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Behavior Department

The Behavior Department at BEAM is dedicated to fostering a positive and inclusive learning environment. Our team of experienced professionals collaborates with educators, students, and families to address behavioral challenges and promote social-emotional well-being. With a commitment to individualized support, we strive to empower students to reach their fullest potential while maintaining a harmonious and productive school atmosphere.

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Stephanie Ortez, M.S., BCBA

Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Stephanie Ortez M.S., BCBA has been working with children in various settings since 2010 and has been practicing Applied Behavior Analysis since 2016. Starting out as a playground worker and then a Behavior Interventionist, she found a passion for working with families impacted by developmental disabilities. In 2014, Stephanie completed her undergraduate studies with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, at Cal State Northridge. In 2017, she attended the National University, where she received her Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis. Throughout her work in ABA services, Stephanie has worked with a variety of populations including individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Her areas of expertise include skill-based treatments focusing on language development, tolerance, coping skills, and learning to learn skills.


Outside of work, Stephanie enjoys spending time with family and friends at BBQs, dancing her little heart away with her husband, and being a pet-parent to all her babies (3 pit bulls, 1 bearded dragon, 50+ shrimp, and 2 snails).

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Stephanie Valentini, PhD, BCBA

Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Stephanie holds a PhD in Behavioral Psychology from the University of Kansas, and has been practicing Applied Behavior Analysis in various settings more than a decade. She’s passionate about environmental enrichment, assent-based practice, and promoting the dignity of disabled people. Her primary area of expertise is achieving meaningful outcomes that allow her clients to experience the world independently and fully. She has experience working with young children, adolescents, and adults in homes, schools, clinics, and community settings, with a primary focus on people impacted by emotional/behavioral disorders, as well as developmental and intellectual disabilities.


As a recent resident of California, Stephanie likes to spend her time outside of work exploring Southern California, running and hiking with her dog, trying new restaurants with her fiancé, and traveling.

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Harlan Hodges

Behavioral Supervisor

With a diverse background in Special Education and a passion for mentoring others, Harlan continuously strives to foster positive relationships and create engaging experiences for young learners. With past roles involving behavior implementation, instructional assistance and recreational mentoring, he has honed in on his ability to provide targeted guidance and tools for children's academic growth. Through compassion and understanding, Harlan aims to provide a supportive and enriching environment where both children and staff can thrive.

Jaylene Velazquez

Lead Paraeducator

Jaylene is a Lead Paraeducator for the Montebello and Downey Unified School District. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor in Speech Language and Hearing Sciences and a Minor in Special Education. She has a passion for inclusivity and helping students feel valued, supported, and understood. 

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Elva Fuentes

Lead Paraeducator

Elva has serviced schools across Los Angeles County for over a decade, with impact both in and outside of the classroom. She specialized in behavioral management, co-creating collaborative spaces, and providing safe, inclusive environments for students. With her extensive knowledge of classroom and administrative management, Mrs. Fuentes is excited to work at BEAM as a Lead Paraeducator.

Joceline Gomez 

Lead Paraeducator

Joceline graduated with a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and a minor in Child Adolescent & Human Development Studies from California State University, Fullerton. After graduating I(she) decided to pursue my(her) passion to help others through 6 years experience in Customer Service, Youth Services, and more recently Social Work. 


She is currently studying to obtain her RBT Certification, and aspires to become a Speech-Language Pathologist in the future. She has committed to providing the necessary support to our Paraeducators and students for a successful school year. 

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Vanessa Casanova

Lead Paraeducator

Vanessa is an admirer of the education system for as long as she can remember. She fought that passion by pursuing an education in performing arts, and very quickly found a way to marry those passions. Vanessa started my education career as a music teacher. That gave her a taste for molding young minds and wanted to apply that into arithmetic as well. While working towards my degree she was constantly distracted by wanting to help those who need more attention in a system that isn’t bespoke to any one pupil at any age.

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Celeste Ramirez

Lead Paraeducator

Celeste is currently a Registered Behavior Technician. She graduated in 2020 with her Bachelors in Psychology from CSUDH. She is expecting to graduate in 2024 with her Masters of Science in Psychology with a concentration of Child and Adolescent Development from SNHU. Ultimately, Celeste's passion for helping others has led her to finding her path here at BEAM.

In her free time, Celeste enjoys attending sporting events, concerts, traveling and eating yummy food!

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