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Our Team

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

Executive Director and Founder, Jacob's Ladder

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 in Georgia and South Carolina and also has extensive experience in a variety of clinical settings. Beginning as an intern with Shephard Spinal Center in Atlanta, Ms. O’Dell has held the positions of Director of Activity Therapy and the Director of Adolescent Psychiatric Services at Woodridge Psychiatric Hospital in Clayton, Georgia.

Following the birth of her son, and recognizing that he would require additional help and support to succeed, Ms. O’Dell’s focus shifted in order to care for Jacob’s unique needs. She began intensive training on the Neurodevelopmental approach, cumulating in certification as a Neurodevelopmental Consultant. This training led Ms. O’Dell to further research and develop the Jacob’s Ladder Methodology, incorporating the process of evaluation, program design, and therapeutic implementation into a cohesive model.

After founding Jacob’s Ladder in 1998, Ms. O’Dell has had the privilege to serve over 4,000 children with diagnoses ranging from developmental delays, seizure disorders, genetic or chromosomal diagnoses, or emotional/social/behavioral disorders. After realizing that the need for therapeutic interventions is not limited to the United States, Ms. O’Dell is currently developing an additional arm to Jacob’s Ladder; one with a global impact. Thru the creation of a global ministry, Jacob’s Ladder hopes to reach children from impoverished nations who may not have access to modern medicine. By aiding children and their families both local and abroad, Ms. O’Dell hopes to continue improving the quality of life and inspire HOPE for more children and their families.

Governor Nathan Deal appointment Ms. O’Dell to serve on the 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, as well as current service on the Board of Directors for HINRI (The Healthcare Institute for National Renewal and Innovation).

“From time-to-time I think about the experience of getting to know you and your staff at Jacob’s Ladder. The impression is deep and lasting… and for good reason. In my over forty years of hanging out at schools around the nation, I have not found a school as deeply committed  at every limb and fiber of every person who works there to the cause of helping children learn.”

Bobby Welch

Brent Young

Director of Business and 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.

Jaclyn Rhodes

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 OperationsJaclyn 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.  

Allegra Saunders

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. 

Ericka Cooper

Director of HOPE School Programming

Ericka Cooper graduated from the College of Charleston with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.  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 Behavior Department in January 2013.  Ericka is the Program Director the HOPE School and is a Certified Crisis Prevention Intervention Instructor and is certified in First Aid, CPR, and has training in medical protocols.  She is also an evaluator and the Director of Emotional Development and Behavioral Services, which encompasses Independent Living Transition, Self-Regulation Intervention, in-home support, and communication.

Gillian Glauber

Director of Student and Organizational Care

Gillian Glauber graduated from Emory University with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Dance & Movement Studies. Her past experiences include working as a camp counselor for special needs children, an assistant preschool teacher for children with and without autism in an integrated classroom setting, a research assistant at the Emory Child Study Center, and volunteer work with children of all ages in a variety of academic and recreational settings. After starting at Jacob’s Ladder in 2008 as a Neurodevelopmental Teacher, Gillian soon went on to deepen her knowledge of the Jacob’s Ladder Methodology as an Evaluator and currently serves as Director of Student & Organizational Care. Gillian’s role includes ensuring program integrity through detailed and thorough teacher documentation, as well as overseeing student and communal supplies and initial setups for new clients. She is also involved in training new staff members and volunteers, supervises the completion of projects by Teacher Assistants and Administrative Staff, and is a Certified Provider of Integrated Listening Systems.

Evan Feldman

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.

Sarah Smith

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.

Virginia Clark

Director of Research and 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.

David Sherwood - LAPC, MFT

Mental Health Professional

David has spent the last decade teaching high school students as an educator. While he loved to facilitate learning experiences in a classroom, his duties as a teacher always seemed to take second place to what he loved to do most with his students — connect with them one-on-one through conversations about their trials and struggles and about what was most meaningful to them. Since making the transition from educator to full-time counselor, David has realized that his passion to help people navigate difficult seasons of life is not relegated to teenagers and their parents, but anyone who is hurting or recognizes a need for personal change.

  • Terese Howard

    Insurance & Billing Specialist
  • Dan Ellis

    Operations and NFB
  • Michelle Gripado

    Neurodevelopmental Teacher
  • Katie Wisnewski

    HOPE School Teacher
  • Jacob Wuttke

    Mission Holder
  • Vicki Bishop

    HOPE School Teacher
  • Shona Hurt

    Lead Neurofeedback Practitioner
  • Oscar Mendez

    Team Lead
  • Leighton Persell

    HOPE School Group A Lead
  • Chloe Romocki

    Learning Environment 3 Lead Teacher
  • Katie Isaac

    Team Lead
  • CC Cofer

    HOPE School Teacher
  • Brenda Spring

    Neurodevelopmental Teacher
  • Lisa Parish

    HOPE School Teacher
  • Michele Soteres

    Buckhead Operations
  • Olivia Trunfio

    Team Lead
  • Renee Barber

    PODS of Care Traveling Team
  • Stephanie Halvorsen

    Buckhead Evaluator
  • Sam Reynolds

    HOPE School Group C Lead Teacher
  • Sarah Cannon

    Buckhead Evaluator
  • Sheila Firmino

    Neurodevelopmental Teacher
  • Aubry Wuttke

    HR & Operations Coordinator
  • Casey Voyles

    LE3A Lead Teacher
  • Clair Larkin

    HOPE School Teacher
  • Megan Finnegan

    HOPE School Academic Lead Teacher
  • Rachel Fagan

    Neurodevelopmental Teacher
  • Janie Pickett

    Learning Environment 2 Lead Teacher
  • April Bloom

    Nursery Lead
  • Allison TeBeest

    Neurodevelopmental Teacher
  • April Williams

    Neurodevelopmental Teacher
  • Jodi White

    Learning Environment 3 Support Teacher
  • Ryan Olliffe

    Neurodevelopmental Teacher
  • Alexis Mayberry

    PODS of Care Traveling Team
  • Ashley Likes

    Neurodevelopmental Teacher
  • Cory Barbre

    Neurodevelopmental Teacher
  • Elizabeth Jahn

    Neurodevelopmental Teacher
  • Fran Anderson

    Neurodevelopmental Teacher
  • Hunter Chambers

    HOPE School Teacher
  • Kaitlin Doody

    Neurodevelopmental Teacher
  • Kayli Seagraves

    Neurodevelopmental Teacher
  • Lysa West

    Neurodevelopmental Teacher
  • Sudha Anand

    Neurodevelopmental Teacher
  • Trisha Gross

    Neurodevelopmental Teacher
  • Laura Bailey

    HOPE School Teacher
  • Ashley Holder

    Neurodevelopmental Teacher
  • Chuck Harley

    Neurodevelopmental Teacher
  • Colson Bellmore

    Neurodevelopmental Teacher
  • Perry McWilliams

    Neurodevelopmental Teacher
  • Raul Blanco

    Neurodevelopmental Teacher
  • Shelby McMichael

    Neurodevelopmental Teacher
  • Sophie Schwarze

    Neurodevelopmental Teacher
  • Taylor Nix

    Neurodevelopmental Teacher
  • Tiffany Tillaka

    Neurodevelopmental Teacher
  • Don Terry

    HOPE School Teacher
  • Elaine Mayumi

    Neurodevelopmental Teacher
  • Maureen Halvorsen

    Infant Care Team
  • Melissa Darin

    Neurodevelopmental Teacher