Mental Health and Wellness Conference

Tools for Fostering Success at Home, in School, and throughout Life

Cover of 2017 Mental Health and Wellness Conference Program
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The fourth annual FCPS Mental Health and Wellness Conference will be held on Saturday, October 21, 2017, at Fairfax High School from 8:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.  

Dr. Scott Brabrand, FCPS Superintendent, will open the conference, and Dr. Jonathan Dalton, founder of the Center for Anxiety and Behavioral Change, will be the keynote speaker.

Participants in this conference will be able to choose from over 50 breakout sessions, and there will be many resource tables available representing public and private offices and agencies providing services within our schools and community.


Participants will be able to customize their day to include attending the keynote presentation, choose from multiple sessions, visit exhibits, purchase a sandwich and other snacks.

8:00 Registration begins
Resource tables open (until 1:00)
Concessions open (until 12:45)
9:00 – 9:50 Breakout #1 Sessions
10:10 – 11:30 Keynote Speakers
Dr. Scott Brabrand, Superintendent, FCPS
Dr. Jonathan Dalton, Center for Anxiety and Behavioral Change
11:45-12:35 Breakout #2 Sessions
12:50-1:40 Breakout #3 Sessions

Keynote Session

Anxiety and Stress in Childhood: What to know and How to Help 

While it may not be comfortable to experience anxiety and stress, they are indispensable tools in our life that help us to focus on priorities, alert us to danger, and even aid in our day-to-day performance.  Anxiety disorders, on the other hand, are serious, characterized by impairment and distress that interfere with the lives of those experiencing them, and are risk factors for depression, substance abuse, and even suicide if the anxiety disorder is not treated effectively.  Tragically, anxiety disorders will affect approximately one-third of individuals prior to their 18th birthday, and half of these children will experience the onset of symptoms prior to their 7th birthday. To compound this, less than one in five children receive any care for their suffering. The wonderful news, however, is that anxiety disorders are highly treatable with specialized care.  In addition, parents and other adults can take practical, yet counterintuitive steps to reduce the child’s experience of anxiety if the anxiety becomes problematic. This keynote will focus on how to differentiate between healthy anxiety and stress, personal and adaptive coping strategies that can be helpful, and identifying when a child is in need of support. Additionally, beneficial treatment strategies will be explored.

Breakout Sessions

Adaptive Skills for College Transition
Sajjad A. Khan, PhD, LCSW, NeuroScience, Inc.
The session will focus on the skills necessary for successful transition to college. The presentation will include discussion of executive functioning, self-regulation, and social skills.  The workshop will cover environmental stressors, assessments, and treatment approaches.  Specific conditions such as ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, and mood disorders will also be discussed.
(Offered Session 3)

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Signs, Symptoms, and Why Testing is a Good Idea
Timothy Fratto, PhD, Neuropsychology Associates of Fairfax
ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed disorder of attention, and the diagnosis is frequently based solely on self-report symptoms.  However, there is considerable evidence that self-report symptoms do not always correspond with cognitive and functional impairments observed during objective assessment.  This presentation will discuss the signs and symptoms of ADHD, will outline the neuropsychological assessment, and will cover the role of neuropsychological testing in the diagnosis and management of ADHD.
(Offered Session 1)

Avoiding Power Struggles with Children and Adolescents
Tanya D. Hardy, M Ed., Behavior Intervention Teacher, FCPS
Power struggles with children can be exhausting and defeating. They can be avoided, however, by utilizing a few simple strategies. The presenter will equip participants with a variety of strategies that can be used to stop power struggles before they even begin.
(Offered Sessions 1 & 2)

Building on Strengths to Support Hope, Engagement and Well-Being
Michele Webb, Project Manager, Student Learning Plans, FCPS
Successful people know their talents and build on those talents for the rest of their lives. Learn how to access the results of the StrengthExplorer survey in Family Connection and the resources available to help support students with their unique talents. Focusing on a strengths model with students builds hope, engagement, and well-being.
(Offered Sessions 1 & 2)

Could it Be Anxiety?
Sarah Ince, MSW, LCSW, FCPS
Amber Ong, PhD, LCP, NCSP, FCPS
This session will explore the ways in which anxiety can manifest itself in elementary school-aged children and how it may sometimes go undetected or be misinterpreted.  Session objectives will be to identify symptoms of anxiety in children, to know where to go for help, and to understand ways parents and other concerned adults can support an anxious child.   
(Offered Session 1)

Courageous and Mindful Parenting
Felicia Meyer-DeLoatch, MSW, LCSW, FCPS
Janice Dalton, Principal, FCPS
This empowering session will provide tools and techniques that will allow you to remain calm and begin to build a healthier relationship and more effective communication style between you, your child, your family and others. This session is for anyone who wishes to improve their communication with others as well as gain positive strategies to increase their effectiveness within their home, work environment and community.
(Offered Sessions 1 & 2)

De-Stressing Your Child’s Life (and Your Own) Through the Use of Mindfulness
Christian Freeman
Special Education Teacher, Crossfield Elementary
In this presentation you will learn mindfulness techniques you can use in your classroom or in your home to help your students de-stress. These mindfulness strategies are quick and beneficial coping skills that can help create a more positive and conducive environment in school, and will lead to life-long skills that can be used in any stressful situation in school and throughout life!
(Offered Session 3)

Effective Communication with Your Stressed Out Kid
Cathi Cohen, LCSW, CGP, Director, In-Step
Some children are born optimists.  They are unfazed by disappointments and mistakes and welcome the opportunity to take on new challenges; others, well, are not.  For these kids, small problems feel insurmountable and negative outcomes are dreaded realities. As parents, all we really want is for our kids to be happy and resilient.   We want to help them develop coping skills and we constantly strive to find the proper balance between supporting our kids and fixing their problems. But how?  This workshop will teach parents an effective approach to communicating with their stressed out kids and teens that builds resiliency, confidence, and problem solving abilities.
(Offered Sessions 2 & 3)

Executive Functioning: An In-Depth Look
Michael S. Axler, PsyD, School Psychologist, FCPS
Joshua M. Kefer, PsyD, School Psychologist, FCPS
Executive functioning is increasingly being recognized as an essential skill set for achieving successful educational, social-emotional, and behavioral outcomes. In this session, participants will learn how executive functioning skills affect learning and behavior, how deficits in these areas lead to academic and behavioral difficulties, and how to detect and effectively address executive functioning challenges when they arise.
(Offered Session 1)

Failure to Launch in Young Adults: How to Get Your Child to Be a Successful Adult
Johanna Kaplan, Ph.D. Director and Clinical Psychologist, Washington Anxiety Center of Capitol Hill
“Failure to launch” has become a common colloquialism to describe the inability of young adults (ages 18-34) to develop efficient and adequate methods of coping with more complicated, emerging stressors in their environment (e.g., organizing and attending to responsibilities that are academia or job-related, navigating a wider social network, and developing basic functional life skills). In the United States, approximately 40% of 18-34 year olds are living with one or both of their parents and approximately 40% of these individuals report symptoms of anxiety and depression.  A comprehensive cognitive-behavioral treatment model can be used to address the inability to successfully transition to an independent, functional adult. This workshop will present attendees with a review of factors to identify those at risk for “failure to launch,” and discuss the benefits of using a cognitive-behavioral treatment modality.
(Offered Session 1)

Game Changers: Coping Skills for Growth  
Danielle Armstrong, MSW, School Social Worker, FCPS
In this interactive presentation, participants will learn a variety of coping skills, classified in various categories. Participants will be able to identify the potential benefits and limitations of various coping skills. After practicing a number of skills, participants will be able to identify which coping skills are most effective for them personally.
(Offered Session 2)
Helping Your Child Grow Up in Today’s Digital World
Rick Stegman, Educational Specialist, Instructional Technology, FCPS
Why are children so enthralled with social media? Why do they go there? What developmental needs do social media sites provide?  How adults can help kids navigate today’s digital world?  Come learn ways to help address many of the online issues students and families will face.  This session will mainly discuss issues of Identity Formation & Social Media. And how these themes tie into other Internet Safety issues such as Porn & Sexual Identity, Sexting, Predators and Teen Sex Trafficking, and Cyberbullying.  The session will also give actionable parenting tips and resources for you to share and use.
(Offered Sessions 1 & 2)

HOPS: Homework, Organization and Planning Skills:  A Systematic Approach to Organization and Planning Skills that Teaches Students Foundation Skills for Developing Executive Functioning.
Christine Willing, M Ed, NCSP, School Psychologist, FCPS
This presentation will review the HOPS intervention that can be used with individuals or small groups.  This intervention teaches students in a systematic and methodical manner to help them build skills designed to increase organization, planning and time management.  Advantages of the intervention include collaboration between student and teacher, increased homework completion and study skills, increased self-awareness and monitoring, and greater access to learning time.  This presentation will review the components of both the school-based and parent programs to support student growth in these areas.
(Offered Sessions 2 & 3)

How To Be a Chill Parent
Erin Sikes-Thurston, Assistant Principal, FCPS
We are a college bound society where what students are doing to get accepted to college can feel overwhelming to students and families.  This session provides research about college acceptance and strategies for families to feel okay about not "getting onto the treadmill of crazy."  Humor does play a bit of a role as will audience shoulder conversations.  
(Offered Session 1)

How to Successfully Manage Stress and Anger In Today's World
Andrew Raab, Counselor, St. Bernadette’s Catholic School
Today's society is a very busy place. It can lead to many situations that are stressful and can be very challenging in terms of managing emotions. Learn tips on how to manage stressful situations and anger at the same time.
(Offered Sessions 2 & 3)

I Hear You!: Peer Supports for Youth, Young Adults and Families
Kelly Henderson, PhD, Executive Director, Formed Families Forward
Jeanne Comeau, President and CEO, NAMI Northern Virginia
Peer supports for families and for youth and young adults are key to improved outcomes and increased functioning. Local family-led organizations NAMI of Northern Virginia, the Autism Society of Northern Virginia, and Formed Families Forward will share their family and youth support programs. Features of, and eligibility for the programs will be reviewed. We will share effective approaches for reaching families and youth. Participants are invited to ask questions and share their experiences.
(Offered Session 3)

Increasing Emotional Intelligence at Home
Jeanne E. Veraska, Project Manager, FCPS
Laura Rotella, Director of Student Services, FCPS
The presentation will focus on practices that can be used at home to increase emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is instrumental to understanding behaviors, building relationships, and negotiating life challenges. Skills and strategies that can be used with all ages will be shared.
(Offered Session 3)

Learn More in Less Time: Balancing Academics and Extracurriculars
Ann Dolin, Med, Educational Connections
Did you know that 84% of students study by re-reading -the most inefficient way of studying? Award winning author Ann Dolin, M.Ed. will teach you the top three, research-based study skills students need to be successful in school, strategies to decrease procrastination, and tips and tools to avoid all those distractions from media.
(Offered Sessions 1 & 2)

Mental Health First Aid
Leo Espino-Borrero, MSW, Fairfax-Calls Church CSB
Jennifer Christy, LMFT, Fairfax-Falls Church CSB
Learn about depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders. This session will provide you practical skills to approach those who may be struggling with thoughts of suicide. Be part of the solution!
(Offered Session 3)

Middle School After-School Program: Encouraging Growth and Igniting Interests
Mark H. Emery, PhD, Administrator, After-School Programs, FCPS
Kim Kardelis, After-School Specialist, FCPS
Adam Pawlowski, After-School Specialist, FCPS
Patrick Rosas, After-School Specialist, FCPS
What is the Middle School After-School Program exactly?  It is many things: it’s a safe environment where creativity, enrichment, friendships, and inspiration thrive.  Students are challenged to become explorers, scientists, leaders, athletes, artists, and volunteers in the community while developing a healthy relationship with themselves as well as with others and interacting with caring adults.  It is where students build connections, social skills, resiliency, and persistence every day. Includes a Student Panel and Q & A. 
(Offered Session 1)

Our Minds Matter: a Student-Led Movement Supported by The Josh Anderson Foundation
Lauren Anderson, Executive Director, Josh Anderson Foundation
Alex Gorman, School Counselor, FCPS
In this breakout session, participants will learn about Our Minds Matter, a student-led movement to change the school culture around mental health. Minds Matter student-led clubs aim to encourage their peers to seek help, be socially connected and build healthy habits and coping skills through school-wide awareness activities.
(Offered Session 3)

Parent and Community Involvement to Support Youth Mental Health and Wellness
Ellen Reilly, Principal, FCPS
Nick Corsi, Systems of Support Advisor, FCPS
Paul Stansbery, Director of Student Services, FCPS
Beth Werfel, School Psychologist, FCPS 
Presenters will give attendees an overview of the Fairfax County Youth Survey and discuss ways parents can use the data to support their own children as well as other youth in their community.  The ways in which programming was developed and implemented in the McLean High School community, with the support of parents, will also be reviewed. 
(Offered Session 1)

Practical, Yet Counterintuitive Strategies for Parents to Use to Help Children and Teens Living with Anxiety
Jonathan Dalton, PhD, Center for Anxiety and Behavioral Change
This breakout session will focus more deeply on specific skills that parents can use to respond to anxiety in their children and teens. In particular, we will discuss the central role that avoidance plays in anxiety, how and when parents can use planned ignoring or redirection as a response to anxiety symptoms, how offering reassurance to a child can strengthen anxiety over time, and how parents can appropriately teach their child healthy coping strategies.  In addition, we will watch a brief video that demonstrates the effective use of these strategies.
(Offered Session 2)

Promoting Social-Emotional Wellness in Students with Learning Differences
Allie Farris, EdS, NCSP, Certified School Psychologist, FCPS
Megan Davis, MA, NCSP, Certified School Psychologist, FCPS
This workshop is for parents and teachers and will offer information and strategies for promoting social-emotional wellness in students with learning challenges, special needs, and disabilities.  First, the presenters will provide an overview of the emotional impact of disabilities on students and families.  Next, they will discuss strategies to identify and develop student strengths to build resiliency, foster self-esteem, maintain positive attitudes about reading, and encourage non-academic talents.  Finally, the presenters will provide strategies for parents and teachers to address social-emotional challenges such as anxiety, depression, perfectionism, and other behavioral challenges related to disabilities.
(Offered Sessions 2 & 3)

Raising Children with Healthy Self-Esteem in a High-Pressure Culture
Rachel Bailey, MA, CPDPE, Private Practice
We all want our children to feel good about themselves and meet their full potential. But how can we raise children with healthy self-esteem when they look around and believe they aren't doing or being enough (no matter how successful they actually are)? In this workshop, you'll learn exactly what to DO and SAY so that children believe in themselves -- and thrive -- even in a culture where high-pressure standards seem unattainable.
(Offered Sessions 1 & 2)

Restorative Justice in FCPS
Ulli Vaerst, Restorative Justice Practitioner, FCPS
Restorative Justice is a philosophy based on a set of principles for responding to harm and wrongdoing that is victim centered and focuses on offender accountability to those who were harmed, as well as to the laws or rules that were broken. This session includes an overview of restorative justice practices in FCPS, as an alternative to traditional discipline, building relationships to benefit the school community as well as community building strategies for the classroom.
(Offered Session 3)

Service Learning to Support Student Goals
Mallory Joiner, Resource Teacher, FCPS
Learn about the benefits of Service Learning and how students can use their strengths and interests to create meaningful experiences in the community.
(Offered Session 3)

Strategies for Better Attendance
Quyen Duong, LCSW, School Social Worker, FCPS
Rachel Cherian, School Social Worker, FCPS
Temperament, adverse childhood experiences, and environmental factors may all contribute to the mental well-being of children and adolescents. How do we help these children to build resilience and cope with daily stressors? Participants will learn how to recognize the signs of psychological distress and learn strategies to help children and adolescents to self-regulate, leading to improved school attendance and engagement.
(Offered Sessions 2 & 3)

Stress Less through the College Admissions Process
Emily Emery, Educational Specialist, Career Connections, FCPS
Recent FCPS Student Alumni
Recent FCPS alumni will comprise this panel, focusing on the importance of finding balance in the college admission process and the importance of finding a “school that fits” versus “fitting into a school.”
(Offered Session 3)

Stress Less, Laugh More: Strategies for Reducing Stress and Increasing Happiness for Families
Heather Tedesco, PhD, Dr. Tedesco PLLC (private practice)
Children and parents are under stress from many sources –busy schedules, high academic expectations, numerous extracurricular activities, and peer pressure.  However, our bodies are not designed to withstand chronic stress and as a result, the health of today’s children (and parents!) is suffering.  Join psychologist Dr. Heather Tedesco as she discusses factors increasing stress on children and on parents, shares ways to recognize stress in kids, gives strategies for reducing stress, and explains how parents can encourage the key characteristics research links to long-term psychological health and happiness.
(Offered Sessions 1 & 2)

Supporting Families with LGBT Youth
Joe Cabush, LCSW, Joe Cabush & Associates
Heather Kirby, Kirby Creative clinical Solutions
Many families with LGBT and gender expansive youth have unique challenges that ask us all to work toward better understanding. This workshop will explore ways that we can provide opportunities to become connected and affirmed. Based on our group and individual work with LGBT families and on current research, we will explore approaches that support both parents and students in their search for of safety, self-determination, and connection.
(Offered Session 3)

Supporting Students with Their Postsecondary Transition
Matthew Johnson, Assistant Principal, FCPS
Transitions are scary, but leaving the house and headed to college can be even scarier for both students AND parents. In this session, parents and guardians will learn the different ways they can support their students as they transition to college.
(Offered Session 1)

Supporting the Social-Emotional and Educational Needs of Military Connected Youth
Becky Harris, MA, NCSP, School Psychologist, FCPS
Kristen Licciardo, MSW, School Social Worker
Military Connected Youth (MCY) are shaped by the unique experiences they encounter living the military lifestyle. Participants will learn how this lifestyle develops protective factors and lends itself to risk factors for MCY.  Topics covered during this workshop include: the unique challenges military connected youth face; the social-emotional and educational impact living the military lifestyle has on MCY; how to support MCY in your classroom/school/home; how to support parents of MCY.
(Offered Session 1)

Talking Without Words: Helping Those Who Self-Harm
Jennifer Min, EdS, NCSP, School Psychologist, FCPS
What are the signs that a student may be self-harming and what can parents do? This presentation will provide information on what self- harm is and what it is not, reasons teens engage in self-harm behaviors such as cutting and how supportive adults can help them to stop harmful behaviors and begin to find better ways to express their feelings.
(Offered Session 1)

Teen Stress and the Benefits of Self-Care: What Parents Need to Know
Michelle Mullaley, PhD, Psychologist, Bridges Therapy and Wellness Center
A seminar for parents to (1) learn more about issues that create stress for today’s teens; (2) understand the physical/bodily reactions that take place when teens feel stress; (3) understand common emotional and interpersonal reactions to teen stress; (4) learn to encourage self-care to foster positive stress management and resilience in teens; and (5) learn about other stress management techniques to manage stress. 
(Offered Session 2)

Teen Substance Abuse: Signs, Trends, and What You Can Do
Brian Maslowski, ATOD seminar Instructior, FCPS
Mary Valad, MSW, LCSW, LSATP, School Social Worker, FCPS
Attendees will learn the signs and trends of adolescent substance use/misuse and discover how simple, everyday interactions can be a deterrent to these risky behaviors.  Tips on communicating with youths about drugs will also be presented.
(Offered Sessions 2 & 3)

The Basics and Benefits of Mindfulness and Yoga
Erin Hurley, School Counselor, FCPS
Kasey Cain, Resource Counselor, FCPS
Come and learn creative ways to encourage the practice of Mindfulness and Yoga at home or in school.
(Offered Sessions 1 & 2)

The Development of Executive Function in Preschool and School Aged Children
Ellen Goldberger, PhD, School Psychologist, FCPS
Joy Granados, LCSW, School Social Worker, FCPS
Executive function is the overarching ability through which we regulate our thinking and behavior.  This domain is the foundation on which purposeful behavior is built and on which intelligence is deployed to engage effectively in the world.  It includes the ability to focus and sustain attention, inhibit impulsive behaviors for long term goal attainment, flexibility in thought and action, as well as working memory; the ability manipulate information mentally to problem solve.  It also involves the ability to plan and organize tasks, and to sustain engagement in tasks to completion. Finally our ability to monitor our behavior as we engage in tasks for the purpose of re-aligning our strategies at any point that they do not serve the ultimate goal is essential. 
(Offered Session 3)

Understanding Social Media and Healthy Relationships with Electronics
Michelle Mullaley, PhD, Psychologist, Bridges Therapy and Wellness Center
Learn about the most popular social media sites and why your teen’s phone and electronics seem so important, discuss the benefits and risks of electronics use, the recommended limitations for electronic use and ways to limit use, the factors that place a teen more at risk for internet ‘addiction’, and learn how to help your teen establish a healthy relationship with electronics. 
(Offered Session 3)

Understanding Trauma: Facilitating Home & School Partnerships
Marcie Cohen, MSW, LCSW, LCSW-C, School Social Worker, FCPS
Maria Genova, PhD, School Psychologist, FCPS
This presentation will focus on 1) recognizing the signs and symptoms of trauma, 2) understanding how trauma reactions may influence behavioral, emotional, and academic outcomes, and 3) how families and educators can collaborate to address these issues. Attendees will learn about home and school-specific strategies and opportunities to build effective partnerships.
(Offered Sessions 1 & 2)

Presenter Bios

Lauren Anderson
Executive Director, Josh Anderson Foundation
Lauren Anderson is a graduate of Langley HS in 2005 and UVA in 2009, earning a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Commerce. She then went on to work as a financial analyst at Brookwood Associates, a middle-market investment banking form in Atlanta, GA. After two years, she returned home in July 2011 to put her energy into The Josh Anderson Foundation, evolving a Memorial Fund into an active Foundation that provides adolescents with the mental health education, resources and support so that they never turn to suicide.

Danielle Armstrong, MSW
School Social Worker, FCPS
Danielle Armstrong, MSW, school social worker at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. Danielle has been a school social worker at TJ (and previously Lanier MS) for four year and was previously a school social worker in Augusta County Public Schools for three years. She has presented mental health initiatives to both parents and staff of TJ and nationally at a NCSSS conference. She also presented Stressless Excellence at Thriving Families Summit in March, 2016.

Michael S. Axler, PsyD, NCSW
School Psychologist, FCPS
Dr. Axler is a Senior Psychologist with FCPS. He also works in private practice, where he specializes in child and adolescent therapy.

Rachel Bailey, M.A., CPDPE
Practitioner, Private Practice
Rachel Bailey is Parenting Specialist with a Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology a certification in Positive Discipline. In the past, Rachel has provided services as an ADHD Coach, Academic Coach, intensive in-home mentor, and psychotherapist. Currently she provides parents with hands-on tools for raising responsible, resilient, confident children.

Joe Cabush, LCSW
Joe Cabush & Associates
Joe has facilitated over 4,000 group sessions with teens, listening to what they have to say about their lives. As a consultant to schools and primary care practices in Northern Virginia, Joe works to bring people together to make a difference in the lives of students and families and those who serve them.

Kasey Cain
Resource Counselor, FCPS
Kasey Cain is in her 11th year with FCPS.  She is currently a Resource Counselor with School Counseling Services, as well as a Resident in Counseling working towards her LPC. 

Rachel Cherian
School Social Worker, FCPS
Rachel Cherian is a School Social Worker currently at Oakton High School. She is a licensed clinical social worker.

Jennifer Christy, LMFT
Fairfax-Falls Church CSB
Jennifer is newer to the CSB but has worked with individuals with serious mental illness and substance use disorders for years in California.

Jeanne Comeau
President and CEO, NAMI Northern Virginia
Ms. Jeanne Comeau is passionate about improving the lives of individuals living with a mental health condition, educating and supporting family members and friends, and raising awareness in our community.  She has combined her passion for helping to empower others with her technical background and business experience to help NAMI Northern Virginia fulfill its mission and vision since joining the the organization in 2009. 

Nick Corsi
Systems of Support Advisor, FCPS
As a Systems of Support Advisor at McLean HS, Nick utilizes Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) and Response to Intervention (RtI) models to respond to student behavior and attendance needs. He also oversees a student-led program called Sources of Strength a program that aims to connect all students to a trusted adult and to increase the number of protective factors in their life.                                                                                                                                                    

Cathi Cohen LCSW, CGP
Director, In Step
Cathi Cohen is a licensed clinical social worker, a certified group psychotherapist, and the author of four books including "Raise Your Child's Social IQ".  Cohen is the clinical director and founder of In Step, a group private mental health practice, specializing in work with parents, children and teens since 1995.  

Jonathan Dalton, Ph.D.
Center for Anxiety and Behavioral Change
Dr. Dalton is a licensed psychologist who founded the Center for Anxiety and Behavioral Change (CABC) in Rockville, MD, which is a private treatment center dedicated to using evidence-based treatment for patients with anxiety disorders. He received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Villanova University, a master's degree in psychology from The Catholic University of America, and a doctorate in clinical psychology from Fordham University with a specialization in child and family psychology. He completed two years of pre-doctoral training at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine - Kennedy Krieger Institute, and advanced postdoctoral training at the Maryland Center for Anxiety Disorders at the University of Maryland. He specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders in children and adolescents with a particular focus on anxiety-based school refusal.   He frequently presents to other mental health professionals and community organizations.

Megan Davis, MA, NCSP Certified School Psychologist
School Psychologist, FCPS
Megan Davis is a licensed school psychologist with 12 years of experience in Virginia and Maryland; this is her 7th year with FCPS.  Megan services preschool, elementary, and has supported middle school. She especially enjoys the assessment and consultation aspects of her role, at the school and district level. She currently serves two FCPS elementary schools in the Lorton and Alexandria areas.  Megan is also a member of the FCPS County Dyslexia Workgroup Team, as well as providing support to Responsive Instruction and various behavioral/social-emotional initiatives at her schools.

Ann Dolin, M.Ed.
Educational Connections
Ann Dolin is a former FCPS teacher and the founder of Educational Connections Tutoring, and she can be found on WTOP Radio and News Channel 8 as a monthly contributor. Ann's been featured in The Washington Post, Women’s World, Washingtonian, Redbook, and Parents Magazine. She’s the author of the award-winning books Homework Made Simple and A Parent’s Guide to Private Schools.
Quyen Duong, LCSW
School Social Worker, FCPS
Quyen Duong is a Senior Social Worker in FCPS and is a licensed clinical social worker.

Bel Edmonson, LCSW
School Social Worker, FCPS
Bell Edmonson has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with FCPS for over 20 years.  She also worked in mental health, in substance abuse, in private practice and psychiatric out-patient practice. 

Emily Emery,
Educational Specialist, Career Connections, FCPS
Emily is the career connections specialist in the office of Counseling, College, and Career Readiness at Fairfax County Public Schools. She supports college and career readiness initiatives and the work of the career center specialists. Previously, Emily worked as a high school counselor in FCPS and as a college admissions professional.
FCPS Alumni
Mark H. Emery
Administrator, After-School Programs, FCPS
Administrator of After-School Programs for FCPS overseeing 27 middle school after-school programs; Chair of the Virginia Partnership for Out-of-School Time; former Board Member of the Fairfax Boys’ and Girls’ Club. He was Director of Extended Learning for the Council of Chief State School Officers and served as Chair of FCPS School Board.  Dr. Emery retired from the Naval Research Laboratory after 25 years as a Research Physicist and he holds a Ph.D. in Plasma Physics from the University of Iowa.

Leo Espina-Borrero MSW
Fairfax-Falls Church CSB
Leo has been a prevention specialist with the CSB for over 3 years now. He recently graduated with his MSW and has a lengthy history of working in the substance abuse world.

Barbara Fisher, LCSW
Senior Social Worker, FCPS
Barbara Fisher has 20 years’ experience with FCPS serving multiple school settings and supervising school social workers.  She is a member of the Fairfax Trauma Informed Community Network and completed the Somatic Experiencing Practitioner training program to learn psychobiological methods for addressing physical and emotional trauma, PTSD, overwhelm, and stress related conditions. She helps organize trainings for schools to provide basic information about the impact of trauma on children and strategies for educators.

Janice Dalton
Principal, FCPS

Allie Farris, EdS, NCSP
School Psychologist, FCPS
Allie Farris is a licensed school psychologist who has been with FCPS since 2014.  Allie has previously supported preschool, elementary, middle, and high school students with diverse social, emotional, and educational needs. She enjoys working with students individually and within a small group setting, and supporting student’s need through consultation at the systems level. She currently serves two FCPS elementary schools in the McLean area.  Allie is also a member of the FCPS County Dyslexia Workgroup Team, and collaborates at a building level on Responsive Instruction and Positive Behavioral Supports

Timothy Fratto, Ph.D.
Neuropsychology Associates of Fairfax
I am a neuropsychologist who has been practicing in the DC area for over 10 years.  I earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Wake Forest University and my doctorate in clinical psychology from Catholic University.  The doctors in my practice and I see patients concerned about all kinds of cognitive problems, including concussion, ADHD, memory problems, and the cognitive issues related to neurologic illness (e.g., dementia, Parkinson's disease, MS, etc.).

Maria Genova, Ph.D.
School Psychologist, FCPS
Dr. Maria Genova is a Senior Psychologist with Fairfax County Public Schools and a licensed school psychologist. She co-leads district level initiatives to create trauma-informed schools, developing and disseminating resources for families and clinicians, providing trainings, and supporting school staff in the use of trauma-informed practices. Dr. Genova serves as a school district representative and leadership team member for Fairfax County’s Trauma Informed Community Network and is a certified crisis intervention trainer for school-based psychologists and social workers.

Ellen Goldberger, PhD
School Psychologist, FCPS  
Fairfax County School Psychologist worked extensively with preschool and elementary school aged children in a variety of settings and completed her doctorate in basic and applied nonrecognition.

Alex Gorman
School Counselor, FCPS
Alex Gorman has been a school counselor in Fairfax County Public Schools for the last 12 years and most recently at Madison H.S.   He is the wellness coordinator for Madison bring such programs as Wellness Week and Wellness Days programs to the student body.  He’s had the honor of being part of the Josh Anderson Foundations work to promote Mental Health awareness and suicide reduction in schools in the Greater DC area. 

Joy Granados, LCSW
School Social Worker, FCPS
Mrs. Granados has worked in Fairfax County Public Schools for the past 5 years.  She has extensive experience working with school aged children.  She previously provided individual and family therapy in outpatient and residential clinical settings.

Tanya D. Hardy, M Ed.
Behavior Intervention Teacher, FCPS
Tanya Hardy is a native of Northern Virginia who has 37 years of experience supporting teachers, students and parents of children with challenging behaviors, and currently works as  a Behavior Intervention Teacher for Fairfax County Public Schools. She is a certified Mandt Relational System trainer and also works as a private educational and behavioral consultant.

Becky Harris, School Psychologist, MA, NCSP
School Psychologist, FCPS
Becky Harris is a licensed school psychologist who has been with FCPS for two years. She is currently a psychologist in an elementary school and a member of FCPS's Military Connected Youth Process Action Team. Her experiences as a military spouse and mother to two Military Connected Youths, combined with her professional experiences, has inspired her to advocate for the social-emotional and educational needs of military children.

Kelly Henderson, PhD, Executive Director
Formed Families Forward
A career special educator, Kelly directs Formed Families Forward, a nonprofit serving foster, adoptive and kinship families raising children, youth and young adults with disabilities and other special needs. Kelly is mom to three sons with a range of disabilities, and her family is formed in part through foster care and public adoption. Kelly also is part time instructional faculty in the College of Education and Human Development at GMU.

Erin Hurley
School Counselor, FCPS
Erin Hurley is an Elementary School Counselor in FCPS.  This is her 12th year in the county.  Along with being a school counselor, Erin is registered children's yoga teacher.  She has been recognized for her outstanding work in integrating yoga and mindfulness into the elementary school setting.

Sarah Ince, MSW, LCSW
School Social Worker, FCPS
Sarah Ince joined FCPS as a school social worker in 2016.  Prior to that, she worked for 10 years as an individual and group psychotherapist serving both children and adults.  Through that work, she cultivated a particular interest and expertise in working with children with anxiety.  She has also worked extensively with community-based organizations developing and leading social services programs, writing grant proposals, and providing mental health services.

Matthew Johnson
Assistant Principal, FCPS

Mallory Joiner
Resource Teacher, Fairfax County Public Schools
Mallory Joiner began her teacher career 11 years ago with Fairfax County Public Schools and is now the FCPS Service Learning resource teacher.  She worked in elementary schools as a classroom teacher and an advanced academic resource teacher, advocating for underrepresented populations of gifted learners.  Mallory has taught FCPS academy courses in Socio-Emotional Needs of the Gifted and Introduction to Gifted Learners.  With endorsements in Elementary Education, Gifted and Talented, and Administration and Supervision, she supports schools with implementing meaningful and authentic service learning opportunities that align with students’ strengths, interests, and career goals.

Kim Kardelis
After-School Specialist, FCPS


Johanna Kaplan, PhD
Director and Clinical Psychologist, Washington Anxiety Center of Capitol Hill
Johanna Kaplan, Ph.D. is a child and adult clinical psychologist and the director of the Washington Anxiety Center of Capitol Hill. Dr. Kaplan has received extensive clinical and clinical-research training in anxiety, mood, and obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders and has completed clinical and research work in private practice, community, counseling center, and hospital-based settings. Together, she has over 40 presentations/publications in the domain of clinical anxiety in adult, adolescent, and child populations.

Sajjad A. Khan, PhD, LCSW
NeuroScience, Inc.
Dr. Khan is an experienced clinician and researcher who has been in practice with patients and families since 1995. He specializes in Nerurodevelopmental disorders, mood disorders, and quality of life.
Joshua M. Kefer, PsyD  Licensed Clinical Psychologist
School Psychologist, FCPS
Dr. Kefer is a school psychologist with FCPS. He also works in private practice, where he specializes in child and adolescent therapy.

Heather Kirby, LCSW
Kirby Creative Clinical Solutions
Heather has provided clinical services to youth and families for over 20 years. In addition to private practice, she provides equine therapy in partnership with Project Horse, Inc. in Purcelleville, VA.  Heather has a professional passion and gift connecting with teens, young adults and families through non-traditional therapy and is the author of “Wild at Heart: Adolescents, Horses & Other Kindred Spirits” 

Kristen Licciardo, MSW
School Social Worker, FCPS
I have been working with children and adolescents in social work for twenty years, including residential treatment programs, outpatient clinics, private practice, and school systems.  I have been working on behalf of military students for the past five years, developing awareness and recognition programs in the schools and serving as a member of the FCPS Military Connected Youth Process Action Team.

Brian Maslowski
ATOD Seminar Instructor, FCPS
Brian is an accomplished educator with experience addressing diverse populations about substance abuse issues. He has first-hand knowledge of drug trends among teens and is motivated to educate our community so the substance abuse issue can be addressed from all sectors of society.

Felicea C. Meyer-DeLoatch, MSW, LCSW
School Social Worker, FCPS
Felicea C. Meyer-DeLoatch is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and has been working with children and families for more than thirty years in a variety of settings. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education and General Education from Central Washington University, where she began her special education career in corrections education while residing in her home town of Seattle Washington.  She earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she began her social work career providing intensive in-home court mandated therapy in the District of Columbia. Felicea specializes in working with children, adolescents, couples and families, and utilizes a wide modality of techniques to address emotional concerns.  She has particular interest in working with children, adolescents and adults around issues such as trauma and anxiety, self-esteem, changing families, and social difficulties, as well as people living with cognitive delays.  She has a private practice in the city of Fairfax, Virginia. Additionally, Felicea is a Licensed School Social Worker and has continued her career in Fairfax County Public Schools as a school social worker initially supporting three schools, later working in the Homeless Liaison’s Office where the majority of her work was with homeless students who were unable to reside with their family (Homeless Unaccompanied Youth). Recently she collaboratively designed a school based behavioral health program and provided targeted behavioral health support to students and families in the Mount Vernon School Pyramid.  Currently, she is privileged to be the school social worker at Key Center, providing services to students with severe and multiple disabilities and their families.   

Jennifer Min, Ed S, NCSP
School Psychologist, FCPS
Jennifer Min been a School Psychologist with FCPS for over 20 years and has worked in a variety of school settings within the county. She is also a parent of teenagers and knows how difficult it can be dealing with kids in their teen years.

Michelle Mullaley, PhD
Psychologist, Bridges Therapy and Wellness Center
Dr. Mullaley has worked in schools and private practices to support children, teens and families in working through emotional, behavioral and relationship stress.  She is currently a partner in a group psychology practice that offers individual, group, and family therapy, psychological testing, and psychiatric care for those in need of mental health support, and as well as offering wellness seminars to promote mental and physical health.   

Amber Ong, PhD, LCP, NCSP
School Psychologist, FCPS
Dr. Ong is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who loves providing counseling and therapy and specialize in the use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for the treatment of social, emotional, and behavioral disorders.

Adam Pawlowski
After-School Specialist, FCPS
Adam Pawlowski is a dynamic and responsive after school specialist. He provides a broad variety of diverse activities which enhance and supplement our students’ academic and social growth.  More than 400 students take advantage of his after-school programs every day. With increased emphasis on STEAM-based programs, Mr. Pawlowski is instrumental helping our students prepare for the challenges of our changing world.

Andrew Raab
School Counselor, St. Bernadette's Catholic School
Andrew has been an elementary school counselor in the Diocese of Arlington for the past 17 years. Prior to that, worked in Special Education in Arlington County. He received his MA in School Counseling from Marymount University.

Ellen Reilly
Principal, FCPS
Dr. Ellen Reilly is in her sixth year as the principal at McLean High School. She previously served as an assistant principal at Oakton High School and Herndon High School.  She began her career as an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter at Mantua Elementary and then taught ASL at Falls Church High School. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in history from North Carolina State University, a Master’s degree from George Mason University in Educational Leadership and Administration, and a Doctor of Education degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Educational Leadership and Policy. Dr. Reilly is committed to ensuring a school climate in which student wellness is a priority.

Patrick Rosas
After-School Specialist, FCPS
Patrick Rosas is the After-School Specialist at Poe Middle School in Annandale.  He is passionate about working with youth and providing opportunities for them to pursue their interests, explore new areas, and grow academically, socially, and emotionally.  Prior to joining the staff at Poe, Patrick worked with the After-School Program at Lake Braddock Secondary School.

Laura Rotella
Director of Student Services, FCPS
Laura Rotella has served as the Director of Student Services for Fairfax High School for the past few years. She has taken a lead role in the implementation of an emotional literacy approach that builds knowledge and skills with school staff and students. Prior to her working at Fairfax High School, Ms. Rotella was a high school counselor.                               

Erin Sikes-Thurston
Assistant Principal, FCPS
Erin has been in education since 1996 as a science teacher, department chairperson, science fair director, central office administrator and as an Assistant Principal.  She has presented at both international and national conferences on how to increase access to advanced academics systemically and locally about how a growth mindset is a key to success in a lot of content areas but especially about learning mathematics.  She is working on her doctorate in Educational Policy and doing research about what high level science courses are being accessed by students as compared to their mathematics preparation. 

Paul Stansbery
Director of Student Services, FCPS

Rick Stegman
Educational Specialist, FCPS
Rick Stegman works for Fairfax County Public Schools as an Educational Technology Specialist in the ISD Office of Instructional Technology Integration. He has been working with Digital Citizenship in FCPS since 2008.

Heather Tedesco, PhD
Dr. Tedesco PLLC private practice
Dr. Heather Tedesco is an applied psychologist with a private practice in McLean, VA, where she works with parents one-on-one and in small groups.  Dr. Tedesco helps parents address concerns in their family life, shows parents how they can support their children and teens if they struggle with motivation, ADHD, anxiety, oppositional behavior, learning differences or other common issues, explains how parents can encourage healthy psychological development at any age, and helps them take the long view of raising children who grow into happy, authentically successful adults.  Dr. Tedesco uses a combination of psychological research and concrete techniques to make parenting less stressful, more effective, and more enjoyable. 

Ulli Vaerst
FCPS Restorative Justice
Trained at the International Institute for Restorative Practices, I have worked as a restorative justice practitioner for FCPS since the inception of the program. I currently serve Region 4 as a support for discipline and classroom circles as well as teacher training in restorative practices.

School Social Worker, FCPS
Mary Valad is a FCPS social worker who has been working in the school system for twelve years.  She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and Licensed Substance Abuse Treatment Practitioner (LSATP) with over twenty-five years of experience working with children, teens and families in both educational and clinical settings.  She is looking forward to co-presenting this year at the Wellness Conference, providing substance abuse prevention and intervention strategies for the youth in our community. 

Jeanne E. Veraska
Project Manager, Fairfax County Public Schools
Jeanne Veraska has been with Fairfax County Public Schools for over ten years. She provided social work services in three FCPS high schools prior to serving in her current Project Manager position. She manages the funds for implementation of the Now Is the Time - Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education) and the Virginia Tiered Systems of Supports (VTSS) grants, at five high schools (Centreville, Fairfax, Falls Church, South Lakes and West Potomac). 

Beth Werfel
School Psychologist, FCPS
Beth Werfel is a school psychologist who has worked in multiple FCPS schools.  She is currently assigned to McLean High School and has an interest in mental wellness and prevention.

Michele Webb
Project Manager, Student Learning Plans, College and Career Readiness, FCPS
Michele Webb obtained her Master’s degree in Education, Curriculum, & Instruction from George Mason University and an Administration & Supervision endorsement through the University of Virginia. Her career in education has spanned over 20 years - she has served as a high school teacher, athletic director, AVID coordinator, and a number of management roles in departments of Human Resources and Instructional Services.

Christine Willing, M Ed, NCSP
School Psychologist, FCPS
Ms. Willing is a school psychologist in FCPS and this is her 5th year working in the McLean area.  She has implemented the HOPS program for the last 4 years at Longfellow MS helping students increase executive functioning skills.

Additional Resources