Focus Academy Staff Bios
Jacquelyn Mulkey, MA
Founder & Executive Director
Director of Curriculum & Instruction
Jacquelyn holds an Associate’s degree in Elementary Education, a Bachelor’s degree in Child Development and a Master’s degree in School Psychology. After completing the courswork for a doctorate in Business Administration, she set her sights on a doctorate in psychology. She is currently a Doctoral Candidate for a Degree in Industrial/Organization Psychology through Northcentral University. Her doctoral study -Exploring the Prospects of Employing those with Asperger's Syndrome –will align very closely with her goals for Focus Academy. Prior to starting Focus Academy (formerly a part of Focus Initiative), she established and directed the Developmental Assessment Team for Autism in the Katy Independent School District. She has also worked as a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology, a pre-school director and an Autism In-Home/Parent trainer. Jacquelyn is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children, the Council of Parent Advocates and Attorneys (COPAA) and a co-founder and current board member for ASPIE of Houston - Asperger's Syndrome Parent-Professional Information Exchange. She has presented at numerous conferences and seminars in multiple states.
Chief Operations Officer
Director of Financial & Strategic Planning
Connitha came to Focus in March 2012 after seeking the right school for her ADHD son across three states and multiple schools. Her experiences with public schools demonstrated that they were unable to extract the full potential from unique children in a traditional classroom setting. Some private schools were able to obtain high academic standards from these quirky kids, but lacked the understanding or ability to address the social deficits. In March 2012 she came for a tour of Focus Academy for her son and never looked back. After spending over 20 years in manufacturing as a Chief Financial Officer and Director of Operations for multiple sites specializing in turn arounds, she decided on a career change. She volunteered her financial expertise to Focus in helping to restructure the business aspects of the school and application for non-profit status in the Fall of 2012 before moving into a new career. Through these experiences she decided on a new career path and joined Focus as Director of Finance in May 2013. Connitha holds a BA degree in Business Administration/Accounting from Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky.
Chief Information Officer
Terisa comes to us with extensive self-teaching and formal training in Quality Systems. She has previously worked as a Quality Assurance and Quality Control Manager in multiple plastics manufacturing companies. She has implemented processes and procedures for numerous quality systems and was responsible internal audits. She studied in Japan to become a master color matcher and speaks some basic Japanese and Spanish. She is currently building the academy's database through the access system designed to track student attendance, progress and accountability.
Terisa has a young adult son diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder who completed his Associates Degree at Alvin Community College and another son who previously graduated from Focus Academy that is currently attending ACC.
Click Here to E-Mail Terisa Blanchette
Special Services Coordinator
Holly Jones joined the Focus Academy staff in the Summer 2015. She taught in the classroom from 2016-18 and promoted to the coordinator position for the 2018-19 school year. Holly previously supervised foster care services in Montgomery County. Her son Aiden attends school at Focus Academy. Ms. Jones and her husband, Kyle, live in Conroe with their son Aiden, their dog and Aiden's two cats.
Miranda graduated from Alvin High School in 2011 before attending Alvin Community College. She has previously worked in Alvin ISD as a teachers aide for a resource class. She joined the Focus Academy team in 2014 as the Office Manager for both Focus Academy campuses. When you call, Miranda is the one to help you out! She also enjoys reading books, attending concerts with her husband Michael and snuggling with her beautiful baby boy Mikah.
Click Here to E-Mail Miranda Echard
Amanda Beeman, MA
Counselor, LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor)
Amanda is an experienced mental health professional with competencies in neurodevelopment and therapeutic interventions for young adults on the Autism Spectrum. She holds a Master's Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice. Her experience includes clinical work with children and families, assessment for behavioral issues, training and consultation for the implementation of behavior management plans. She has experience advocating for children in the custody of Texas Department of Family Protective Services. Her advocacy efforts also include participating in Admission Review and Dismissal meetings for students receiving special education services. She has provided counseling services as a community based counselor and most recently as a counselor at a non-public school for students with severe behavioral difficulties. One of her many passions as a therapist is leading group therapy for young adults. She enjoys identifying and cultivating the strengths that her clients already possess. She believes in providing quality mental health services that produce optimal mental health wellness across settings. Her curiosity for the variety of human life is nourished by reading classical literature, writing, and raising a beautiful daughter with her loving husband, Jon.
Academy Teacher - Sugar Land Campus
Ms. Gilbreath comes to us with specialization in teaching both English AND Math! Plus, she has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Houston and is planning on pursuing a Master’s in Counseling in a few years. Her favorite thing about teaching is the “small things” - the things most people do not even notice on a day to day basis that make a huge difference. She currently lives in La Mark with her husband Brandon and their four fur babies (cats and dogs)!
Academy Teacher - Woodlands Campus
Ms. Guthrie graduated with honors from The University of Texas at Dallas, with a degree in English. She then completed additional coursework to teach secondary grades. She's taught children from age 2 through high school over the years. Ms. Guthrie's 19-year-old son, Noah, is diagnosed on the autism spectrum, and she worked tirelessly over the years to get him where he is today. When he was first diagnosed, she was told that he would never speak in full sentences; however, today he is an articulate young man. His final two years of high school, Ms. Guthrie made the difficult decision to home school Noah in order to get him ready to for the "real-world". In February 2018, Ms. Guthrie noticed the lack of social opportunities for teens with High Functioning Autism in the Montgomery County area and founded a social skills group for HF teens on the spectrum out of her own home (using her own money!). To date, her social group has over 85 members! Ms. Guthrie organizes weekly events and special activities, and works hard to encourage friendships among the members. Ms. Guthrie sent her daughter, Brooke, off to college this summer and is ready to get back in the classroom! Ms. Guthrie currently lives in Conroe with her son, Noah, their labradoodle, Mav and goldendoodle, Bowie.