Our leadership, staff, and instructors all embrace our core values of
hope, truth, and love.
AMY O'DELL - M.Ed., LPC,TRS, CNC
Executive Director & Founder, Jacob's Ladder
Ms. Amy O’Dell is the founder of Jacob's Ladder, designated as a 501(3) in 1999. The model, now trademarked and recognized nationally and internationally, was developed in response to critical developmental challenges faced by her own son, Jacob.
Ms. O’Dell holds a degree in Activity Therapy and a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Clemson University. She is a licensed Professional Counselor with extensive training on the Neurodevelopmental process and is certified as a Neurodevelopmental consultant. She has worked in a wide variety of clinical settings, including Shepherd Spinal Center in Atlanta, and later at Woodridge Psychiatric Hospital in Clayton, Georgia, where she held the positions of Director of Activity Therapy and the Director of Adolescent Psychiatric Services. She is a recognized national leader in the field of autism and neurodevelopmental disorders, and a sought-after speaker at national and international forums.
Governor Nathan Deal appointed Ms. O’Dell to serve on the Board of Directors of Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency as the expert in the field of Autism where she served a 3-year term. Ms. O’Dell currently serves on the Zac Brown Camp Southern Ground Board of Advisors for the Autism focus and the Board of Directors for HINRI.
Director of Business & Finance
Brent graduated with 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.
Director of Operations
Jaclyn Rhodes is a graduate of Chapman University where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. She has also completed her Master of Arts degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. Jaclyn has worked with children and adults with all types of neurological challenges starting at a very young age, the first personal experience being her older brother. Jaclyn was actively involved in various clubs and committees and it was her desire for serving others and making a difference in the lives of those around her that led her to Jacob’s Ladder. Jaclyn began her time with Jacob’s Ladder as a dedicated volunteer, substitute, Neurodevelopmental Teacher, and now serves on the Leadership Team as the Director of Operations. Jaclyn proudly assisted Jacob’s Ladder acquire SAIS-SACS Accreditation in 2010 and re-accreditation in 2015. Currently, Jaclyn oversees the Human Resources and Admissions Department while is actively involved in all aspects of the day to day operations.
Director of Clinical Services
Allegra Saunders is the Director of Clinical Services at Jacob’s Ladder. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance with an emphasis on Dance Therapy and Psychology from Florida State University. Allegra has a variety of experience working with children, including working as a special needs nanny for several families, as well as teaching dance to students of all ages. She has also danced professionally with StaibDance, in the Atlanta area. Allegra started as a volunteer at Jacob’s Ladder in October of 2010, and immediately fell in love with the children and the unique atmosphere. Mrs. Saunders is certified in the Advanced TheraSuit Method as well as being a Certified Provider for Integrated Listening Systems. Allegra’s role includes overseeing the Buckhead campus, supporting new families through the Initial Evaluation process, and overseeing the additional service departments including Neurofeedback and Integrated Listening Systems.
Director of EBR Services and Training
Ericka Cooper graduated from the College of Charleston with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in 2011. Her experiences prior to Jacob’s Ladder include working with children with various needs in India, as well as working with elementary aged students at day camps and providing in-home Applied Behavioral Analysis Interventions in Charleston, SC. She began working full-time at Jacob’s Ladder in February 2012 as a Neurodevelopmental Teacher and began working closely within the clinical team in the building of the Hope School Model in 2014. Ericka is the Director of EBR Services and Training and is a Certified Crisis Prevention Intervention Instructor. She is also certified in First Aid, CPR, and has training in medical protocols. She is also an evaluator and maintains clinical oversight of the Hope School Model and family wrap around support.
Director of Buckhead Campus
Sarah graduated from Georgia College and State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Community Health and a minor in Psychology. Sarah has worked in various educational and nonprofit settings including Make-A-Wish Georgia and Communities in Schools of Georgia where she gained experience working one on one with children with specialized learning needs. Sarah previously served as a Neurodevelopmental Teacher between both the Roswell and Buckhead campuses, and currently supervises a caseload of staff and students at the Buckhead campus, ensuring each student is meeting their goals.
Director of Teacher Development
Evan Feldman graduated from George Mason University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a minor in Conflict Analysis and Resolutions. In addition to pursuing her BS is Psychology, Evan was a 4-year student-athlete and captain for the George Mason Division I soccer program. Evan has had many years of experience serving children and young adults with varying levels of needs both within educational settings and on the sports field. Her professional experience prior to Jacob’s Ladder includes serving students at a center for children with autism through providing specific Applied Behavioral Analysis interventions. Evan began working as a Neurodevelopmental Teacher at Jacob’s Ladder in the summer of 2012 and immediately knew the relational model was none like she had ever seen. She has had experience working closely within the EDBS Department, as well as being trained and certified on the Therasuit Method. Evan currently serves within the Teacher Support and PODS of Care Departments. Her role consists of working closely with Allegra and fellow Teacher Support team members in assisting with overall staff support and performance. Evan also works closely with Molly in assisting with caseload management on a remote capacity for outside clients enrolled within the Jacob’s Ladder PODS of Care Program.
Director of Student Programming
Sarah Smith graduated from Georgia Southern University with a Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Development, with dual concentration in Child Life and Child Development. While at Georgia Southern, Sarah worked at the Child Development Center, gaining hands-on child care and classroom management experience and provided direct instruction within the toddler and preschool classrooms. As part of her degree, Sarah volunteered at Memorial Health in Savannah, Georgia and completed her practicum at Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital in Macon, Georgia on the General Pediatric Unit. In November 2013, Sarah became a Certified Child Life Specialist, following the completion of her Child Life internship at Inova Children’s Hospital in Falls Church, Virginia. Her internship experience consisted of rotations within the Hematology and Oncology Unit and the General Pediatric Surgery Unit. During this time, Sarah assisted in educating children and families on various diagnoses, surgeries, procedures, and a creating a sense of safety within the hospital setting. Sarah started at Jacob’s Ladder in October 2013 as a Neurodevelopmental Teacher. After teaching for two years, Sarah moved into the role of an Evaluator. Her current responsibilities involve annual re-evaluations, assisting with overseeing the evaluation team, completing initial evaluations, parent, provider, and staff training, and monitoring program integrity. In addition, Sarah is a certified provider of Integrated Listening Systems and the Therasuit Method.
Director of Research & Methodology
Virginia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology from Emory University. Continuing her education, she graduated from Georgia State University in 2014 with a Master of Science degree in Biology, concentrating in Neurobiology. While in graduate school, Virginia was a Research Assistant within the Neuroscience Institute, and was involved with several research projects focusing on the neuroplasticity of the visual system following juvenile traumatic brain injury. Her research experience included training and implementation of molecular biological techniques, genetic testing, and DNA analysis. Virginia has been with Jacob’s Ladder since 2012, beginning in the Neurofeedback Department as a Neurofeedback Practitioner and then becoming a Neurodevelopmental Teacher. She currently serves a member of the Evaluation Team and as the Director of Research and Methodology. Her responsibilities include overseeing the clinical care for a caseload of students, staff and parent training, and maintaining program integrity, and special projects including the creation of current evaluation tools and training materials, developing the Independent Life Continuum, and is also the project lead for the development of a Digital Platform. Virginia is a Certified Provider of Integrated Listening Systems, as well as holds a certification in Crisis Prevention Intervention. Virginia has a passion for teaching at the collegiate-level and is an Adjunct Instructor at Georgia State University teaching both lecture and laboratory courses in Human Anatomy and Physiology.
Director of Human Resources
Aubry York attended the University of Georgia as a pre-nursing student, and then transferred to Kennesaw State University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. She volunteered with Athens Medical Regional Center, and participated in the sorority Delta Gamma which provided service to the blind in the Athens community. Aubry worked part-time at Jacob's Ladder while she attended Roswell High School, and officially began full-time in August 2014 as a teacher and Neurofeedback practitioner. Aubry currently coordinates operations for the Human Resources department and oversees and facilitates the Animal Care and Therapy Program. Aubry is grateful to work in an environment and mindset that supports continued training and education, as every opportunity to provide innovative and effective treatment benefits the students and friends of Jacob's Ladder and provides hope for adults and children with neurological difficulties.
Director of HOPE School Programming
Megan hails from Chicago (though born and raised in Indianapolis), where she served as a Learning Behavior Specialist for over 13 years. She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in English Literature and holds certification in both Secondary English Language Arts and Special Education. Throughout her career, she has served as a Case Manager and Lead Teacher, developing and implementing IEPs, Behavior Plans, data records, and a variety of curriculum. In recent years, she served as an Instructional Coach for a private school that serves a variety of public school districts within the Chicagoland area. Specifically, Megan assisted in piloting an instructional writing program in her previous placement that is now implemented school wide and has revolutionized the way that instructors are teaching writing in the world of special education. Megan joined Jacob's Ladder in 2017, serving as HOPE School co-lead followed by taking on the role of Director of Academic Instruction. Megan lives in Marietta with her husband Sean, a Faculty Clinician with Life University School of Chiropractic, and their six year old daughter, Medbh.