John Crocker
Founder and Director of MASMHC
Director of School Mental Health & Behavioral Services, Methuen Public Schools

John Crocker has worked in public education for fifteen years, primarily as the administrator for the Methuen Public Schools Counseling Department. He has overseen the planning and implementation of the “Mental Health Initiative,” which has focused on the establishment of a comprehensive school mental health system (CSMHS) in partnership with the National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH). John has worked with the NCSMH as a member of the National School Mental Health Task Force and as the Massachusetts team leader for the National Coalition for the State Advancement of School Mental Health (NCSA-SMH). In his role as the director of school mental health & behavioral services, he is charged with overseeing the district-wide implementation and evaluation of Methuen’s CSMHS and positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS). His work has focused on developing a district-wide system of universal mental health screening, advancing the use of psychosocial data to inform school mental health staff’s therapeutic practice, and the development and evaluation of the CSMHS in Methuen. He has worked to scale up evidence-based therapeutic services across Methuen through the provision of district-wide professional development and the design and implementation of group- and individual-therapy programs. Mr. Crocker founded the Massachusetts School Mental Health Consortium (MASMHC), a group of approximately one-hundred and fifty school districts across Massachusetts committed to advocating for and implementing quality and sustainable school mental health services and supports. Most recently, MASMHC co-led the Massachusetts Collaborative for Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) for Comprehensive School Mental Health, the School Mental Health Leadership Institute, and Thriving Minds, a professional development series focused on building comprehensive school mental health systems. He received the National Center for School Mental Health’s School Mental Health Champion Award in 2018 and was nominated the 2019 Massachusetts School Counselors Association (MASCA) Administrator of the Year, the 20-21 Massachusetts Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Counselor of the Year, and the 2021 Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) Michael J. Kane Wellness Award recipient.

MASMHC Leadership Team

Sara Burd, Independent Consultant

Jennifer Cutler, Director of Counseling and Social Emotional Learning, Ashland Public Schools

Marlene DeJesus, Social Emotional Learning Director, Agawam Public School System

Jami Dion, Supervisor of School Counseling K-12, Haverhill Public Schools

Tracy Encarnacao, Director of Guidance and Counseling Services, Greater Lowell Technical High School

Will English, School Counselor, Beverly Public Schools

Art Fergusson, Director of Social Emotional Learning & Equity, Natick Public Schools

Kim Garrison, All-Island Behavioral Health Coordinator, MVYPS

Kristen Gasper, Agawam Public Schools 

Samantha Graham, Substance Use Prevention & Intervention Specialist, DESE

Craig Harris, Director of Social Emotional Learning, Swampscott Public Schools

Darrell Johnson, Counselor, Chicopee Public Schools

Jason Levene, K-12 District Social Emotional Learning Coordinator, Andover Public Schools

Melissa Maguire, Director of Student Services, Monomoy Regional School District

Jamie Millett, Director of Counseling & Mental Health Services, Shrewsbury Public Schools

Christine Murray, Coordinator of Behavioral Health and Social Emotional Support, Wilmington Public Schools

Amanda Nemet, School Adjustment Counselor, Dighton Rehoboth Regional School District

Kori Nicholson, School Social Worker, Minuteman High School

Tim Potts, Behavioral Health Coordinator, Newburyport Public Schools

Lauren Suarez, Adjustment Counselor, Bridgewater-Raynham Public Schools

Abbey Tenczar, Social Emotional Director, Chicopee Public Schools

Kim Tynan, Clinical Director, Westborough Public Schools

Catarina Veludo-Bovio, Dean of Students, Peabody Public Schools

Christine Concesion
Director of Mental Health
Burlington Public Schools

Christine Conceison is the Director of Mental Health for Burlington Public Schools in Burlington, MA. She graduated with her Masters in Social Work in 2009 and has been working to support children, families and communities since that time. Christine has worked to raise awareness regarding the prevalence of mental health in the local community and is dedicated to ensuring equitable and accessible mental health treatment for all community members.

Within the school district, Christine is committed to ensuring social emotional learning and mental health literacy are an integral part of the curriculum. She is focused on enhancing school-family-community partnerships and fostering experiences for all stakeholders that promote trusting and collaborative relationships. Christine has been working to establish a comprehensive school mental health system (CSMHS) including robust community partnerships, evidence-based services, and a tiered approach.

Jordan Hamilton
School Counselor
Methuen Public Schools

Jordan Hamilton currently works as a school counselor for Methuen Public Schools. During his first graduate degree in psychology, he served as a research assistant at UMass Lowell. His research area focused on domain-contingent self-worth and working memory capacity; the extent to which test-anxiety impacted student performance and confounded results. During this time, he also served Middlesex Community College by assisting the dean of students in developing interdisciplinary teaching pedagogies for incoming freshmen. In addition, he also worked as a residential counselor for a group home in Lowell that assisted disenfranchised youth facing a myriad of intellectual, developmental, and learning disabilities. During his second graduate degree in education, his research area sought to explore the extent to which early postsecondary aspirations, standardized test scores, and measures of college and career readiness counseling services received in high school predict later postsecondary aspirations, initial college enrollment, retention, and persistence. Using his prior knowledge of computer programming, he designed and coded the website to disseminate the College Admissions Knowledge Evaluation (CAKE), used to collect data. It was around this time that he met his current supervisor, John Crocker, and was afforded the opportunity to work with him for Methuen Public Schools. In addition to his role as a school counselor in Methuen, he also serves on the leadership team for the Massachusetts School Mental Health Consortium (MASMHC).

Jessica Lowe
School Counselor
Methuen Public Schools

Jessica Lowe has worked as a Guidance Counselor at Methuen High School in Methuen, MA for the past five years.  She received her 5th-12th grade Professional School Guidance Counselor license in September of 2019. Aside from promoting the academic and post-secondary development for students on her caseload, Jessica is invested in her school’s mental health initiative, providing tiered, therapeutic services to students and using evidence-based and progress monitoring techniques to gauge student achievement, emotional regulation, and symptom presentation.  She has presented at the School for Mental Health Conferences in Washington D.C (October 2016) and Austin, Texas (November 2019) on Methuen’s data-driven, small group counseling program. The presentation highlighted Methuen’s group program that provide psychoeducational and therapeutic curriculum for students experiencing symptoms of anxiety and/or depression.  As the Rising Star Recipient of MASCA for 2020, Jessica is passionate about promoting mental health in schools in her role as a counselor.   

Alex Hirshberg
Executive Director at Hirshberg Behavioral Health Services, LLC

Dr. Alex Hirshberg, Psy.D. was the managing director at James Levine and Associates, a mental health agency that provides school consultation, assessment, and outpatient therapy services. Alex’s worked with schools across the state in a variety of capacities to support student social-emotional skills. This includes professional development around evidence-based intervention, support for implementing SEL and trauma informed practices, and developing specialized programming for in-district social-emotional disability programs. Alex received his bachelor’s degree from Colorado College and his doctorate from William James College (formerly Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology).

Gina Kahn
Director Safe Schools / Healthy Students
Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School District

Dr. Gina Kahn is a school psychologist and prevention specialist, recently retired from the Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School District. As HWRSD’s Safe and Healthy Students Programs Director, she has coordinated several of the district’s school safety, climate, and behavioral health integration initiatives, including three Readiness and Emergency Management in Schools projects, a Safe Schools/Healthy Students program, a School Climate Transformations grant from the Office of Safe and Healthy Students, and a School Violence Prevention grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.  She received her Ed.D. from Northeastern University in Boston in 2013, completing her dissertation on the topic of teacher response to grieving children in the classroom. She was a member of the Education Subcommittee for the National Commission on Children and Disasters (2009–10) and serves as a “Developing Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs) K-12 101” presenter for the REMS-TA Center. She continues to chair the District’s Safety and Emergency Advisory Team, serves as the Director for the H-W Partners for Youth (Drug Free Communities) Coalition, and is an officer of the Board of Directors for Rick’s Place Center for Grieving Children in her hometown of Wilbraham.

Karen McCrillis
School Counselor / District School Counselor Coordinator
Gardner Public Schools

Mrs. Karen McCrillis is a school counselor at Gardner High School and the district counseling coordinator. She has worked to bring the school counseling department to focus on student focused data driven work. She has received her BA in Psychology, MS in Counseling and CAGS in Interdisciplinary Studies (Mental Health Counseling) all from Fitchburg State University and also is a Licenced Mental Health Counselors. She has completed the ASCA U Specialist training in Leadership. Karen is the 2020 MASCA School Counselor of the Year.