Team Highlight & Cairn Project Updates

Team Highlight
Samantha has been a member of the Cairn Guidance team since 2016 and is excited to continue!
Samantha Lowe McCleese is a 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.
During her time with Cairn Guidance she has worked on multiple projects and has had the opportunity to travel the United States for the Dove Self-Esteem Project. Samantha also works as a Behavior Specialist, where she helps individuals and families with diagnosed disabilities reach their full potential and personal goals.
Samantha currently lives in Morehead, Kentucky with her two dogs, Tesla and Petie. When Samantha has free time you can find her hula-hooping, hanging out with plants, or spending quality time with her husband.

Projects
Cairn Guidance has been working on some exciting projects over the summer!

  • Based on pilot teachers and expert reviewers, we are finalizing the AXE Brand Generation Unlabeled lessons on gender roles, bias and conformity.

  • We continue to work with the Dove Self-Esteem Project by promoting their no-cost middle school program addressing body confidence and image.

  • We are working in partnership with Advocates for Youth to write K-12 Sexual Health lessons & assessments, including HIV Prevention for NYC Department of Education

  • Our work the JED Foundation continues to expand. We just finished a analysis using CDCs HECAT to review nine high school curricula on mental health and suicide prevention. We'll be presenting a poster session at American School Health Association conference on this work in October.

  • Kevin Lorson at Wright State University and Cairn Guidance have partnered for over a year to work with seven districts/counties in Ohio through a Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child approach focusing on mental health and addiction. It's been a joy to help facilitate this journey for these districts and we are excited about the possibility of expanding the work next year!

  • We will be training leaders at JSI this summer to build their internal capacity to facilitate the Systems Thinking; Systems Changing simulation. They fund districts in NY state to address obesity in a school setting and want to be able to bring grantees through the simulation.

  • Locally, we are helping start a KAHPERD health education cadre of trainers. Jess will be working with 5 health education teachers from around Kentucky to increase professional development offerings to other health educators in the state.