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Thanks to all who attended!
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About the Conference

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) not only impacts children, but the results of ACEs can last a lifetime. The purpose of this conference is to learn what other communities are doing to help children thrive and survive and discuss what programs and changes we can bring to our community.

Who Should Attend

The conference is for anyone who works with children and their families,as well as anyone who wants to learn how we can break the circle of generational trauma that leads to poor health choices, lack of employment, substance misuse, mental health issues, and shortened life spans .

School Children
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Conference Agenda
Clifty Inn at Clifty Falls State Park

8:00 - 8:55 – Check-in and breakfast


9:00 -10:15 - Welcome and Keynote Speaker, Rick Griffin, Executive Director, Community Resilience Initiative, Walla Walla, WA. Overlook Room


10:15 - 10:30 – Break

10:30 - 11:30 – Breakout Sessions (concurrent, see bios below)

  • Education - Christy Gauss and Susan Phelps. Overlook 1

  • Juvenile/Criminal Justice – Kory George, Josh Amyx, Stephanie Baker, and Holly Wood. Clifty Room

  • Medical and Behavioral Health – Katy Hopkins Hoffman Room

  • Youth Serving Agencies – Sara Dunlap. Overlook 2 Room


11:35 - 12:05 – Lunch. Overlook Room


12:10 - 1:10 – Panel Discussion. Overlook Room

  • Jeff Bates, Superintendent, Southwestern Jefferson County Consolidated Schools

  • Teresa Brown, Superintendent, Madison Consolidated Schools

  • Renee Johnson, Adult/Child & Family Services Manager, Centerstone

  • David Sutter, Jefferson County Prosecutor

  • David Woolpy, Executive Director, Boys & Girls Club of Jefferson County


1:10 - 1:15 – Dora Anim, CEO and President, Bethany Legacy Foundation

1:15 - 1:30 - Community Input and Concluding Remarks


1:30 - Conference Concludes


Keynote Speaker - Rick Griffin
Mr. Griffin is the Executive Director of the non-profit Community Resilience Initiative (CRI) in Walla Walla, Washington. Rick holds a Masters degree in Education and uses his education to develop cutting-edge content and to deliver engaging presentations. He speaks to thousands of groups from all over the country and is widely recognized for his work with trauma-informed practices. Walla Walla’s Lincoln High was the subject of a 2015 film, “Paper Tigers,” about how the school principal, Jim Sporleder, adopted an ACEs-informed approach that positively transformed the school as well as the surrounding community. Griffin connected with Sporleder in 2010 and began to implement some of the training that the principal had successfully started at his high school. Since 2016, Griffin has been with CRI, where he’s helped organize the annual Moving Beyond Paper Tigers conferences. In 2019, Griffin presented “The Power of WE: Community Resilience Building” in Charlottesville, NC.
Breakout Session Speakers

Josh Amyx
Assistant Principal, Richmond High School
Josh is wrapping up his 7th year as an Assistant Principal at Richmond High School in Richmond, Indiana. He is a Richmond High School graduate.  Mr. Amyx taught high school English and was a lead teacher in the alternative program at Richmond High School prior to becoming an administrator. He has a wife and four kids and lives in Richmond.

Stephanie Baker

Assistant Principal, Richmond High School
Stephanie is completing her 7th year as an Assistant Principal at Richmond High School in Richmond, Indiana. She is a Richmond High School graduate.  Mrs. Baker has a husband and two kids and was a middle school assistant principal and a primary teacher before coming to Richmond High School.

Amyx and Baker are both very passionate about making sure students have a diploma and a plan but that they also feel that RHS is a safe place where people will love and take care of them. They are excited for lots of opportunities to help their community and are looking at ways to help their county become a trauma informed county.

Sara Dunlap

Director, Council for Youth Development, Bartholomew County

Ms. Dunlap has spent the majority of her career working in the field of education. Sara received her Bachelor of Science/Education from Indiana University and earned her Master of Education from Indiana Wesleyan University. She spent 12 years as a teacher with Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation. She also served as a Career Development Advisor for Ivy Tech Community College, the 4-H Youth Development Educator in Decatur County, and as a Diversity Training Coordinator with Cummins, Inc.


The Council for Youth Development (CYD) is a cross-sector coalition that aligns efforts to advance a culture of positive youth development in Bartholomew County. Since 2005, CYD partner organizations have represented a cradle to career continuum serving and advocating for youth, birth to young adult, and their families throughout Bartholomew County. Beginning in 2017, CYD became an active community partner with the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation’s Counseling Counts Initiative. Essential to our collective work is the commitment to expand 40 Developmental Assets® and Developmental Relationships® training and resources for youth, families, and professionals to improve social-emotional health community-wide.

​Christy Gauss, MSW, LSW

Schools Communities Partnerships

As a co-founder of Ignite Wellbeing, Christy brings a depth of experience as a social worker who has dedicated her career to addressing child, youth, and adult wellbeing.

Her experience includes ownership of SCP Consultants, a consulting company focused on supporting whole child development in schools.  She is also the former Mental Health Facilitator for the Indiana School Mental Health Initiative at Indiana University, as well as the System of Care Coordinator for the Indiana Department of Education. Her strengths lie in collaboration, building connections, and big picture thinking.

Christy lives in Indianapolis with her husband and they have two grown children. She is certified in Mind Body Medicine and is an ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Interface Master Trainer. She earned her BA in Political Science from George Washington University and her MSW from Indiana University. Christy currently serves on the boards for The Children’s Policy and Law Initiative and Better Youth Outcomes and believes that to foster well-being in our organizations, community and world, we must each begin by healing ourselves.

Kory George

Chief Probation Officer, Wayne County (Richmond) IN

George is also the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) coordinator for Wayne County. JDAI is a bipartisan effort with public, private and community partnership for juvenile justice system improvement.  The initiative focuses on the reallocation of public resources from mass incarceration toward investment in youth, families, and communities. Mr. George is a member of the Juvenile Justice and Cross-System Youth, a committee of the Commission for Improving the Status of Youth in Indiana.George is a member of the Wayne County I-HOPE Community Core Team. I-HOPE stands for Indiana Healthy Opportunities for People Everywhere. The purpose of I-HOPE is to lead community stakeholders in imagining the county as a vibrant, connected, resilient, and safe community where resources are highly accessible for all.  He is also a certified ACE Interface Master trainer.

Katy Hopkins, Ph.D.

Medical Director of Pediatric Integrated Behavioral Health, Norton Healthcare, Louisville, KY


Hopkins is an experienced Licensed Psychologist, specializing in the treatment of children, adolescents, and their families, with a demonstrated history of working in behavioral health, nonprofit administration, and higher education. She has presented and written on ACEs and is responsible for introducing trauma-informed care in the Norton Healthcare System.

Susan Phelps

The Chief Officer of Neuroeducation for

Evansville Vanderburgh Schools

Susan Phelps is the Chief Officer of Neuroeducation with the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation. She is the key developer of GAIN, Growth in Academics through Innovation and Neuroeducation. GAIN aligns systems, practices, and mindsets to human and brain development to ensure every student has the opportunity to maximize their emotional, physical, and cognitive abilities. Susan graduated from Murray State University in 1995 with a master’s degree in clinical psychology. From 1995 to 2013, she worked in inpatient and outpatient mental health settings providing counseling and completing diagnostic evaluations for children and adolescents. During that same time, Susan worked directly with schools in western Kentucky providing similar services and developing systems and programs to support students with emotional, behavioral, and cognitive challenges in general education, special education, and alternative school settings. Her experiences with students, families, and educators in each of these settings highlighted the challenges in alignment and practices, but also the opportunity to bring together this knowledge and understanding and truly improve outcomes for all youth.

Holly Wood

Senior Director of Health Equity Initiatives

Holly Wood serves as Senior Director for Purdue's Health Equity Initiatives, serving under former Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams in addition to working in the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering (RCHE). With the aim of bringing the community voice back to campus and amplifying it nationally
through Dr. Adam’s framework, she interfaces with faculty to raise interest in health equity projects; coordinates the Purdue Health Equity Council; drives health equity funding applications; gathers and provides the latest health equity data/information to better inform faculty work; and connects individuals across campus whose roles address diversity, equity and inclusion. Immediately prior to coming to Purdue, Holly served as a subject-matter expert in mitigating secondary childhood trauma through the
implementation of a framework known as Handle with Care, which has been used throughout the U.S. to provide a feedback loop between first responders and school systems in order to give children grace during their school day, especially when they have been at the scene of a potentially traumatic event. Alongside her employment at Purdue University, Holly stays engaged with state and local partners in order to continue to develop trauma-informed, resilience focused strategies in Indiana communities.

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