Our Team

Learn more about our dedicated board, staff and volunteers that make Erika’s Lighthouse so special. From our founding, it is our community that keeps us going.

Please check out our committed, passionate team:

Virginia Neuckranz
President & Co-Founder
Executive Committee, Governance Committee, Membership Committee
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Elaine Tinberg
Co-Vice Chair
Executive Committee, Audit/Finance Committee, Governance Committee
Barbara Williams
Co-Vice Chair
Executive Committee, Marketing Committee
Kathleen Hooper
Treasurer
Executive Committee, Audit/Finance Committee, Team Resilience Leadership Committee
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Deedee Brannigan
Secretary
Executive Committee
Michael Alcala
Board Member
Membership Committee
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Eric Dahl
Board Member
Corporate Advisory Committee
Eric joined the board of Erika’s Lighthouse in 2023. He is a Senior Vice President, Financial Advisor at RW Baird in Chicago. Eric has over 25 years of experience focusing on high-net-worth individuals, small business owners, and multi-generational families. In 2023 Eric witnessed firsthand the mental health struggles experienced by one of his children, as well as a dear friend since childhood. His involvement with Erika’s Lighthouse is the answer to the question, “how can I help?” Eric is very passionate about the great work being done at Erika's Lighthouse and is honored to contribute. Eric and his wife, Stephanie, live in Wilmette, IL with their three children. Eric formerly served on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago. Additionally, for over a decade he and his wife have co-led a Cycle for Survival team, raising funds for rare cancer research and treatment, in honor of Stephanie’s late sister, Megan.
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Lane Goggin, MBA
Board Member
Corporate Advisory Committee
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Barry Greenhouse
Board Member
Marketing Committee, Corporate Advisory Committee
Barry Greenhouse is the Senior Vice President, Merchandising and Supplier Management of W.W. Grainger, Inc. He oversees the company’s merchandising capabilities, supplier relationships and cost management. Since joining Grainger in 2004, Barry has held several roles of progressive responsibility in the supply chain organization. Prior to joining Grainger, Barry held roles in operations, sales, marketing, and project management at McMaster-Carr and Webvan. Barry holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and an MBA, both from the University of California, Los Angeles.
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Eileen Sheehan Hovey
Board Member
Audit/Finance Committee
What makes the mission and work of Erika’s Lighthouse meaningful to you? As a Board member since the inception of ELH I have seen the positive and profound results of our efforts to educate, de-stigmatize and bring hope to adolescents and their families who struggle with depression. We wanted to raise awareness about depression and also encourage good mental health in our community and beyond. It is incredibly meaningful to be a part ELH and know that our educational programs are reaching hundreds of schools and empowering students in a positive way and giving them both help and hope in understanding themselves and others.
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Kevin Leicht
Board Member
Governance Committee
Kevin is a Managing Director at Protiviti, a Global Risk Management Consulting firm, and has spent his career working with clients to strengthen risk management and solve business problems. What makes the mission and work of Erika's Lighthouse meaningful to you? In today's challenging and uncertain world, young people are struggling with mental health at levels previously unseen. The work that Erika's Lighthouse is doing to destigmatize conversations around mental health and provide tools to navigate depression has already positively touched so many lives, and yet there is still so much more work to do to help promote strong mental health and provide a bright future for all young people.
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Michelle Mirzoian
Board Member
Marketing Committee, Team Resilience Leadership Committee
Michelle Mirzoian is a strategic, organized, and process-oriented, sales leader who can bridge between the education sector and the corporate/tech world. She specializes in organizational growth and large development goals. She has a strong commitment to equitable and inclusive work environments that thrive to create social impact in the world.
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Linda Monico
Board Member
Membership Committee
Linda Monico MS, RN, is a retired advance practice nurse who most recently worked at Northwestern Hospital and Rush University Medical Center. She has been involved in many volunteer activities over the years, but is most passionate about Erika’s Lighthouse because of the need and mission. She firmly believes in Erika's Lighthouse work to provide key information for students to proactively identify depression and to receive help.
Tom Neuckranz
Co-Founder
Audit/Finance Committee, Governance Committee
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Joshua Taustein
Board Member
Marketing Committee
What makes the mission and work of Erika’s Lighthouse meaningful to you? The mission of Erika’s Lighthouse is very personal and important to me. Since I have become a Board Member, I’ve seen firsthand how the depression education program has positively impacted thousands of students in the Chicago area and around the country.
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Brandon Combs
Brandon Combs, MNA
Executive Director
Executive Leadership
Brandon joined Erika’s Lighthouse in June 2019. He brings with him over 20 years of nonprofit experience ranging from Executive Director, Board Member to volunteer for many passions and causes. He earned his Master’s in Nonprofit Administration in December 2009 from North Park University and his BA in Political Science from Indiana University in May 2004. Brandon wants to ensure that every child feels empowered, validated and important.
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Kristina Kins, MSW
Director of Program Operations
Education
Kristina came to Erika’s Lighthouse in 2016 as a graduate intern and joined the team full time in 2017 as Director of Outreach & Development. After spending many years in the business and financial services sectors, Kristina is excited to be working with an organization that promotes the importance of good mental health through education. She obtained her Master of Social Work (MSW), along with a certificate in Non-Profit Management and Philanthropy, from Loyola University Chicago. Kristina graduated from Miami University (Ohio) with a BA in sociology.
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Peggy Kubert, LCSW
In Memoriam
Education
Peggy is a licensed clinical social worker, addictions counselor, student assistance trainer and parent educator. She has a Masters Degree from the University of Chicago, and an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University. Peggy has been with Erika’s Lighthouse since 2006, developing our programming and working with schools to implement our programs. Peggy is passionate about providing consultation, support and training to students, educators, parents and health professionals to help young people lead healthy, happy and productive lives.
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Ilana Sherman, MPH
Director of Education
Education
Ilana joined Erika’s Lighthouse in September 2019 as Director of Education. She has a Masters Degree in Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Ilana brings with her over 15 years of non-profit health education programming experience ranging from Outreach Coordinator to Director of Education. Ilana is excited to be part of Erika’s Lighthouse to help further the mission and empower preteens, teens, their caregivers and educators to learn and talk openly about adolescent depression.
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Katie Conklin, LPC, M.Ed.
Vice President of Programs
Education
Katie joined Erika’s Lighthouse in August 2021. She has a Masters degree in Human Services and Counseling from DePaul University. Katie has over 15 years experience working in behavioral health and nonprofit administration. Katie is passionate about mental health awareness in schools and is excited to be a part of the Erika’s Lighthouse team.
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Shantal Saldaña, MA
Manager of School Outreach
Education
Shantal joined Erika’s Lighthouse in August 2022. She brings over 10 years of experience in family and community relationships, non-profit, and education. Shantal has a Masters in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She is passionate about giving youth, their families, and their support systems the tools and education they need to take charge of their mental health. Her goal is to spread awareness and make mental health a safe and common topic for conversation.
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Meade Means, MLIS
Director of Operations
Development
Meade joined Erika’s Lighthouse in October 2019. She brings over eight years of nonprofit experience as both a professional and a volunteer. She is committed to helping nonprofits and is excited to be a part of an organization that is tirelessly working to improve mental health in young adults. Meade has a BA in Political Science from Kenyon College and a Master of Library and Information Science from Kent State University.
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Nathalia Harris
Marketing Coordinator
Marketing
Nathalia joined Erika’s Lighthouse in July 2022. She has a BFA in Creative Writing from Stephens College and brings forth four years of experience managing social media across many platforms. Nathalia is passionate about increasing awareness of mental health and inciting change in the stigma surrounding it. She seeks to not only grow and make connections but to create those opportunities for others as well.
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Derick Elkin
Empowerment Club Coordinator
Education
Derick joined Erika's Lighthouse in 2023. He hails from the vibrant city of Chicago, Illinois, and has been shaped by its diverse and unique culture. His academic pursuits led him away from home to the University of Missouri-Columbia, better known as Mizzou. There, he earned dual degrees: a BA in History and another in Latin. Post-graduation, he ventured to China, immersing himself in a new environment and culture, while teaching English to non-native speakers. Eventually, he returned to the United States, spending several impactful years in Texas as an educator before finding his way back to Chicago, where the prospect of joining Erika's Lighthouse fills him with excitement and purpose.
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Laura Geiger
Donor Engagement Manager
Development
Laura joined Erika’s Lighthouse in January 2022, bringing a decade of nonprofit fundraising experience as a professional and a volunteer. She is committed to working to further the Erika’s Lighthouse mission within our community and across the country. Her three children drive her dedication to promoting good mental health for all. Laura has a BS in Human Development from Colby College and a College Counseling Certificate from UCLA.
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Nick Crothers
Fundraising Manager
Development
Nick joined Erika's Lighthouse in September 2023. After graduating with a BFA from DePaul University, he entered into the non-profit and education space before then stepping into the world of events. Nick is passionate about mental health awareness, and is thrilled to be joining the Erika's Lighthouse team.
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Kristin Zabikow
Operations & Volunteer Engagement Assistant
Development
Kristin joined Erika's Lighthouse in July of 2023. She brings over 10 years of experience in Marketing and Recruiting with a degree in Communications from Indiana University. Kristin is excited to be pivoting her career into the non-profit space and looks forward to helping spread the Erika's Lighthouse mission further through our Community Ambassador Program. She is passionate about removing the stigma of depression and believes good mental health practices are key to the success of all young people
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Lauren Harper, CPA
Finance Manager
Operations
Lauren joined Erika’s Lighthouse in January 2024. She is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Masters Degree in Accounting from The George Washington University. She brings fifteen years of accounting experience, most of which was spent working in International Development. Lauren wants to see a world without mental health stigma and she’s thrilled to bring her love of non-profit accounting to Erika’s Lighthouse.
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Maureen O'Hara
Coordinator of School Outreach
Education
Maureen joined Erika’s Lighthouse in January 2024. She brings 6 years of experience in strategic storytelling, trauma informed care, non-profit administration, and performing arts education. She is committed to helping others share their stories, and promoting safe mental health practices. Maureen holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and a MS in Leadership for Creative Enterprises from Northwestern University.
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Holly Alperin, Ed.M, MCHES
Clinical Assistant Professor, University of New Hampshire; Lighthouse Wellness & Health Education Consulting
What makes the mission and work of Erika’s Lighthouse meaningful to you? I believe that each person deserves to feel healthy and well, in all areas of their life. I value taking the time to teach young people about the importance of mental and emotional health and to do so in ways that help them to achieve overall well-being.
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Jeanie Alter, PhD, MCHES, FASHA
Executive Director, American School Health Association
What makes the mission and work of Erika’s Lighthouse meaningful to you? Ensuring that schools are places where every student can learn and thrive is very important to me.
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Sarah Benes, EdD, CHES
Associate Clinical Professor, School of Health Sciences, Merrimack College; Lighthouse Wellness & Health Education Consulting
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Robert Jamison, Ed.S
Coordinator, Office of Student Support Services, Virginia Beach City Public Schools
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Meg Kincaid, PhD
Psychologist, Director of Student Services, Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart
What makes the mission and work of Erika’s Lighthouse meaningful to you? I have seen the impact of Erika’s Lighthouse on the lives of teens and its messages of hope are vital in creating a healthy community.
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Stephanie Morris
Chief Executive Officer, SHAPE America
What makes the mission and work of Erika’s Lighthouse meaningful to you? The opportunity to really help kids who are struggling – especially given we know our nation’s children are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress, anxiety and depression.
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Kristy Rauch, MA, Educational Policy and Evaluation
Manager of Educational Partnerships, Center for the Collaborative Classroom
What makes the mission and work of Erika’s Lighthouse meaningful to you? Erika’s Lighthouse impresses me with its commitment to providing life-changing teen depression awareness resources to schools at no cost.
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Mark Reinecke, PhD
Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (Psychology); Board certified in clinical psychology (ABPP), clinical child and adolescent psychology (ABPP), and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (ACT)
What makes the mission and work of Erika’s Lighthouse meaningful to you? Erika’s Lighthouse mission is my mission. I’ve devoted my career to children, adolescents, and families–to understanding, treating, and preventing depression and suicide among youth.
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Sally Stevens, LCSW, PPSC, M.Ed
Mental Health Administrator; School Social Worker; Author
What makes the mission and work of Erika’s Lighthouse meaningful to you? Equity and accessibility. I love how ELH is always willing to partner and provide services and resources to all stakeholders: parents, teachers, students, etc.
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Karen VanAusdal, M.Ed., MSC Policy
Vice President of Practice, Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)
What makes the mission and work of Erika’s Lighthouse meaningful to you? I am committed to the potential for schools to be places of wellness and thriving for all young people and know that support for mental health and identity development and relationships with peers and adults are critical to that mission.
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Patty Voloschin-Weiner, MA, Clinical Psychology; MPH, LSW, LCSW
Psychotherapist, Interaction Dynamics
What makes the mission and work of Erika’s Lighthouse meaningful to you? I have seen first hand, too many times the devastating effect of teenage depression on the teens, their parents, and their friends. Raising awareness about teenage depression and suicide prevention and offering alternatives to help these youth and families find hope and meaning is life saving.
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Nancy Watson, LCSW/CADC
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
What makes the mission and work of Erika’s Lighthouse meaningful to you? Erika’s Lighthouse allows schools to create a community of empathy and education that opens the door to important discussions around good mental health and depression. Lessons honor and reflect adolescent development, which serves to capture students’ attention, normalize feelings, and engage them in dialogue about their emotional worlds. Students are empowered to seek help when needed and to develop strategies and habits to contribute to their emotional health.
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Owen Wolkowitz, MD
Professor of Psychiatry, University of California San Francisco Weill Institute for Neuroscience; Co-Director, UCSF Depression Center
What makes the mission and work of Erika’s Lighthouse meaningful to you? I have dedicated my career to better understanding and better treating depression.
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Carol Barlage
Lighthouse Council Member
Team Resilience Leadership Committee
Lori Bucholz
Lighthouse Council Member
Team Resilience Leadership Committee
Sarah Conrad
Lighthouse Council Member
Tom Cutler
Lighthouse Council Member
Marketing Committee
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Dianna Devine
Lighthouse Council Member
Johnny Figel
Lighthouse Council Member
Team Resilience Leadership Committee
Katie Gierke
Lighthouse Council Member
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Alexandra Greenberg
Lighthouse Council Member
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Megan Hart
Lighthouse Council Member
Team Resilience Leadership Committee
Lukas Kubon
Lighthouse Council Member
Corporate Advisory Committee
Lauren Laughlin
Lighthouse Council Member
Shira Lichtenstein, LCSW
Lighthouse Council Member
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Fleury Linn
Lighthouse Council Member
What makes the mission and work of Erika’s Lighthouse meaningful to you? I love the fact that all of our information, handbooks, programs, etc are free online. That is wonderful. Also, we have knowledgeable professionals on staff who will help schools who want information and will train them to use the curriculum and/ or to start a Teen Club if students raise the question of starting one. The videos are great. Also, the fact that other professional mental health organizations recognize the work that we are doing and approve of our videos, materials and approach.
Sally Lou Loveman
Lighthouse Council Member
What makes the mission and work of Erika’s Lighthouse meaningful to you? I want to do everything I can to help any teen that suffers from depression. The connection to ELH’s mission is what drives me. Getting depression out of the dark. In my work I am always thinking of ways to get our message out.
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Martina Mead
Lighthouse Council Member
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Gayl Monto, LCSW, CADC, EMDR
Lighthouse Council Member
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Nell Osborne, LCPC
Lighthouse Council Member
Tom Ouimette
Lighthouse Council Member
Corporate Advisory Committee
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Jeni Spinney
Lighthouse Council Member
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Stephanie Stefanik
Lighthouse Council Member
Corporate Advisory Committee
Sharon Weingarten, MSW, LSW, ASCW
Lighthouse Council Member
What makes the mission and work of Erika’s Lighthouse meaningful to you? The recognition that involvement of students and schools can support inclusive cultures.
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Megan Adams
Professional Community Ambassador - New York
Megan Adams is a Health & Phys Ed Teacher for 7th and 10th grades for Utica Academy of Science in upstate New York. She is a SUNY Brockport & Emporia State alumni in Health, Phys Ed and Recreation. Her first 4 years, she taught in Killeen, TX and is currently in year 9 of her teaching career in Utica, NY. Outside of school, she is a girls basketball coach and enjoys spending time with her kids and family, golfing, attending SU Football & Basketball games, crafting and crocheting.
Laura Beckmann
Professional Community Ambassador - Missouri
Laura Beckmann brings 35 years of educational experience and leadership serving as a teacher, K-12 curriculum coordinator, adjunct professor, and most recently the Missouri Healthy Schools Director/Consultant for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Among her many contributions during her career, Laura has been awarded numerous local, state, and federal grants to improve wellness within schools and the communities they served. The documented success in data-based project outcomes of multiple projects that have served as models, has contributed to many publications, the delivery of various workshops and the attraction of consultant services in the development of curriculum, grant and data programming and reporting, and school health and wellness initiatives. Due to the positive results of this work, Mrs. Beckmann has received many awards for her achievements and involvement in the areas of Health, Physical Education and Wellness.
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Cassie Brooks
Professional Community Ambassador - Indiana
Cassie Brooks was the 2018 SHAPE America Midwest District Health Teacher of the Year and is President of the Indiana Society of Health and Physical Educators. She has taught Health and Physical Education at Brownsburg West Middle School in Indiana for 22 years and has a passion for supporting other skills-based educators in their work to prepare young people for a lifetime of health choices.
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Amanda Browning
Professional Community Ambassador - North Carolina
Amanda Browning is currently in her 19th year of teaching secondary Health and Physical Education in Greensboro, North Carolina. In addition to presenting at the 2019 SHAPE America Convention in Tampa, FL, she has also been recognized as the 2020 NC SHAPE High School Physical Education Teacher of the Year and has been a two-time finalist for Guilford County Schools Teacher of the Year.
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Maritza Cha, PhD
Professional Community Ambassador - Northern California
Dr. Maritza Cha graduated from Garfield High School in East Los Angeles and became the first in her family to attend and graduate from college. Dr. Cha was a school counselor and completed her PhD at Claremont Graduate University in Education, Urban Leadership. Dr. Cha has presented about school counseling topics at the national, state and local level. Dr. Cha co-authored a book chapter named “Servant Leadership: School Counseling During the Pandemic.” Dr. Maritza Cha currently is a National School Counselor Fellow and part of the Professional School Counseling Emerging Scholars Fellow Program.
Annie Chowns
Professional Community Ambassador - Virginia
Annie Chowns currently serves as an Instructional Specialist for School Counselors with Virginia Beach City Public Schools. When she is not supporting school counselors in her division, she is hanging out with her family at the beach!
Tal Clubbs
Professional Community Ambassador - Missouri
Talmage Clubbs is a licensed professional counselor and the Director of Counseling Services at the Neosho School District. He has been in education for 8 years, after leaving a 20-year career in law enforcement working. While in law enforcement, Tal specialized in working with at-risk youth, including those experiencing mental health crises. With a wife and two daughters, Tal describes himself as a family man. He practices self-care by exploring the outdoors, hiking and fishing.
Monica L. Coleman, MS, CRC, NCC, P-LPC, BC-TMH
Professional Community Ambassador - Mississippi
Monica L. Coleman is an emerging counselor educator and evaluator whose work focuses on adolescent mental health, health equity, and public policy advocacy. She is a licensed counselor in Mississippi and works with schools and organizations across the state and nation to advance mental wellness.
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Gabriela Cortez, LMSW
Professional Community Ambassador - Texas
Gabby Cortez has her LMSW and a background in Wilderness Therapy & School Social Work. She is excited to be an Erika's Lighthouse Professional Community Ambassador.
Jason Dane, M.S. Ed.
Professional Community Ambassador - Illinois
What makes the mission and work of Erika’s Lighthouse meaningful to you? Erika’s Lighthouse strives to provide the most current resources so teachers can effectively deliver information while using proven best practices. Being able to talk about mental health with students and provide them with healthy coping strategies is extremely meaningful.
Esther Deth
Professional Community Ambassador - LA County
Esther is a school district administrator overseeing Health curriculum, Social Emotional Learning, and Wellness initiatives. She has over 15 years of experience, previously serving as a principal, assistant principal, and National Board Certified teacher. She holds an Ed.D. from USC and an M.Ed. from UCLA. She is passionate about developing the capacity of others to build safe and supportive learning environments where students thrive.
Jamie Dillon
Professional Community Ambassador - Maine
Jamie Dillon is currently going into her fourth year of teaching high school in the great state of Maine. She is the 2024 & 2025 Maine Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance president along with organizing awards for Outstanding Future Professionals throughout the state. When she is not working she is planning road trips with her friends, paddle boarding, or reading in her hammock.
Megan Eischeid
Professional Community Ambassador, Iowa
Megan Eischeid received her master's Degree in Professional School Counseling from Loras College in 2022. She has been a licensed Professional School Counselor working in Des Moines Public Schools for the last two years. Before her employment at DMPS, Megan spent two years and hundreds of hours volunteering in the field of mental health crisis counseling and suicide prevention. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering, yoga, reading, and spending time with friends and family.
Jillian Evans, MA, LPCC, LPAT
Professional Community Ambassador - New Mexico
Jillian Evans is a counselor, working with youth mental health for more than 15 years. She has spent the last 5 years as a public school counselor. Jillian has worked in hospital and outpatient settings using art therapy to help children and teens explore their feelings and experiences. As a strong believer in the importance of destigmatizing mental health, Jillian uses Erika's Lighthouse lessons with her students.
Jill Fackelman
Professional Community Ambassador - New Jersey
I am a health and physical education teacher with over twenty years of experience working with middle and high school students. I have been a Certified Health Education Specialist since 2002, enjoy working with teenagers and helping them develop the life skills they will need as they grow into young adults. On a personal level, I am married with five children ranging in age from teens to early thirties, and I love exercising, hiking, reading, and spending time with family and friends. Recently we adopted twin Russian Blue kittens, and I look forward to the new dynamic they will bring to our family life.
Nicole Gilmore, LMSW
Professional Community Ambassador - Kansas
Nicole is a Master of Social Work graduate from the University of Washington-Seattle with a Bachelor's in Political Science and Social Work from the University of Kansas. Currently, she is a full-time School Social Worker for the SEK Interlocal #637, Adjunct Instructor through the University of Kansas School of Social Work for both MSW and BSW students, and the Colorguard Instructor for the Pittsburg High School Marching Dragons. Nicole recently just finished my building principal certification through Pittsburg State University and aspires to be a future administrator. She is licensed as a LMSW in both Kansas and Missouri, and as a PreK-12 Building Principal in Kansas.
Amy Gladman
Professional Community Ambassador - Ohio
Amy Gladman is a Community Educator for The Counseling Center in Lisbon, Ohio. She delivers lessons to students all over her county that are in grades 6th-12th, on behalf of House Bill 123. This bill focuses on Social Isolation, Suicide and Depression Education, and Violence and Safety Prevention. She has a Master's in Education and enjoys working with students to help continue to improve their self-confidence and provide experiences for growth. Walt Disney World is her favorite place on earth! She loves all things hot pink, leopard, and flavored coffee. She and her husband reside in the same county where she works with their two sons that are 9 and 6. She is excited to become a PCA for Ohio and is eager to continue to learn and grow in the Mental Health field!
Rosie Guerra
Professional Community Ambassador - Texas
My passion for ending the stigma around mental health began about 8 years ago. I have since been able to create a safe space for adolescents and adults in my job as a school counselor and in my private practice.
Britnee Harvey, Ed.D.
Professional Community Ambassador - Washington
Dr. Britnee Harvey has served in the field of public health, health promotion and education for over ten years. She began her career in Pennsylvania where she was recognized as the 2020 Paving the Way to Educational Success Advocate Award for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness and Educational Stability for Youth in Foster Care. Currently, Dr. Harvey resides in Washington and was recently awarded one of the final award recipients for the 2023 Dukes from the Last Decade Award for her professional excellence, commitment to service, and dedication to Duquesne University as an alumni student. She is passionate about creating healthier school and community environments for underserved populations, ensuring that young people are afforded the opportunity to reach their full potential. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering, traveling and spending quality time with family.
Johanna Jacobson, MS
Professional Community Ambassador - Illinois
Johanna Jacobson received her Master’s Degree in School Counseling from St. Xavier University in 2008. She has been a licensed Professional School Counselor working in the Chicago Public Schools for the past 14 years. Currently, Johanna is a School Counselor at Skinner North Classical School, where she has spent the last 11 years of her career. For the last 5 years, Johanna has been using the Erika’s Lighthouse curriculum to educate the Skinner North middle school students about depression and mental health. Prior to working at Skinner North, Johanna was an elementary School Counselor in the Little Village neighborhood. Johanna is also the mother of two college students who have had their own mental health challenges. She is very passionate about mental health education and advocacy.
Allegra Jarvis
Professional Community Ambassador - California
Allegra Jarvis is a middle school English Language Arts teacher in California. Her personal mental health journey inspired her to help her students become mental health leaders, and Erika’s Lighthouse gave her the tools to succeed in that mission. When she isn’t teaching, she loves reading, yoga, and finding ways to support her community.
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Jesus Mateus, M.Ed.
Professional Community Ambassador - International
Mateus was born and raised in Salvador, the capital of the State of Bahia in the northeast of Brazil. Mateus is the youngest son of four siblings and a proud uncle of a 6-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl. He holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology, a graduate certificate in Psychopedagogy, and a master's degree in Education. Mateus has 5 years of experience working as a school counselor. He has worked with students of all school ages. Now he works in South Korea as an Upper Elementary School Counselor supporting 3rd, 4th, and 5th-grade students.
Maggie King, MSW
Professional Community Ambassador - Illinois
Maggie King is a social worker with 9 years of experience working with high school students in a school setting. She has spent her career at Hoffman Estates High School meeting the social emotional and academic needs of students.
Scott Langston, M.Sc., Dip Coun., Dip CBT
Professional Community Ambassador - International
Scott Langston is an international educator, psychologist and counsellor with 30 years' experience in 8 different countries. He works principally with teenagers and their families.
Jaymie Lenz, Ed.S.
Professional Community Ambassador - Northern California
Jaymie is a School Psychologist who has been counseling youth in need for over 10 years. She originally started out as a therapeutic manager in group homes and now works for Knightsen School District in Northern California as a school psychologist. Her passion for helping youth derived after a counselor helped her through a dark time in her teens. Jaymie is a school psychologist and mother, her number one goal is to make a positive impact on youth while working to create a safe space for all students.
Stacie Nessa, LICSW
Professional Community Ambassador - Iowa
I am a Licensed Independent Social Worker. I have over 29 years of experience working with children, families, individuals and systems. Through my position in Des Moines Public Schools, I serve 68 schools and 5,500 staff and provide consultation to the Department of Human Services, Juvenile Court Services, and Adult Probation. On the side, I own a LLC, Stacie Nessa & Friends, which was created to bring Youth Mental Health First Aid and Sidewalk Talks to my community. When I’m not working, I’m hanging with my family; my husband, two kids (8 and 10), and our big (125 pound) dog, Doug.
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Kelly Ragan
Professional Community Ambasador - California
Michelle Rawcliffe
Professional Community Ambassador - Connecticut
Michelle Rawcliffe has been a teacher for over 20 years working in and out of the public school system with students in 5th through 12th grades. Teaching students that they can and deserve to have good mental health is a passion of hers. She resides in Woodstock, Connecticut with her family. She loves traveling, especially to visit family in England. She loves hiking and coaching swimming.
Anna Riley
Professional Community Ambassador - Southern California
My name is Anna Riley and I'm a former 8th grade math teacher turned school social worker. I currently work at a middle school at Los Angeles Unified School District, and I love implementing Erika's Lighthouse in classrooms at my school.
Tiffany Ruffin
Professional Community Ambassador - Illinois
My name is Tiffany Ruffin, I am a School Counselor with Chicago Public Schools. I am also someone who loves to serve others.
Michelle Sircy, PhD
Professional Community Ambassador - Kentucky
Dr. Michelle Sircy has served in public education for 21 years. Her service includes work as a special education teacher, high school counselor and currently, she serves as the specialist for counseling services within JCPS. She also co-leads the district crisis team and leads suicide prevention efforts for both students and adults. Dr. Sircy is the past president of the Kentucky Counseling Association, past president for the Jefferson County Counseling Association and currently serves as the state lead for crisis support for the Kentucky Counseling Association. Additionally, Dr. Sircy is the regional elect representative for the college board and is an adjunct professor at Spalding University in their school counseling division of the educational department. Her passion resides in improving mental health services, leading school counselor work in addressing racial equity at the school level and improving suicide prevention efforts for our community.
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Mary Jo Wentland
Professional Community Ambassador - Wisconsin
Rachel Winsten
Professional Community Ambassador - Florida
Rachel has been teaching Health & Physical Education for 23 years. She began her teaching career in NYC. After that, she was the District Resource Teacher/Curriculum Specialist for Health, PE, Driver Ed & JROTC for Brevard Public Schools in Florida. It was during this time she became involved with Erika’s Lighthouse, bringing the program in district-wide. In 2022 she decided to return to her passion, teaching. Rachel currently teaches health and PE at Viera High School in Melbourne, Florida.

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