Meet the ThriveWay Team

Allison Moore

Allison is the Co-Founder and President of ThriveWay, LLC. She has chaired statewide committees on K-12 youth suicide prevention including policy and school personnel training development. Allison has presented at numerous conferences and led interactive discussion groups concerning youth mental health. She holds a BS in Human Environmental Sciences and has passionately worked to support educators and students through the modern-day issues in which they face. Also, Allison is the Executive Director of the Jennifer Claire Moore Foundation and serves on youth focused committees in her local community and across Alabama. Allison enjoys family time with her husband and boys as well as being on the water and movie nights! 

Ruby McCullough
Vice President

Ruby is the Co-Founder and Vice President at ThriveWay, LLC. She has extensive experience in the Customer Service and Education Industry. She was instrumental in helping to build a company that has served educators and students both across the United States and 20 countries. As President/CEO of the company Ruby enjoyed leading a great group of employees to grow the company to be recognized as one of the leading providers of administrative software and services to K-12 schools. Ruby enjoys her five grandchildren, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

Meredith Miller
Program and Portal Specialist

Meredith supports educators in learning about and implementing our Peer Helper Portal. She holds a BS degree in Elementary Education with a combined total of 15 years in the field of education. Her experience as a classroom teacher, as well as years of training and supporting educational programs give her an understanding of the many aspects of implementing a successful program. Her knowledge, hands on experience and passion for helping others succeed is what allows her to provide great customer service. She loves watching her kids play sports and spending time with family and friends.

Kathy Hayes

Kathy supports the finance and human resources functions, with over 20 years in the field. She is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is excited to support ThriveWay in its mission to empower educators and students. Kathy enjoys genealogy, travel, and spending time with family and friends.

E.J. Delaino
Marketing and Technology

E.J. has worked in the education sector for over 20 years and brings a love of creating and designing to ThriveWay. With an extensive background in technology and design E.J. wants to make ThriveWay and Peer Helpers a valuable asset for K-12 schools. E.J. enjoys Gator athletics and spending time with family and friends.

Selena Cagle

Selena has been a Pre K-12 educator for 26 years. She earned her BS in Sociology, MS in School Counseling, Ed.Specialist in Educational Leadership, all from Mississippi State University. She has served in educational roles as a school teacher, school counselor, assistant principal, MTSS coordinator, and curriculum coordinator. She is dedicated to helping students strive for greatness in not only education, but in life. Her husband, Greg, is a Forrester and they have four children and one grandchild. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and raising chickens.

Jenny Ozbirn
Director of Coaching and Support

Jenny is a retired teacher/instructional coach, mother to three teen-aged girls, and wife to Bob. After teaching English in Huntsville for two years beginning in 1994, she spent the rest of her career in Florence, at Coffee High School and the Florence Freshman Center. She loves all things crafty, and has a lavender farm in Tennessee. Her happy places are the beach, the mountains, and almost anywhere else outside. She grew up as an army brat, moving sixteen times by the age of seventeen, before moving from Germany to Florence to attend the University of North Alabama.

Kelly Richards
Director of Curriculum

Kelly has 25 years of experience in education as a teacher and school counselor for elementary, middle, and high school students. She has worked with ThriveWay as a Support Coach for two years, and has recently transitioned into her role as Senior Program Specialist.  She works with a team of support coaches to train school systems across the state to implement the Peer Helpers Program. Her goal is to assist school districts, school leadership, and educators in developing a plan to make the school environment a friendlier place where all students feel accepted and valued. She enjoys travel, tennis, and spending time with family - especially her two grandchildren, Lucy and Finn.

Terisa Pittman
Senior Program Specialist

Terisa is a Peer Helpers Program Coach, and retired school counselor of 38 years. She has been married to Bo for thirty-eight years, and they have two sons and one granddaughter. She and Bo were instrumental in implementing the CU4 Reality Fair for eighth-grade students in Lauderdale County Schools. As a military wife and a mother of a special needs child, she understands the social and emotional challenges that children endure. She loves to travel, garden, and spend time with her granddaughter.

Cindy Smith

Cindy is a retired Business Teacher from Ozark City Schools. She holds an M.B.A. from Troy University, and earned National Board Certification. Her husband, Mike, works at the local high school repairing student computers. They have three sons in their early twenties, who are all working while going to college. In her spare time, she enjoys time with family – especially anything that involves food or the outdoors!

Julie Champion
Peer Helpers PLUS Program Trainer

Julie is committed to serving others as the Curriculum and Instructional Specialist of ThriveWay. She enjoys sharing the message of Peer Helping so that other schools can experience the value, depth and life changing support it brings students. She holds a B.S. in Secondary Education and a M.Ed. in School Counseling. She has worked with youth and taught the Peer Helping course at Foley High School since 1999. Julie has facilitated student Peer Helper trainings at all age levels and Peer Helper Coordinator Trainings in many other school systems, as well as presented on Peer Helping Programs at numerous conferences. Julie enjoys life with her husband and three sons, is an avid sports fan, and loves beach days with family and friends!

Dena Caldwell
Peer Helpers PLUS Program Trainer

Dena supports the mission of ThriveWay as a Peer Helpers Program co-coordinator and trainer. She has been a teacher and counselor in the Baldwin County School System since 1996. Dena has worked to establish Peer Helpers Programs at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. She has facilitated Peer Helpers Coordinator Trainings in school systems throughout Alabama, and presented multiple times at the Annual National Peer Program Conference. Dena enjoys keeping up with her husband and two daughters, exercising, and spending time with family and friends.

Kristy Chason

Kristy is a Peer Helpers Support Coach and a former elementary teacher. She was a Speech Pathologist for 4 years and a 4th grade teacher for 15 years. She has a B.S. in Speech Pathology and Audiology from the University of South Alabama and a M.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Montevallo. Kristy loves traveling, reading and spending time with her two children and friends. Kristy’s passion is to support teachers and students in the classroom so that they all have successful days and bright futures.

Doris B. Cureton

Doris is a retired educator with over 30 years of service as a teacher, pre-k director, after-school program site coordinator, assistant principal, and principal. Doris received her B.S. and Master degrees in Elementary Education, Education Specialist, and Administration Certification from the University of Montevallo. She received National Board Certification; and, continued her education and obtained a Doctor of Education degree in Curriculum from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale--Davie, Florida. She is the mother of one son, Enyi. Doris is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. She believes in a TEAMMM (Together Everyone Achieves Much, Much More) approach to success.

Terry Foster

Terry is a Support Coach, helping school districts in Southwest Alabama implement the Peer Helpers program. He is a retired teacher and principal with 30 years’ service. He has a B.S. Degree in Elementary Education, Master’s Degree and ED. Specialist Degree, Class A Administrative Certificate all from University of West Alabama. After retirement in 2004, Terry worked for Software Technology, Inc. as a Customer Support/Trainer, as well as a Starbucks barista. Terry has been married to Diane Foster for over 40 years, and has 2 grown children and 6 grandchildren. He enjoys cooking, and traveling to Texas and to Malaysia to see his grandchildren. 

Mark Head

Mark is a retired educator with thirty years experience as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and assistant to the superintendent. Mark holds a BS and MS in Special Education from Troy University, Administrative Certification from Troy University (Dothan), and an Ed.D in Educational Leadership with School Law Specialization from Nova Southeastern University. Mark is married to Kim (also an educator) and father to a daughter and a son. He enjoys traveling and can often be found at a concert, a college football game, or a Disney Park. He is a pop culture enthusiast and holds an extensive amount of useless knowledge. He has a strong desire to support kids, especially those with special needs, as he has witnessed the varied and far-reaching needs for such students as both an educator and the father of a special needs child. This desire to help adds to his excitement for serving as a Peer Helpers Support Coach.

Ke’Andrea Jones

Ke is a Peer Helpers Program Coach and retired educator. She spent the last 25 years as a Federal Programs Supervisor, principal, and adjunct professor. She has a B.S. and M.A. in Elementary Education, as well as an Ed.S and Ed.D in Educational Administration. She strongly believes that her purpose in life is serving others, and looks forward to working with all schools within her assigned area. She is married, and has one daughter. As a family, they enjoy traveling, and experiencing new cuisine.

Cleo Larry

Cleo is a retired educator with nearly 35 years of service as a teacher and principal. She received her B.A. in Biology/Chemistry from Talladega College. She matriculated further to the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she obtained an M.A. in Secondary Education (Biology/Chemistry), an M.A. in Administration, an Ed.S in Secondary Education, and an Ed.S in Administration and Supervision.  Cleo also earned her Doctorate from The University of Alabama in Curriculum, Supervision, and Administration. She became a member of the ThriveWay family in 2020. Cleo’s motto is a quote by John Cassis, “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.” Cleo enjoys traveling, shopping, fishing, and watching football.

Laura Pickens

Laura is thrilled to be working as a Peer Helper Plus and PATH Coach. She graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Secondary Education, Social Sciences. Her experiences in teaching include high school, middle school, and elementary school. She received a master’s degree in counseling from Alabama A&M University. She retired after twenty-eight years as an educator. She joined ThriveWay shortly after retiring. She has a love for all young people, especially middle schoolers. She loves our goal of “working smarter not harder,” the accessibility of the lessons being “turn-key,” and the positive and compassionate spirit of the Peer Helpers PLUS Program. From her experience, she knows this program will impact lives for the better. Her last years were spent as a middle school counselor at her alma mater. Laura comes from four generations of educators. She loves to spend time with family and friends. She is the crazy aunt to her niece and nephew and is energetic about her fur babies. She is an adventurous traveler, enthusiastic exerciser, a rookie pickleball player, a loyal friend, and a volunteer in the NICU Cuddler Program. Laura is excited to be able to continue helping teachers support young people as they navigate the challenges of life today.

Laura Pollard

Laura is a Peer Helpers Program Support Coach, mother to Adam and Abby, and wife to Eric. She has a BS in Accounting, and a MA in Elementary Education from the University of North Alabama. She spent 24 years as a classroom teacher. Laura enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling to visit her children, and working in her yard. She is passionate about supporting teachers to help them empower students to be emotionally and socially successful, as well as academically successful. 

Mona Robinson

Mona is a retired teacher of 32 years, and is now serving as a Peer Helpers Support Coach. She has a desire to see all students succeed in academics. Most importantly, she desires to see them grow in their relationships with those around them, and learn to be confident in who they are as a person. She enjoys music, reading, and spending time with her family. Mona has been married to her husband, Steve, for 36 years, and they have two children and four beautiful grandchildren with whom Mona thoroughly enjoys spending time.

Jerry Smith

Jerry is a retired educator, with 37 years of experience. Since retiring in 2008, he has continued to work part time with the Walker County Board of Education and Headstart program as a teacher evaluator.  Jerry has been a ThriveWay Coach since 2020. He enjoys representing the Peer Helpers Program because of its positive impact on today’s youth, creating a more connected society.

Tassy Townsel

Tassy has been in education for 25 years. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Jacksonville State University. She began her career as a high school Family and Consumer Science teacher for thirteen years. During her tenure, she also served as FCCLA sponsor, yearbook advisor, and danceline coach. She earned her Master’s degree in School Counseling and transitioned to an elementary school counselor for 12 years. As counselor she served as her school’s Peer Helper Coordinator and fell in love with the program. Upon her retirement in 2022 she joined the Thriveway team. She firmly believes in the program’s motto, “Be the Good, Show the Way, Lend a Hand.” She admires how this program has an effect on the whole school environment and impacts many lives. Tassy has been married for 26 years and has 3 children plus one. Her family is a resource family for the Big Oak Boys Ranch and has another “son” who has been a part of their family for 6 years. They love long days on the river, vacationing together, sports, their church, and just being with family.

Jane Watkins

Jane has recently retired after eleven years in a third career as a school counselor. Her academic background includes a BS in Counseling from the University of Montevallo and a MA in School Counseling from UAB. Her prior experiences include performing accounting services for several businesses and retail ownership and management. Jane is married to Wayne, has three successful grown children, nine grandchildren, and one great grandchild. Joining the Thriveway organization as a Peer Helpers Support Coach will give her the opportunity to continue to support educators working with Gen Z and Gen Alpha as they navigate their way to becoming successful adults.