OUR STAFF


North Way Counseling Services staff is professionally trained and draws upon their formal education and experience to address the unique mental, emotional, spiritual and relational needs of each person. While committed to a Christian perspective in dealing with mental health issues, we are sensitive to perspectives of other belief systems.

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Marc C. Hutchison, M.S.W.

Counseling Focus: Marc currently serves as the Director and counselor at North Way Counseling Services and specializes in adoption, autism, attention deficit, opposition defiance, depression and marriage counseling.

Education and Professional Training: Marc has been a counselor and Sociology Professor at La Roche College for more than ten years and has worked in the field of Human Services since 1989. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from La Roche College and a Master’s of Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh.

Personal: Marc has a passion for serving at the North Way Care Network and resides in the North Hills with his wife, Lisa and their two daughters. Marc became an elder of North Way Christian Community in 2009 where they have been members for many years.


Katie (Smith) Armbrecht, M.S., NCC, LPC

Counseling Focus: Katie is a counselor based at the North Way Oakland campus.

Education and Professional Training: She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Southeastern University in Florida and Master’s degree in Professional Counseling at Carlow University. She has had several years of experience with children in the mental health field.

Personal: Katie attends North Way Dormont. She has a heart for the city and feels blessed to be a part of the growth that is taking place in the surrounding city neighborhoods.


Laurie Johnson, M.A.

Counseling Focus: Laurie works with clients in both individual and group therapy contexts.

Education and Professional Training: She earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Department of Communication Disorders at the University of Pittsburgh. She has extensive experience working with families and their children who have been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, providing direct therapeutic intervention and family counseling, as well as consultative services. Laurie has also provided comprehensive, trans-disciplinary health care for infants, children, adolescents, and young adults with a variety of learning, developmental, social and behavioral problems.  She has taught Parent Education classes, led support groups and conducted workshops. Another area of emphasis for intervention is Laurie’s experience and expertise for counseling individuals who struggle with eating disorders.

Personal: Laurie is a member of North Way Christian Community and lives with her husband and three children in Cranberry Township.


Cheryl A. Burns, M.S.

Counseling Focus: Cheryl is a counselor. She currently works full time as a counselor at Sojourner House, a long-term recovery program for women with children. She also works on an as-needed basis at the Women's Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh serving women who have experienced significant abuse and trauma. Her experience includes addictions, women's issues, and healing from trauma.

Education and Professional Training: Cheryl earned her Bachelor's degree from LaRoche College in 2000, a Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology from Chatham University in 2010 and is currently pursuing a Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at Fielding Graduate University.

Personal: Cheryl and her husband Ray have been members of North Way since 2002 and are grateful for the opportunity to bring their son up with the beliefs that North Way stands for.


Jay D’Ambrosio, M.A.

Counseling Focus: He serves as a mentor and marriage coach with North Way Counseling Services.

Education and Professional Training: Jay has been a teacher, mentor, and conflict mediator at the secondary level for over 18 years, and holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in the social sciences. He is certified in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM), School Crisis Response, and conflict mediation. Jay is also a Pennsylvania certified member of the Student Assistance Program.

Personal: Jay is the author of the following books:

Ordered Disorder: Finding Divine Patterns in the Midst of Life's Chaos (Amazon Kindle, 2010)

Rethinking Adolescence: Using Story to Navigate Life's Uncharted Years (Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2006)

E-Teaching: Creating Web Sites and Student Web Portfolios Using Microsoft PowerPoint (Linworth Publishing, Inc., 2003)


Kathy Fullmer, LPC

Counseling Focus: Kathy specializes as a child and adolescent counselor.  She has extensive training in Attachment and Bonding, Loss and Grief, and Trauma counseling as well as in play therapy, ADHD, anxiety, depression and self-harm.

Education and Professional Training: She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky and a Master’s degree in Counseling from Slippery Rock University.

Personal: Kathy, her husband Jim and their three older children have been connected to North Way since 1983. A few years later the Fullmer family wassent to China as Christian English teachers and served in that capacity for several years before adopting their youngest child and later returning to the Pittsburgh area.


Seth Springer, M.A.

Counseling Focus: Seth serves as a general therapy counselor.

Education and Professional Training: He holds a B.A. in Elementary Education from Carlow University and a Master’s in Counseling from The University of West Alabama. He has worked as a teacher and a behavior/classroom management consultant for nearly 10 years in school systems in Florida and Pennsylvania.

Personal: Seth, his wife Lori, and their three children call North Way their home.


Sara Zakutney, M.S., NCC

Counseling Focus: Sara is a counselor and a part-time counseling coordinator.

Education and Professional Training: She received her Bachelor's degree in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and her Master's degree in Counseling Psychology at Chatham University. Her most recent clinical experience was working with formerly incarcerated individuals, providing drug and alcohol treatment and family reunification services. Her other experiences include working in various school and child development settings, and at mental health facilities for children and families. Since her time at Pitt, Sara was also on staff with Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ) for three years, ministering to college students.

Personal: Sara has been engaging with the North Way community for many years. She is thrilled to incorporate her faith into her passion and career.


Robert Rafalko

Counseling Focus: Robert is an individual and group counselor in drug, alcohol, chemical addictions.

Education and Professional Training: He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Robert Morris University in Business Administration and Communication. He earned a Master’s degree in Biblical Studies and a Doctorate degree in Ministry from Colorado Theological Seminary, and he is presently studying to be a Ph.D. of Philosophy in Pastoral, Christian Counseling.


Sarah Devine, M.A., NCC

Counseling Focus: Sarah is a counselor based at the North Way Sewickley Valley campus.

Education and Professional Training: She earned her Bachelor’s degree double majoring in Psychology and Sociology from La Roche College, and her Master’s degree from Geneva College in Counseling, specializing in Marriage and Family.   During her time at Geneva College, she worked as a graduate assistant counselor, providing counseling for undergraduate students including individuals, couples, and groups.  Sarah has also previously served at the Women’s Choice Network in Wexford as a client advocate and counselor.


Sirena Claxon

Counseling Focus: Sirena is a part-time counseling coordinator and intern.


Emily Sangermano

Counseling Focus: Emily is an intern.