Ericha Anderson

Ericha Anderson is a teacher at Vancouver Innovation Technology & Arts (VITA) elementary school in Vancouver Public Schools (Vancouver, WA) who works with administrators, teachers, and students to transform teaching and learning by implementing a project-based learning approach. The focus of her work is to engage students in learning that is deep and long-lasting, inspires joy and personal connection, and amplifies communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. Ericha has a BA in Elementary Education from the University of Montana, Masters of Educational Technology from City University, and library endorsement from Portland State University. She has worked in the educational field for 23 years as an elementary classroom teacher, teacher librarian, and K-12 instructional coach. Ericha has served on several school and district-based committees focused on improving school safety and social-emotional learning. She has experience as a professional development leader in her district guiding nearly sixteen hundred teachers in best practices for developing a broader set of knowledge and skills to prepare students for college, careers, and beyond. She has presented at several state and national EdTech Conferences addressing impactful technology integration and digital safety including International Society for Technology in Education, Northwest Council For Computer Education, IntegratED, and CUE California.

Steve Anjewierdan

Training Director, iCHAMPS Crime Prevention Center Chief Steve Anjewierden retired from law enforcement as Deputy Chief of Police Services with the Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake. Chief Anjewierden served in several boards related to criminal and juvenile justice policy reform, including the Utah State Advisory Board. Presently, Chief Anjewierden provides training, technical assistance, and evaluation services on crime prevention efforts to law enforcement agencies, school districts, and community-based organizations. Presently, Chief Anjewierden consults in various police reform efforts, such as co-response models, school resource officer training, and law enforcement hiring practices. Chief Anjewierden also provides training and technical assistance to U.S. States and Territories to address Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the juvenile justice system through the Center for Coordinated Assistance to States (CCAS), Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).

Matt Bellace

Since 1995, Matt Bellace, Ph.D., has been a professional speaker and stand-up comedian. His programs encourage over a hundred thousand students and adults each year to improve their mental health and be resilient in the face of stress. He has spoken in 48 U.S. states and throughout the world.

Dr. Bellace has a Ph.D. in clinical neuropsychology, which is the study of the brain and behavior. He trained at the National Institutes of Mental Health, and completed his internship at the traumatic brain and spinal cord units at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

He’s the author of the best-selling book, A Better High: Laugh, Help, Run, Love and Other Ways to Get Naturally High (Wyatt MacKenzie, 2012). His most recent book, Life Is Disappointing and Other Inspiring Thoughts (Wyatt MacKenzie, 2021), focuses on dealing with disappointment and techniques for to coping with pain, loss and failure.
He’s a contributing author for National Geographic Kids and was featured in the PBS documentary Voices of Hope. He was also a recurring comedian on truTV’s “World’s Dumbest.” For ten years, Matt lived on the Upper East Side and performed stand-up comedy at clubs such as Caroline’s on Broadway, Gotham, The Comic Strip and Stand Up NY. In recent years, he’s been producing a stand-up comedy show called, “What’s So Funny: A Mental Health Comedy Show.”

He currently lives in Princeton, New Jersey with his wife, thirteen-year-old son and ten-year-old daughter.

Nancy Berg, MSW

Assistant Director,
Montana Safe School Center

Nancy Berg holds her Master’s Degree in Social Work and serves as Assistant Director at the Montana Safe Schools Center housed at the University of Montana. In this role, Mrs. Berg is involved in overseeing all fiscal management of grant and non-grant accounts in accordance with Federal, State and University guidelines. Ms. Berg also assists with data collection, tracking, reporting for professional development and grant activities; and collaboration and implementation on project goals.  She also coordinates organization-wide production and submittal of quarterly, annual and final project reports to Federal and State sponsors.

The Montana Safe School Center’s (MSSC) mission is to provide outreach regarding school safety, all-hazards management, suicide, bullying, emergency and crisis prevention, mitigation, response, and recovery in early childhood programs, P/K-12, and institutes of higher education. In additional to finical duties, Ms. Berg helps advance the mission of the Montana Safe Schools Center by providing training, research and professional development services to schools and communities across Montana. She has been trained in the I Love U Guys Standard Response Protocol, Standard Reunification Method and the ALERRT Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) course.

Ms. Berg provides training and consultation on emergency operations planning, school physical site safety, educator wellbeing and happiness, trauma informed practice, Trauma Stewardship and Montana’s Crises Action School Toolkit on Suicide. Ms. Berg is also a certified master trainer in the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) and Suicide Alertness for Everyone (safeTALK) suicide prevention protocols.

Ms. Berg is currently working towards her clinical Social Work licensure and volunteers her time at the YWCA in Missoula providing crisis walk-in and counseling services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence, stalking and human trafficking.

Erin Briley

Erin Briley joined the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) in 2019. She currently is the School Mental Health Coordinator for the Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network (MHTTC). As the program manager and school mental health lead, her work focuses on providing intensive technical assistance, resources, and training to school staff on ways to support school-based mental health. She also works with WICHE in the creation and implementation of accredited doctoral-level Psychology Internship Consortiums in rural western states. Prior to working with WICHE, Ms. Briley worked as a School Psychologist and has over 20 years of experience working in the schools, serving school districts in California, Hawaii, and Colorado while providing direct and indirect supports for children ages 3 through 22 of all developmental levels. She has additionally served temporarily as an administrator in special education as well as a program administrator for a school based behavioral health program at the DOE state level. Ms. Briley earned her Bachelor’s in Human Development and Family Studies at Colorado State University, and her Master’s in Counseling/School Psychology with a Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis at California State University Los Angeles; she is also a Nationally Certified School Psychologist.

Brooke Corr

Brooke Corr is EmpowerMT’s Director of Synergistic Operations Brooke has over 40 years of business leadership, skill-building, facilitation, and team-building experience. They earned their BSW, with honors, from the University of Montana, with an emphasis on communication, multicultural counseling, neuropsychology, and forgiveness and reconciliation. They are a Certified Mediator, Family Law Mediator, and Conflict Coach. They are also a SHRM Senior Certified Professional. Brooke finds great joy in meeting people where they are and finding ways to empower them to move themselves where they want to go. Brooke loves to hike, snowshoe, rockhound, play music, and watch people and plants grow.

Klint Fisher, AIA, NCARB

Principal | Director-Helena
SMA Architecture + Design

As a Principal and Director of the Helena Office at SMA Architecture + Design, P.C., Klint’s twenty-five-year career has been focused on educational planning and project delivery. Klint is involved in every step of project development from pre-bond planning, educational specifications and conceptual design to the resulting elementary, middle school, high school and athletic facility construction. Klint’s experience and passion for educational design, 21st century learning environments, and school safety and security are an integral part of the successful delivery of school projects that achieve a school district’s programmatic needs, budget and schedule objectives. Klint has worked with the Butte School District, Helena School District, East Helena School District, Jefferson High School District and Corvallis School District on their
recent school planning and construction projects.

Michele Henson

Michele Henson is the School Safety Program Specialist in the Coordinated School Health Unit at the Office of Public Instruction. In her current role, Michele is dedicated to assuring all Montana students feel safe and supported in school. Raised in Corvallis, Montana, Michele graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Community Health from Montana State University and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Arizona. Michele has worked in the field of health promotion since 2011 and is passionate about supporting local, strength-based solutions to help schools and communities reach their safety and wellness goals.

Nick Holloway

Nick Holloway is an emergency manager with the Missoula County Office of Emergency Management. As part of his day job, Holloway collaborates with local emergency response agencies to facilitate disaster exercises and trainings. He also works with community partners to develop plans to enhance emergency preparedness and build community resilience.

To satisfy his passion for disaster management, Nick moonlights as a public information officer, liaison officer, and emergency operations center manager with the Western Montana All-Hazards Incident Management Team. In this capacity, he has utilized his incident management expertise on nationwide assignments ranging from hurricanes, floods, blizzards, urban avalanches, power outages, and wildfires to the COVID-19 pandemic for both incident response and vaccine coordination.

Emily Kempe

M.S.W., Manager of Rural School Mental Health Initiatives, JED Foundation

Emily is originally from Phoenix, Arizona where she received her bachelors in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from Arizona State University in 2012. After graduating, she spent three seasons running a day camp for children at Mountain Sky Guest Ranch in Paradise Valley, MT. After leaving the ranch in 2014, she worked as the Outreach Coordinator for a domestic violence organization in Bozeman, MT called Haven and then moved to Missoula, Montana in 2019 to pursue a Master of Social Work from the University of Montana, which she completed May 2021. Emily works for The JED Foundation as the Manager of Rural School Mental Health Initiatives and lives in Livingston, Montana.

Amy McDonald

Amy McDonald has spent three decades in education in various roles, including administrator, lead teacher, and school counselor. She has a bachelor’s degree in linguistics and a master’s in K-12 school counseling. Amy views schools from both the teacher and administrative perspectives, enabling her to see the “big picture” of situations and conditions, which has helped her co-develop and implement solutions at her school district in rural Alaska as well as districts throughout Montana and the U.S. Amy especially loves advocating for and alongside her students, as well as her educator colleagues, understanding that the wellbeing of teachers and administrators models self-regulation for students and is the only authentic means of providing healthy support systems for the students they collectively serve. She is an outstanding and dynamic facilitator, and recently presented multiple sessions at the National Youth at Risk Conference (newly named the National Youth Advocacy and Resilience Conference) as well as the National Safe Schools Conference. Amy’s experiences, knowledge, and skills related to neuroscience, trauma- responsiveness, and social-emotional/resilience strategies that work individually and through the school and community systems are vital elements in her adept and valued support to students and educator colleagues alike.

Kurt Michael

Ph.D., Senior Clinical Director, JED Foundation

Kurt joined The Jed Foundation in February 2022, bringing his expertise in rural school mental health and adolescent suicidology. At JED, he has developed new initiatives to help schools and communities nationally better evaluate their suicide prevention systems, incorporate youth voice into programming, adopt flexible and effective postvention policies and procedures, and scale up the promotion of lethal means safety practices (e.g., safe storage of medications and firearms). Previously, he spent over two decades as part of the Psychology Faculty at Appalachian State University, establishing and sustaining a nationally recognized program of funded research and clinical practice in school mental health, adolescent suicidology, and rural healthcare. Born and raised in Colorado, Kurt took his bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado – Boulder. He earned a Master of Science and PhD in Clinical-School Psychology from Utah State University and completed his Resident Internship in Clinical Child Psychology at Duke University Medical Center. Kurt is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Rural Mental Health and the Editor of the inaugural Handbook of Rural School Mental Health, published by Springer in 2017. In 2023, Kurt, along with several colleagues, published a chapter on developing the rural school mental health workforce in the 3rd edition of the Handbook of School Mental Health.

Dr. Kathryn A. Page

Dr. Kathryn Page was born and raised in Washington and has served as a teacher, school principal, special education director, and as a district level supervisor of building leaders.  She currently serves Washington’s Office of System and School Improvement (OSSI) assisting school districts with their continuous improvement efforts. Kathryn’s service as a university supervisor at Gonzaga University, and as a mentor for new administrators through the Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP), has only reinforced her belief in the critically important role of a building administrator’s impact on both the climate and culture of a school community.

Dr. Page received her BA from Central Washington University in Special Education and Elementary Education and completed her MA at Whitworth University in Educational Administration. Her doctoral work in Educational Leadership at Gonzaga University led her to examine the evidence-based strategies necessary to surface the barriers to school improvement efforts. 

Kathryn has been a presenter on various topics for the state department of education, educational service districts, school systems, and at the university level. In 2019 and 2022 she was a presenter for the Annual Washington State Becca Conference on strategies to address chronic absenteeism and surface barriers to continuous improvement efforts. Most recently, Dr. Page had a guide published by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction in Washington that addresses the power of Voice Circles to reveal the roadmap for improvement. Her work represents 25 + years of experience as a teacher and as an administrator engaging those who have not had a voice in the educational system. She continues the work fueled by an unwavering belief that…VOICE MATTERS.

Moisés Próspero, Ph.D

Moisés Próspero, Ph.D. The Founder of the Institute for Innovative Justice, Dr. Próspero has more than twenty years of experience in research, formative and summative evaluation, training, community organizing, and service provision. His specialties include translating research into practice. By helping organizations to implement what’s been proven to work, he helps move their outcomes forward. Dr. Próspero also provides transformative training to organizations that work with diverse populations. His work has spanned criminal, juvenile, and social justice; mental illness; substance abuse; college access; gang violence prevention and reduction; and adoption and foster care. Originally from El Paso, Texas, Dr. Próspero resides in Salt Lake City, Utah. He holds a Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Houston, an MSW from the University of Houston, and an MBA from University of Phoenix. He believes at by bridging research, evaluation, and service delivery, we can collectively change outcomes for communities.

Rajiem Seabrook

Rajiem Seabrook is the Director of Equity and Impact at EmpowerMT, a statewide nonprofit with a mission to create a just and inclusive society. Mr. Seabrook is an educational and institutional leader in shaping and promoting equity and diversity-based policies, partnerships, and strategic initiatives that foster inclusive businesses, schools, and communities across Montana. Rajiem is a long-standing community member and passionately engages in athletics, academics, social justice, and political reform. Rajiem is one of several co-founders of the Montana Black Collective-Missoula and serves on the MCPS IVALUE Leadership Team and the MLK Jr. Community Celebration Committee. Mr. Seabrook’s devotion as a father, coach, mentor, community leader, connector, and organizer fuels his commitment to creating a better world for future generations.

Dale Stripling

Dale Stripling holds a Doctorate Degree in Educational Administration from the University of Alabama, a bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Language Arts from UAB, a master’s in Educational Administration from UAB, and an Educational Specialist Degree from The University of Montevallo. Dale has served as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal in schools that range from urban to rural. He has worked as a Student Services Supervisor for the Jefferson County Board of Education in Birmingham, Alabama. He is currently a Safe School Regional Administrator for The Alabama State Department of Education. Dr. Stripling is a member of the Alabama Department of Education’s Central Office Task Force on School Safety and regularly assists in regional safety trainings throughout the state. He has served as a judge on the Alabama Attorney General’s Blue-Ribbon Council for safe schools. He is a certified trainer in the Colorado Threat Assessment protocol. He is currently training as an Adolescent Mental Health First Aid Trainer. Dale has been affiliated with The Alabama Association of School Resource Officers since 2003. He has served as a district education representative and currently serves as the Executive Education Advisor.

Heidi Wallace

Heidi’s life experiences as a sixth-generation non-Indigenous Montanan led her to pursue a life of creating positive change in individuals and institutions as an active ally and oppression interrupter. Heidi is a graduate of the University of Montana with degrees in Social Work and Native American Studies. In 2010 she was honored with the Native American Studies Distinguished Alumni Award. Heidi has been with EmpowerMT since 2007 and has served as Executive Director since 2013. A skilled facilitator, consultant, and educator, Heidi has a 20-year history of building regional and national strategic partnerships to foster innovation, elevate leadership, and inspire action in racial equity, diversity, access, inclusion, and coalition building. Heidi serves on the Board of Trustees for the PacificSource Foundation for Health Improvement and other social justice-focused coalitions, and advisory boards.