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Advisory Board

Sharon Adams-Taylor headshot

Sharon Adams-Taylor

Associate Executive Director, Children's Initiatives and Program Development
The School Superintendents Association

Sharon Adams-Taylor joined The School Superintendents Association (AASA) in 1990 as Director of the Association's Options for Pre-Teens program and is now the Associate Executive Director of Children’s Initiatives and Program Development. Previously, Adams-Taylor was a senior program associate with the Children's Defense Fund, where she coordinated CDF's adolescent pregnancy prevention clearinghouse. She also provided state and local technical assistance around adolescent issues and developed and managed a national coalition of youth and education organizations focused on positive outcomes for young people. Adams-Taylor's extensive background in training and research includes leadership positions with the University of North Carolina's Child Health Outcomes Project and the Resource Access Project, where she coordinated training and technical assistance for 178 Head Start grantees in six states, and fellowships at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Adams-Taylor has published several journal articles, books and book chapters related to children's health and well-being.

Steve Adelsheim

Steve Adelsheim (he/him/his)

Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing

Steven Adelsheim is a Clinical Professor & Associate Chair for Community Engagement at Stanford’s Department of Psychiatry, directing the Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing. Steve’s work is focused on early detection/intervention programs for young people and he leads the effort to bring allcove to the US, an integrated youth mental health model, which opened in June 2021 in Santa Clara County, CA, November 2022 in LA County, with plans to open in 4 other California sites over the few years.  Dr. Adelsheim also co-leads PEPPNET, the national clinical network for early psychosis programs. He continues to also actively work in school mental health, youth suicide prevention, tribal mental health, media & mental health, integrated care, and telehealth.  Dr. Adelsheim is committed to developing the national public mental health early intervention continuum for young people, from school mental health to allcove community integrated youth mental health programs to early psychosis programs.

Dawn Anderson-Butcher

Dawn Anderson-Butcher

Ohio State University School of Social Work

Dawn Anderson-Butcher is a sports scientist by training, and a licensed clinical social work worker. Her current role is Professor of Social Work and Affiliate Faculty in Kinesiology at The Ohio State University where she serves as the Co-Executive Director of Ohio State’s LiFEsports Initiative (, overseeing the research, curriculum development, and training components of this nationally recognized sport program. Dawn also serves as the Executive Director of the Community and Youth Collaborative Institute (CAYCI; Dawn is an internationally renowned scholar. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare, a Research Fellow in both the Society of Health and Physical Educators and the Society of Social Work Researchers, and a recipient of the School Social Work Association of America’s Gary A. Shaffer Award for Academic Contributions to the Field of School Social Work. Dawn earned a PhD in exercise and sport psychology (2000) and a master’s in social work (1997) from the University of Utah. She has master’s in exercise science (1994) and undergraduate degrees in psychology and exercise science (1992), from Miami University, Ohio.
Sally Baas headshot

Sally Baas

EdD, EdS
Professor Emeritus
Concordia University Saint Paul

Dr. Baas, director of Concordia’s Southeast Asian Teacher Licensure Program, is committed to building a community of lifelong intercultural learners. She joined the Concordia staff in 2002 as an adjunct faculty member in the Southeast Asian Teacher Licensure and Special Education Teacher Education Programs. Baas has devoted her teaching to preparing future educators for diversity in the classroom and developing teaching methods to best serve students of various ethnic backgrounds.  For more than 40 years, Baas has been training students at all levels. She brings her expertise to general students and students with special needs and has served as a behavioral assessor, consultant, dean, principal, and also as a school psychologist. She has worked in the collegiate ranks for more than 15 years, passing on her passion and knowledge to future educators. Baas also serves as the Minnesota Teacher Performance Assessment Coordinator. She has numerous publications related to school psychology, reducing assessment bias and preparing children to learn.

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Rebecca Benghiat

President & Chief Operations Officer
The Jed Foundation

Rebecca Benghiat has dedicated her career to working in service of the mental health and well-being of children and young adults. Most recently, Rebecca served as the Chief Operating and Advancement Officer at The Quad Preparatory School, a nationally recognized K-12 independent school in New York City that integrates an academically rigorous curriculum with evidence-based social emotional learning, specifically designed to support gifted children with learning differences. Prior to Quad Prep, Rebecca served as Executive Director of Facing Addiction with NCADD, responsible for all executive management functions for this leading national opioid addiction advocacy organization. Previously, Rebecca supported the rapid scaling of citiesRISE, a multi-million-dollar international youth mental health organization, to ensure the organization’s strategic and operational success. Rebecca has also spearheaded the launch of several multi-million-dollar philanthropic organizations, including the Child Mind Institute, the Seleni Institute, and the New Space for Women’s Health. Rebecca is a graduate of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, certified in alternative dispute resolution and she has mediated a wide variety of claims in New York County civil and small claims courts. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy, with a focus on organizational analysis, from The University of Chicago.

Seth Bernstein headshot

Seth Bernstein (he/him/his)

Executive Vice President for Community Investments
United Way of Palm Beach County

In his role at United Way of Palm Beach County, Dr. Bernstein helps determine how to invest donor dollars into vital community nonprofit organizations and spearheads several community behavioral health initiatives. Prior to working for United Way, he served as the Staff Psychologist and Director of Community Engagement at Boys Town South Florida, directing several evidence-based programs in communities and schools throughout Palm Beach County. Previously, he held positions at the Health Care District of Palm Beach County, at a residential adolescent substance abuse treatment program, and at an outpatient counseling agency.  Dr. Bernstein works very closely with many agencies and initiatives throughout the community and nationally. In addition, Dr. Bernstein regularly presents at state, national, and international conferences on topics related to prevention and early intervention services and support systems for children and families.  Dr. Bernstein has received numerous awards and recognitions for his extensive efforts to improve the lives of people throughout our community. He lives in Delray Beach with his wife of 30 years and their two sons.

Scott Bloom headshot

Scott Bloom (he/him/his)

Director of Special Projects
New York Psychotherapy and Counseling Center

Scott Bloom, LCSW-R, has spent his 32-year career at the intersection of mental health, communities, and schools working to improve access to social-emotional services and resources by integrating these programs, creating opportunities for children and youth to overcome emotional and behavioral barriers to academic achievement. He was the founding Director of School Mental Health Services for the New York City Department of Education for 15 years, facilitating partnerships with non-profit organizations and implementing mental health initiatives building on a city-wide system of mental health services and resources in over 1,800 city schools. He serves on the advisory boards for multiple cities, state, and national mental health initiatives around the country. Currently, he is the Director of Special Projects and Initiatives for the New York Psychotherapy and Counseling Center. Mr. Bloom has contributed to journals, magazines, books, and has presented at local and national conferences. Mr. Bloom has certification as a psychotherapist.


Jeff Bostic headshot

Jeff Bostic

Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist
Georgetown University School of Medicine

Jeff Bostic is a member of the child psychiatry faculty at Georgetown University Hospital, active in the intake clinic, DC MAP consultation program to primary care clinicians, and consultation to local DC schools.  He remains affiliated with Harvard/Mass General Hospital, where he was the Director of School Psychiatry from 1997-2016.  Dr. Bostic remains active on the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) Committees for Schools and for Continuing Medical Education, and an assistant editor of their Journal. He received his MD and doctorate in education at Texas Tech University, psychiatry training at Timberlawn/UT Southwestern-Dallas, and child psychiatry training at the Harvard MGH/McLean program. His clinical and research interests include school consultation and enhancing mental health, police training to improve child/adolescent interactions, and sports psychiatry.

Anne Bowles headshot

Anne Bowles (she/her/hers)

Program Director
Council of Chief State School Offiers (CCSSO)

Anne joined the Council of Chief State School Officers in October 2018 and serves as Program Director. Anne is responsible for providing overall direction and coordination for the Council’s strategy on high-quality instructional materials and aligned professional learning, student-centered learning and student wellbeing and connection.

Joanne Cashman headshot

Joanne Cashman

Director, The IDEA Partnership
National Association of State Directors of Special Education

Joanne joined the NASDSE staff in 1998 to assume the leadership of the IDEA Partnership. Previously, Joanne served as Director of the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program, Leadership for Full Participation at the George Washington University. Prior to that role, she served for 26 years as the Director of Special Education, Dropout Prevention, Alternative Education and a Building Principal in the Shikellamy School District, Sunbury PA.  During her tenure at NASDSE, she led the IDEA Partnership, an affiliation of 50 national organizations united to promote cross-stakeholder collaboration and build ally relationships between state education agencies and professional and family networks. Most recently, Joanne also served on NASDSE’s staff to the National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI) and was instrumental in organizing the NCSIs service team on communication and collaboration.  Joanne has deep cross-agency experiences and continues to work on projects, advisories and contracts in adaptive leadership, school-based mental health, communities of practice, military connected students and cradle-to-college and career systems.

Lauren Cikara headshot

Lauren Cikara (she/her/hers)

Director, K-12 Initiatives
Active Minds

Lauren has spent her entire career advocating for youth and young adult programming in K-12 education, higher education, and community spaces. She is the Director of K-12 Initiatives at Active Minds and works empower youth to change the conversation and culture about mental health in their schools and communities. She previously worked for the Colorado School of Public Health School recruiting schools to participate in the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey (HKCS), Colorado’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), and Smart Source. She is a strong advocate for LGBTQ+ inclusive school board policies and ensures the work she is a part of has an equitable and intersectional lens. Lauren’s background is in student leadership, health education and equity, policy and advocacy, and equity and inclusion. She enjoys hiking, baking, and exploring the Denver art and music scene.
Caroline Clauss-Ehlers headshot

Caroline S. Clauss-Ehlers (she/ella)

Long Island University, Brooklyn

Caroline S. Clauss-Ehlers is a Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology and the Ph.D. Program in Clinical Psychology in the School of Health Professions at Long Island University, Brooklyn. Dr. Clauss-Ehlers is also an affiliate faculty member of Rutgers Global at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Dr. Clauss-Ehlers’ research focuses on resilience and trauma in work with children and families within diverse community contexts. She is an American Psychological Association (APA) Fellow in Division 43, the Society for Couple and Family Psychology and has specialty board certification in couple and family psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychologists. She is a Fellow in APA’s Division 53, the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. Dr. Clauss-Ehlers served as Chair of the APA Task Force on Re-envisioning the Multicultural Guidelines for the 21st Century. From 2011 to 2017 she was editor-in-chief of the Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development. A bilingual psychologist, Dr. Clauss-Ehlers has presented on contemporary family issues for media outlets such as Telemundo and Univision. She was a 2004-2005 Rosalynn Carter Fellow for Mental Health Journalism and currently serves as an advisory board member for this program. Dr. Clauss-Ehlers has been the recipient of various awards including the 2022 APA Division 43 Distinguished Service to Family Psychology Award, the 2018 APA Division 43 Carolyn Attneave Diversity Award, the 2018 Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development Distinguished Service Award, and the 2014 American Counseling Association, Association of Multicultural Counseling and Development, Exemplary Diversity Leadership Award. She maintains a part-time private practice in Manhattan.
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Jill Cook

Executive Director
American School Counselor Association

Jill Cook has nearly 30 years of experience in K–12 education and school counseling, including 19 years of service at ASCA. She helped create the ASCA School Counselor of the Year Program and also created, developed and expanded the Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP), which has honored more than 900 schools across the U.S. for exemplary school counseling programs. She has worked with the Department of Education and the First Lady’s office on the Reach Higher initiative on behalf of ASCA and assisted with the School Counselor of the Year recognition ceremony at the White House in 2015 and 2016.  In addition, she has served on numerous boards and advisory committees. She received her bachelor’s degree in music education and master’s degree in school counseling from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Go Heels!) and has done postgraduate work at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Appalachian State University. She and her husband, Glenn, live in Lorton, VA and have raised four artistic young adults.

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John Crocker (he/him/his)

Director of School Mental Health & Behavioral Services
Methuen Public Schools; Massachusetts School Mental Health Consortium

John Crocker has worked in public education for over a decade, primarily as the administrator for the Methuen Public Schools Counseling Department. He has overseen the planning and implementation of the “Mental Health Initiative,” which has focused on the establishment of a comprehensive school mental health system (CSMHS) in partnership with the National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH). John has worked with the NCSMH as a member of the National School Mental Health Task Force and as the Massachusetts team leader for the National Coalition for the State Advancement of School Mental Health (NCSA-SMH). In his role as the director of school mental health & behavioral services, he is charged with overseeing the district-wide implementation and evaluation of Methuen’s CSMHS and positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS). His work has focused on developing a district-wide system of universal mental health screening, advancing the use of psychosocial data to inform school mental health staff’s therapeutic practice, and the development and evaluation of the CSMHS in Methuen. He has worked to scale up evidence-based therapeutic services across Methuen through the provision of district-wide professional development and the design and implementation of group- and individual-therapy programs. Mr. Crocker founded the Massachusetts School Mental Health Consortium (MASMHC), a group of approximately one-hundred and fifty school districts across Massachusetts committed to advocating for and implementing quality and sustainable school mental health services and supports. Most recently, MASMHC co-led the Massachusetts Collaborative for Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) for Comprehensive School Mental Health and Thriving Minds, a professional development series focused on building comprehensive school mental health systems. He received the National Center for School Mental Health’s School Mental Health Champion Award in 2018 and was nominated the 2019 Massachusetts School Counselors Association (MASCA) Administrator of the Year, the 20-21 Massachusetts Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Counselor of the Year, and the 2021 Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) Michael J. Kane Wellness Award recipient.
Gabby Doyle headshot

Gabby Doyle (she/her/hers)

MA, Public Policy
Advocacy Campaign Manager
The Trevor Project

As the Advocacy Campaign Manager at The Trevor Project, Gabby works to make schools more affirming for LGBTQ youth nationwide. She does this through advancing LGBTQ inclusive suicide prevention policies in schools, inclusive curriculum mandates, and non-discriminatory classroom policies. Prior to joining The Trevor Project, Gabby served as the State Partnerships Manager at SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change working to advance comprehensive sex education across the country. Gabby received an MA in Public Policy with a concentration in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from The George Washington University. While studying, she was awarded the "Making a Difference" Graduate Award for her research proposal concerning the experiences of transgender and non-binary people in accessing abortion care. Gabby lives in Columbus, Ohio with her wife and three pets.
Lucille Eber

Lucille Eber

Senior Advisor
Midwest PBIS Network

Lucille Eber brings her expertise to the Midwest Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) team. She is the former Director of the Illinois Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities (1993-1999), which transitioned to the Illinois Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Network (1999-2014), facilitating PBIS implementation for over 1,800 Illinois schools. She regularly publishes articles and chapters on school-wide positive behavior supports, and interconnected systems for mental health in schools.

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Victoria Eckert (she/her/hers)

Associate Director
Youth MOVE National

Victoria Eckert (she/her) is the Operations Director for Youth MOVE National, a Technical Assistance Specialist with the National Training and Technical Assistance for the Mental Health of Children and Youth (NTTAC), and is a Licensed Social Worker in New York State but also has family lived experience in the mental health system. Victoria has a passion for systems change and macro social work practice. Victoria has 13 years of combined experience in System of Care implementation including youth engagement work, suicide prevention, mental health training and consulting, serving as a national technical assistance specialist, and volunteering in a variety of capacities. As Victoria loves to talk and share her passion for this work, you can also find her teaching undergraduate mental health classes at the State University of New York at Fredonia and serving as a mental health training consultant in her local community in Chautauqua County, New York.
Steve Evans headshot

Steven Evans (he/him)

Distinguised Professor
Ohio University

Dr. Evans is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Co-Director of the Center for Intervention Research in Schools. He is the founding editor of the journal School Mental Health and his research focuses on school-based intervention development and evaluation research. He developed the Challenging Horizons Program and along with colleagues developed the Life Course Model to guide the selection of services for children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral problems.
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Claudette Fette (she/her/hers)

Clinical Professor /  Board Chair
Texas Women's University / Federation of Families - Texas

Claudette is a parent (, an advocate, an occupational therapist, an educator. She raised 3 sons, lost her oldest to overdose and is just about to get a book out with both their voices and best practices, she has worked as an OT in homeless shelters, acute psychiatric hospital, community organizations, family organization, and K-12 schools. She teaches mental health content across the lifespan at Texas Woman's University School of OT and has added to the OT literature around mental health practice.
Paula Fields headshot

Paula Fields (she/her/hers)

Vice President of Consulting & Technical Assistance
National School-Based Health Alliance

I have worked in the school-based healthcare field for over 25 years and joined the School-Based Health Alliance in 2016. My current work at SBHA includes programs, the development of tools and resources, technical assistance and training, educational offerings, planning and implementing school-based health centers, and building school and community partnerships to work towards student success! I started in school-based health care in the late 1990s while working for a hospital. One of my first tasks was to plan, implement, and sustain an SBHC, transitioning the center to an FQHC. I also worked to create and staff the West Virginia School-Based Health Alliance. I recently worked at the West Virginia Department of Education as the first state-level community school coordinator. I have a diverse background in organization management, consulting services, and clinical nursing skills. I hold a Master’s degree in nursing education and administration, a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, and an active Registered Nurse license. Above all else, I am a wife, momma, MiMi, and I love working for our children.
Louise Fink headshot

Louise Fink

PhD, School Psychology
Former Director, Home and Hospital/Health Services
Baltimore City Schools

Louise L. Fink is the Director of Home and Hospital/Health Services for Baltimore City Schools. She provides leadership, oversight and support to the Home and Hospital, health, mental health, vision, dental, and other support programs for City Schools. She is also licensed mental health counselor and a certified school psychologist who has been with City Schools for the past 48 years. Dr Fink is a national leader in the area of school based mental health who designed and implemented the multi-agency program in Baltimore that was implemented in 1989 with four schools and has expanded to 131 schools. She was instrumental in the design of the 6th grade behavioral health initiative that seeks to identify at risk entering 6tth graders and provide an intervention to help keep them in school. She is particularly skilled at braiding funding streams to provide maximum support to school-based programs and in addition to the mental health program has introduced a school-based vision program and a school based dental program that serve thousands of students in Baltimore City Schools. She is also a recipient of the Mental Health Association of Baltimore Leadership Award and the recipient of the 2020 School Mental Health Champion Award from the National Center for School Mental Health at the University of Maryland This award was started in 2018 to recognize an individual who has provided exceptional leadership and vision in the advancement of school mental health. She has been a presenter at the Center for School Mental Health National Conference and a presenter at the Council of Great City Schools. Dr Fink earned a bachelor’s degree from Roosevelt University, Chicago, Ill., an M.Ed. degree from Towson State University Towson Maryland, and a PhD from the University of Maryland, College
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Lois Flaherty (she/her/hers)

Lecturer on Psychiatry
Harvard University

Lois served as Chair of the Advisory Board from the inception of the Center in 1995 until 2016. As chair of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Maryland from 1983-92, she was involved in the development of school-based mental health services in Baltimore and in the founding of the Center. After leaving Baltimore in 1992, she served as a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania. She has held leadership positions in many national and international professional organizations, including the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American and International Societies for Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry. She was Editor in Chief of Adolescent Psychiatry from 2000-2021. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is currently a Lecturer on Psychiatry, part time, at Harvard University. Her research has focused on school violence and the school environment. She has published extensively on school mental health and adolescent psychiatry.


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Paul Flaspohler (he/him/his)

Miami University

Paul Flaspohler is an professor of Clinical Psychology, assistant director for student learning for the Global Health Studies program, and a founding member of the Global Health Research Innovation Center. Dr. Flaspohler received his Ph.D. in Clinical-Community Psychology from the University of South Carolina. In addition to applied participatory research in community development and program evaluation, Flaspohler assists schools and organizations with identifying needs and developing solutions for community problems. Flaspohler has obtained over $2.5 million in extramural funding and teaches courses in clinical and community psychology, consultation, program evaluation, research methods and statistics.
Kierra Fulmore headhsot

Kierra Fulmore

Founder & Executive Director
School Psych Sistahs

Kierra Fulmore is a recruiting professional for a mid-sized, financial technology company. She is native to South Carolina but currently resides in Virginia. Kierra earned her Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Clemson University. She earned her Masters of Science and Specialist from Indiana University of Bloomington, Indiana. Kierra’s passion for the field of School Psychology comes from her lived experiences. She believes in the power of School Psychologists as change agents, however, knows that professionals face a myriad of challenges navigating school districts. These challenges often result in burnout and job dissatisfaction. Those feelings are amplified for practicing School Psychologists of color who not only face traditional challenges but barriers as a result of their own identities. Kierra’s desire is to see School Psychologists lead in school districts. She has founded School Psych Sistahs to offer women of color in the field support as they strive to be the change they want to see in school systems. As a business professional, Kierra brings expertise from talent development and recruiting to help create and streamline programs for the organization. She continues to work with School Psych Sistahs as a corporate partner.

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Lynda Gargan

Executive Director
National Federation of Families

Dr. Lynda Gargan leads the country’s largest national advocacy organization focused solely on supporting the families of children and young adults who experience mental health and/or substance challenges. Throughout her career, Dr. Gargan has worked across the nation providing technical assistance and training to ensure that all individuals are afforded the opportunity to live in the community of their choice. Under her guidance, the National Federation has fully operationalized the Parent Support Provider Certification, an innovative peer support workforce initiative that utilizes the lived experience and specialized training of parents to assist and empower families who are raising children and youth with mental health and/or substance use challenges. Believing that mental health and substance use challenges are often inextricable, Dr. Gargan spearheaded efforts to expand the focus of the organization to embrace these dual diagnoses. Utilizing both her personal and extensive professional experience to inform her work, Dr. Gargan seeks solutions to the challenges that families face as they attempt to navigate the complex systems that serve children, adults, and families.

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Seth Gerson (he/him/his)

Program Director, K-12 Education
National Governor's Association

Seth Gerson serves as a program director in the National Governors Association Center on Best Practices, where he supports governors and their staff on K-12 education issues. Prior to joining NGA, Gerson was director of government relations for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. In that role, he advised policymakers on ways that federal and state policy can support and strengthen the teaching profession. Gerson also served as co-chair of the 110-member Coalition for Teaching Quality from May, 2015 to October, 2016, where he led the coalition’s efforts to shape the national conversation on teaching and learning. Previously, Gerson served as a senior policy advisor for U.S. Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, during his time as a senior member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. In that capacity, he advised Senator Reed on all legislation related to early childhood education, K-12 education, career and technical education, college access and affordability, workforce development, and national service. He was also a Presidential Management Fellow in Senator Reed’s office and at the U.S. Department of Labor. Gerson is a graduate of the University of Maryland College Park and earned his J.D. from Seton Hall Law School. He is admitted to practice law in Maryland and New Jersey.
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Julie Goldstein Grumet (she/her/hers)

Vice President, Suicide Prevention Strategy
Director, Zero Suicide Institute
Education Development Center

Julie is Vice President for Suicide Prevention Strategy and the Director of the Zero Suicide Institute at the Education Development Center. She provides strategic direction to health care systems to improve the identification and treatment for people at risk for suicide. She has collaborated on numerous grants and publications about systems-based approaches to suicide prevention. Julie’s primary responsibility is to advance the development, dissemination, and effective implementation of comprehensive suicide care practices in various settings. She has expertise in behavioral health transformation, state and local community suicide prevention, quality improvement, and the use of evidence-based practices for suicide care in clinical settings. Julie has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from The George Washington University and lives in Silver Spring, MD.
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Paul Gorski (he/him/his)

Founder & Director
Equity Literacy Institute

Paul is the founder of the Equity Literacy Institute and EdChange. He has more than 20 years of experience helping educators, nonprofit workers, and others strengthen their equity efforts. He has worked with educators in 48 states and a dozen countries. Paul has published more than 70 articles and has written, co-written, or co-edited twelve books on various aspects of educational equity including Reaching and Teaching Students in Poverty: Strategies for Erasing the Opportunity Gap and Case Studies on Diversity and Social Justice Education(with Seema Pothini). Paul earned a PhD in Educational Evaluation at the University of Virginia. He was a teacher educator at several universities for 15 years. He is also a new dad, a published poet, a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and the biggest fan of Buster, his cat.
Pat Hunt

Pat Hunt

Executive Director

Pat Hunt is the executive director of FREDLA, the national Family Run Executive Director Leadership Association, a non-profit union of leaders of grassroots family-run organizations across the nation. Along with her lived experience as a parent, Pat brings over 25 years of experiences as an advocate for children with behavioral health needs and their caregivers. During this time, she had extensive experience overseeing both federal and state grants and served as the founding director of a family-run organization. Pat’s experience includes over 10 years in a corporate leadership role at Magellan HealthCare to advance best practices for children, youth and their families and to ensure that their experiences informed policies, practices and program development. She previously held a senior leadership position as a conduit for local grassroots experience to inform national policy decisions at the Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health. She has served as a VISTA Volunteer; directed a federally funded rural substance abuse prevention project; managed a statewide family-run organization, served as president of the Maine’s mental health planning council and was the only non-state employee member invited to the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet.

Steve Hydon

Steve Hydon

Teaching Professor, Practicum Education and Director, Social Work in Schools
University of Southern California

Stephen P. Hydon is a Clinical Professor at the University of Southern California, Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. He also chairs the School Social Work Program, one of the largest in the country, with over 200 students each year earning credentials to practice school social work in public school settings. Dr. Hydon’s interests lie in social work practice in schools, child welfare, and secondary traumatic stress. He has trained nationwide on secondary traumatic stress, compassion fatigue, educator resilience and the Psychological First Aid - Listen, Protect, Connect, Model, and Teach curriculum for school personnel. He is a member of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and the Trauma and Services Adaptation Center for Resiliency, Hope and Wellness in Schools. Recently, Dr. Hydon was funded to co-lead a team of experts in the fields of education and secondary trauma to create a one-of-a-kind online learning platform for educators experiencing secondary traumatic stress entitled Support for Teachers Affected by Trauma (STAT): He is married to his wife Maria, who is also a professor at USC. In his spare time, Dr. Hydon loves to cook, watch sports, and spend time with their three children.

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Kayla Jackson (she/her/hers)

Project Director
The School Superintendents Association (AASA)

Kayla Jackson has oversight for AASA’s work related to health and mental health, especially as they relate to positive academic outcomes for students. Prior to joining AASA, Jackson was the Vice President of Programs at the National Network for Youth. She has extensive background in women’s and adolescent health, youth, and youth at high risk for negative health outcomes related to reproductive health, breast cancer, mental health, and sexually transmitted infections/HIV.
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Sandra R. Jeter (she/her/hers)

Assistant Professor
Howard University School of Social Work

Dr. Sandra Jeter is an Assistant Professor at Howard University's School of Social Work. Her primary teaching responsibilities in the Direct practice sequence include Race, Class, Gender, and Human Behavior & in the Social Environment. Her research mainly focuses on the intersection between Black youth mental health and academic persistence and success. Dr. Jeter currently serves as PI on a US Department of Education grant that seeks to increase the number of effective and responsive mental health professionals enrolled in DC Public Schools.  Further, as co-founder of the Panting SEEDS Education Foundation, Dr. Kalu develops advocacy and social justice programming for high school students in DC schools. Dr. Kalu received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Political Science from The North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, her Master of Social Work from The Ohio State University and her doctoral degree from the University of Houston. For fun, Dr. Kalu enjoys creating with her hands, trying new restaurants, dancing and singing, and spending time with her loved ones.

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Mona Johnson (she/her/hers)

Executive Director, Olympic Educational Service District 114

Dr. Mona Johnson recently joined the Olympic Educational Service District 114 Team as the Executive Director of Teaching & Learning System Pathways at Olympic ESD 114. Most recently she worked in the South Kitsap School District as Executive Director of Wellness & Support and at the WA State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction where she managing a wide variety of programs & professionals focused on ensuring that students and staff district-wide are healthy, safe, engaged and supported in their pursuit of social emotional wellness and academic success. Prior to this, Mona also served as Chief of School Behavioral Health at the U.S. Army Medical Command Child where she had overall responsibility for the development of international School Behavioral Health Center programs on Army Installations in the U.S and Europe. Mona presents, publishes, and consults at the local, state, and national levels in the areas of professional wellness, social emotional resilience, and trauma recovery.
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Janine Jones

Professor & Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
University of Washington

Janine M. Jones is a Professor of School Psychology and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Education at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on providing culturally responsive interventions in schools, including the integration of cultural factors that are associated with resilience in racially diverse youth. Her work also includes the study of identity and belonging as critical elements in school engagement for youth of color. Dr. Jones is an author and the editor of The Psychology of Multiculturalism in the Schools: A primer for practice, training, and research.  She is a licensed psychologist and a Nationally Certified School Psychologist.

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Shashank Joshi

Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Stanford University
Director of School Mental Health; Lucile Packard Children's Hospital

Professor Joshi’s scholarly work focuses on school mental health, suicide prevention in school settings, cultural aspects of pediatric health, doctor-parent-teacher collaboration in medical care, and well-being promotion in youth and young adults. He is the lead author of the K12 Toolkit for Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention used by the California Department of Education, and co-editor of the recent book Partnerships for Mental Health: A Guide to Community and Academic Collaboration [Philadelphia, Springer (2015)].He has been the recipient of numerous awards in teaching and public service, most recently The Polymath Award (2021), given for excellence across multiple mission areas of the Stanford University Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences.

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Donna Mazyck (she/her/hers)

MS, Counseling
Executive Director
National Association of School Nurses

Since 2011, Donna Mazyck has been executive director of the National Association of School Nurses (NASN). While in undergraduate school, Ms. Mazyck determined a nursing degree would be foundational in her plan to return to her community to help individuals and groups become healthier in a variety of ways. She has been a nurse in community settings for most of her career. She worked as a school nurse in high school and alternative school settings. For 13 years at the Maryland State Department of Education, Ms. Mazyck provided consultation and leadership to local school health services and school-based health center programs. In that role, she worked with stakeholders in the development of school health policies and regulations. Ms. Mazyck also led and participated in interprofessional reviews of student services teams and provided technical assistance to Maryland school districts and schools. She holds current certifications in school nursing, counseling, and as an association executive. Donna prioritizes leading staff and collaborating with organizations to optimize student health, safety, and learning.
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Matthew Mock

Professor of Counseling Psychology
John F. Kennedy University

Matthew R. Mock has led dynamic courses, workshops, and presentations on the relevance of social justice, community mental health, cultural competence, ethnicity, and multiculturalism in psychotherapy locally, throughout California, nationally and internationally. He is currently a Professor of Psychology with John F. Kennedy University. Prior to this, he was the Director and Ethnic Services/Multicultural Services Coordinator for the Family, Youth and Children’s Services of Berkeley Mental Health for over 20 years. For several years he worked throughout the State of California as the Director of the Center for Multicultural Development with the California Institute for Mental Health addressing disparities throughout 58 counties. He also has a private clinical and consulting practice in Berkeley providing clinical services to children, couples, adults and families, and consultation to programs and organizations. Dr. Mock is third generation Asian-American and has been committed to community mental health concerns, competent and responsive services to culturally diverse communities and social justice policies and practices, throughout his career. He has received numerous awards from professional organizations, guilds, and programs. He is an invited speaker nationwide and internationally and the author of numerous book chapters and articles.

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Libby K. Nealis (she/her/hers)

Special Education & Child Health Policy Analyst
DCS Consulting

Libby Nealis has been an advocate for education and child health for over 20 years, with expertise in advancing policies to expand school health, mental health, and student support services, both within general and special education. Libby began her macro social work career as a Legislative Assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives covering education, health, and social justice issues. She has represented multiple professional and non-profit associations, including the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and the National Education Association (NEA). Libby holds a Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas, a B.A. in Psychology from Georgetown University, an is a 2021-2022 Education Policy Fellow with the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL). She serves as an adjunct professor at George Mason University, teaching advanced policy to social work graduate students and encouraging them to be agents of change.
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Rebecca K. Oliver (she/her/hers)

Executive Director
School Social Work Association of America

Rebecca K. Oliver is the Executive Director of the School Social Work Association of America. Mrs. Oliver previously served on the SSWAA Board of Directors before becoming Executive Director in 2015. Prior to becoming the Executive Director, Rebecca practiced as a school social worker providing direct services to students and families in the school setting for over 15 years. In her later school-based career she served in a district administrative role. Rebecca’s experience also includes multiple presentations at the state and national level on a variety of topics on the practice/role of school social work and she also served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin for a number of years. Rebecca holds a Master of Science degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and is earning a Certificate in Non-Profit Management. Rebecca believes in the power of collaboration, is passionate about mental health awareness/access/services, and is committed to professional & personal life balance.


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Julie Owens

Professor of Psychology; Co-director, Center for Intervention Research in Schools
Ohio University

Dr. Julie Sarno Owens’ research focuses on the development of classroom interventions for youth with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and related problems; the assessment of effectiveness and feasibility of classroom interventions under typical school conditions; and the identification of factors that facilitate teachers’ high-quality implementation of these interventions (including the use of technology). Her work has been continuously funded by local, state, and national grants, including the Institute of Education Sciences and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She is an Associate Editor for School Mental Health and on the editorial boards of five journals. She is a licensed clinical psychologist in Ohio and a Presidential Research Scholar at Ohio University. Dr. Owens mentors graduate students in the clinical child psychology specialty area, and mentors undergraduates students interested in a variety of child-focused specialty areas (e.g., school psychology, school social work, school counseling).

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Kelly Perales (she/her/hers)

Midwest PBIS Network

Kelly Perales is the Co-Director of the Midwest PBIS Network and an Implementer Partner with the Center on PBIS. As such, Kelly provides professional development and technical assistance for state and local leaders in the implementation and scale up of PBIS, the evidence-based multi-tiered system of support for social-emotional-behavioral health and wellness. In addition, Kelly has led local, regional and state level implementers in the Interconnected Systems Framework, focusing on the integration of the mental health and education systems. Currently, Kelly is the Principal Investigator for an OSERS Model Demonstration Grant – Project EPIC (Enhancing Family-School-Community Partnerships through an Interconnected Systems Framework Collaboration).

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Janet Pozmantier

Non-Profit Consulting and Professional Training

Janet Pozmantier, M.S., LPC, LMFT, RPT, is an award-winning author, curriculum developer, trainer, and child advocate specializing in primary prevention programming. She has created and successfully implemented child abuse prevention, relationship, parenting, mental health, trauma, and youth suicide prevention education curricula for children, youth, and adults. She is the co-author of a book on early childhood development (The First Years, DK Publishing, 2001). Janet was instrumental in establishing several children's advocacy organizations in Houston and served as the Founding Director of the Center for School Behavioral Health at Mental Health America of Greater Houston. She has spoken at local, state, and national conferences and specializes in “hands-on,” interactive presentations. Janet is a recipient of the Unsung Hero Award from Children at Risk, the Distinguished Service Award from ChildBuilders, and the Trainer of the Year Award from Texas Association for the Education of Young Children. She is a certified Mental Health First Aid Trainer (Youth and Adult), a certified Master Trainer for Mind Matters, and an American Leadership Forum Senior Fellow (Class XXX).
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April Rai

President & CEO
The Conference of Minority Transportation Officials

April Rai works to build upon the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO)’s 50-year history of ensuring equitable opportunities and maximum participation for minority individuals, veterans, people with disabilities and minority, women and disadvantaged business enterprises (MWDBEs). With over 15 years of experience managing private, public sector and non-profit organizations, April’s career focus has centered on strategic partnership development, coalition building, people and project management. Previously, April served as the CEO for the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS), a coalition of over 100 organizations and agencies dedicated to youth health and safety education. In this role, April engaged with transportation stakeholders on road safety programs, injury prevention education and workforce development initiatives. April previously served as Manager & Affairs Analyst in the Office of the Dean at the University of Maryland, School of Nursing, directing government affairs and communications. In this role, April was responsible for managing the State of Maryland, Action Coalition, an initiative of AARP and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  April resides in the Washington, DC metro area with her husband, and is based out of COMTO headquarters in Alexandria, VA.

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Frank Rider (he/him/his)

Senior Human Services Financing Specialist
American Institutes for Research

Frank Rider is the senior human services financing specialist in the Human Services Division at American Institutes for Research (AIR). His primary responsibilities include needs assessment, capacity enhancement planning and technical assistance delivery to state education agencies and school districts, state and community-level reentry programs in the criminal justice sector, and state- and community-level cross-sector teams supporting children, youth and families. Rider also develops training curriculae and publications to advance the field’s practices in cost-effective and sustainable financing methods; and provides expertise to the National Center for School Mental Health. He has extensive experience in health care financing (Medicaid, CHIP, commercial insurance), including cross-agency funding partnerships. Previously, Rider held increasingly responsible positions within the publicly funded developmental disabilities, child welfare, and behavioral health service systems in Arizona (1980-2006). He served as a foster parent for the state of Arizona and the Navajo Nation (1981-1997), and holds a Masters degree in rehabilitation administration from the University of San Francisco (1987).
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Aaron Ridings (he/they)

Chief of Staff; Deputy Executive Director for Public Policy and Research

Aaron Ridings (he/they) is the Chief of Staff and Deputy Executive Director for Public Policy and Research at GLSEN. In this role, he is responsible for working closely with the Executive Director to streamline operations and align cross-departmental programming to increase GLSEN’s impact. They directly oversee the Research Institute and the Public Policy Office.
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Caitlin Ryan (she/her/hers)

Director, Family Acceptance Project

Caitlin Ryan, PhD, ACSW is a clinical social worker, educator and researcher who has worked on LGBTQ health and mental health for more than 40 years, including in schools, and whose work has shaped policy and practice for LGBTQ and gender diverse children and youth. She is the Director of the Family Acceptance Project (FAP) at San Francisco State University – a research, education and intervention project – that helps ethnically, racially and religiously diverse families to support their LGBTQ children. Dr. Ryan and her team conducted the first research on LGBTQ youth and families and developed the first evidence-based family support model that helps diverse families and caregivers to prevent family rejection and health risks and to increase family acceptance to promote well-being for LGBTQ children and youth. This includes multilingual family guidance resources including FAP’s Healthy Futures posters and Best Practice resources for suicide prevention with LGBTQ youth. Dr. Ryan trains on FAP’s family support work across the U.S. and in other countries.

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Diego Sanchez

Director of Advocacy, Policy, & Partnerships

A native of Augusta, GA and long-time Massachusetts resident, Diego was most recently Senior Policy Advisor to Congressman Barney Frank until the Representative’s retirement in 2013. Diego made history with that appointment, being the first openly transgender person to work as a senior legislative staff member on Capitol Hill. He also testified before Congress in the historic Transgender Discrimination Hearing in 2008 and that year was named as the first openly trans person ever appointed to the DNC Platform Committee.  Prior to his four years in DC, Diego spent five years as Director of Public Relations and External Affairs at the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, and AIDS Action Council, DC. Before to moving into the nonprofit sector, Diego worked for 20 award-winning years in global public relations, marketing, and diversity management at world headquarters of Fortune 500 companies including The Coca-Cola Company, Holiday Inn Worldwide, ITT Sheraton, and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and began his career in 1980 at Burson-Marsteller/NY, then the world’s largest public relations firm. Diego was among The 100 Most Powerful Latino/s in Corporate America named by Hispanic Business Magazine, named an LGBT Latino Hero by the Mayor of Washington, DC, in the 100 most powerful Latino/s (Poderometro) in Massachusetts by El Planeta and in 2013, named to the Out 100 and in the Inaugural Trans 100, sponsored by GLAAD.  Accredited in Public Relations, Diego earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with a major in Public Relations from the University of Georgia, where today he serves on the Journalism College’s Alumni Advisory Board and is a member of G-Club, the University’s Letterman Club as the only male who earned his letter on the women’s tennis team. Diego is a Senior Fellow of UMass Boston’s Emerging Leaders Program in the College of Management.

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Mark Sander (he/him/his)

Direction of School Mental Health
Hennepin County/Minneapolis Public Schools

Dr. Sander is a Senior Clinical Psychologist for Hennepin County and the Director of School Mental Health for Hennepin County and the Minneapolis Public Schools. He also is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Midwest Center for School Mental Health. He is a Certified Master Training on the Adverse Childhood Experience Study (ACEs) and a Visiting Scholar at Wilder Research. He is a Board Member for the MN Trauma Project. Dr. Sander has published numerous journal articles and book chapters on school mental health and has presented extensively on school mental health and ACEs and developing trauma informed schools at local, state and national conferences. He has spent over 20 years working with schools, school districts, mental health providers, caregivers, local and state government to help them implement high quality comprehensive school mental health programs and build trauma informed and healing centered environments. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife, Sarah and their three daughters.
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Joel Solomon (he/him/his)

Senior Program Manager
National Education Association

Joel Solomon is the senior program manager overseeing the National Education Association’s Health and Safety Program. With 3 million members and 14,000 local associations, NEA is the country’s largest union. The NEA Health and Safety Program provides technical and strategic support to affiliates on health and safety issues such as COVID-19, indoor air quality, mold and other hazards, gun violence, mental health, and other topics. The Program develops policy and practical guidance, training programs, and partnerships to promote safe, healthy, and equitable learning and working environments from pre-kindergarten through higher education.
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Emily Smith

Manager, Program & Strategic Initiatives
National Parent Teacher Association

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Mary Steady

Director of Pupil Services
Lincoln-Woodstock Cooperative School District, New Hampshire

Mary Steady is responsible for special education in the NH Lincoln-Woodstock Cooperative School District, maintaining and monitoring the records of students receiving services. Ms. Steady supervises special education staff at all grade levels, including those for the preschool and the deaf and hard of hearing programs. Previously, Ms. Steady spent ten years at the New Hampshire Department of Education, where she most recently served as an administrator working in the Bureau of Special Education and overseeing the Office of Student Wellness. Her responsibilities included coordinating services for children with disabilities and addressing mental health needs in schools.  Among other previous career positions, Ms. Steady was a residential director at Spaulding Youth Center, a special education teacher and behavior specialist in the Winnisquam Regional School District, and a service coordinator at Community Bridges, a non-profit agency serving individuals with disabilities.

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Bradley Stein (he/him/his)

Director, Opioid Policies, Tools, and Information Center; Senior Physician Policy Researcher

Bradley Stein is director of the NIH funded RAND Opioid Policy Center and a senior physician policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. A health services and policy researcher and practicing child and adolescent psychiatrist, Dr. Stein's research focuses on better understanding and improving care for individuals with mental health and substance use disorders in community settings. Dr. Stein has worked extensively in recent years examining the effects of state policies and community characteristics on outcomes related to the opioid crisis, including treatment, prevention, and harm reduction. He has also worked in the area of school mental health, developing, evaluating, implementing, and disseminating a school-based intervention for students exposed to trauma and violence as well as a school-based suicide intervention program’s implementation. In addition, he has examined the mental health and substance abuse care of a broad range of Medicaid enrollees, including individuals with depression, children with ADHD, children with autism, children receiving psychotropic medications, and individuals with opioid use disorder and other substance use disorders. Dr. Stein previously served as the senior director of Research, Evaluation, and Outcomes at Community Care Behavioral Health, a large nonprofit managed behavioral health organization. He is a previous standing member of the NIMH Services Study Section and served on the editorial boards of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychiatric Services. Dr. Stein received his M.D. and M.P.H. from the University of Pittsburgh and his Ph.D. from Pardee RAND Graduate School.

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Susan Tager

PCORI Research Project
University of South Carolina / University of Maryland Baltimore

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Jennifer Ulie-Wells (she/her/hers)

Executive Director, Please Pass the Love

Dr. Jennifer Ulie-Wells has been in education for over 20 years and founded Please Pass the Love, a nonprofit that transforms school mental health through leadership, social justice, and collective change. She founded the Midwest School Mental Health Conference, an online School Mental Health Academy, and was a founding member of the Iowa School Mental Health Alliance (ISMHA). Please Pass the Love is responsible for serving tens of thousands of educators, youth, families, and community partners through dynamic programming, training, and innovative programs to meet comprehensive mental health needs. Her research and interest areas focus on building intersectional school mental systems, juvenile justice, unpacking self-care, family engagement, behavioral health technology, educator emotional intelligence, and school mental health justice. She serves on a variety of national and statewide school mental health-related committees, advisory boards, and advocacy groups. She has been awarded national and state awards for her work with school and youth mental health.
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Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach

Director of Policy and Advocacy
National Association of School Psychologists

Dr. Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach consults with, advises, and collaborates with members of Congress, the Department of Education, and other key federal partners and national organizations to advance the availability of comprehensive school psychological services, promote safe schools, promote comprehensive school mental and behavioral health services, address the shortages in school psychology, and other education related issues. Dr. Strobach has developed, authored, and coauthored numerous articles and resources, including NASP’s Framework for Safe and Successful Schools and has presented nationally on issues related to school safety, school mental health, effective discipline policies, and the relationship between education policy and school practices.

Addie Van Zwoll

Adriane Van Zwoll (she/her/hers)

Director of Programs
School-Based Health Alliance

Addie Van Zwoll, MJ, MSW, LCSW, is Director of Programs with the National School Based Health Alliance. She has worked in the school-based health care field at the local, state, and national level since 2011. As a clinical social worker and manager of behavioral health services at a local SBHC, she was able to provide direct clinical services and expand behavioral health programming, including the introduction of alternative to suspension programs and a calm room. Ms. Van Zwoll also served on the Illinois School-Based Health Alliance Steering Committee for several years. Ms. Van Zwoll is passionate about working with adolescents and increasing access to mental health care. Prior to working in the school-based health center field, she began her career in child welfare and juvenile justice, providing children and families with the much-needed support as a case manager, program manager, and therapist. Ms. Van Zwoll is a graduate of Western Michigan University (Bachelor of Social Work, Bachelor of Arts-Criminal Justice, 2006), University of Michigan (Master of Social Work, 2007), Loyola University Chicago (Master of Jurisprudence in Children’s Law & Policy, 2014), has a certificate in School Discipline Reform also from Loyola University Chicago, and is currently pursuing her PhD in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago.

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Miranda Virone

School Mental Health Community of Practice Facilitator
American Occupational Therapy Association

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Jane Walker

Senior Consultant

Jane A. Walker is a licensed social worker and the mother of five children. Ms. Walker’s second oldest daughter, Cathy, developed mental health needs as a young child and was sent out of state to residential care at age 12 because, at the time, services were not available in Maryland. As a result of that experience, Ms. Walker has devoted her life to improving services for children with mental health needs and their families.  She was a founding member of the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health in 1989 and served as President of the Federation Board of Directors for two years. In 1999, she founded the Maryland Coalition of Families for Children’s Mental Health and served as Executive Director for 14 years. Ms. Walker served as the first Executive Director of FREDLA from January of 2014 through December of 2018. Ms. Walker is the recipient of numerous awards for her advocacy and leadership in children’s mental health.

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Mark Weist

Director, Clinical-Community Psychology Doctoral Program
University of South Carolina

Mark D. Weist received a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from VirginiaTech in 1991 after completing his internship at Duke University, and is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of South Carolina (UofSC). In 1995, with colleagues from the University of Maryland, he established the National Center for School Mental Health, now in its 26th year of supporting this field (see He is also a partner on the National Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (see He has edited or developed 15 books and has published and presented widely in areas of mental health-education system partnerships, school behavioral health (SBH), trauma, violence and youth, evidence-based practice, cognitive behavioral therapy, supporting military families, and advancing policies that support children and youth at local, state, regional, national, and international levels of scale. With colleagues, he currently leads the Southeastern School Behavioral Health Community (see, and is leading or co-leading a number of federally funded studies on strategies to improve SBH effectiveness, impact and scaling up. Mark recently received the Faculty Achievement Award from the Southeastern Conference (campus winner from the UofSC).
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Marleen Wong (she/her/hers)

PhD, Clinical Social Work
Center for Safe and Resilient Schools and Workplaces

Dr. Marleen Wong is CEO for the Center for Safe and Resilient Schools and Workplaces which provides trauma informed and trauma focused training and consultation to build the capacity of organizations to recognize the impact of violence and adverse childhood experiences and to create healing strategies for all stakeholders without retraumatization. She was Senior Vice Dean and the David Lawrence Stein/Violet Goldberg Sachs Professor of Mental Health, Emerita at the USC Suzanne Dworak Peck School of Social Work, University of Southern California. For over 20 years she worked in the Los Angeles Unified School District as a school social worker and member of the teacher's union. Additionally, she was the director of school mental health, director of crisis counseling, crisis and threat assessment teams for over 15 years as a member of the administrators union. At national and international levels, she has developed trauma recovery programs in the aftermath of natural disasters, acts of terrorism, school shootings and riots.