Cairn Guidance brings decades of experience in education and adolescent/school health at the local, state, and national levels.
Jessica Lawrence, Director
Jess Lawrence is an enthusiastic, energetic, extroverted New Englander living in Eastern Kentucky by way of Portland, Oregon after 20 years. She started her career doing exactly what she wanted to do since her own high school experience—teaching 7th graders health education. In 2003, Jess was hired as the Health Education Curriculum Specialist for the Oregon Department of Education, where she provided assistance and professional development to health teachers across Oregon. In 2006, Jess pursued a career as a national school & community health consultant, working with state departments of transportation, education, and health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, school districts and non-profits working to create healthier schools and communities. She writes curriculum, presents keynote addresses at conferences and facilitates adult learners.
Jess is Chair of the Board of Directors for RMC Health in Colorado. She is also on the Advisory Board for Yoga Foster, based in New York City and equips teachers with resources, equipment and support to implement yoga in the classroom. She was nationally recognized by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation in 2013 when she received the first Healthier Generation Hero Award for cycling across the US solo in 2013 and raising over $23,000 to fight childhood obesity. She is also being recognized by the American School Health Association (ASHA) in October of 2016 as an ASHA Fellow.
Jess commits the time to regularly swim, run, bicycle, cook and travel internationally for vacation. Jess has lived in Chile and New Zealand. The majority of Jess’ television screen time is spent watching the best sport in the world, soccer! Her biggest weakness is mint chocolate chip ice cream.
Casey Hazlett, Chief Operating Officer
Casey believes all young people should have the opportunity to grow and thrive in healthy schools and communities, and has been lucky enough to work with talented individuals towards this vision throughout her career. As the Chief Operating Officer, Casey partners with clients and the Cairn Guidance team to develop systems and strategies to manage and deliver exceptional project outcomes. Casey previously led the Healthy Out-of-School Time Initiative at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation where she supported a team to drive change and create healthy environments for youth in nine communities across the US. She also served as the Operations and Finance Director at the organization, overseeing the human resources, IT, legal, and finance functions. In addition, Casey built and ran a productivity and organizing business where she developed a unique process to create sustainable systems for clients. Casey earned her Bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering with a focus on entrepreneurship from Oregon State University. She lives in Seattle with her husband and their black lab, Gabby, and loves to walk and explore the outdoors.
Elizabeth Thorne, MPH
Liz is passionate about creating places where young people are connected by helping education, health, and youth-serving systems to transform their work. Liz received her Masters in Public Health from Portland State University. She has held previous positions at Portland State University, Regional Research Institute and the Oregon Public Health Division, Adolescent and School Health Program. Her career has been dedicated to supporting the health and education of young people through research, policy and partnerships. All of her work is grounded in building youth-adult partnerships so young people are engaged in the policies, systems and decisions that impact their lives.
Liz holds volunteer positions at the local, district and state levels. She currently chairs the Healthy Kids Learn Better Coalition, a statewide group of individuals and organizations working at the intersection of health and education. She also sits on the Governor-appointed Oregon Youth Development Council, is a member of Portland Public Schools District Wellness Advisory Council, and serves as a parent representative on the Faubion Elementary/3toPhD Leadership Council. Liz also serves as a volunteer yoga instructor with Living Yoga, bringing trauma-informed yoga practice to young people in Juvenile Detention facilities.
Liz lives in Portland, OR with her husband, two children and two dogs.
Antionette Meeks, EdD, CPP, MCHES
Dove Self-Esteem Cadre Coordinator
Antionette Meeks is formerly with the Florida Department of Education was the Health Coordinator/Assistant Director, where she worked with district offices, state and community organizations, and other state agencies. Antionette organized and led a professional development cadre and a cadre of district-level health education coordinators who acted as an advisory board. She also created, organized, and facilitated the Academy for Teachers of Health Education, worked with the Florida Department of Health on the implementation of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, and facilitated the implementation of the School Health Profiles. As she closed her career at the Florida Department of Education, she was a member of the staff for the Monique Burr Foundation for Children, where she assisted with aspects of their bullying and child abuse prevention education program for schools.
Samantha Lowe, MS in Experimental Psychology
Samantha Lowe is a recent graduate of Morehead State University’s Experimental Psychology master’s program. Originally from Maysville, Kentucky she has been a resident of Eastern Kentucky her entire life. Growing up in Appalachian culture sparked Samantha’s interest in sex education, and she later went on to further research the topic in her Master’s research project; A Vagina is an Ugly Duckling: Metaphors for Sex Education. This project focused on young adult’s ability to speak metaphorically about sexual and non-sexual topics, while also analyzing how political affiliation and virginity status hinder or enhance one’s ability to effectively communicate about sensitive topics. Samantha worked very closely with undergraduate research assistants, teaching and promoting appropriate lab protocol for sensitive subjects. But the most rewarding part of her research came from interacting with over 150 students during research interview sessions, giving her the opportunity to really understand how young adults in the Appalachian region perceive sensitive facets of human sexuality. Samantha’s graduate work proved worthy, and her research was accepted to the Midwestern Psychological Association Conference in May of 2016!
Samantha still currently lives in Morehead, Kentucky with her two dogs, Tesla and Petie. When Samantha has free time you can find her hula-hooping, cooking, reading Chuck Palanuick, or spending time with one of her four younger sisters.
With a strong passion to educate and initiate conversations on sexual health, Samantha is excited to begin her journey with Jess and Cairn Guidance.