The staff at Lake House Academy brings together education, skill, experience and a love for what they do. Each of these individuals understands the complex family dynamics our girls come from. Our goal is to help your daughter rediscover the confident, resilient and fun-loving person you know and love.
Mackenzie is originally from St. George, UT where she first began her journey as a youth mentor at a program for teenage girls. She was there for several years and held multiple leadership positions while also learning how to facilitate lasting change in youth and their families. Mackenzie enjoys working with the whole family system and being able to witness the moments when the family shifts towards a life worth living. Prior to joining Lake House Academy, Mackenzie worked with families at Chrysalils beginning in 2018 as the Program Director.
Mackenzie is eager to explore all that the NC Mountains has to offer and expand upon her love of hiking, kayaking, travel or simply reading a good book.
Erika attended the University of Connecticut and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Relations. She continued on at Georgian Court University and earned a Master of Arts degree in Education. From there, she began a thirteen year career working as an educator in both private and public schools. In 2013, she was drawn to assist families seeking guidance in treatment for their children and worked independently as an educational consultant specializing in therapeutic programs. Prior to joining Lake House Academy, she has worked as an Admissions Associate for New Vision Wilderness.
Erika brings a strong background of knowledge and experience working with children, complex family systems, and diverse academic and mental health histories. She values providing families and referring professionals a high standard of quality care, responsiveness, and collaboration, as evidenced by her strong relationships within the industry and with families who have benefitted from her support.
Erika lives in North Carolina with her two daughters and their dog Ffynn. In her free time, Erika can be found volunteering with her daughter’s theater company, spending time with her family and watching college basketball.
Alex received her Master’s of Education in Counseling at Montana State University Billings. As a licensed clinical counselor and certified school counselor, Alex has worked with adolescents and families in a therapeutic residential setting as well as the public school system. Having a variety of professional experiences, Alex uses her neuro-developmental knowledge to address the client’s needs.
While she is SMART Recovery trained, she also leans on the use of person-centered therapy, family systems, REBT and DBT skills. Combining the power of rapport and relationships with the skills to communicate and regulate. Facilitating meaningful authentic moments for a family using unconditional positive regard and direct guidance is a joy for Alex. One of her many strengths is using creativity and playfully challenging the family system towards growth.
On her down time, you can find her and her husband rock climbing, mountain biking, playing guitar, and enjoying the excitement of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Born in New England, Mary moved around the country as a kid and ended up finding her long-term home in the Suburbs of Chicago. Mary attended Illinois State University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in History, Political Science, Psychology Education. She continued her passion for education by earning a Master’s in Teaching and a second Master’s in Education Leadership. She has taught and coached for twenty-two years in the suburbs of Chicago as well as Western North Carolina.
Mary and her husband Kevin have two college aged girls. They stay highly active and are always found either on the water, skiing, or in the mountains skiing and hiking.
Deana attended Beloit College and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Education. She continued at Jacksonville State University and earned a Master of Arts degree in Special Education. During her career she has worked both in the classroom as a special educator teacher as well as in the leadership role of an Academic Director.
Deana brings with her a strong background using specific strategies, resources and assessments that cater to the needs of the learners and allow for individualized instruction. It is a process that ensures students are given guidance and flexibility in their learning process, enhancing their academic growth. She also brings well developed leadership skills and strong interpersonal skills that make effective and well-informed decisions in collaboration with both teachers, parents, and students.
Deana enjoys spending time being active outdoors by running, road biking, and mountain biking. She and her husband enjoy attending any type of sporting activity: basketball, track, volleyball, football. She is an avid reader and can often be found on a front porch with a big mug of coffee and good book.
Carson completed a bachelors degree in Psychology with a minor in Child Development and Family Relations at East Carolina University. She then attended Appalachian State University, where she received a masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Carson completed a year-long internship where she worked at a community mental health clinic, providing free individual and group therapy.
Carson enjoys working with young people and families, and has fun hiking and exploring with students!
Nadia earned her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Lenoir Rhyne University in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. Prior to this she completed her B.S. in Psychology with Emphasis in School Guidance. She has worked with a diverse population of students from Hawaii, California, Texas, and North Carolina. Through her professional journey she has identified the power of nature and exploration to find healing and peace. She has experience in a variety of settings such as group homes, intensive in-home, teaching, and mentorship for the past six year. It was during this time that she identified her passion to work and empower young women. Students will often describe Nadia as playful, creative, and warm. Nadia believes in the power of attachment, unconditional positive regard, and creating a safe place. She enjoys integrating expressive arts and movement to support students who have difficulties with verbalizing their emotions and feelings.
When not at work, Nadia loves exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway, National parks, and the Appalachian trail. You will often find her hiking, chasing waterfalls, camping, practicing yoga, karaoke, and playing with her dachshund Houston.
Aubrey attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. She continued her education at the Middle Tennessee State University and earned a Master’s of Education in Professional Mental Health Counseling. Aubrey sees value in incorporating an experiential component into sessions and uses her experience and training to meet clients where they are at and to foster an environment of growth and empowerment. She has experience with Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills. In her free time she can be found scoping out new hiking trails, spending time with her dogs, and eating chocolate brownie extreme blizzards from Dairy Queen.
Lexi received a counseling psychology undergraduate and Clinical Mental Health Counseling Masters from Liberty University. Lexi has experience working with all age groups and families but has specialized in working with adolescents, primarily in an intensive community-based format. She has experience in homes, in the community and in traditional office settings. Lexi holds an understanding that true healing comes from a holistic approach including varied treatment styles, family therapy and experiential learning. She has experience applying adventure-based counseling, trauma informed CBT, REBT, DBT and solution focused models. Lexi’s strength is presenting adaptable in therapeutic models to best fit the child and family system to support individualized treatment. She enjoys spending time outside and with people as often as time allows to include activities like trail running, hiking and rock climbing.
Alex received her Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Western Carolina University a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Spanish from the University of North Carolina Asheville. Before attending undergrad, Alex spent a winter volunteering at a children’s group home and teaching at a boarding school in Rio Dulce, Guatemala. She brings experience as well in community mental health outreach program. Alex’s approach to counseling incorporates a humanistic person-centered approach yet remains individualized to each client based on needs. Alex utilizes evidence-based practices such as Motivational Interviewing, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Internal Family Systems, Cognitive Behavioral approaches, and Solution-Focused techniques in addition to the use of creative arts, experiential methods, and traditional talk therapy. She frequently includes psychoeducation to encourage client insight and improve coping skills. Alex understands that healing is not linear and believes that sharing that space, walking alongside the client with unconditional positive regard, nurtures growth. Alex enjoys kayaking, camping, rock climbing, traveling abroad, and trying her hand at houseplants (although poorly). She considers herself a jack of all hobbies but a master of none.
Bailey earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Valdosta State University. She furthered her education and graduated from Georgia Southern University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. Career experiences have included work in a Neuro ICU at a Trauma 1 hospital, a post-anesthesia care unit and most recently as Nurse Care Manager where she advocated and managed every aspect of her client’s care.
In her free time you can find her adventuring outside with her dogs, Birdie and Sunny. She also enjoys playing sports, gardening, reading and Thai food.
Hope has worked for Embark Behavioral Health for the past 4 years and joins the Lake House Academy team with experience in Residential, Animal Assisted Therapy, and Human Resources. Hope brings play and positivity to work everyday. She has a golden retriever sidekick named Teddy and a son named Matthew. When not working you can find her fencing, painting, hiking, camping, gardening, and whatever fresh project she is focused on for the day.
After completing her bachelors and masters degrees in Criminal Justice at St. Joseph’s University, Robin joined the Lake House Academy team in the summer of 2013. While working as a Residential Coach, she quickly came to realize that being a part of the growth process for Lake House’s girls and families is her life’s passion. In early 2014 she became a Lead Residential Coach and joined the Program Management team in the Fall of 2015. Robin enjoys creating strong bonds with students, focusing on a “jump in the mud” attitude to role model success. Her favorite activities include celebrating holidays with our students, planning fun activities and playing in local bowling and volleyball leagues.
The student’s favorite fun fact about Robin: she used to work as a clown and can make amazing balloon animals!
Carla graduated from UNC-Asheville with a degree in Literature and Academic Licensure. She experiences great happiness watching when a student understands a concept and in turn experiences their own joy. When not teaching, Carla enjoys reading, walking her dachshunds, traveling, cooking, baking, crocheting, volunteering in the community, and enjoying time with family.
Carlee is a native of Asheville, North Carolina. She grew up in nature and loved all things science. She attended the University of North Carolina at Asheville where Carlee obtained a BS in Biology. Carlee is also a former North Carolina Wildlife Rehabilitator and has over 6 years of experience tending to both domestic and wildlife animal species. In her free time, Carlee enjoys spending time with her husband and new puppy, Lucca. She also reads, swims and volunteers with a local wildlife organization.
Noel is a native of Greensboro, NC but comes to Lake House after teaching in New Bern, NC for 5 years. She has taught students from preschool to adult, but her specialty is in History and English with secondary schools students. Noel is also a visual artist and has sold her paintings everywhere from NC to Australia! She has two daughters with whom she loves to spend her time. She loves animals, the arts, and gardening. In her free time, you will find her reading, hiking or playing with her kitties.
Tama earned her Master of Art in Teaching from Queens College. She taught 1st and 3rd grade in Bronx, NY prior to moving to the Asheville area after her family fell in love with the mountains and decided to make it their home. Her favorite part of Lake House is being part of the students’ growing experience. In her spare time, Tama enjoys cooking, reading books, listen to country music, and spending time with her cats.
Celine Armijo graduated from Eastern New Mexico University with a degree in Criminal Justice before relocating to the Western North Carolina region. Celine has held positions as an Assault Crisis Advocate, a Court Advocate Trainer and an assistant at a behavioral health center. She joined the Lake House Team in 2019 as a Residential Shift Lead and immediately connected with our students, our families and our clinical model. When not at LHA, Celine can be found in the community and local colleges leading trainings and support groups!