Meet the Team!

Positive Learning Communities is a local business in western Massachusetts. We started in 2012 as a Mom & Pop operation... plus one creative Auntie!

Teresa Dooley-Smith, CCC-SLP

Teresa is an ASHA certified Speech Language Pathologist, clinical supervisor, classroom and clinical consultant who has experience within a variety of clinical populations (Early Intervention, School Based services at all age levels, Clinic Based services, Adult Dayhab, Adult Rehab, AAC and Life Skills). She is the Executive Director and Lead Clinician of TDS Center for Communication and Social Learning. Located in Western Massachusetts, TDS offers innovative strategies and interventions for children with different abilities and their families.  An "Out of the Box" thinker, Teri specializes in creating programs that meet kids where they are and that encourages possibility! Teri collaborates with school-based staff to support and empower change in children's lives, focusing on hands-on strategies that facilitate social growth and understanding. Teri received a BS from Bowling Green State University and a graduate degree from the University of New Hampshire.  


Brian Smith, AEA




Brian is an actor, director, and a proud member of the Actors’ Equity Association. He has taught Theater and Language Arts at the high school level, worked with professional and student theater companies, and run national workshops to help students understand and respond to social cues and contexts. Through decades of marriage and a shared educational/clinical practice, Brian and Teri developed a repertoire of dynamic social skills activities and interventions that use theater techniques and community-based programming as an exciting platform for rehearsing real-world skills. They continue to test and refine the program to meet the needs of the students they work with daily in classrooms and clinical settings.


Lynn Yanis, MA

Lynn has been writing and designing educational materials for more than 30 years. Following a career in public education (NYC and Springfield MA Public Schools), she worked as a freelance writer for national publishers, international philanthropies, and not-for-profit educational organizations. Lynn partnered with Teri and Brian to develop Positive Learning Communities, designing all of PLC's materials and collaborating to build effective strategies that integrate social, emotional, and academic learning. Lynn has an undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts and a graduate degree from Yale.


Matt Baker, M. Ed

A distinguished classroom teacher, Matt won the Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching "Teacher of the Year" award in 2010. He has been using the PLC materials for many years, and always brings forward fresh ideas to make curricular materials easier for teachers to use effectively. Matt focuses on successful collaboration between general and special ed classrooms and supports other teachers as the Educational Coach for Positive Learning Communities. A crucial member of PLC's new product development team, Matt also creates innovative community-based training programs at PLC's clinical lab (TDS Center for Communication and Social Learning). He earned his undergraduate degree at Springfield College and his graduate degree from American International College.