Meet the Team


Cara DeLap

Cara DeLap, Early Interventionist:  I have a B.S. in Rehabilitation with a major in Orientation and Mobility and a minor in Rehabilitation from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX.  After graduation I was employed with the Tennessee Rehabilitation Center as an Orientation and Mobility Specialist.  I became an Early Interventionist with the TIPS program that later merged with TEIS.  In October 2010 I joined the MTSU Early Intervention Program and love it!  You can reach me at

Amanda Dunlap

Amanda Dunlap, Program Director: I earned my B.S. Degree in Communication Disorders from Murray State University. After working as a licensed Speech/Language Pathologist Assistant for two years, I entered graduate school at the University of Kentucky. I received my M.Ed. +30 in Early Childhood Special Education, with certification in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education. I taught preschool in a blended preschool program for over six years before coming to MTSU to work with the Home & Community-Based Early Intervention Program. I feel blessed to work with such a wonderful group of early interventionists!  You can reach me at

Hannah Harrison

Hannah Harrison, Early Interventionist:  I am a native Texan who moved to Tennessee about 5 years ago after graduating college with a Bachelor of Science in Child Development and Family Living from Stephen F. Austin State University! My minor concentration in college was in early childhood intervention, which sparked much interest in the different special needs of children. I have worked with children in all stages of life for over 10 years in all different capacities ranging from daycares/pre-schools, to children’s ministry work and as an educational assistant for student support services in the school system. In the school system I was able to gain much experience working with children who had various types of disabilities and delays. I am very excited to have joined MTSU’s Early Intervention program in August 2012!  You can reach me at

Amy Hirt

Amy Hirt, Early Interventionist:  I graduated from UTK with a BS Education degree in 1990 with certification in both Special Education and Elementary Education. I taught Special Education for 3 years and then moved to an elementary school to start an inclusion program. I enjoyed this program for 3 years until I decided to stay home when I started my family. As my children were born and attending preschool programs, I taught in the preschool setting for 5 years until I had the opportunity to work for TIPS school with their Early Intervention Program. TIPS merged with TEIS and for several years Tennessee home based early intervention services were part of the TEIS program. This same program is now under MTSU as their HCBEI program. I have been part of Tennessee’s Early Intervention Program for 8 years.  You can reach me at

Lauren Iles

Lauren Iles, Early Interventionist:  I received my Bachelor's in Child Development and Family Studies from MTSU.  I completed my internship at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital where I provided emotional support, coping and distraction to children in the hospital and received my license as a Child Life Specialist.  During college and following graduation I have worked with children in a variety of settings; as a camp counselor, group leader at Boys and Girls Club, Child Life hospital volunteer, and as a Pre-school teacher for a private Christian school in Franklin for several years.  Before joining the MTSU HCBEI team I provided early intervention to families in Davidson County.  I am excited to be a part of such a wonderful team and to be serving families in Rutherford County.  You can reach me at

Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson, Early Interventionist:  I began working with children and families in 2001 when I was hired by the Cannon County school system as a one on one assistant to a 5 year old with autism. I was trained in Applied Behavior Analysis and TEACCH methods during this time. Over the past 10 years, I have continued my training by working with behavior analysts and other therapists to create and implement developmentally appropriate home and school programs for children with autism.  In 2005 I was hired as a Special Education Pre-K and Speech assistant for the DeKalb County school system. Upon graduating from Tennessee Technological University in 2007, I was offered the position of lead teacher for the Special Education Pre-K classroom in which I had been an assistant. In this position, I worked closely with children and families helping them all transition from home services to school based services.  You can reach me at

Patti Lyle

Patti Lyle, Early Interventionist:  I received a Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology concentrating in Child Development and Family Studies from Tennessee Technological University.  I am currently pursuing a Master of Science in Human Sciences at Middle Tennessee State University. In my undergraduate coursework, I was able to work closely with the Tennessee Early Childhood Training Alliance (TECTA). I have worked with young children in many capacities including substitute teaching, teaching pre-k and working with Head Start.  You can reach me at

Regina Moffett

Regina Moffett, Early Interventionist: I have joyfully worked with children and families for many years! It has definitely been a rewarding experience in many ways! I received my Bachelor’s degree in Child Development/Family Studies and a Master’s degree in Early Intervention from the University of Southern MS (USM). I completed an internship at The Children’s Hospital in Macon, GA where I provided emotional support, coping, and distraction to children in the hospital setting.

I have worked with children in many different settings. I have served as a Special Education Teacher’s Supervisor providing services within an inclusive preschool setting. I also have experience with providing individualized intervention for families of children with special needs/developmental delays in a natural environment (home, preschool, daycares, parks, etc.). I have developed policies and procedures for an early intervention program (Part C) based on rules and regulations of the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).  It is an honor for me to serve as an Early Interventionist with the Home and Community Based Program with MTSU! I have a genuine passion to support and provide ways to build on opportunities to enhance the lives of families of children with special needs. Please contact me with questions or for additional information at

Rebecca Shults

Rebecca Shults, Early Interventionist:   I am a native Texan, but have lived in Murfreesboro for many years. I have been employed with MTSU as an Early Interventionist with MTSU Home & Community Based Early Intervention program since October of 2010. Prior to joining MTSU HCBEI I worked with Project Help at MTSU approximately three years as an Early Intervention Teacher. I am a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.  I have worked with young children and their families for the past several years. This has been a wonderful time, full of opportunities and rewarding experiences in helping children & families meet their goals and developmental milestones. My greatest challenge and experience came in 2006 when my grandson was born with multiple medical challenges and was at Vanderbilt for 8 months. This gave me a great deal of hands on experience on a daily basis, and allowed me to see the need and hear the concerns of families with special needs babies. I love working with these young children and their families through Home Based Early Intervention.  You can reach me at

Tammy Simmons

Tammy Simmons, Early Interventionist:  I completed my undergraduate degree at Western Kentucky University with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Development. I completed my master's degree at Trevecca Nazarene University with a master's degree of education in instructional effectiveness. I taught kindergarten in a public school for six years. I have taught in many different daycares, preschools, and pre-kindergarten classes with children with special needs as well as typically developing children. I have worked for TIPS/TEIS and now MTSU for a total combined years of eight years.  You can reach me at

Cathy Smith

Cathy Smith, Early Interventionist:  I received my BA in Early Childhood Education at the University of Mississippi and my M.Ed. in Early Childhood from the University of Memphis. I have worked in the early childhood profession for many years in a variety of roles. I have been a classroom teacher with three year olds, Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten. In West Palm Beach, FL I was an Education and Disability Coordinator for the School District Head Start Program and served as a Resource Teacher/Mentor working with public and private school early childhood programs birth to school age. I was an Assistant Professor of Education teaching early childhood and education courses at the college level and still serve as an adjunct faculty teaching early childhood courses online. I came to work with HCBEI as an Early Interventionist in the summer of 2012.  You can reach me at

Teela Truss

Teela Truss, Early Interventionist:   I received my Bachelor of Science Degree in Family and Consumer Studies concentrating in Child Development and Family Studies from Middle Tennessee State University in August 2010. I would like to continue my education by getting a Master’s Degree in Special Education and/or Child Development and Family Studies. I have worked with young children during college and after by being a teacher and caregiver at Head Start and a lead teacher to 1 and 2 year olds. I have always wanted to be an early interventionist and now I have the opportunity to do my dream! I want to play a positive role in every family I come in contact with.  You can reach me at