Florence Crittenton’s work is made possible by the talent, dedication and inspiration of our people.
Our team brings a wealth of experience and strives to provide exceptional programs in a culture where everyone is encouraged to give it their all. Together, we are transforming the lives of young families and building stronger communities.
Carrie joined Florence Crittenton in March, 2010 as the Grants Officer. She quickly fell in love with the work and the organization and moved to the Development Director in 2011, a position she has held since. Prior to her time here, Carrie was the Education Coordinator for the Montana Hospital Association. Her extensive experience in development work and project management includes time with the Helena Symphony, as well as the Assistant Director of Development and Director of Gameday Operations with the Montana State University Athletic Department in Bozeman.
During her time as the Development Director, Carrie worked closely with budget management, fund and contract development, and advocacy on several levels for Florence Crittenton. She has worked on the integrated Leadership team at Florence Crittenton, and has gained extensive knowledge regarding the critical work of caring for families in an integrated family-centric treatment model. Carrie built a fundraising department that has grown from raising $500,000 to nearly $1 million annually.
Carrie holds a Business Marketing degree and minor in Small Business from MSU-Bozeman. She is passionate about ensuring every family has the opportunity to raise their children in a loving environment. Raised by small business owner parents, she loves the “business side” of connecting this passion with partnerships across the state. Carrie is a Helena native and enjoys raising her two daughters with her husband back in her hometown.
Sarah Mitchell is the Early Childhood Program Manager for Florence Crittenton Preschool and Child Enrichment Center. Originally from Georgia, Sarah brings over 12 years’ experience in the educational setting. While attending Valdosta State University, she received a BA in Psychology and M.Ed. in School Counseling. Sarah has developed a strong sense of devotion to supporting children’s development as a program manager of early prevention and intervention services. This experience has provided her with a deep appreciation for collaborating with educators, parents, and community partners to meet each child’s developmental needs. She believes early exposure to learning opportunities that are fun and engaging enhance children’s social-emotional, cognitive, communicative, and physical development. She is committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment where children develop a love of learning and feel a sense of belonging.
Allison Pettit brings over 30 years of experience in early childhood education to Florence Crittenton’s Child Enrichment Center (CEC). As one of the Early Childhood Lead Teachers for the CEC, she ensures the infants and toddlers at the center receive the cognitive, physical, communicative, and social-emotional supports they need to further their growth and development. Recognizing families are essential to early childhood success, Allison strives to build connections and maintain open discourse with each family. She utilizes her bachelor’s degree and early childhood trainings to implement daily developmentally appropriate best practices in the CEC. Allison enjoys creating a fun, engaging, stimulating environment for the children and shares the best part of early childhood education and her day centers around play.
Amanda Steichen joined Florence Crittenton in June 2019 as a Parents as Teachers Home Visitor. She and her family moved from Great Falls to Helena in 2008 and it didn’t take long for them to fall in love with the community. Amanda had three children soon after getting married and with her husband in the military often found herself being a single parent. Knowing the struggles of being a young mom and oftentimes doing it alone she
is excited to be able to help families in the community develop parenting skills and build strong bonds with their kids.
Amanda was able to stay home with her kids while they were young but as they grew older she knew she needed to do something for herself. In 2014 she enrolled at Helena College after being out of school for 16 years. Not sure where her education would take her she quickly found an interest in Psychology and took every class that she could. When the University of Montana partnered with Helena College to offer an online Social Work degree she knew that was the path to take. Amanda graduated with her Bachelor’s in Social Work in May 2019. She plans to pursue her Master’s degree in Social work in 2021.
Amber comes to us from Minnesota where she completed her bachelor’s in social work in 2016. Amber formerly worked as an Independent Living Skills worker and Case Manager for Adults with Unique Abilities. Amber came to Helena to serve a year with AmeriCorps at the Montana Department of Labor and Industry where she served in the Montana Career Lab, sharing career exploration curriculum for elementary students in Helena area programs and with educators across the state. Amber is currently pursuing her master’s in social work because she whole heartedly believes in the dignity and worth of every human being and is passionate about supporting social justice and equity for all. Amber will be one of Florence Crittenon’s SafeCare Home Visitors and is excited to empower young families to gain more knowledge, skills, and confidence in their parenting. While she doesn’t have any children herself, Amber enjoys spending her free time with her partner and their 2 fur children, Bandit the sweet and wild Pomeranian and Macy the cuddly and tenacious cat. Amber is excited to become a mother in the future and is certain that practicing the SafeCare model will give her the skills necessary to become a confident parent. In her free time Amber enjoys hiking and exploring new areas, trying new foods, attempting and failing at different crafts, and never turns down a good movie night.
Andrea Holmes serves as Florence Crittenton’s Director of Strategic Growth and Programs. Andrea has 14 years experience serving many professional roles in areas related to education; trauma-informed organizational development; trauma-informed educational supports; childhood traumatic stress; complex trauma; early development and attachment; suicide prevention; and management in interventions and supports for children and their families. Prior to joining the team at Florence Crittenton, Andrea worked at the Institute for Educational Research and Service’s National Native Children’s Trauma Center at The University of Montana providing training and technical assistance to schools and community agencies in Montana and across the United States. She has a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction/Psychology from the University of Montana and holds Teaching and Special Education Teaching licenses. Andrea’s enduring passion to build sturdy foundations of support for young children and their caregivers is what brought her to Florence Crittenton. She is a Montana native and enjoys spending time in the pristine mountains, rivers and lakes across the state.
Bob joined Florence Crittenton in 2018 and serves as our Medical Director. Bob has practiced in Helena for over 23 years both in private practice and on a contract basis with other agencies.
Most recently Bob worked with AWARE, Inc. and prior to that he was a psychiatrist for the PACT (Program of Assertive Community Treatment) at the Center for Mental Health.
Bob has extensive experience in both public and private psychiatry including inpatient, outpatient, consulting and addiction psychiatry. He has also held faculty appointments at the University of California, Davis and at the University of New Mexico. He holds a Bachelors degree in Music, a Masters in Computer Science and his Medical Doctorate from UNM.
In his spare time Bob enjoys music and sings in the Helena Symphony Chorale as well as taking occasional parts in Helena’s local Ballet Company. He is an avid private pilot and enjoys flying kids in the Young Eagles Program.
Bob is excited to draw on all the skills and experience he has accumulated during his career to help the young families at Florence Crittenton.
Brittany Nelson is the Early Childhood Teacher’s Aide for Florence Crittenton Preschool. While new to early childhood education as a profession, she has provided care for younger siblings, as well as her five nephews!!! An advocate for early childhood education, she believes exposure to high quality learning and environments in the formative years is essential in helping prepare children for school. Brittany seeks to ensure children in the program establish skills that promote social-emotional, cognitive, communicative, and physical development. Since joining Florence Crittetton, she has discovered the preschool setting provides opportunities for children to grow in their abilities to successfully interact with peers and adults, establish and maintain friendships, develop effective listening skills, follow routines, learn to share, and express their ideas and feelings. Brittany finds working with the children is fun and inspiring, because each day is a little different. She “loves kiddos creative minds and their way of thinking and curiosity”. She enjoys helping children learn and grow through play everyday!
A lover of words and people, Brittney’s two favorites align in her role as the Senior Development Manager at Florence Crittenton. Brittney writes grants for FCHS, and works with local business to ensure that they are able to meet their philanthropic goals. Brittney believes in the infinite power of young women and is passionate about the idea that every family deserves a chance. A native of Wyoming, she fell in love with Montana during her undergraduate studies as a GRIZ, and is so happy to call Helena home. She and her husband Jeff recently welcomed their baby girl into the world, and are enjoying all of the wondrous moments that brings. Brittney has a penchant for fabulous shoes, loves to travel and she can be found curled up with a good book, or out on the hiking trails with her pup.
Denice Wells is an Early Childhood Lead Teacher at the Florence Crittenton Child Enrichment Center (CEC). With over 23 years of experience in the early childhood profession, she is an expert in ensuring the CEC operates efficiently. From meeting the needs of children 0-2 to mentoring new staff members, Denice is known for her caring, responsible, and trustworthy personality. She continually seeks opportunities for growth in her field and has attended several trainings that address various areas of child development. Denice believes children are happiest when they feel safe and loved. She is passionate about providing an atmosphere where infants and toddlers can safely explore their environment. Denice is proud of the accomplishments the CEC has achieved, and she strives to ensure the center continues to experience success.
Deniese joined Florence Crittenton is December 2018 as Donor Relations Coordinator. This is her second experience with Florence Crittenton as in 1974 she was a client and gave birth to a beautiful baby boy while in our residential program. She credits Florence Crittenton with helping her spring board into being the best she could be for herself and her children. Today with her husband she is the proud mother of 10 children and 23 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.
Prior to joining Florence Crittenton Deniese worked with United Way’s Allocation Funds Committee, Head Start as a Family Services Coordinator and as part of a suicide prevention program for a remote tribal village in the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
Deniese moved back to Montana in 2018 and was overwhelmed with emotion at the opportunity to work for an organization that made such a difference in her own life. She says she has come full circle!
Liz’s journey to Florence Crittenton began with a cattle drive vacation, a rattlesnake and a cowboy! Having lived for 30 years in London working in the technology field she made the move to Montana and found her passion doing work that has meaning and playing her part in helping transform the lives of young families.
Today she is married to the cowboy and has 2 beautiful children and a badly behaved mutt. In her spare time she enjoys hiking in the mountains, camping, boating, a nice cup of tea and some English chocolate.
Emily became a mom at age 31 and in those beautiful, emotional, difficult first weeks, her bleary eyes were opened to the monumental change that is motherhood. Having worked at Florence Crittenton for two years before this, she knew how resilient and strong our young mothers and families were, but the title of “mom” gave her new wisdom to realize how brave our moms are to forge ahead so young and often without the built-in supports that life had afforded her. She came back from maternity leave resolved to cheer our young families toward their personal victories.
Emily is passionate about doing work that matters, which makes her 6 years here a celebration, where she gets to support parents through parenting classes and hands-on “I’m right there with you” encouragement. On the job, you’ll find Emily in her element facilitating parenting classes with residential and community parents and encouraging staff to utilize the nurturing parenting lenses we teach in parenting classes in their work with our clients. Off the job, you’ll find her drinking good coffee, spending time with her beautiful children and husband, trying out a new recipe and enjoying sunshine wherever she can find it.
Isabelle joined Florence Crittenton in 2019 as the Admissions Coordinator for our programs. After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies from Carroll College in May 2018, Isabelle worked as a legal assistant in a law firm in Helena. Originally from Helena, Isabelle is excited to be able to stay in her hometown and continue to work with the community. Isabelle’s prior experience working with clients provide her with a knowledge of individual needs and passionate support.
Isabelle is the head cheer coach for the Carroll College Fighting Saints and previously cheered at Carroll from 2013-2017.
Jen’s passion for children began at a very young age. As a little girl anytime she was asked what she wanted to be when she grew up her answer was always the same; “I am going to be a mom when I grow up.” Little did Jen know that her goal of becoming a mother would happen much sooner in her life than she anticipated. In fact, she was only seventeen and a senior in high school when she found out she was expecting her first child. Jen graduated high school married, and with an infant in her arms. In many ways, her goal that she set years before as a young child had been achieved. She had become a mother, and the joy that it brought to her life was immeasurable. However, it didn’t take long for Jen to realize that her passion for children ran deeper than just parenting her own.
By the time she was twenty-five, Jen and her husband had four children. She continued working with children and families in a variety of atmospheres, primarily focusing on early childhood education. Working with families opened her eyes to the fact that every parent struggles, questions their ability; and many days feel as if they are failing. If additional factors such as; single parenting, teen parenting, addiction, poverty, or abuse are present the task of raising children and believing in yourself as a parent is often overwhelming. In 2013, Jen realized that her passion wasn’t working with children, it was working with families and helping parents break generational cycles, and to provide hope in the darkest places. She decided to continue her education and earn a degree that would allow her to work with families and young children on a deeper level.
Ms. Burckhard began her work at Florence Crittenton in 2015; providing in home education, parenting support, and vital resources to Helena community families and their children ages 0-5. She is also one of three certified SafeCare Trainers in the state of Montana, providing training, guidance and support to other home visitors who provide services in their respective communities across the state. Jen is excited to continue many more years of supporting Florence Crittenton’s mission to ensure all families have the best start and are able to thrive in a demanding world.
Jodie was born in Oregon but grew up primarily in Montana. After many years in customer service and management, Jodie moved to a field of work that was more meaningful to her. For 9 years she worked at a local non-profit organization that assists adults with Developmental Disabilities. Working with the clients there really gave her a passion to serve our most vulnerable populations.
Jodie has a degree in Healthcare Administration, and a PHR certification. She loves learning and is always first in line to sign up for training. She has been a long-standing member of the Helena Job Service Employers Committee (JSEC) working with local employers to provide them with HR knowledge, trainings and materials, and providing scholarships to High School students looking to further their education.
Jodie loves spending time with her kids and adventuring wherever they can, watching movies (anything but chick flicks!), church, and is an avid reader. She is a Black Belt in Taekwondo, and the current District and State Champion in her division. Currently she is working on completing her training to become a certified instructor.
The mission of Florence Crittenton is near and dear to Jodie’s heart. She was raised by a single grandparent and then became a widow at the age of 26. She identifies with the struggles that come with the single parent life and knows how much compassion is needed for those who are on that journey as well. Jodie is excited to begin a new chapter at Florence Crittenton and has learned that there is so much more to FC than meets the eye!
Jolene Van Valkenburgh is the Program Manager/ Case Manager for the Residential Programs at Florence Crittenton Homes and Services. Jolene joined the Florence Crittenton team May of 2017, and found working with pregnant and parenting women rewarding. Jolene finds fulfillment in connecting clients to comprehensive resources and advocating for individuals and their families.
Jolene brings 18 years of experiences from work at the Montana Development Center, Alternative Youth Adventures/ Youth Dynamics Inc., Acadia of Montana, and Intermountain Children’s Home.
Her experiences spans from direct client care, supervisory roles, school base services, to managing residential programs at Florence Crittenton Home and Services.
Jolene is a Certified trainer with Crisis Prevention Intervention, trained in trauma informed care, and is a Licensed Foster Care provider.
Jon comes to Florence Crittenton after fourteen years in public libraries. Working in libraries gave Jon the opportunity to help others while being around the books he loves. Along the way he gained experience with computer programming, content management systems, and other aspects of website development. As Database Management Specialist, Jon coordinates Florence Crittenton’s data collection and reporting. He’s glad to be supporting staff and clients by helping to improve outcomes and meet funding requirements. He holds degrees from Michigan State University, Wayne State University, and Lesley University. He’s a committed runner and avid reader who has published several short stories.
Kendall recently joined Florence Crittenton as a Licensed Addictions Counselor. Kendall will be working in our Outpatient treatment services. Kendall has been in the field of addictions for 4 years and is currently licensed through the state of Montana. Kendall has a Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences, as well as a Graduate Certification in Licensed Addiction Counseling both from Montana State University. Go Cats!
Kendall grew up in Helena and moved to Bozeman to pursue her education. As a young single mother herself, she realized her passion for wanting to help young mothers and families, which brought her back to Helena and to Florence Crittenton. Kendall wholeheartedly believes that compassion and empathy can help clients and their families live a purposeful, and joy-filled lives. Kendall looks forward to supporting and empowering all of her clients on their journey in recovery.
When not at work you can find Kendall at the lake, getting outside with her 18-month-old son, or at the famers market in the nice weather.
Marchita Mays joined Florence Crittenton in 2019 as the Development Services Coordinator.
Marchita is a Montana native and was raised in Missoula. Growing up in a large family, she learned the importance of family values and traditions. She is passionate about the mission of Florence Crittenton–Every family deserves a chance.
Marchita attended the University of Montana, Missoula College and started her career in the medical field as a Health Unit Coordinator. When she moved to Helena, she began a career in promotions and then moved to marketing and special events. Her compassion to help others has brought her to the nonprofit world. She is excited to be a part of the development team where she can put her talent and experience to use in supporting the mission and goals of Florence Crittenton.
She enjoys camping trips in the mountains of Montana with her husband and three children and family gatherings with her large family.
Meghan is the Early Childhood and Family Specialist for Florence Crittenton. Meghan earned a BS in Elementary Education from The University of Montana-Western and is finishing her MA in Educational Counseling from Montana State University-Northern, as well as having a Montana Teaching Licenses with the State of Montana. Prior to coming to Florence Crittenton, Meghan was an elementary teacher teaching grades ranging from 1st -4th. She has worked closely with low income and migrant families throughout her time in the classroom and understands the importance of building positive relationships. Meghan is excited to be able to combine her two passions, education and therapy, into a role that supports and advocates for young women and families.
Micaela Wilfong is an Early Childhood Lead Teacher at Florence Crittenton Preschool. Micaela graduated from Montana State University-Bozeman in 2014 with a BS in Early Childhood Education. Since graduating, Micaela has taught preschool in various programs in Tennessee and Montana. She is a strong advocate for family services being a leading part of the preschool program. Micaela believes “when you start a child in preschool you don’t just enroll the child, you enroll the family”. Micaela is a firm believer that parents are their child’s first educators and that preschool is an extension of family driven learning. She believes having parents as an active participant and advocate in their child’s education is essential. Micaela is excited to be a part of the Florence Crittenton team and to bring her education and experience to the classroom.
Michelle received a BA degree in Art, an MA in Spirituality and Creativity, and a certificate as a Montessori pre-primary teacher. One of her favorite roles is that as a mother to her two teenage sons. Once her sons began school, Michelle thought it would be rewarding to become a special education paraprofessional in the East Helena Public School District. After 8 years of being a preschool teacher, prior to the birth of her children, Michelle was back working with her favorite population. This time it was working with children who had disabilities of all types, from psychological, emotional to physical. Michelle found this work so inspiring that after 5 years she decided to become a Family Support Specialist at Family Outreach, Inc. Here she began her home visiting career working in early intervention with children and their families in the state’s early childhood programs. In this capacity she was able to give families caring support and hope in some of their most challenging times. She realized how important it was for parents and children of all abilities be able to have the best opportunities to bond and attach and create healthy families and healthy lives. This is what would eventually lead her to Florence Crittenton and their Parents As Teachers program. Now she is a Parents As Teachers Educator and continues her mission of spreading hope and support to help all families grow and thrive!
Molly Curry is an Early Childhood Lead Teacher at Florence Crittenton Preschool. Molly began her career in early childcare in 1984 upon completion of several years of elementary education classes at Eastern Montana College, now known as Montana State University Billings. The belief that “it is easier to build up a child than it is to repair an adult” is an inspirational message that has followed her throughout her career in early childhood education. With over 30 years of working with toddlers, her experience has helped her evolve into a teacher who can educate kiddos with compassion and knowledge. She strives to continue to learn, so that she can provide the best educational experience for children. She believes children learn best through guided play and is often seen playing alongside the kids in her class. Molly is passionate about providing an environment that teaches and nurtures future generations.
Olivia Nordlund is an Early Childhood Assistant Teacher at Florence Crittenton’s Child Enrichment Center (CEC). She is a Carroll College alum and has a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Olivia’s lively demeanor brings several giggles and smiles to the infants and toddlers at the CEC. An advocate for early literacy exposure and development, she is often found in the literacy area of the center reading a variety of books to kiddos. Recognizing that early literacy skills are strongly linked to communication, Olivia also strives to promote and model essential signing skills with kiddos. Her desire to continue to explore meaningful ways to connect and enhance children’s growth and development has led her to complete several early childhood trainings that focus on environment and positive guidance techniques. Her continued search for knowledge regarding developmentally appropriate practices has provided her with the skills to offer an inclusive, engaging, positive environment for all children attending the CEC.
Sarabeth serves as Florence Crittenton’s Clinical Supervisor. She has supported children and families in a variety of settings, including experiences as a school-based therapist and kindergarten teacher. Her passion lies in cultivating healthy attachments between parent and child. Sarabeth is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Registered Play Therapist through the Association of Play Therapy. She feels fervently that the family is the “most important client.” Sarabeth utilizes a holistic approach to treatment through play-based, cognitive behavioral, and attachment-based therapies grounded in a trauma-responsive framework. She is invested in the well-being of both her clients and her staff. She has supported systems work in the identification of secondary trauma and the engagement of self-care to increase the overall quality of professional growth. As her most important title is “mom,” she has an intimate understanding of the transformative nature of parenthood- the ups, downs, and everything in between- and feels honored to support the health and wellbeing of families.
Shannon joined Florence Crittenton in 2019 as Residential Case Manager for our residential programs. Originally from Minnesota, Shannon has been in Helena for five years and prior to that all over the US, as well as Germany for three years as a member of the United States Air Force as an EMT and Flight Medicine Technician.
Shannon’s prior experience as a Medical Assistant in OB/GYN and years of outpatient addictions case management provides her with a wealth of knowledge and passion towards helping others be the best they can be. Once a young mother herself, Shannon appreciates the struggles of motherhood and the importance of a strong family support system. Her goal is to help each of our clients feel empowered and confident in mothering and their own personal growth.
Shannon has 3 boys age 17, 15, and 9, and they are her driving force. She is excited for the opportunity to be part of the Florence Crittenton family!
Trisha Troyer is the Early Childhood Assistant Teacher at Florence Crittenton Preschool. She is a native Montanan who grew up on a farm in the Northeast corner of our great state! Go Porcupines! When she’s not on the go with her husband and two young children, she is reading a book or working on a puzzle on her iPad. Her passion for kids began when she was younger. Growing up on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, she realized there was a strong need for families and children to have access to high quality programs. For Trisha, access to these resources and services allows individuals to reach their full potential. She started her education at the University of Northern Colorado in nursing. Missing the Big Sky, she transferred to Montana State University and continued working towards her degree. Being a mother and seeing children grow to their potential led her to begin working with children. She is passionate about making sure that every child is afforded the right to equal and inclusive education. She seeks to ensure children at the preschool reach their full potential in a safe, supportive, and loving environment.
Sarah Corbally, President
Ron Waterman, Vice President
Lisa Nelson, Secretary
Jim Carney, Treasurer
Jamie Wood McCullough
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