Who We Are
LightHouse Holyoke is led by a highly qualified group of advisors, directors, and core staff.
In addition to our Core Staff, LightHouse is joined by a team of adjunct faculty, workstudy college students, interns, and volunteers. At any given time our full staff numbers 20-25 people, an approximately 3:1 student to staff ratio.
Core Staff. (she/her) Molly is passionate about building intentional community and collective understanding, as well as uplifting and supporting others. Molly received her bachelors in Anthropology from UMass Amherst, where she mostly focused on Anthropology as it relates to social justice and identity. Molly likes to spend time gardening, playing soccer, getting into juicy conversations with friends, and cooking. She finds happiness in slow mornings and any Octavia Butler book.
Co-Founder and Executive Director of LightHouse. (she/her) Catherine co-founded LightHouse with Josiah S. Litant and they led the organization together for three years. In 2018 Josiah relocated and Catherine stepped up to the role of Executive Director.
Catherine has been a driver in the leading edge of education for nearly two decades. Before LightHouse she spent 12 years at North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens as Program Director and was a founding board member for Liberated Learners, the umbrella program connecting centers using the North Star model.
Catherine holds two bachelors degrees from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Masters in Education, Creative Arts in Learning, from Lesley University. She also holds a Montessori Certification from New England Montessori Teacher Education Center.
You can contact Catherine directly at [email protected]
Core Staff Teacher/Advisor and Director of Admissions. (he/him) David is an educator with over 30 years experience working with adolescents and adults in schools of all kinds. He has worked in for-profit, non-profit, parochial, private, and public schools in Los Angeles, New York City, Manchester, NH, central Massachusetts, and northern New Jersey, where he is from. He has served as a classroom teacher, department chair, assessment coordinator, grants administrator, director, non-profit founder, and school principal. His journey through the profession was always punctuated by a desire to discover ways to support student agency. This journey led him to discover self-directed learning, which changed his life. Being a staff member at LightHouse is a dream come true for him. He is also a poet, a lover of the arts, a husband and a father.
You can contact David at [email protected].
Dr. Shanda Lazare
Assistant Director. (she/her)Working at LightHouse fulfills a lifelong passion. I have worked with individuals, along the full spectrum of life experiences, to ensure they see themselves for who they really are and act on their core values rather than by societal norms. I believe that the whole person, mind*body*soul*spirit, must be integrated in order for us to fully actualize our life’s purpose. In my roles as a daughter, sister, friend, colleague, partner, mother, clinician, supervisor, school psychologist, administrator, and a black, queer woman, I work daily to embody these principles. I believe that our work to be our “best selves” is contagious and will effect positive change on the micro and macrocosms. I strive to contribute my time and dedication to supporting this within myself and hope to promote self-actualization within those I encounter.
My degrees in Visual and Performing Arts with a concentration in Theatre (Green Mountain College-BA), Counseling Psychology (Antioch University-MA) and Educational Leadership and Supervision (American International College-Ed.D.) have allowed me the unique perspective of being able to connect with people on a core level. Be that through inspirational and moving art forms or working collaboratively towards mental or educational wellness/wholeness, I trust my ability to connect and respond with openness and integrity. On an institutional level, I have demonstrated the capacity, through a Transformational Leadership style, to promote self-accountability and collective growth towards life changing outcomes for all involved. When we take the time and honest dedication to know, challenge and grow ourselves towards unified principles, we WILL, collectively, change the world.
“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” – Lilla Watson, Aboriginal Elder
You can contact Dr. Shanda at [email protected]
Core Staff. (he/him) Nate received his BS in Environmental Science with a minor in Chemistry from Hawaii Pacific University and completed a Graduate Teacher Certification program for secondary science at The University of New England. He has well over ten years of teaching experience in a variety of settings, including serving as a teacher and advisor at a small private school in Southern Maine. He has a love of the outdoors and serves as a volunteer member on his town’s conservation committee. Nate is thrilled to join the LightHouse community of learners and to share his passion for science and the natural world.
LightHouse Admin. (she/her) I grew up in Holyoke and attended Holyoke Public Schools, graduating from Holyoke High and began working on my college degree. I have been working in health services since 2010. I became a certified HHA in 2011. I love working with the elderly and now also with adolescents!
I am currently raising my two amazing children. My daughter is attending High school this September and my son is entering 3rd grade. So exciting! They are my pride and joy.
I am a bilingual speaker and enjoy reading about the universe and spiritual signs and tarot readings. I’m excited about joining the LightHouse staff and I’m looking forward to a bright and a peaceful year both at work and with my family.
You can contact Diana directly at [email protected]
Outreach Director. (he/him) Carlos is a founding staff member and a key contributor to the success of the program. Carlos has a degree from UMass Amherst, and is an artist, screenprinter, and poet. He lives in Holyoke and is very involved in the community.
You can contact Carlos directly at [email protected]
Lead Operations Specialist. (she/her) Ashley graduated from UMass with her BA in Legal Studies and BS in Psychology, as well as minors in Sociology and Italian. She has been a part of LightHouse’s staff for 6 years and has worked in various different roles. She is currently pursuing her Master of Science in Crime Scene Investigation. Ashley is an avid reader, competitive board game player, and a master of organization.
You can contact Ashley directly at [email protected]
Bea (Molly) Sullivan
Director of Curriculum. (she/they) Bea is a spirited and creative educator who has over 15 years of experience in special education. Bea has studied autism spectrum disorder as it relates to gender, neurodevelopment and social thinking at the graduate level. Bea considers herself a passionate advocate for all students and cites her ability to create meaningful relationships with her students as the key component to her philosophy as an educator. Bea has primarily taught English Language Arts and History at the high school level. She has been a speaker at the New England Secondary School Consortium where she presented on the benefits of using the co-teaching model to increase engagement and equity within a diverse learning population. Most of all, Bea loves spending time with young folks and believes teaching and learning happens in many ways when a safe and loving environment is the foundation.
In her spare time over the past several years, Bea created The Dance Everyday Diaries. This cumulative project started as a coping mechanism to get through the pandemic and stay connected to her students but has grown into so much more. Someday, Bea plans to make a documentary out of the footage and journey from The Dance Everyday Diaries.
Bea graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in writing from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She is one class away from receiving her Masters Degree in Special Education. She lives in Western Massachusetts with her beloved dog Lala.
Fun Facts about Bea: She worked in reality television, is obsessed with true crime, has been a vegetarian for 20 years, can read tarot cards, talk astrology, and is wicked good on roller skates. Her legal name is Molly Sullivan but she goes by Bea at the roller derby rink and at LightHouse.
You can contact Bea at [email protected]
Core Staff. (she/her) Steph joined the LightHouse in early 2021. She graduated from Northern Vermont University with a B.A. in Theatre and Drama. Since graduating, Steph has continued to work and teach in theaters locally and in the Metro West area. Some of her theatrical interests include costume design, playwriting, acting, and directing. Steph is passionate about personalized education and is excited to be a part of the LightHouse community.
You can contact Steph directly at [email protected]
LightHouse Board of Directors
LightHouse Board of Directors. (he/him) Entrepreneur, Project Manager, Developer, Systems Administrator. Kelly Albrecht is an expert Linux Server Admin, having been responsible for several servers where over 100 sites and services are run and maintained.
As a Web Developer and Project Manager, Kelly has implemented web-based IT solutions for over 10 years and has extensive experience in all aspects of website design and development.
As an Entrepreneur, Kelly Albrecht has founded several businesses including the left-click IT strategy and consulting firms as well as the Last Call Media web development agency.
He is a regular presenter at Drupal Meetups, Camps and Conferences and stays involved in his local IT industry as the Executive Director of NERDs.
Kelly graduated Summa Cum Laude with departmental honors in Philosophy from the University of Massachusetts.
Treasurer, Lighthouse Board of Directors. (he/him) Adam is Vice President of Commercial Lending at Greenfield Northampton Cooperative Bank. He has over 13 years of experience in the banking industry assisting small business owners and non-profit organizations achieve their dreams to start or grow their organizations as well as help investment real estate owners grow their real estate portfolios.
Adam holds a Bachelors Degree from University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Masters Degree in Finance from Southern New Hampshire University.
Adam dedicates his time helping youth including his volunteer work with the non-profit organization Horizons for Homeless Children in Holyoke, where he has served as a Playspace Activity Leader since 2016.
Adam also serves on the Board of Directors of Empty Arms Bereavement Support which is a non-profit organization in Northampton.
Adam lives with his wife in South Hadley. His interests include traveling, real estate investing, spending time with his friends and family, reading, and sports!
Lighthouse Board of Directors. (she/her)
Lighthouse Board of Directors. (she/her)
Tiffani Curtis serves as Chief of Talent, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging for Hartford Public Schools. Prior to joining the leadership team in Hartford, Tiffani served as the Chief of Schools for Holyoke Public Schools. Tiffani has been the principal of a charter elementary school in Albany, New York, and the founding principal of a charter elementary school in Las Vegas, Nevada. In both roles, Tiffani was charged with creating sustainable school systems that supported teacher retention, practitioner development, school-based leadership, special populations and ultimately increased student achievement. As a founding principal at Imagine School at Mountain View in Las Vegas, NV, Tiffani led the school in earning the district’s distinction of “high performing.” Earlier, Tiffani assisted in writing the Master Plan for Universal Preschool for the County of Los Angeles.
Tiffani holds a B.S. in Business from the University of Southern California. She continued at USC to earn a MAT and Ed.D. from the Rossier School of Education where she studied K-12 educational leadership with a focus on urban school settings.
Lighthouse Board of Directors. (she/her) Jacqui joined the board of LightHouse in the summer of 2017. She brings twenty plus years of experience working in the Not for Profit sector focused mainly in education, but also in healthcare, leadership and contemplative science. Jacqui has worked with regional, national and international start-ups as well as established organizations committed to promoting human flourishing. She has expertise in identifying, designing and implementing programs to embrace growth opportunities while qualifying funding sources and building relationships for long-term programmatic sustainability.
Currently, Jacqui is the Director of International Development at Smith College, where she is responsible for engaging non US constituents to cultivate and grow philanthropic giving and other forms of support.
Prior to Smith College, Jacqui was with the Mind & Life Institute as Director of Advancement and Global Relations. Mind and Life fosters interdisciplinary dialogue between Western science, philosophy, humanities, and contemplative traditions, supporting the integration of first-person inquiry through meditation and other contemplative practices into traditional scientific methodology, founded by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1987.
Jacqui is Scottish by birth, but for the last 25 years she has lived in Holyoke, MA with her husband Scott and her 2 sons and her niece and nephew. Jacqui is delighted to be on the Board of LightHouse, to be of service however she can to help LightHouse respond to the educational needs of the area’s youth.
Jacqui holds a Masters in International Business from Strathclyde University and a Bachelors degree from Caledonian University, both in Glasgow, Scotland. Jacqui is a dedicated cyclist, and can be found most weekends on the bike trails around western Massachusetts.
LightHouse Board of Directors. (he/him) Luis A. Hernandez, Early Childhood Education Specialist, brings solid expertise based on his work history in Head Start, child care, Pre K programs, college and universities, child care resource and referral administration, and professional development design.
Luis core work focuses in a wide range of early childhood education and professional development topics. His expertise includes early literacy, dual language learning, adult learning practices, family engagement, and ECE management and leadership topics. As a regular presenter and keynote speaker at national, state, and local conferences, Luis is highly regarded for his motivational and energizing presentations.
LightHouse Board of Directors. (they/them) Alice has lived in South Hadley their entire life and attended LightHouse Holyoke for five years. Alice graduated from LightHouse Holyoke in 2021. They are currently enrolled at Holyoke Community College and pursuing a degree in sociology.
Alice has interned at the Holyoke State Representative’s office and the Holyoke Public Library.
While attending LightHouse, Alice taught classes about LGBTQ+ identity and screenwriting. They also compiled and edited the student art magazine Siembra.
Alice joined the LightHouse board in 2022 and is excited to bring the perspective of a former student.
Josiah S. Litant
LightHouse Co-Founder. (he/him) Josiah co-founded LightHouse with Catherine Gobron and co-directed the organization for the first three years, building it from an idea into a thriving reality. Josiah and his family relocated to Minnesota in 2018, where he currently serves as Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Minnesota State College Southeast, a technical and community college. Josiah remains deeply connected to LightHouse as a consultant, senior advisor, and enthusiastic supporter.
Josiah has been in the field of education for twenty years, as a teacher, mentor, and administrator at all age levels. Prior to co-founding LightHouse Holyoke, Josiah spent a decade working with college-age students at Hampshire College, where he was the Senior Associate Dean of Students until 2014. He has a particular passion for progressive education, with a focus on issues of student identity, inclusion, and advocacy.
Josiah has previously served on the boards of Hampshire College and North Star, the program on which the LightHouse model is based. Additionally, Josiah has proudly consulted as a facilitator with the National Conference for Community and Justice of Connecticut and Western Massachusetts and he currently serves as chair of the board of Engage Winona, a community change-making nonprofit organization in southeast Minnesota.
Josiah has Master of Arts degree in educational administration from Goddard College, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from Hampshire College.
You can contact Josiah directly at [email protected].
Insiyah Mohammad Bergeron
Secretary, LightHouse Board of Directors. (she/her) Insiyah Mohammad Bergeron has been working in sustainable economic development in Massachusetts for several years. She is a Cooperative Developer at the ICA Group, where she helps businesses explore and execute transitions to employee ownership. She is also the Coordinator of the Massachusetts Center for Employee Ownership that provides free succession planning support to businesses. Before ICA, Insiyah served as the Holyoke Innovation District Manager and Transformative Development Initiative Fellow through MassDevelopment. In these capacities, Insiyah collaborated with Holyoke residents, businesses, community organizations, and government agencies to develop projects that support equity and vibrancy, such as a new hydroponic farm and workforce training program in the heart of downtown. Insiyah has also worked on criminal justice reform nationally. Insiyah holds a BA from Bennington College, and a Masters in City Planning from MIT.
Chair, LightHouse Board of Directors. (he/him) Kim was most recently Chief Clinical and Strategy Office for Cooley Dickinson Health Care and President/CEO of the Cooley Dickinson Medical Group. Kim has served as Chief Medical Officer for CareGroup, an integrated delivery system where he utilized quality and information management tools to promote clinical integration and improve quality of care and was the founding President and Chairman of the Board of the Provider Service Network, an organization that contracted on behalf of 2,800 physicians and seven hospitals and was dedicated to improving the quality and value of health care for over 400,000 managed care enrollees.
Prior to moving to the Pioneer Valley, Kim lived in Cambridge, MA for thirty years where he was Chief of the Division of Cardiology, President of the Medical Staff and a board member at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Kim was in Hampshire College’s first class and previously served as vice-chair of the Board of Trustees. He has served on numerous boards in health care, community service organizations, higher education and an automobile museum.
LightHouse Board of Directors. (he/him) Anthony Scibelli is the Vice President, Operations and Chief Administrative Officer for Cooley Dickinson Health Care (a subsidiary of Massachusetts General Hospital) in Northampton, Massachusetts. Anthony is responsible for all aspects of the support services operations departments (nutrition, housekeeping, facilities, safety/security) as well as human resources, performance improvement, volunteer services, medical imaging, rehab services, lab, oncology services, pharmacy, urgent care, and home care & hospice.
Anthony has been with Cooley Dickinson since December 2014 and is a native of Springfield MA. Prior to joining Cooley Dickinson, Anthony lived in Upstate NY and held the position of Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Support Services and Post Acute with the Mohawk Valley Health System in Utica, New York. Prior to his healthcare career, Anthony worked in various human resources roles in the supermarket industry (Big Y, ShopRite and The Penn Traffic Company).
Anthony earned a bachelors degree in education from Worcester State College, Worcester MA and is a graduate of Lesley University in Cambridge MA with a Masters Degree in Training & Development. In 2012, he obtained a MBA from the University At Albany in Albany NY.
Anthony lives in South Hadley, and serves on the board at the Northampton Survival Center, as well as the Franklin/Hampshire County Regional Employment Board.
LightHouse Board of Directors. (he/him) Mike Stone is a partner at Cofab Design, a product design and manufacturing consultancy. He is a mechanical engineer and designer with a penchant for multidisciplinary projects, products, prototypes, and hands-on hammer swinging. He is a co-founder of Brick Coworkshop, a community-oriented collaborative industrial work space, and a member of the leadership team at AF, a national traveling pop-up marketplace. He sits on the Springfield Advisory Board for FORGE and has a secret history as a musician.
Iohann Rashi Vega
LightHouse Board of Directors. (he/him) Iohann was born and raised in Mexico City, started music training at the age of six, and has a background on journalism and media. He moved to Puerto Rico, where he worked for 12 years in different roles as producer, on-air host, news anchor, promotion coordinator, and music program coordinator, at the University of Puerto Rico’s Public Radio Station, WRTU. For the last four years Iohann was the Media Literacy Coordinator at the Gándara Youth Development Center, in Holyoke, MA, where he worked with youth, creating media content with social justice, and self-advocacy focus.
Iohann is also the producer of Radioplasma, a local podcast that is a workshop for the youth and community to share stories and discussion of topics of relevance and interest, not always covered by mainstream media. This spring of 2019, Iohann took the position of Director of Media Engagement with Holyoke Media, the local public access channel for the City of Holyoke, where the goal is to create engaging content, teach youth and community how to do so, and develop partnerships around the creation of media content to build a dialogue that contributes to the local media environment.
“We cannot solve our problems with the same
thinking we used when we created them.”
thinking we used when we created them.”