Meet Our Instructors

Tara

Tara Simmons, M.A. COTA/L, Owner/Head Instructor

Tara currently practices as an Occupational Therapy Assistant specializing in the pediatric population. She has experience working in long-term care and in rehabilitation. Tara has worked with special needs children, teens, and young adults for 12 years. Tara currently sits on the Autism Society of Berks County’s board as their family events coordinator. She also volunteers with special Olympics and has been their track & field coach for the past 4 years. Tara holds an Associates degree in both Psychology and Occupational Therapy and a Bachelors degree in Healthcare science. She also holds a Masters degree in Leadership for sustainable communities. Tara is certified in personal training for special populations and is CPR and First Aid certified in both adults and infants. She is a strong advocate for the special needs community and takes pride in being the voice for those who need assistance. In her free time, Tara enjoys spending time with her 9 year old son and husband. She enjoys running, exercising, and is a triathlete!

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Jamie Chmielewski, COTA/L/Lead Instructor

Jamie currently practices as an Occupational Therapy Assistant specializing in the pediatric population. Jamie has worked with special needs children for the past 11 years. Jamie sits on the Autism Society of Berks County’s board as their secretary. She is certified in CPR and First Aid for both adults and infants. Jamie held the position of Camp Counselor and then Camp Director with a special needs camp for 10 years. Jamie is an expert at making adaptations for the special needs children she currently works with, both in the school system and in an outpatient setting. In her free time, Jamie enjoys spending time with her 2 teenage children and enjoys the outdoors biking and hiking the trails throughout the county!

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ELIZABETH M. BENTZ OTD, OTR/L, SIPT, RYT-200

Dr. Bentz  has 20 years of experience, having worked in social services and as an Occupational Therapist, serving children and young adults in school settings, pediatric outpatient clinics, cyber-charter schools, and in the home environment. With her certification in Tai Chi and yoga, she shares her knowledge of movement, restorative breathing, and mindfulness with families to create a calming space where children can thrive and grow. As the owner of Family Tree Yoga, Elizabeth believes in providing heart-mind-body holistic approaches that inspire everyone’s greatest physical and emotional health. She continues to advocate for families to reconnect at home and on the yoga mat through education, awareness, and fun.


Elizabeth believes in providing heart-mind-body holistic approaches that inspire everyone’s greatest physical and emotional health. Through her continuing education in Tai Chi and yoga instruction, she has learned how movement, restorative breathing, and mindfulness can support a person’s participation in daily life activities, including rest and sleep. She is certified as a Tai Chi for Rehabilitation instructor through the Tai Chi for Health Institute by Dr. Paul Lam. She received her Registered Yoga Teacher certification (RYT-200) through Tula Yoga at the Restorative Center in Exeter, PA. As the owner of Family Tree Yoga, Elizabeth will continue to advocate for families to reconnect at home and on the yoga mat through education, awareness, and fun.