Faculty and Education Services Staff

Brehm faculty are certified and trained in a broad spectrum of learning differences, as well as the impact those challenges have on student social and psychological development. The teaching staff has an average of 12 years in the development and delivery of curriculum for students with learning differences. Many hold advanced degrees. Faculty works closely with therapeutic and residential staff to address each student’s social, emotional, and academic needs.

 

Terri Douglas, M.S. Ed

Head of Education and Student Services

Start Date: 1992

“Experience has proven that an academic family-styled boarding school environment is the most effective way for students with learning challenges to break old patterns, foster independence, and achieve their full potential.”

Terri Douglas has been a part of the Brehm family since 1992. Throughout her career at Brehm she has served in many different aspects of the program; from teacher to Associate Director and currently as Head of Education and Student Services. She has worked in the education field for more than 30 years as a teacher and administrator.

A native of Nebraska, Terri received her Bachelor of Science degree from Hastings College in Elementary Education and Special Education. As a member of the Carbondale community, she earned a Master’s Degree in Education and then her Administration Certification from Southern Illinois University. Terri has a teaching certification as a Learning Behavior Specialist Unlimited, which qualifies her to teach K-12 special education students.

Michael Sims, M.S.Ed., CCC-SLP

Director of Speech and Language

Start Date: 2003

“Daily I am inspired as I see evidence of being a positive influence in the lives of others.”

Michael (Brad) Sims joined the Brehm family in 2003, prior to that he spent 7 years teaching special education, 2 years as an SLP consultant for the Prentke-Romich Company and 14 years in private practice.

Brad earned his Bachelor of Science in education, Master of Science in communication disorders and sciences both from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and his Certification of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

Bradley Becque, M.A.Ed

Administrative Assistant to the Head of Education and Student Services

Start Date: 2013

I’ve never worked anywhere like Brehm before, quite honestly.  I’ve worked for organizations that repeatedly produce platitudes about “being a family” and “togetherness” but I’ve truly never experienced it before arriving at Brehm.  Brehm is a family, through and through. That’s not to say that we always work harmoniously with one another. But there is a level of cooperation and collaboration that is unmatched with anything that I’ve experienced before.”

Bradley Becque joined the Brehm family in 2013 on the boarding side of the program. Prior to working at Brehm, he served as a Graduate Assistant Football Coach at Castleton University in beautiful Castleton, Vermont. Bradley coached the Running Backs there while obtaining his Master’s of Arts in Education with a specialization in Curriculum and Instruction. Bradley transitioned to the education side of program in 2016 as assistant to the Head of Education and Student Services.

Bradley earned his Bachelor of Arts in political science with a minor in black studies from Castleton State College in Castleton Vermont and his master of arts in education, curriculum, and instruction from Knox College in Galesburg Illinois.

Christina Blessing-Strusz

Faculty – Math

Start Date: 2004

“I am inspired by watching students finally believe they can learn math and be successful.”

Christina Blessing-Strusz joined the Brehm team in 2004 as a math instructor. Prior to that time, she spent 5 years working in the adolescent program at NeuroRestorative a specialized brain injury rehabilitation program to teach strategies for independence.

Christina received a Bachelor’s Degree in Science/Special Education at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL.

Angela Blessing, B.S.

Instructional Technologist & College Transitions Coordinator

Start Date: 2015

“I love working at Brehm because I get to show up every day and be a part of this big family that is working towards bringing love, enjoyment, and understanding of the world that we all share in.”

Angela Blessing joined the Brehm team in 2015 as an assistant in the Arrowsmith Program and then transitioned to teaching English and now is the Assistive Technologist for Brehm.

Angela earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, after completing her degree she moved to Texas to pursue her career with animals. She spent time while in Texas as a substitute teacher and quickly realized her true love was for teaching children. She moved back to Illinois to pursue that career.

Kristin Cohen, M.A.Ed

Faculty – Math

Start Date: 2006

“I love being able to help students learn at their own pace! I can teach something quickly or slowly – however long the student needs!”

Kristin Cohen started her teaching career at Brehm in 2006. She loves sharing her love of math with students, and in turn seeing their love of math grow.

Kristin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education with a specialty in math and science from The Ohio State University and a Master of Arts in Education – Secondary Teacher Education with a specialty in Mathematics from the University of Phoenix. She also has her LBS1 certification.

Meghan Collins-Morse, A.S.

Arrowsmith Instructor

Start Date: 2012

“You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream, that is what I want to remind my students of every day as I watch them master Arrowsmith related activities and overall throughout their lives.”

Meghan Collins-Morse joined the Brehm staff in 2012 and in 2013 transitioned into the Arrowsmith Program after obtaining her certification and training from the Arrowsmith Program in Toronto Canada.

Meghan earned an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts and Science at John A. Logan College and Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Jennifer Conwell, B.A.

Faculty – Fine Arts

Start Date: 2005

I’m blessed with my dream job and work with inspiring and fascinating students. I guide them to create beautiful works on art in all media and help them see their full artistic potential.”

Jennifer started at Brehm in 2005 as the Coordinator of Communications. She spent three years in that position and then moved into the classroom as Brehm’s Instructional Technologist.

Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy with a Minor in History and a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She is currently pursuing a masters in special education.

Greg Douglas, B.S.

Faculty – Physical Education

Start Date: 1982

“Everyone you come across in life knows something that you don’t. If we listen with an open mind we might just learn something.”

Greg “Coach” Douglas is one of the original staff members; he was a part of the planning process before the school even opened its doors in 1982. Coach is always willing to perform whatever duties are asked of him and is still an active member of the faculty.

Coach holds a Bachelor of Science from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, he is certified in K-12 PE, Adaptive PE, LD Approval, and has his LBS1.

Jocelyn Keehn, M.S.Ed.

Arrowsmith Instructor

Start Date: 2012

“I get inspired daily by watching students take hopeful risks, despite their vulnerability, amidst an incredibly supportive community.”

Jocelyn Keehn joined the Brehm team in 2012. Prior to Brehm, she was a school counselor in Easthampton, Massachusetts. After moving back to Southern Illinois she was introduced to Brehm and immediately fell in love! We are thankful to have Joscelyn as a part of our team.

Jocelyn received a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations from Murray State University and the University of Massachusetts. She continued her love for learning and received a Master of Science Educational Psychology / Certified School Counselor from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

 

Paul Kosuth, M.S.

Faculty - Math

Start Date: 1985

I enjoy working with students on an individual and personal level; working on what they need to do at that moment regardless of a set curriculum.”

Paul Kosuth has spent his entire teaching career at Brehm starting in 1985. Paul is an authentic person living a simple and compassionate life. He cares deeply for his students and believes in them. He encourages students to believe in themselves and that they will be successful not only in their studies but also in life.

Paul earned his Bachelor of Science with a double major in botany and mathematics; Master of Science degree in botany both degrees are from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He also has his certification in secondary education in math and botany and an Endorsement LBS1.

 

Kara Lovelace-Greer, B.S.

Faculty – Science

Start Date: 2012

It inspires me to witness my students exceed their own expectations. I love to see them come to new realizations and ask deeper questions about the world.”

Kara Lovelace-Greer started at Brehm in 2012. Kara teaches physical sciences including physics, chemistry, and applied science. She has also taught psychology and the introductory level of Spanish. She is chair of the ISACS (Independent Schools’ Association of the Central States) accreditation steering committee.  

Kara earned a Bachelors of Science in science secondary education with a specialization in physics from Eastern Illinois University. She also attended Greenville College’s graduate program and earned her special education learning behavior specialist 1 endorsement.

Brad Siemer, B.A.

Faculty – History

Start Date: 2007

“I watch students grow and reach their full potential every day at Brehm; it inspires me and that is why I love teaching at Brehm.”

Brad Siemer started as a teacher at Brehm in 2007. His previous experience in the public school district, working with students with behavioral and TBI diagnosis, made him a great fit.

Brad earned his Bachelor of Arts in History Education from Illinois State University and received his Middle School Endorsement in Special Education Endorsement from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Courtney Vincent, B.S.

Faculty – English

Start Date: 2004

“I love that each day brings its own challenges and that we have the autonomy to try whatever we can to help each student be successful.”

As an English instructor, Courtney Vincent incorporates methods from Orton-Gillingham, Wilson Reading, and Visualizing and Verbalizing, while allowing student interests and strengths to guide the course content. Before moving into a full-time teaching position at Brehm, Courtney was a dorm parent. She has also worked as a special education teacher in a junior high school in Illinois.

Courtney has a Bachelor of Science in Education with a concentration in English from Eastern Illinois University and holds an LBS1 Certification from Greenville College.

James Wooldridge, B.S.

Faculty – Driver’s Education

Start Date: 2000

“Brehm has one of the best educational teams I have seen. I am thankful to works staff members that strive to help each and every student that comes to our school.”

James “Jim” Wooldridge joined the Brehm team in 2000, prior to that he taught in Colorado. Jim is the Driver’s Education teacher at Brehm.

Jim holds a Bachelor of Science from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, he is also a member of ADED which is a Driver’s Rehabilitation Organization.