Kristen Cassidy earned a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from McNeese State University in 2010. As an employee of Family and Youth from 2007 until 2013, Kristen facilitated social skills groups for the Autism Support Alliance, conducted forensic interviews for the Children’s Advocacy Center, and provided counseling for both the Shannon Cox Counseling Center and also Performance EAP, two programs of Family & Youth. Kristen now has a private practice in Jennings, LA where she provides counseling to adults and children in both individual and family settings. She also works with juveniles and their families as the Families in Need of Services (FINS) Officer for the 31st Judicial District Court in Jefferson Davis Parish. Kristen is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor and a National Certified Counselor.
Susan Couch, married and the mother of three daughters, holds a Masters’ Degree from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. She was a classroom teacher for twenty years. Susan then moved into a position, working as a Master Teacher, serving thirty schools throughout Louisiana. This led to an opportunity to work for the Louisiana State Department of Education as an Executive Master Teacher. In this role, modeling lessons in schools, training teachers, working with curriculum, assessing instruction, conferencing with teachers and administrators were a regular part of every day. From the State Department, Susan went to work for a foundation, The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching. This allowed her to travel the country, working closely with school districts in many different states. While in this position, Susan trained teachers in the latest instructional strategies and assessment practices, focusing on student mastery and quality instruction. She worked closely with districts, schools, teachers, students and presented at National Conferences.
In addition to working full time in the field of education, Susan worked as a visiting Lecturer at McNeese State University. Enjoying curriculum and professional development, she is also a certified trainer for the Independent Investigation Method (research process for the classroom), Project Success Enrichment (creative writing program), and worked as part time trainer for Kagan Cooperative Learning.
Susan was Teacher of the Year for Calcasieu Parish in 1989 and also named as a 2004 Milken National Educator by the Milken Family Foundation.
Kari Hankins completed her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree at Louisiana Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, LA and continued her education at the University of Alabama for a Master’s of Science in Nursing degree. She has worked in Lake Charles as a nurse practitioner since 2009 in private practice and urgent care. While in private practice, Kari started a GYN program focusing on education and prevention for adolescent girls in our community. Kari has served as a preceptor for other nurse practitioner students in her community.
In 2016, Kari volunteered with the Awareness & Prevention subcommittee of the Kid’s Can Initiative. She designed the program Truth, Facts & Lies and a few months later, with the support of the Office of Juvenile Justice Services and the Calcasieu Parish School Board, started a nonprofit organization to implement the program in our parish.
Kari currently serves as a member of the Shannon Cox Advisory Counsel at Family & Youth Counseling and is secretary of the Lake Area Ballet Theatre. She has volunteered with St. Nicholas Center for Children, Junior League of Lake Charles, St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church and Immaculate Conception Cathedral School.
Kelly Henderson graduated in the top 10% of her class with a Degree in Biological Sciences and a Minor in Business Administration from Louisiana State University. While at LSU, Kelly worked as a research assistant and an independent student researcher for various laboratories which included research on specific mammals, insects, and plants indigenous to Louisiana. Kelly tutored many fellow classmates while in college and fell in love with teaching topics she was passionate about. This led to her getting her Alternative Teaching Certification in Secondary Education from Louisiana Research Center for Education in Baton Rouge. She then began teaching at St. Joseph’s Academy in Baton Rouge where she taught Chemistry, Chemistry Honors, and Chemistry II Honors. While at SJA, Kelly served as Student Council Moderator, Assistant Tennis Coach, and a Freshmen Advisor. She was also nominated to serve on various committees which include the Drug and Alcohol Committee and SACS Committee Chair. During her time at SJA, Kelly independently organized and facilitated a student run tutoring program for African Refugee families in Baton Rouge. Kelly also helped lead a two week South African Technology Mission Trip in which she taught classes on technology and computer use in a small South African town. Kelly now lives in Lake Charles and serves as a part time recruiter and board member for Henderson Implement & Marine. She is married to Tyler Henderson and has two young children, Harper and James.