Evelyne Pilger, B.Sc.O.T.(C) Occupational Therapist & Founder

Evelyne graduated from the University of Alberta in 1988. Evelyne has gained extensive experience working with children of all ages and with a variety of needs both in schools and at home. She has worked closely with children on the Autism Spectrum as well as with other neurological disorders and mental health issues. She has also done extensive professional development in the areas of sensory integration, including advanced training in the Wilbarger Protocol (Deep Pressure and Proprioceptive Techniques), and certification in Therapeutic Listening (Listening with the Whole Body). Evelyne is trained in evaluation and treatment of handwriting problems and also has experience in pediatric medical-legal assessment and assessing and recommending assistive technology. Evelyne is bilingual in both French and English and is able to provide services in the language preferred.

Melissa Renfree, B.Sc.O.T. Occupational Therapist & Sleep Consultant

Melissa is a Dalhousie University graduate who has been practicing since 1999 and has worked in pediatrics for over 10 years. She has spent many hours developing, modifying and maintaining school and home based programs for children of all ages and their families. She has a great deal of experience working with children on the Autism Spectrum as well as FASD, among other neurological and mental health disorders. Melissa has extensive continuing education in the area of Sensory Processing and Integration. She is also certified in iLS (Integrated Listening System) and is trained in the SOS feeding program. Melissa is trained in printing and handwriting evaluations and programs along with a number of developmental assessments. She is licensed in both British Columbia and Alberta. She is listed on the Registered Autism Service Providers (RASP) of British Columbia. Melissa has recently become a registered Maternity & Pediatric Sleep Consultant!



Josh Lancaster, Physiotherapist

Josh completed his education at the University of Alberta in 2007. He has worked with school staff and students requiring school programming, as well as with children and their families in their homes. Josh is experienced in working with children with Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, and Autism just to name a few. Josh also sees children requiring service for gross motor delay, head shape, and orthopedic injury. Josh has completed professional development courses in Autism and Neuro Developmental handling. Josh can provide services in both English and French. 



Ashley Saastad, Occupational Therapist

Ashley completed her degree at the University of Alberta. She currently works part-time at Function First and part-time with adults. Her 8 years of experience with both children and adults has helped her develop a wide variety of skills and knowledge. Ashley is certified to practice in both Alberta and British Colombia.




Kelcie (Gale) Davis, Speech & Language Pathologist

Kelcie completed her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Since joining the Function First team in June 2014, Kelcie has gained experience in assessing and treating children with a diverse range of communication delays and disorders. Kelcie works closely with many children on the Autism Spectrum and has completed continuing education specific to this population, including ADOS, R&R, and SCERTS training.




Taylor Petker, Speech & Language Pathologist


Taylor Graduated from the University of Alberta with her Master’s Degree in Speech & Language Pathology.






Kalli Charbonneau, Registered Provisional Psychologist – Currently on Maternity Leave

Kalli has a Masters degree in Psychology from Yorkville University. Kalli’s hands on yet compassionate approach helps her connect to children and their families to provide everyone with a great learning experience.




Marissa Pilger, Program Assistant

Marissa spent many summers working at Function First as a Respite worker and Program Assistant before heading off to college. Upon returning to Grande Prairie in 2015 she realized how much she missed working with children and their families and has been at Function First ever since. Marissa has since completed various professional development courses in Behaviour Management and Autism. Currently Marissa is completing her Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology through the University of Athabasca.  Marissa is also bilingual and provides services in both French & English. 

Kara Robideau, Program Assistant

Kara has been working at Function First for over 6 years. Throughout her time here she has worked with children with varying abilities making her well rounded today. She has also completed training in SOS feeding and has become certified to teach Triple P parenting program.








Shelly Dachuk, Program Assistant

Shelly has worked with children and youth for 17 years in a variety of positions before joining the Function First team in April 2019. Shelly received her level 1 certificate in Early Childhood Education from the Grande Prairie Regional College. She has also taken multiple Professional Development Courses including certification in Trauma, Grief & Loss in Children and Certification in Children & Youth Counselling. She is currently working on her studies to complete her Child and Youth Diploma. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, gardening in the summer and in the winter you can find her snowboarding.

Debbie Bredeson, Administrative Assistant

Debbie is the friendly face at our front desk and the helpful individual answering our phones.

Krista Wilson, Bookkeeper

Dawn Peppard, Bookkeeping Assistant

Dawn has been working at Function First since 2014, before coming to Function First she worked in schools as an Administrative Assistant and receptionist.