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 over a decade, primarily as the administrator for the Methuen Public Schools Guidance 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 comprehensive school mental health system (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. He received the National Center for School Mental Health’s School Mental Health Champion Award and was the 2019 Massachusetts School Counselors Association (MASCA) Administrator of the Year.

MASMHC Leadership Team

Erika Boulware, Director of Student Services, Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School

Sara Burd, Director of School Counseling and Social Emotional Learning (SEL), Arlington Public Schools

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

Anne Gilligan, Safe and Healthy Schools Coordinator, DESE

Darrell Johnson, Counselor, Chicopee Public Schools

Jason Levene, K-12 Administrator of Counseling, Health, and Wellness, Winchester Public Schools

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

Jamie Millett, Clinical Social Worker, Lunenburg Public Schools

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

Amanda Nemet, School Adjustment Counselor, Bourne Public Schools

Kori Nicholson, School Social Worker, Minuteman High School

Wendy Pechacek, 6-12 School Counseling Coordinator, Westford Public Schools

Tim Potts, District Supervisor of School Psychologists and Adjustment Counselors, Salem Public Schools

Catarina Saenz, Dean of Students, Somerville Public Schools

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
James Levine and Associates, P.C.

Dr. Alex Hirshberg, Psy.D. is the managing director at James Levine and Associates, a mental health agency that provides school consultation, assessment, and outpatient therapy services. Alex works 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.