Our Team

Our Leadership

Our leadership, staff, and instructors all embrace our core values of hope, truth, and love, creating a connected community that encourages growth and development of our students while supporting their families. The Jacob’s Ladder team is highly educated, qualified, and specially trained in our Interpersonal Whole-Brain Model of Care. As well, we are committed to creating loving environments where students find joy in developing their abilities.

We effectively partner with mental and physical health professionals and complementary educational and therapeutic teams. This ensures caring continuity across all aspects of students’ lives.

Amy O'Dell

Amy O'Dell, M.Ed., LPC, TRS, CNC

Executive Director
& Founder

Amy is a licensed professional counselor with extensive training in neurodevelopmental processes and is certified as a neurodevelopmental consultant. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Activity Therapy and a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Clemson University. She has worked in a wide variety of clinical settings, including Shepherd Spinal Center in Atlanta, and Woodridge Psychiatric Hospital in Clayton, Georgia, where she served as director of activity therapy and director of adolescent psychiatric services.  She is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in the field of education and rehabilitation for individuals with neurodevelopmental challenges.

“I firmly believe that the human body, mind, and soul will move toward healing if given what is truly needed. Today, my son Jacob is a thriving 28-year-old educator at our school bearing his name, profoundly gifted in helping individuals who face difficulties similar to his. My family moved from darkness to light; from fear to hope. Through our work at Jacob’s Ladder, I have witnessed dramatic transformations in thousands of children and young adults that enabled their families to do the same.”

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Brent Young

Director of Business
& Finance 

Brent holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management and a Master of Business Administration with a Finance Concentration from Georgia State University. He has been a financial leader for over 20 years with companies such as WebMD and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services. His experience includes financial leadership, budget management, mergers & acquisitions, organizational restructuring, and financial & strategic planning both nationally and internationally.

“I was drawn to Jacob’s Ladder after learning from Amy O’Dell her long-term vision for the program. I was seeking to leave the corporate work environment for an opportunity that would satisfy my desire to work for good. Very quickly I concluded that Jacob’s Ladder would more than fulfill that desire for me.”

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Ericka Cooper

Director of Hope School Programming

Ericka holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the College of Charleston. She is in her 10th year at Jacob’s Ladder and is certified in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Trauma Informed Care, and is a certified Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI) Trainer. Ericka uses her extensive Applied Behavioral Analysis background combined with her knowledge in the Jacob’s Ladder Methodology to design treatment plans for in-home wraparound services. She is also a Certified Clinician in the Jacob’s Ladder Interpersonal Whole-Brain Model of Care.

“Providing wrap around support and education to families is an area of passion for me, as it is paramount for the success of both the students we serve and their family dynamic as a whole, especially within the Hope School program.”

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Megan Finnegan

Director of Compass &
Academic Programming

Megan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Marian University Indianapolis and is a Licensed Learning Behavior Specialist with graduate course work and additional certifications in Special Education and Secondary Education.  She brings over 19 years of extensive academic experience to Jacob’s Ladder. She is also a Certified Clinician in the Jacob’s Ladder Interpersonal Whole-Brain Model of Care.

“I was drawn to work at Jacob’s Ladder because of their commitment to pursuing each child’s full potential. Knowing and understanding how a child takes in new information- and what we can do to maximize that on an individual basis is the ultimate reward.”

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Ashley Likes

Ashley oversees student care for the Ladder Program and holds a Bachelor in Exercise Science from Georgia College and State University. She completes training and onboarding for all new staff at Jacob’s Ladder. She has a longstanding passion for working with individuals with neurodevelopmental needs. She is also a Certified Clinician in the Jacob’s Ladder Interpersonal Whole-Brain Model of Care.  

“What I love the most about each day, is walking out our firm and steadfast mission: believing every brain is capable of change. This is how we help every person recognize their own cherished, extraordinary, and unrepeatable potential from within—the path of hope lies before them, and we have the privilege to walk hand in hand with our students.”

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Jaclyn Rhodes

Director of

Jaclyn holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Chapman University and a Master of Art in Industrial Organizational Psychology from Argosy University. She brings over 15 years’ experience in Human Resources and Management to the organization and has been at Jacob’s Ladder for 13 years. In her role as Director of Operations she oversees Human Resources, Marketing, Admissions, and Development.

“When I found Jacob’s Ladder, I was searching for purpose - something to fill my soul with meaning and passion. I stand in awe and wonder of the work that I get to witness every day, not only of the transformation of the kids but the transformation of the staff as well. This mission is more than just educating children – it is a place of healing for all people.”

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Sarah Smith

Director of Ladder Programming

Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Development with dual concentration in Child Life and Child Development from Georgia Southern University. She gained extensive clinical experience in multiple settings including the Child Development Center, Memorial Health, and completed a Child Life Practicum at Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital. Her certifications include Child Life, Integrated Listening Systems, and TheraSuit Method. She is also a Certified Clinician in the Jacob’s Ladder Interpersonal Whole-Brain Model of Care.

“My role at Jacob’s Ladder allows me to daily help others and serve those in need of support. I have the opportunity to meet a lot of our students and families at one of the first moments they step onto our campus, often at their most vulnerable, and provide them with a clear path forward and hope in the possibility of change and untapped potential.”

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Aubry York

Director of
Human Resources

Aubry holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Language and Communication from Kennesaw State University and is a Certified Nursing Assistant. She is trained as an Animal Assisted Activity Provider. She has extensive experience in Neurofeedback, EEG recording and Brain Mapping, along with Mental Health and Integrative Nutrition. She is also a Certified Clinician in the Jacob’s Ladder Interpersonal Whole-Brain Model of Care.

 “I was drawn to work at Jacob’s Ladder because of the mission, life-changing services, and support we offer. As Jacob’s sister and Amy’s daughter, I have found my place as a sibling in our family dynamic and know how challenging that can be for an individual (the sibling) because, understandably, so much attention and support must be channeled to the child or person in need. From my own personal experience, I hope to encourage and inspire healing for not only the client or student who comes to Jacob’s Ladder, but also for the sibling(s) and their entire family.”

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Oscar Mendez

Director of
Program Services

Oscar holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Kennesaw State University with a minor in research analytics. He has worked at Jacob’s Ladder for 7 years and is a certified Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI) Trainer.  He is on the Digitization Team working alongside our Software Development Team for the customized buildout of the AHAVA Digital Platform. He is also a Certified Clinician in the Jacob’s Ladder Interpersonal Whole-Brain Model of Care.

"My favorite experience at Jacob’s Ladder has been watching the growth and transformation of this school over the past seven years. When I started, we had one campus with around 40 teachers and now we have two campuses and over a hundred teachers, giving us the opportunity not only to help more families in the community but across the globe.”

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Allegra Saunders

Director of
Clinical Services 

Allegra leads the clinical team and has primary responsibility for completing the global initial assessment and treatment plan development. She is a Certified Clinician in the Jacob’s Ladder Interpersonal Whole-Brain Model of Care and is a Dialectal Behavioral Therapy Professional trained in providing Trauma-Informed Care. She completed her undergraduate work at Florida State University. Her extensive certifications and training include Advanced TheraSuit Method, Integrated Listening Systems, and Quantum Reflex Integration.

 “One of my favorite things that I get to do at Jacob’s Ladder is support families through the Initial Evaluation process. We take the time to assess and understand each individual’s unique circumstances and are able to provide a deeper understanding of each client’s true needs, as well as an individualized plan for addressing their primary goals through a comprehensive plan of care.”

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Evan Feldman

Director of
Learning Environments

Evan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a minor in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University. She is trained and certified in the Therasuit Method and the Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI) method, and has extensive experience utilizing Applied Behavior Analysis interventions while working with children with Autism and emotional-behavioral-relational challenges. She is also a Certified Clinician in the Jacob’s Ladder Interpersonal Whole-Brain Model of Care.

“What continues to draw me to Jacob’s Ladder to this day is how that same story of perseverance, vulnerability, the desire to remain intentional and faithful to the call, and the power of transformation continue to be ever-present on this campus”.

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Sarah Cannon

Director of
Buckhead Campus

Sarah graduated from Georgia College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Health and Psychology and is a Certified Clinician in the Jacob’s Ladder Interpersonal Whole-Brain Model of Care. She interned with Make A Wish Georgia, is Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI) certified, and has extensive experience working individually with children experiencing ADHD and learning difficulties. 

"I was originally drawn to work at Jacob’s Ladder because of the atmosphere where hope and love truly reside. The staff are committed to serving whole-heartedly and the support that both staff and students feel is unmatched.”

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Michelle Donley

Occupational Therapist

Michelle Donley is one of our Occupational Therapist and has actually been a Senior Clinician evaluating JL students with Jacob’s Ladder over the last 15 years. Michelle has had 2 of her own children go through our program. 

Student Care & Administration

Abby Brackett
Hope School Pre-HOPE Group Lead Teacher

Adrienne Achille, LPC
Mental Health Therapist

Aimee Nida
Learning Environment 3 Group Lead Teacher

Andrew Church
Hope School Group C Lead Teacher

Corey Barbre
Ladder Team Lead & NFB Practitioner

Dani Duguay
Business Office Manager

Devin Kisiel 
Marketing & Operational Support

Elyse Stokes
Compass Group Lead Teacher

Jacob Wuttke
Mission Holder & HOPE School Teacher


Janie Pickett
HOPE School Team Lead

Jennifer Weber
Learning Environment Team Lead

Jessie Davenport
Compass Team Lead

Joanne Cork
Nursery Director

Kalin Bagwell
Hope School Leadership

Katie Cagle
Community of Care Team Lead

Leighton Persell, CAATP
Experiential Therapy Specialist

Lisa Parish
Hope School Group B2 Lead Teacher

Mackenzie Gaines
Learning Environment 1 Group Lead Teacher

Madeline Rogers
Hope School Group B1 Lead Teacher


Megan McLaughlin
Ladder Team Lead

Michele Soteres
Buckhead Operations

Rebecca Hart
Buckhead Clinical Support

Shona Hurt, BCN
Lead Neurofeedback Practitioner

Taylor Wade
Admissions Coordinator

Terese Roshaven
Accounting Specialist

Tricia Simonds
Registered Dietitian

Vicki Bishop
Hope School Group D Lead Teacher

Our Staff

Abby Mallari
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Alex Nida
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Alison Grimm
Infant Care Team

Allison TeBeest
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Angela Cremers
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Angelica Delia
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Ayana Bryant
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Ashley Wood
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Barrett Stanford
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Bradi Jorda
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Brenda Spring
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Bri McCarter
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Brian MacDonell
Facilities Team

Brianna Weathington
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Caleigh Amaru
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Carol Atwood
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Chelsea Wainwright
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Chuck Harley
Facilities Team

Colleen Seder
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Darin Gregg
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Diallo Birane
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Elaine Mayumi
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Emily Bates
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Esther Griffin
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Emalyn Rainwater
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Emily Ramirez
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Esmeralda Lira
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Jen Stowell
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Jill Hite
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Julia Alvarez
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Julian Gonzalez
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Juliana Novellino
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Karson Rosenberger
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Kathy Milans
HR Support & Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Katie Wisnewski
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Kim Berry
Data Specialist

Latryce Calton
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Leah Kaminer
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Lindsey Craven
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Maddy DuBois
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Makaila Powe
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Mariza Van Zyl
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Maureen Halvorsen
Infant Care Team

Morgan Agnew
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Paloma Noriega Burrill
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Patricia Sison
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Rachel Reimer
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Renee Barber
Community of Care Traveling Team

Rochelle Peet
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Sam Reynolds
Hope School Support

Sara Demlow
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Sarah Jenkins
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Sarah Magee
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Sheila Firmino
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Shelby McMichael
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Shelby Slayton
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Stephanie Leland
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Stephanie Smith
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Stephanie Strong
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Taylor Witte
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

Ulany Bradt
Neurodevelopmental Teacher

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Jacob's Ladder School & Therapy Centers
Roswell (Main Campus) & Atlanta (Buckhead)
407 Hardscrabble Road
Roswell, Georgia 30075

Founder's Story

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