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Teachers at Noble Academy work closely with each student to adapt assignments and projects to complement individual strengths.

Executive Leadership

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Gayle Kolodny Cole | Head of School

Gayle Kolodny Cole brings more than two decades of experience in nonprofit organizations and independent schools to her new role as Head of School. Her extensive background includes working in Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools in California. In addition to consulting, she has held full-time positions at The Center for Early Education in West Hollywood, Westmark School in Encino, Chandler School in Pasadena, and Viewpoint School in Calabasas. Her administrative positions include serving as Director of Lower School and Middle School, and most recently as Director of Digital Learning -- a role Viewpoint School created in 2020 in order to leverage Gayle’s skills in professional development, technology integration, online instruction, and teaching and learning during the transition to remote instruction.

Originally from Martinsville, Virginia, Gayle earned her bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from James Madison University, and her master's degree in Education from Walden University. She completed the Administration and Supervision certificate program jointly offered by Johns Hopkins University and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

Education and advocacy are important elements in Gayle’s family life as well as her career. She and her husband, Jeremy, have two young adult children, one of whom has learning differences, including dyscalculia. Their daughter, Annie (18), will embark on her college journey this fall, and their son, Aedin (20), will join Gayle and Jeremy (and Nelson the Whoodle) in their move to North Carolina. Gayle’s passion for fostering an inclusive and dynamic learning environment aligns perfectly with our school's values and vision. Gayle's commitment to academic excellence and her proven track record in enhancing student and faculty experiences make her the ideal leader for our school's next chapter.


Jan Linder | Chief Financial Officer

Jan Linder received her bachelor’s degree from Elon University in Business Administration and Accounting. She went on to receive her master’s degree in Accounting from Appalachian State University and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. Her extensive financial background working in nonprofits, retail, manufacturing and service industries brings a wealth of financial knowledge to Noble Academy. In her free time, she founded and manages a nonprofit, Bingo Pet Hospice, specializing in the care of aging pets.


Christy Avent | Director of Enrollment Management

Christy Avent earned a bachelor's degree in Communications from East Carolina University. She also obtained a second bachelor's degree in Political Science and her master’s degree in Public Affairs, both from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has extensive experience in the collegiate environment having worked at UNCG from 1997-2011. She also had a short stint in the sales world working with the Greensboro Convention and Visitors Bureau where her market was in education. Christy joined the Noble Academy family over 10 years ago. She enjoys reading, traveling, cooking, and going to the movies in her free time.


Jennifer Aceves | Director of Academics

Jennifer Aceves earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Davidson College and is certified by North Carolina in Learning Disabilities. She received her master's degree in Special Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and is also a Wilson® Dyslexia Practitioner. Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, paddle boarding, and reading.


Dr. Dana Coyle | Head of High School

Dr. Coyle comes to us with 13 years of experience as the Principal of Immaculata Catholic School in Durham. She holds a Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership Grades K-12, as well as a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and a Master of Science in Special Education. Dr. Coyle is well acquainted with our mission as she has firsthand experience with the impact our school has on our students and families. Her son is a Noble Academy alumni from the Class of 2018, having entered Noble during his Lower School years. Dr. Coyle has also been an advocate for students with learning differences throughout her years in education and has brought programs and practices to all of her schools to help best serve all students.


Erin Cawley | Head of Middle School

Erin Cawley is a graduate of Elon University with a bachelor’s degree in Middle Grades Education with a concentration in Social Studies and Science. She also earned her master’s degree in Special Education with a concentration in Learning Disabilities from East Carolina University in 2011. Erin has over 15 years of teaching experience in various subjects and grade levels, in addition to more than a decade spent working within the Athletic Department. In 2020, she was named Head of Middle School after serving as Junior High Dean for several years. She works hard to enhance student life at Noble and in her free time, enjoys visiting with family and friends, traveling, and spending time with her kids.


Jenny Rundle | Head of Lower School

Jenny Rundle holds a bachelor's degree in Education with certifications in both Elementary and Special Education, an M.Ed. in School Counseling and a North Carolina School Administrator License. Additional certifications include English for Speakers of Other Languages and Wilson® Dyslexia Practitioner. Jenny is passionate about providing a supportive environment for students who learn differently and loves working at Noble Academy where all students are celebrated for their individual talents and strengths.

Campus Leadership


Teresa Biffle | Director of Safety

Teresa Biffle recently finished a career with the Greensboro Police Department last serving in the role of Interim Chief. While her 28 year career ended in senior management positions involving policy writing and oversight, she spent time in criminal investigations, specifically child victim investigations, criminal intelligence and threat assessments. In addition to her assigned duties, Teresa taught numerous courses at the police academy and served as a specialized driving instructor for the agency. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Guilford College and is a graduate of the 120th session of the University of Louisville Southern Police Institute Administrative Officer’s Course and the 63rd session of the Senior Management Institute for Police at Boston University. Outside of her work at the police department, Teresa previously served as Vice Chair on the Executive Board of the Guilford County Partnership for Children and is serving her fourth year as an assessor for the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. Her spare time is spent glamping in a recreational vehicle with her family and attempting not to embarrass herself, or her son, while playing video games.  


Aimee Gandee | Director of Educational Outreach

Aimee Gandee earned a bachelor’s degree in Special Education and a master’s degree in Early Childhood – both earned with honors from the University of Florida. She is North Carolina certified in Early Childhood (birth-Kindergarten), Elementary Education (K-6), and Special Education (K-12), and a Wilson® Dyslexia Therapist and Wilson® Credentialed Trainer. She brings 23 years of experience as an educator which includes training teachers in research-based literacy instruction. Aimee enjoys baking, reading, and spending time with her family.


Ashley Lumpkin | Director of Diversity, Equity &                                             Inclusion

Ashley Lumpkin holds a bachelor's degree in Mathematics from Hampton University and a master's degree in Math Education from Wake Forest University. After teaching in the NC public school system for eight years, she was ready for a change. She is passionate about specialized math instruction and creates many of the curriculum materials used in her classroom. Outside of school, Ashley is an award-winning performance poet. She enjoys traveling and spending time with friends.


Toni Nelson | Director of Development

Antonia "Toni" Nelson earned a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke where she was also a member of the university softball team. Toni has worked in nonprofit fundraising with a focus on education the entirety of her career and most recently was a major gifts fundraiser for Western Carolina University securing donations of $25,000 and above. In her free time you will find Toni coaching or doing CrossFit, cheering on the Dallas Cowboys, or hanging out with her chocolate lab, Chip!


Lance Oldham | Director of Counseling

Lance is a NC Licensed Professional Counselor and a National Certified Counselor. He has 13 years in the counseling field in a variety of different roles and settings. Much of his counseling experience has included meeting with students and families from a variety of cultural backgrounds to address various mental health, learning, and/or intellectual challenges. He has provided support in multiple high schools to include student and teacher support, counseling, classroom monitoring, and assistance in the development of behavior, academic, and support interventions. Lance is married and his wife is a Special Education Language Arts teacher. He has a young son and daughter. He is also a certified yoga teacher and frequently teaches at studios and gyms in the community.  


Cinthia Maupin | Lower School & Middle School                                           Counselor

Cinthia holds a master's degree in Social Work from Florida Atlantic University and a bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Florida. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in both North Carolina and Florida, who recently relocated to Greensboro to be closer to family. Cinthia has over 12 years of counseling experience, working in a variety of mental health and school settings. She has provided counseling and support for exceptional and at-risk students in schools, facilitated in-home family counseling, was a program therapist, and advocate for children with severe emotional/ behavioral difficulties, as well as a clinical supervisor for an in-home therapy program for children. Aside from spending time with her husband and two small children, she enjoys hiking, traveling, trying out new food and recipes, and crafting.


Michael Essex | IT Manager

An accomplished professional with a passion for technology and education, Michael has dedicated the last 17 years to working in K-12 schools in Salem, Oregon. He held various technology positions during that time, culminating with his tenure as Technology Director for his last six years before moving to NC. Aside from his professional endeavors, Michael treasures his time with family, cherishing moments shared with loved ones. Additionally, he finds joy in raising chickens, embracing the simplicity and rewards of tending to these feathered companions. Through his multifaceted pursuits, Michael exemplifies a well-rounded individual who balances his career, family, and personal interests with enthusiasm and dedication.

High School Faculty


Travis Blair

Travis Blair earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations with a minor in English Literature from Appalachian State University. After working for a few years after graduating, Travis decided to follow his heart to the profession of teaching. He joined the Lateral Entry program at UNCG where he completed two practicums as well as a semester of student teaching. He is licensed in High School and Middle School English and History. Travis began his teaching career with Guilford County Schools and then transitioned to the North Carolina Leadership Academy before coming to Noble Academy. He has worked with Dr. Dana Stachowiak, a specialist in reading and writing education, and adopted her method of instruction. Travis' favorite novel to teach is Life of Pi and enjoys helping students with creative writing and thinking. Outside of school, Travis loves to study martial arts, play guitar, read, write, play D&D/board games and play video games.


Ellison Cooper

Originally from the Chicagoland area, Ellison moved to High Point, North Carolina in 2014. He earned a bachelor's degree in History and later a master's degree in Organizational Leadership at Judson University in Elgin, Illinois. For the last eight years, Ellison has taught both middle school and high school. He and his wife, Heather, are parents to Arabella, Olivia, Kobe, and Harper. The Cooper Crew can be found in summertime at a lot of Grasshopper baseball games or in a pool. The Cooper Crew are huge Chicago sports fans. 


Eric Gal

Eric Gal grew up in the Triad and attended Noble Academy through his middle and high school years, graduating in 2005. He holds bachelor's degrees in Theatre Education and English Education, as well as a minor in History, from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. After college, he applied to and was hired by his former high school, where he enjoys giving back to the community that met his needs when he was a student. In his spare time, Eric likes acting with community theatres and professional acting companies, teaching and performing stage combat, practicing Tai Chi and mixed martial arts, reading (particularly science fiction, fantasy, and history-related topics), playing/facilitating Dungeons and Dragons games, watching movies and TV, and spending time with his family and friends. Eric currently lives in Greensboro with his wife, Ashley, and their 3 cats, Pud, Marlena, and Mariska.


Ginger Holloway

Ginger Holloway graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a bachelor's degree in English. She also earned a master's degree in Library and Information Science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Ginger has spent over 25 years teaching English in public and private schools in North Carolina and California. She lives in Greensboro with her husband, Hurl, and her Doberman Pinscher, Roxy. In Ginger's spare time, she enjoys doing Crossfit, watching sports, learning calligraphy, and reading.


Brian Kysor

Originally from Upstate New York, Brian Kysor holds a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from State University of New York at Oneonta, and a master’s degree in History from Union Graduate College (now Clarkson University) in Schenectady, NY. Since moving to North Carolina in 2012, Brian has served students as a social studies teacher throughout the state. He also holds a licensure in Exceptional Children, and has taught EC students at the North Carolina Leadership Academy and in Rockingham County Schools. In his free time, Brian enjoys reading science fiction, fantasy, and history, among other topics.


Amy Kieffer

A Spanish Language teacher for over 25 years, Amy is a proud graduate of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio where she earned a bachelor's degree in Spanish Language and Literature. Additionally, Amy earned a master’s degree in ESL and Bilingual Education from the University of Findlay. She and her husband call Greensboro home but both grew up in Northwest Ohio. They have two sons and in Amy’s free time she enjoys reading, traveling, being outdoors with her dogs and watching movies.


Linda Mahanes

Linda Mahanes is a Greensboro native and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with bachelor degrees in Math and Math Education. She has worked as an actuarial student, a tutor, and a math teacher. She enjoys finding new ways to teach her students, and tries to find the most effective teaching strategies to help each student be successful and confident.   She has three grown children and enjoys spending time with family and friends. In addition to her love of being active by playing tennis, swimming, and walking, she is an avid reader.


Vicki Payne

Vicki Payne graduated from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro with bachelor's degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. She has been teaching for 16 years, one year at Guilford County Schools and 15 years here at Noble Academy. During her tenure as a Knight, she has introduced the high school students to marine biology, zoology, and Cooking with Chemistry, among teaching the required subjects to earn science credits toward graduation. In her spare time, Vicki loves to read, cook, participate in all water sports, spend time with her two adult children (Spencer and Connor), and Ramona, the family's Great Dane.


Alesia Pendleton

A veteran teacher with 30 years experience teaching Middle School science in Guilford County Schools, Alesia earned a bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University and a master’s degree from UNCG. She has also been a National Board Certified Teacher for 20 years. Alesia is married and has two grown children: a daughter and a son. She enjoys spending time with her family at the lake, hiking, and exploring the outdoors. Alesia loves college sports and her favorite team is the University of South Carolina. In addition to family time and sports, she enjoys traveling, photography, and cooking.


Aleshia Rucker

Aleshia Rucker graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation Services. She also obtained an M.Ed in K-12 Special Education with an add-on preschool certification from North Georgia State College and University. Aleshia has over 14 years of experience working with students and adults with learning differences and is excited to be joining the Noble Academy team. She is married with two children, a son and a daughter who are both in high school. In her spare time, she enjoys being with family and friends, visiting the beach, and swimming.

Middle School Faculty


Amanda Birse

Amanda moved to Greensboro from Florida where she taught kids with special needs from elementary to middle school. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor's degree in Exceptional Student Education with a minor in Deaf Studies. Her minor was influenced by her brother who was born deaf and being raised within the deaf culture. In 2017, Amanda graduated from Jacksonville University with a bachelor's degree in Speech/Language Pathology. As a hobby, she is a nationally accredited DONA birth doula and runs her own doula company in her spare time. She is a mom of two young ones and loves exploring the wonderful city of Greensboro with them!


Alison Buchanan

Alison was born and raised in Denver, Colorado and came to Greensboro to attend Guilford College. Her first classroom teaching experience was as a second-grade teacher at Southern Elementary. When her children, Logan and Gavin were little she decided to stay at home. After this period, Alison taught preschool at Guilford Park Presbyterian Church. Her son’s educational experiences as a child with Autism/Asperger's inspired her to obtain a Special Education graduate certificate from UNC Charlotte. She taught as a resource general curriculum special education teacher at Pearce Elementary prior to accepting the position at Noble. In her life outside of the classroom, she enjoys reading, running, and spending time with her family. 


Karen Carter

Karen Carter has 30 years of teaching experience and earned her bachelor’s degree in Education from Appalachian State University and her master’s degree from the University of Tennessee. She also obtained her National Board Teaching Certification in 2002. Karen and her husband have two sons, Matthew, a former Noble Knight who will be starting his sophomore year at GTCC, and Andrew, a rising senior at Northern Guilford High School. During her free time, she loves reading, running, and drawing. She is very excited to become a Noble Knight!


Diane Coltrane

Diane Coltrane has over 30 years of teaching experience in grades 4-8. Several years ago, she came to Noble Academy from Northern Middle School where she taught language arts for 10 years. Diane earned her bachelor’s degree in Education from Appalachian State University and obtained her National Board Teaching Certification in 2002. She and her husband have three adult children and two grandchildren. She enjoys reading, time in and on the water, and spending time with her family and friends.


Barbara Kilpatrick

Barbara Kilpatrick is a graduate of Syracuse University with bachelor degrees in English and Textual Studies and Secondary Education. Upon receiving a fellowship to attend The Ohio State University, she earned her master’s degree in Cultural Foundations of Education. A native of Upstate New York, she moved to Greensboro in 2005 and was an English Language Arts teacher for 10 years at Northeast Middle School. She has two daughters, Maeve and Brennan, and a step-daughter, Emma.  In her spare time, she loves spontaneous dancing, watching Doctor Who, and tending to her vegetable garden.


Timothy Maupin

Timothy holds a master’s degree in Secondary Education with a focus in Social Studies, graduating with high distinction from the School of Education at Liberty University. Originally from Waltham, Massachusetts, he moved to Greensboro in 2019 with his wife and two children. His previous roles include 3D animation, architectural design, and as a voice actor on various cartoon shows on television. Timothy loves assisting students as they make connections about the past in order to help make the future brighter. In his spare time, he enjoys reading about history, hiking on trails, and trying out new recipes.


Shaun O'Connor

Shaun is a native of Southeast Pennsylvania, where he attended Kutztown University before transferring to Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, North Carolina. There, he earned a bachelor's degree in Outdoor Leadership, and after moving to Greensboro in 2010, he obtained his teaching license in Special Education from Greensboro College. Shaun enjoys going on adventures with his wife and three children, riding his bike, doing yoga, playing golf, and rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Lower School Faculty


Hannah Adelman

Hannah Adelman graduated from UNC Greensboro with a bachelor’s degree in Education. She currently holds North Carolina teaching licenses in Elementary Education (K-6) and Special Education - General Curriculum (K-12). Hannah’s brother has Down Syndrome, and he is who inspired her to pursue a career in education and become a teacher. In Hannah’s free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.


Toni DeFiglia

Toni DeFiglia graduated from Guilford College with a bachelor's degree in Chemistry and a M.A.Ed. from Western Carolina University. Mrs. D, as she is fondly known as, also acquired both her Special Education General Curriculum and Reading Teacher Licensure (K-12) through the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has been trained in the Wilson Reading System®, Read Naturally® Live, and NC Foundations of Reading and General Curriculum Math (GCS). In addition, DeFiglia has also been trained in mindfulness. During her teaching career, she has been the Odyssey of the Mind Coach for Brown Summit Middle School and a Program Assistant for the Central Greensboro Public Library Children’s Room targeting STEM curriculum. DeFiglia and her husband have three grown boys. She loves to swim, kayak, read, and enjoys time with friends.


Josh Rubin

A Greensboro native, Josh attended Grimsley Senior High School before graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with honors in History. After spending a decade teaching experiential education on traditional sailing vessels, Josh earned his teaching certificate in New Orleans, where he also earned his master’s degree in Education and Curriculum with a dual focus on Reading and ESL. He is currently licensed to teach Elementary Education and ESL in North Carolina and has been working with Wilson Language TrainingⓇ curricula since 2016. Josh enjoys riding his bike, reading, and spending time with his two cats.


Tim Stewart

Originally from Roxboro, North Carolina, Tim moved to Greensboro in 2006. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Greensboro College and has spent the last nine years teaching grades K-5 and middle school science. Tim and his wife Liz are the proud parents of three children - Ava, Dorie, and Payne. In his spare time, Tim enjoys supporting the Boston Red Sox, traveling with his family, and chasing after his extremely energetic German Shorthaired Pointer, Boone and Black Lab, Beck. 


Lindsey Willich

Lindsey Willich earned a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education (PK-3), Elementary Education (K-5) and Special Education (K-12), all with honors, from the College of Saint Elizabeth in New Jersey. She is certified to teach in New Jersey, Texas, and North Carolina and is a Wilson® Dyslexia Therapist. Lindsey has over 13 years teaching experience and teaches through hands-on activities and experiments within her classroom. Lindsey is married to Dan and they have two loving, high energy dogs, Gunner and LT. She enjoys going places with her dogs, hiking, exploring and traveling.



Mary Mig McEntire | Lower School and Middle School Performing Arts

Mary Mig McEntire graduated from Salem College with a degree in Psychology and earned two special education certifications from graduate-level coursework at Appalachian State University.  She is a Wilson® Dyslexia Practitioner and has been trained through the TEACCH® Autism Program.  She has extensive knowledge and experience in the field of special education with a special interest in Social Thinking®. Before coming to Noble Academy, she worked in public schools as a resource teacher and later as the teacher/director of an elementary Autism Inclusion program. She has a passion for music, theatre, and traveling in her free time.


Mike Renne | IDEApath

Mike Renne earned a bachelor's degree in Information Management from Western Illinois University and a master's degree in Youth Development from Kansas State University. Mike has been a middle and high school educator in computer science, robotics, and engineering for Asheboro City Schools and Guilford County Schools. He has also worked as an Instructional Technology Consultant at UNCG and a Technology Trainer at NC A & T State University. Mike currently is also a Lecturer in the School of Education at UNCG, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in Instructional Technology and Computational Thinking. He is originally from Northern Illinois, and has lived in the Greensboro area for 15 years. Mike enjoys spending time with his family, playing video games, hiking with his dog, reading, and making electronic music and art.


Andy Woodson | Physical Education

Andy is joining Noble Academy as Athletic Director and Physical Education teacher. Andy graduated from Greensboro College with his bachelor's degree in Exercise and Sports Studies with a minor in Business. He is currently continuing his education online at Western Carolina University to obtain his master's degree in Sports Management with a certificate in Project Management. Andy has a passion for exercise and coaching and loves to teach students life lessons through both. In his spare time, Andy enjoys being outdoors with his fiancé and enjoying whitewater rafting, rock climbing, and hiking. 



Paul Cooper | Facilities Manager

Paul joined Noble Academy from the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia where he worked in facilities management. He enjoys fixing things and making sure that all areas of our school are able to be used effectively by students and staff. In his free time, Paul enjoys gardening, horse racing, deep sea fishing, and camping with his family. 


Kelly Heritage | College Testing Coordinator

Kelly Heritage graduated from Appalachian State University with a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a minor in Spanish. Graduate school brought her and her husband, Charlie, to Greensboro where she received her master's degree in Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is a certified North Carolina K-12 School Counselor as well as a Nationally Certified Counselor. Her three daughters keep her busy on a daily basis. In her free time, Kelly enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, being outdoors, learning about other countries and cultures different from her own, and anything related to the performing arts.


Diane Howard | The Knights Club

Diane Howard earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology from North Carolina A & T State University. She later received her education licensure from Greensboro College and went on to teach in Guilford County Schools within the Exceptional Children's division for grades 6-8, taught middle school and high school English, and taught within the division of ESOL. After completing her stint within GCS, she continued to teach at several private/Christian schools. Diane has also been an adjunct college instructor in English and developmental reading courses, along with Academic Success Classes at GTCC. In her spare time, Diane loves coordinating fashionable outfits and is an excellent bargain shopper.


Amy Patrick | Lower School Administrative Assistant

Amy Patrick earned a bachelor's degree in Secondary Education from Indiana University. After college, she moved to New Jersey and obtained an additional certification in Elementary Education. After teaching grades K-5 for several years, Amy decided to stay at home with her two sons who were young at the time. In 2005 her family moved to North Carolina. At that time, she decided to return to the classroom - first substituting and then teaching Transitional Kindergarten for seven years before joining Noble Academy. In her free time, Amy enjoys family and friend's game nights, lunching with friends, and visiting her sons at college.  


Cecilia Swayne | The Knights Club

Cecilia Swayne is a graduate of Noble Academy from the Class of 2015. She has returned to her alma mater to help young students in The Knights Club complete their homework and socialize.


Missy Laubach | Bus Driver

Wilson® Professional Credentials

Level I Certified
Jennifer Aceves
Diane Coltrane

Barb Kilpatrick

Level II Certified
Kay McMurphy - Tutor

Wilson® Dyslexia Practitioner
Jenny Rundle
Brian Kysor
Alison Buchanan

Lynn Crowe - Tutor
Trish Klier - Tutor
Mary Mig McEntire - Tutor

Wilson® Dyslexia Therapist
Lindsey Willich
Aimee Gandee
Jen Abeles - Tutor

Wilson® Credentialed Trainer
Aimee Gandee

Wilson® Dyslexia Practitioner Logo.png
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