback at a private clinic.  Kelly has two wonderful children ages two and four who keep her very busy as well! 

Lucas Bressler

Lucas has 3 years of experience working as a paraprofessional in a life skills classroom with K-4th grades. Lucas also has previously had a certified therapy dog with whom he volunteered at GiGi’s playhouse, as well as Rockford Memorial Hospital. Lucas has sensory processing difficulties of his own, so he is able to relate to sensory processing needs, and bring that knowledge to the board. Lucas is very excited to be joining the board and to have the opportunity to make sure families have a safe place to come and play!