At Shining Stars Therapy, we take pride in providing the best Pediatric Therapy Services for your child.  With experienced, enthusiastic occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech therapists, our team is here to serve you.  Please scroll down the page to learn more about our team members!

Dawn Solomon, MS, OTR/L — Executive Director, Practice Owner

Dawn received her degree in Occupational Therapy in 1997 from Downstate Health Science Center in Brooklyn, NY. She is currently pursuing a Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy at Salus University and has recently obtained her certification in Remedial Vision and Rehabilitation. Dawn also has additional certifications in Sensory Integration and Praxis Testing (SIPT), Handwriting Without Tears, Interactive Metronome (IM), the Wilbarger Deep Pressure and Proprioceptive Technique (DPPT), Therapeutic Listening, Astronaut Training, the SOS feeding approach, and CAN-Eat. Dawn founded Shining Stars Therapy in 2009 after seeing a need for family and patient-centered therapy services for children in our community.

Julie Burke, MS, OTR/L — Clinical Director

After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2003, Julie moved to North Carolina where she worked with young children with Fragile X syndrome and their families for three years while pursuing a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from East Carolina University. She has been working in pediatrics since 2010, and has gained specialized training in Therapeutic Listening, Interactive Metronome, functional vision, Beckman Oral/Motor assessment, CAN-EAT approach, sensory integration, Wilbarger Deep Pressure and Proprioceptive Technique, NDT handling, and CIMT.

Katie Behrhorst, MS, OTR/L

Katie received her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from ECU. Katie is certified in Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM), Therapeutic Listening, Building Blocks Sensory Integration, Interactive Metronome, Beckman Oral-Motor Assessment and Intervention, and CAN-EAT Approach for Feeding. Katie’s practice interests include neurological and orthopedic assessment and intervention, feeding, toileting and pelvic health, and selective mutism. Katie also is passionate about teaching special needs piano and regularly volunteers with Duke Adaptive Climbing.

Emily Hoyle, MS, OTR/L

Emily earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreational Therapy from East Carolina University in 2005. She later returned to East Carolina University to obtain her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, where she graduated in 2008. Her rotation in the burn center is where she discovered her passion for working with children. She worked for the NC Children’s Hospital at UNC where she specialized in treating both inpatients and outpatients who had suffered from various ailments including trauma, genetic syndromes, orthopedic injury, neurological insults, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.  After having her family, Emily transitioned to outpatient pediatrics where she has been since 2015.

Hadley Kirkpatrick, MS, OTR/L

Hadley earned a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and a Master of Education in Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities from the University of Virginia. She then earned her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy with fieldwork experiences in schools, skilled nursing, inpatient acute care, and pediatric aquatic therapy. Hadley is trained in the CAN-EAT Approach for Feeding and has completed training for reflex integration. She enjoys working with children with sensory processing disorders, autism, and orthopedic conditions.

Katie Mostellar, MS, OTR/L

Katie earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech and Hearing Science from the University of South Alabama. Following graduation, she worked as a pharmacy technician until returning to the University of South Alabama to obtain her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. She graduated in 2018 after completing her fieldwork experiences in outpatient neuro, inpatient rehabilitation, and outpatient pediatrics. Katie is trained in the CAN-EAT Approach for Feeding. She specifically enjoys working with children with autism, sensory processing disorder, and development coordination disorder.

Kristina Nguyen, MS, OTR/L

Kristina received her undergraduate degree in Rehabilitation Services from East Carolina University and her Masters degree in Occupational Therapy from Colorado State University. She completed clinical rotations in school settings and in an outpatient pediatric clinic that specialized in working with individuals birth – 21 with a range of diagnoses including developmental delay, ASD, ADHD, cerebral palsy, and seizures. Additionally, while completing her master’s degree, Kristina worked at the Assistive Technology Resource Center helping college students with disabilities excel in secondary education. Kristina specializes in assistive technology and sensory integration and is pursuing additional training in feeding, like the CAN- EAT approach.

Jenna Swanson, PT, DPT — Administrative Director

Jenna received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. She moved to the Raleigh area in 2010 and has been practicing exclusively in the field of pediatrics since 2011. She has experience working in various pediatric settings including the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), early intervention, and outpatient therapy. Jenna has received additional training in Total Motion Release – Tots and Teens, torticollis and plagiocephaly, pediatric kinesiotaping, Go Baby Go, bracing and orthotic management, and pediatric gait disorders. Jenna is also an APTA certified clinical instructor. Jenna serves as our administrative director of the clinic while also treating clients.

Mary Giro, MS, PT

Mary graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science/Pre-Physical Therapy from Rutgers University in 1989 and a master’s in Physical Therapy from University of California in 1993. Mary worked for the LA County School System for 2 years working with children 3 to 21 years old in a school setting with a medical therapy unit for outpatients. After moving to Florida, Mary transitioned to Healthsouth Sunrise Rehabilitation Hospital and worked with children birth to 21 with multiple diagnoses including genetic syndromes, orthopedic conditions, cerebral palsy, burns, and brain injury. Mary received special training in burn rehabilitation, serial casting, NDT, coma stimulation, Interactive Metronome, kinesiotaping, vestibular rehabilitation, and aquatic therapy. Mary has worked for the NC public schools while also doing private home health care with children of all ages.

Sue Knight, PT

Suzanne Doser Knight has been a Physical Therapist for over 40 years, and the majority of that time has been in pediatrics. She has worked with children 0-21 in Early Intervention, with physically and otherwise health impaired children, as well as the spectrum of developmentally delayed and visually impaired. Her work setting has varied from home visits, day care and school to outpatient treatment. She has also been treating through telehealth for over 10 years. Sue has extensive training in adaptive equipment, Go Baby Go, orthotics, visual impairments, plagiocephaly and torticollis, myofascial release, pediatric yoga, brachial plexus injuries, and more.

Amy Schott, PT, DPT

Amy graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts with highest honors in Exercise and Sport Science in 2012 followed by a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in 2015. Amy completed an orthopedic residency and then practiced in an outpatient clinic primarily working with patients aged 8-99 years old for 6 years. She then transitioned back to the pediatric setting, where she felt her passion lied. She has expertise in the vestibular system, concussions, orthopedic conditions, pain management, trigger point dry needling, and yoga. She enjoys working with children of all ages including youth and teenage athletes. She is also an APTA certified clinical instructor. She likes to incorporate mindfulness and wellness into her therapy programs as she incorporates a whole child approach to treatment.

Jolyn Welsh, MS, CCC-SLP

Jolyn received a bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology in 2013 from West Virginia University and immediately went on to Clarion University for her master’s degree in Speech and Language Pathology. She has experience assessing and treating articulation and phonological disorders, pragmatic language impairments, expressive and receptive language impairments, feeding difficulties, oral motor impairments, cognitive impairments, and auditory processing disorder as well as using augmentative communication. Jolyn has completed numerous continuing educational courses to enhance her skills as a speech-language pathologist. This includes, but is not limited to: The SCERTS® Model, Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP), Moving Forward with LAMP, Beckman Oral Motor Assessment and Intervention, CAN-EAT Approach and more.

Jessica Dawson, M.Ed., CCC-SLP

Jessica earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development and Family Studies and began working with children in the preschool setting, where she was for ten years. She then pursued a Masters of Education in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a focus on pediatrics in 2014. Jessica worked in the preschool and public school settings before transitioning to outpatient therapy. Specific areas of interest include: articulation, oral motor skills, and AAC. Jessica has completed training with FRIENDS Who Stutter, Beckman Oral Motor Protocol, and CAN-EAT Approach. She has extensive experience treating children with Down syndrome, Autism spectrum disorder, as well as articulation, fluency, receptive and expressive language disorders.

Sarah Stimpson, MS, CCC-SLP

Sarah graduated from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Arts: Musical Theatre and a minor in English in 2008. After relocating to NC and starting a family, she went back to school and earned a Master of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from East Carolina University in 2018. Sarah has worked in daycares, preschools, elementary schools, and high schools. She has experience in the evaluation and treatment of articulation and phonological disorders, expressive and receptive language impairments, childhood apraxia of speech, and fluency disorders. She has experience working with a wide variety of diagnoses throughout the pediatric population.

Shannon Salmons, Patient Care Coordinator

Shannon joined the Shining Stars team in September of 2022. She is the first face that you will see when you walk into Shining Stars, and she puts a smile on everyone’s face. Shannon helps coordinate our patient care, including scheduling therapy visits, sending and receiving plans of cares, and communicating with doctor’s offices to coordinate care. Shannon also answers the phone at Shining Stars, so she will be your first line of communication if you need to reach someone in our office.

Taylor Baker, Billing Specialist

Taylor has been with Shining Stars Therapy since 2014. She began as a front desk receptionist and has transitioned now to our billing department. Taylor helps with insurance authorizations for all patients, checking benefits, processing copays, and providing billing statements. Any questions regarding insurance and billing are directed to Taylor.