Track: Educational Success

Schools are uniquely positioned to promote wellness and resiliency as preventative interventions. Mental health and educational systems independently strive to build the developmental relationships and neurological structures that we know are essential to resiliency, learning, and exploration. We know that children who have experienced ACEs are at higher risk for mental health and physical health issues, and these stress-affected children struggle to maintain the “calm minds” required for learning to occur. Yet our systems of care often struggle to articulate common goals, intervention strategies, funding mechanisms, and outcome metrics to measure success at our efforts.

In this interactive forum, you will hear from experts with decades of experience building effective parnerships between schools and community mental health agencies. You will learn about a spectrum of collaborations ranging from training and consultation, to specialized programs that complement supports already existing in schools, to whole-school models for school-integrated mental health. Our forum experts will explain how they developed the long term partnerships with schools needed to promote effective practices grounded in evidence and neuroscience.

Participants will learn how the panel experts developed key relationships,  organizational capacity, common language, and creative solutions to common barriers to partnership. Participants will then consider their own opportunities for building authentic partnerships with schools across the continuum of options for system integration.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand keys to engaging in deep collaboration with progressive schools (e.g., demonstrate value; establish shared a language; identify evaluation metrics)
  • Learn about unique models of school-wide mental health integration from two Alliance members
  • Gain an understanding of the roles of clinicians and educators in the implementation of neuro-education, trauma-informed, and PBIS-consistent supports for school-age children
  • Consider priority actions to foster the relationships, finances, and logistics necessary for next steps
  • Connect with Educational Success stakeholders in the Alliance’s strategic action network and consider opportunities for collective impact y


  • Kelly Martin, director of educational success, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities


  • Benjamin Cone, assistant director of the Educationally Related Mental Health (ERMHS) program, Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services
  • Lynn D. Kyle, executive director, Lampion Center, Inc.
  • Susan Phelps, director of neuro-education, Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation

Kelly Martin
Director of Educational Success
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

Prior to stepping into the role of Director of Educational Success, Kelly Martin was a research analyst at the Alliance.  In this role she led research and evaluation projects both internally and across our strategic action network. Since joining the Alliance in 2016, she has become deeply embedded in the Alliance’s Advancing Equity and Educational Success impact areas through metrics coordination, content development, and facilitation of learning opportunities. Martin is an experienced convener and facilitator—she has led hundreds of social sector leaders through design sessions and learning opportunities and has a background in professional development and quality improvement systems in education spaces. Prior to joining the Alliance in 2016, Martin was a researcher in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh. In this role, she partnered with various education stakeholders, including social service providers, school district administrators, policy makers, funders, community members, and educators, to infuse the theory, research, and best practices of developmental psychology into local, statewide, and national collaborations. Martin was also an adjunct instructor during her years at the University of Pittsburgh, teaching a graduate-level course in developmental psychology in the School of Education. She holds a dual bachelor’s in psychology and sociology, and a master's in applied developmental psychology.

Benjamin Cone, LCSW 
Assistant Director of the Educationally Related Mental Health (ERMHS) program
Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services

Benjamin Cone is the Assistant Director of the Educationally Related Mental Health (ERMHS) program at Hathaway-Sycamores CFS. For 10 years, he has supported design and implementation of many school-integrated initiatives, including an elementary and high school mental health center, a school-based wraparound project, collaborative therapeutic classroom models, and a whole-school resiliency model. In addition to program design and implementation, he provides clinical training and supervision as a licensed clinical social worker as well as direct clinical services to consumers. Mr. Cone supports the implementation of evidence-based practices as a Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior (TFCBT) and Managing and Adapting Practice (MAP) supervisor and trainer and provides workshops supporting trauma-informed approaches to schools, parents, and foster parents. Finally, Mr. Cone is a guest lecturer for California University Los Angeles School of Social Work where he lectures on trauma.

Lynn D. Kyle, LCSW
Executive Director
Lampion Center, Inc.

Lynn Kyle is the Executive Director of Lampion Center – a small community counseling agency in Evansville, IN, that empowers children and families, helping them move beyond life’s challenges, traumas and transitions to thrive and reach their full potential. Kyle received both her bachelor's and master’s degrees in Clinical Psychology from the University of Evansville. She has led and inspired the work of Lampion Center for over 20 years and is well known for establishing and promoting collaborative efforts to meet community needs. Kyle is sought after for her expertise in nonprofit management and board/CEO development. She has been highly involved in promoting the community’s understanding and integration of trauma-informed practices. In addition to her work at Lampion Center and leadership positions at a state and local level, Kyle is an experienced crisis responder.

Susan Phelps
Director of Neuro-Education
Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation

Susan Phelps is the director of Neuro-education for the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC). EVSC is a national leader in neuro-science integration in education, partnering with such experts as Dr. Bruce Wexler of Yale School of Medicine in implementing best practices. Phelps has directed the implementation of Culturally Responsive PBIS in 36 schools, developed an alternative to suspension program, helped develop and implement evidence-based programs district-wide, and more recently helped develop GAIN – Growth in Academics through Innovation in Neuro-education. Phelps obtained her master’s degree in clinical psychology from Murray State University in 1995. Prior to working with the EVSC, Phelps held similar positions in schools in Kentucky, had her own private practice, and worked in inpatient and outpatient mental health settings providing counseling and neurodevelopmental assessments for children and adolescents.