Founder and President, John Edmonds, is an Alumnus of the nation’s oldest recovery high school. From his enrollment at the Phoenix School in Montgomery County, Maryland, John has been active in recovery since July 5, 1989. Clean and sober at 17 years old, John has been fortunate enough to share his experience, strength and hope across the U.S. and Canada. More recently, John served on the Board of Association of Recovery and Education of Greater Washington (AREGW) in attempts to bring a recovery high school to the D.C. area.
Sara K. View, LCSW-C
Co-Founder, Sara K. View graduated from Syracuse University. After working in a domestic violence shelter in Fairfax County, VA, she earned a Master’s in Social Work from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. She served as Clinical Director of an intensive outpatient program for dual diagnosed adolescents and young adults that specialized in Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Through her work with adolescents struggling with substance abuse, Sara became keenly aware of the need for youth recovery support programs, such as recovery high schools
Judge Nelson Rupp
Judge Nelson Rupp The Honorable Nelson W. Rupp, Jr., has served the community as a Circuit Court Judge in Montgomery County for over 22 years. Prior to his appointment to the Circuit Court, Judge Rupp was a District Court Judge for over three years. Judge Rupp’s experience as a judge over the past 25 years is highlighted by his creation of the Montgomery County Circuit Court Adult Drug Treatment Court in 2004. He has presided over this Drug Court for the past 14 years. Over 200 individuals have successfully completed this intense, two year program. This commitment to serve the community has resulted in several honors, including being recognized on two separate occasions by the Montgomery County Bar Association with its Outstanding Jurist Award. Judge Rupp worked closely with the Phoenix School in Montgomery County and has witnessed first-hand the long term success of those students who had the opportunity to enroll in that Recovery High School. Judge Rupp recognizes the need in our community for a Recovery High School and is committed to assisting in its creation.
Ranya Baker, Phoenix II Alumna and 2002 Valedictorian, carries a sense of personal gratitude and appreciation for the jump start that Phoenix II gave to her at a crucial time in her life. Today, Ranya is a successful business professional with 15 years of health services experience. She is a University of Maryland Graduate with a B.S. in Biology and minor in Health Services Management.
Larry Simmons, CPA-Treasurer, is the President and CEO for Business & Financial Solutions, Inc. He holds an undergraduate degree in accounting from Auburn University, with a focus in forensic accounting. Mr. Simmons also holds, from Auburn University, an MBA in Finance. Before founding Business & Financial Solutions in 2002, Mr. Simmons worked for Deloitte and Touché as the Director of Government Contracting and Nonprofit Services.
In addition to his professional credentials, Mr. Simmons serves the community in various areas. He is the Chairman of the Board for Women Who Care Ministries Inc., Executive Director for XYZ Services Inc., both for which are Maryland nonprofit organizations. Mr. Simmons also serves as a Board Member for the Jamisons’ Center of Kindness in Texarkana, Arkansas, a nonprofit community outreach program.
He currently serves as General Public Representative on the Montgomery County Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Advisory Council, which advises Montgomery County Council, on drug and alcohol policy. He received his initial appointment by County Executive Isiah Leggett in 2011. As president and CEO of Business & Financial Solutions, Mr. Simmons has the opportunity to work with a large variety of companies and organizations, providing forensic accounting, and project and grant accounting with major corporations and organizations. His experience is valued by attorney firms, where he provides expert testimony in fraud and forensic cases. Further, he has the opportunity to work with a variety of nonprofit organizations from start-up phases to ongoing operations.
Mr. Simmons is committed to the assistance of those who are less advantaged, or vulnerable to society and the economic systems. He serves in several other capacities in the nonprofit community in his attempts to help effect change.
Sean Nicholson, Outreach and Development, spent most of his life battling addiction. Since entering recovery, he has dedicated his life to serving the recovering community. Using his experience with non-profit organizations in Frederick and surrounding areas, Sean recently facilitated a strategic partnership with Frederick County Public Schools to raise awareness and to educate middle and high school students about addiction and recovery. Sean is Executive Producer for Heroin’s Grip, a documentary about the opioid crisis in Frederick County. Sean believes that recovery is possible and that people can change and do get better.
Angie Cornelius has nearly 30 years experience in the biotechnology field. She is currently employed by AstraZeneca, within the biological organization, managing a team of thirteen operators responsible for the daily floor operations of the cell culture area delivering life saving monoclonal antibodies worldwide. Angie provides experience in leadership and management, along with a passion to support everyone. The experience of losing several family members and friends to addiction drives her motivation to provide support for those seeking sobriety. Angie has a passion to provide a safe, supportive, and educational experience for teens seeking recovery.
Johnny Allem has been a respected national advocate, activist and leader for solutions to addiction recovery issues for more than 30 years. Former Director of Operations of the District of Columbia mental health system, he is an author, lecturer and consultant on advocacy and other recovery issues.
Dr. Andrew J. Finch
Dr. Andrew J. Finch is Associate Professor of the Practice and School Counseling Coordinator for the Human Development Counseling Program in the Department of Human and Organizational Development at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Finch is a leader in the development and research of recovery high schools in the United States, and he is co-founder of the Association of Recovery Schools. Among his published works are Starting a Recovery School and Approaches to Substance Abuse and Addiction in Educational Communities: A Guide to Practices that Support Recovery in Adolescents and Young Adults, on which he was a co-editor.
Sasha McLean is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and the Executive Director of Archway Academy, a high school for teens in recovery from drug/alcohol addiction in Houston, TX. She is also the Vice Chairman of the Association of Recovery Schools (ARS) and a huge advocate for recovery and education. Prior to Archway, Sasha was the Director of The High Road at The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston where she ran the adolescent intensive outpatient program. Sasha is a sought-after presenter by many organizations and speaks nationwide about addiction/ recovery, recovery schools, teen development, failure to launch and media influences on youth.
Rebecca Bonner M.Ed., is Head of School of The Bridge Way School, Philadelphia’s first recovery school, which opened its doors in 2011. She has worked with non-profits for over 20 years in secondary and postsecondary education and currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Office of Addiction Services for the City of Philadelphia. Caron Treatment Centers awarded Rebecca the Brian H. Early Community Leadership award in 2012. She earned her Master’s of Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her Master’s of Education from Temple University. Rebecca and her husband live in Philadelphia and have three daughters.