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Staff and Board Bios

Michelle Strain, LPC

National Alliance of School Crisis Responders Executive Director

Michelle has experience leading crisis response at a state level in Oklahoma. She is a licensed school counselor and an Oklahoma Licensed Professional Counselor. She has served as a middle school counselor, high school counselor, district-wide student advocate and counseling director in public schools in Oklahoma. 


Michelle is a passionate advocate for crisis response and believes in the motto, "do no harm" when responding. She has trained thousands of educators and community members in effective best practices in areas of prevention, crisis, multi-tiered system of supports, counseling and more.


Michelle is a PREPaRE Crisis Prevention and Intervention Trainer, and has been a trainer in Mental Health First Aid for Youth, Lifelines Suicide Prevention, Signs of Suicide, QPR, and other prevention and intervention programs.  


Michelle has a Master's Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a Master's Degree in Human Relations, both from the University of Oklahoma. She starts her doctorate in educational leadership and administration at Southern Nazarene University in July 2023. The focus of her dissertation will be on school crisis response.


Michelle is married to her husband, Shannon. They have four adult sons: Will, Ryan, Alex, and Justin; a daughter-In-law: Rikki; and their granddaughter, Journey. They also have three dogs and three cats. Michelle is from Norman, Oklahoma, where she runs the Alliance. 


She has served on multiple non-profit boards, led several initiatives, and also has a private counseling practice. Michelle Is a visionary leader who believes the Alliance can impact children and adults across the United States and beyond.


To contact Michelle, e-mail her at or call her at 405-659-7078.

Dr. Shelly Ellis


Dr. Shelly Ellis’s diverse educational career provides her a wide perspective of the education profession.


Her experiences include Deputy Superintendent of Student Support, Executive Director of School Support and Improvement and the Executive Director of Counseling for the Oklahoma State Department of Education. She has also served as a middle school principal and assistant principal and high school counselor for Norman Public Schools.


Dr. Ellis also taught middle school science at Lone Grove Public Schools and high school science in the McLoud district. In addition, she worked for the K20 Center, University of Oklahoma, as the Parent and Community Specialist for the GEAR UP for SUCCESS grant. In this capacity, Ellis traveled around the state working with counselors, principals, superintendents, and families.


Shelly earned her PhD in Educational Administration, Curriculum and Supervision from the University of Oklahoma, her MEd in School Counseling and BS degree in Biology from East Central University. Dr. Ellis is a partner and consultant for Building Capacity EDU and serves on dissertation committees for Southern Nazarene University. 


Shelly is a nationally certified trainer in the PREPaRE Crisis Curriculum and has responded to multiple school crises across the state of Oklahoma. She and her husband, Nate, have 4 children and reside in Norman, OK.

Jackie Lindley


Jackie Lindley is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. She is a project manager and is highly organized. She works behind the scenes as a volunteer by helping the Alliance with creative work, organization, and administration. 


Jackie helped lift NASCR off the ground by working closely with long-time friend, Michelle Strain. 

Jackie has been married for 25 years to her husband Pat, and has 4 children: Rebecca, Katie, Sarah, and Ethan.

Dr. Joe Siano

Board President

Dr Joseph Siano is currently serving as Associate Executive Director of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association. He took this position after serving 17 years as Superintendent of the Norman Public Schools. He has also served as Assistant Superintendent in the Oklahoma City Public Schools and held the following positions in the Putnam City Schools, Assistant Superintendent, Director of Elementary Education, Elementary Principal, and Elementary Assistant Principal.


Dr. Siano received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1976 from Oklahoma City University, his Master of Science in 1979 from the University of Central Oklahoma, and his Doctor of Philosophy in 1985 from the University of Oklahoma. In addition to his Superintendent certification, he Is certified in guidance and counseling, elementary education and elementary administration.


His professional memberships include American Association of School Administrators (AASA), Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration (CCOSA), Oklahoma Association of School Administrators (OASA), Oklahoma Association of School Business Officials (OASBO), and United Suburban Schools Association (USSA).


As an active community member, Dr. Siano serves on the Board of Directors for Oklahoma Policy Institute, Oklahoma

Academy for State Goals, Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, Center for Children and Families, Inc., and Sam Noble Museum of Natural History.

Michelle Knight

Board Vice President

Michelle Knight, MHA & MBA, is the Project AWARE Grant Manager at the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) focusing on suicide prevention and mental health resources for K-12 schools. She has presented nationally on the topic of youth suicide prevention and the collaborative effort between state and schools. Michelle co-leads the Mental Health Crisis Response Team at USBE and sits on the Board of the National Alliance of School Crisis Responders (NASCR). 


Michelle also is a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Advisory Board. Previously, she oversaw the development and implementation of the SafeUT app. Michelle coordinated the $3.4 million merger of mental health resources in which she oversaw the development of the Utah Statewide CrisisLine and 3-digit text line, 988. 


Michelle graduated from Weber State University with a Master of Health Administration in April 2019, and a Master of Business Administration in December 2019. She lives in Bountiful, Utah with her husband and daughter.

Lacy Fullbright

Board Secretary

Lacy is an educator who is passionate about working with at-risk students to help them be successful in school and life.

She says she is serving on the board because as an educator, she believes better response to crisis makes a difference in the trauma that grows in impacted communities. 


Michelle also is a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Advisory Board. Previously, she oversaw the development and implementation of the SafeUT app. Michelle coordinated the $3.4 million merger of mental health resources in which she oversaw the development of the Utah Statewide CrisisLine and 3-digit text line, 988. 


Michelle graduated from Weber State University with a Master of Health Administration in April 2019, and a Master of Business Administration in December 2019. She lives in Bountiful, Utah with her husband and daughter.

Melissa Eulberg, CPA

Board Treasurer

Melissa is a CPA with more than 20 years of experience, and has owned her own firm for more than 10 years. She is an Oklahoma State graduate.


Melissa is a lifetime member of the Girls Scouts. She has volunteered In various positions within the school system while her children were In school. 


She is a wife and the proud mother of 2 boys, who are both in college. Melissa loves to learn new things and is currently learning Spanish. She also enjoys riding her motorcycle and kayaking. 


Melissa is excited about this board and thinks it Is a wonderful opportunity to give back.

Dr. Larry Barton

Board Member

Dr. Larry Barton is one of the world’s leading experts in crisis management and threat assessment. He serves as the Distinguished University Professor of Crisis Management and Public Safety at the University of Central Florida (UCF). He is a best-selling author, speaker at the FBI and at private sector conferences. 


Dr. Barton designs strategies and solutions addressing workplace violence prevention and crisis mitigation; this includes presentations, 24/7 evaluative services and ongoing training. He is a frequent commentator on television networks during and after incidents of public violence for CNN, the BBC, CBS and other news outlets.


Dr. Barton was Vice President of Issues Management for Motorola from 1995-1999, managing risk and crisis management for a multinational with 152,000 employees and contractors; he led the investigation into several murders at that company during this period. As a result of his efforts, he was asked to help write the definitive study for the U.S. Congress on management changes needed at the U.S. Postal Service.


He holds an AB, magna cum laude in speech and communications from Boston College, the MALD in international law from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and a Ph.D. in international relations and public policy from Boston University. 

Dr. Scott Beck

Board Member

Scott is a 21-year educator with experiences ranging from teaching and coaching to high school principal and district administrator. He currently serves in the role of Employee Engagement Officer for the Chickasaw Nation Department of Commerce and also serves as an adjunct professor in both the College of Education and College of Business at the University of Oklahoma. 


Scott is passionate about supporting the critical role of leaders in schools and serving these leaders by providing resources to address the daunting challenges they face.

Erin Brewer

Board Member

Erin has a Bachelor's in Anthropology from Baylor University and a Master's in Human Relations from OU. She has 10+ years leading non-profit communications, marketing and fundraising, including crisis management at United Way of Central Oklahoma.


Erin was also the Director of Operations and Communications for Joy Hofmeister's gubernatorial campaign.


She has served on the boards or committees of Camp Fire Heart of Oklahoma, Calm Waters, Sunbeam Family Services, and Boys & Girls Clubs. She led Putnam City Schools Foundation's Christmas CareShare program providing gifts to over 1,000 kids annually. She is a Sunday School teacher at Skyline Church. She founded the Deer Creek Parent Legislative Action Committee and the Oklahoma Parent Legislative Action Committee, where she continues to guide messaging strategy for education advocacy.

She has been married to Shawn for 23 years and has two kids - Declan and Molly - who keep her very busy.

Brandon Carey

Board Member

Brandon Carey obtained his Juris Doctorate from Oklahoma City University School of Law in 2005, where he served as Editor in Chief of the OCU Law Review.  He also obtained an LLM (masters of law) in Law and Government (emphasis in constitutional law and civil rights) from American University, Washington College of Law in 2006.  He was a civil rights attorney for the U.S. Department of Education from 2007-2013, specializing in Title IX (sex discrimination), Section 504 (disability discrimination), and Title VI (race discrimination), and was the General Counsel for Oklahoma City Public Schools from 2013-2018.  Since 2018 he has been a staff attorney for OSSBA.  Although he is an education attorney in general, his areas of emphasis are Title IX, employee and student due process, and general school employment law.


Brandon and his wife, Stephanie (a school crisis counselor), have adopted all of their children through DHS, and all of them have experienced severe trauma in one form or another.  Their lives have involved constant mental health care at home and in the school environment.


Brandon is also a board member of the Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City.  

Dr. Rick Cobb

Board Member

Dr. Rick Cobb is a life-long Oklahoman in his 31st year in public education and ninth year as superintendent of Mid-Del Public Schools. Prior to 2015, he was an English teacher, volleyball coach, principal, and assistant superintendent in districts such as Mustang, Medford, and Moore. 


Dr. Cobb earned a B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma with a M.Ed. from Southwestern Oklahoma State University sandwiched in between. Professional honors Dr. Cobb has received include: the Medal for Excellence from the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, the State Superintendent Fine Arts Medal of Excellence, the Oklahoma Association of School Administrators District 7 Superintendent of the Year, and the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education at the University of Oklahoma Career Achievement Award.


Dr. Cobb lives in Midwest City with his wife, Inger. They have three adult children.

Dr. April Grace

Board Member

Dr. April Grace, recently retired superintendent of Shawnee Public Schools, has served as an educator in Oklahoma for more than 30 years. Known as a visionary, Dr. Grace’s focus has always been on redesigning education to better serve students. 


Dr. Grace served as the Oklahoma Association of School Administrators President, only the 2nd female elected in the 88-year history of the organization, and the only one in the past 27 years. She has received many awards in her career. 


She is a member of AASA National Women’s Leadership Consortium, serving as a mentor nationally for aspiring female superintendents.  Dr. Grace serves on countless local, state, and national executive boards and committees. She teaches adjunct graduate classes, writes courses for several universities, has been published in professional journals, she is a highly sought out speaker and presenter, and is a regular contributor to the education community. 


Dr. Grace is on a mission to improve education, as well as the lives of students and staff, while reimagining and redesigning education to ensure learning and development for all. 

Lori Hollingsworth, LPC

Board Member

Lori is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Educator, and a proud mom of two. Over her 17 years in education, Lori has been a classroom teacher, school counselor, student advocate, and currently works across the state to help districts develop mental health supports within their system. 


Lori is serving on the NASCR board because she strongly believes in importance of student mental health and comprehensive school crisis prevention and intervention. 

Vernon Hooks

Board Member

Vernon owns and manages small Insurance agency In Norman, Oklahoma. He has an Associate's Degree of Science in Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling, and he has a Bachelor's of Arts in Sociology. He also has a Master's of Public Administration. 


Vernon served for 5 years at the Cleveland County YMCA as the Sports/Teen Director. He then serve for 6 Years Center for Children and Families as the Boys & Girls Club Director


Vernon will be married to Katie Hooks for 10 years on June 29 2023. Together they have one son named Vernon Ellis Hooks IV, who goes by Ellis or Q (as in Quad.) He keeps us busy with all sports year round.


Vernon is always looking for opportunities to help his community, and he is advocate for mental health, and safety for kids. 

Dr. Peter Liesenfeld

Board Member

Peter Liesenfeld has been an educator for 23 years. A lifelong resident of Norman, Peter attended Norman Public Schools, followed by two decades at the University of Oklahoma, earning a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Education Administration. 


Peter began his career in Norman as a Band Director, followed by assistant and head principal positions at the middle school level, and head principal of the high school for five years. In 2013 he presented findings involving community school development at the UCEA Annual Values and Leadership Conference, and in 2015, part of his work is in the book “Democratic Ethical Educational Leadership: Reclaiming School Reform,” which investigates a dramatic new form of leadership within schools that works to enhance social and human capital among students. 


After serving in Norman as Chief Technology Officer for three years, he now serves as Chief Technology Officer in Oklahoma City Public Schools; his wife, Leslie, at McKinley Elementary for 21 years, and his two children Emily at OU and Benjamin at Norman High School. Peter has devoted his career to giving back to the community that supported him through his childhood, and strives daily to make a difference in children’s lives.

Jennifer Newell

Board Member

Jennifer has been the Director of Safety and Security for Mustang Public Schools since 2018. She is a member of the Canadian County Threat Assessment Team and the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals. She started and chairs the Oklahoma School Safety & Security Consortium. 


Jennifer was a Norman Police Officer from 1992-2013, where she served on patrol, community relations and crime prevention. 


She worked at the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security from 2013-2018 as the Program Manager of the Oklahoma School Security Institute. While there, she built and ran OSSI by working with both public and private schools across the Oklahoma. OSSI was created to train schools in school security and threat assessment. 

Suzie Price, LPC

Board Member

Suzie Price is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) with additional studies and training in death, dying and bereavement. Suzie was awarded the distinction of being a Fellow in Thanatology (FT) by the Association of Death Education and Counseling for her years of work with children and families who are grieving the death of a loved one. She is the founder/director of Kaleidoscope Grief Support, Inc. a nonprofit that works with bereaved children.


Paloma Counseling, LLC is the private mental health practice Suzie owns in Norman, Oklahoma where she works with children and adults who are experiencing anxiety, grief, and life transitions.


Suzie was an elementary school counselor for 27 years, working in Oklahoma, Texas and Colombia, South America. 

Melanie Scott

Board Member

After twenty three years in education, serving as both a teacher and a school counselor, Melanie Scott recently transitioned into a part-time role as a School Counselor Leader Coordinator for the Kansas Department of Education. She along with other SCLCs, provide professional development for school counselors across the state of Kansas. She is also contracted by the School Mental Health Project Echo as a Specialty Team Member, providing professional development for school mental health teams across Kansas.  


She just earned her Kansas licensure as a LPC. She is also a doctoral student at Kansas State University in the Counselor Education and Supervision program. 

She serves in a leadership and advocacy role as the Kansas School Counselor Association President. She is an invite member only on the Kansas School Mental Health Advisory Council. She just finshed work on a sub-committee, helping to revise the Kansas State Department of Education's Suicide Prevention, Intervention, Reintegration, and Postvention Toolkit. 

Crisis response and consulting with others are both a passion for Melanie. She looks forward to the impact this board will have throughout the nation by providing best practice training and resources. 

Gary Shelton

Board Member

Gary Shelton is a retired 25-year veteran of the Norman Police Department. He achieved the rank of LT. and served as a supervisor for the Patrol bureau, Office of Community Policing, Criminal Investigations Division and the Narcotics Division.


Upon retiring from the Norman Police Department in February 2014 Gary began his career with Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security – Oklahoma School Security institute. He has been responsible for conducting Risk and Vulnerability Assessments, developing training programs for teachers and transportation professionals as well as reviewing and developing emergency operations plans. 


Gary has received training in multiple school safety sessions in various settings. 

Matthew Welborn

Board Member

Matthew is a lifelong learner and an advocate for students. He attended Norman Public Schools and followed this experience by attending the University of Oklahoma. At OU he obtained a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and subsequently a Juris Doctor. 


Matthew is sitting for the July 2023 Oklahoma Bar and hopes to be a licensed attorney as soon as possible. In the meantime he is a registered patent agent. He will be working at McAfee and Taft in Oklahoma City as an associate. 

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