The People Behind LYFS
Erin M. Deery, LICSW - Executive Director (She/her)
Erin started as the new Executive Director in the summer of 2015, and she is excited to be part of the Lexington community! Erin is a Clinical Social Worker with an MSW degree from Simmons College School of Social Work in Boston, MA. Erin worked as a clinician at The Brookline Community Mental Health Center for 9 years, providing outpatient therapy to individuals and families. Erin also coordinated New Pathways - a prevention and emergency shelter program for homeless, runaway and other "high risk" youth. Prior to Brookline, Erin worked in community mental health and with children with special needs. She has also worked with LGBTQ youth.
Alana Martel - Community Coordinator / Office Monitor (she/her)
Alana is a 2014 graduate of Lexington High School. She has worked for the Boston Alliance of LGBTQ Youth and volunteered for Freedom Massachusetts, the campaign for transgender equality. In addition to this, she has experience caring for elderly people and those living with Alzheimers. Alana came out as a lesbian in 2013 and dealt with her own mental health challenges while attending Lexington High School. This has inspired her to become involved in mental health / LGBTQ advocacy. She is passionate about connecting people who may be struggling to resources, information and community.
Bea is committed to the capacity building of people individually and in groups. Her career path began in social work with multi-problem families, children with disabilities, family counseling, and university teaching. Her current work is focused on executive coaching and consulting in healthcare, business, and education. Her leadership roles have included Director of Leadership at MIT Sloan School of Management and president of Pegasus Communications. Bea holds a master’s degree from McGill University and a doctorate from Harvard University with a concentration in organizational effectiveness and adult learning.
Bill is a clinical social worker with a small private practice in Lexington. He was the Director of RePlace, Inc., Lexington's Adolescent and Family Services, from 1978 - 1994. Bill has been active in Town and School committees serving as the Chair of the Lexington Human Services Committee, as a founder of the Lexington Youth Services Council, and a Co-chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Youth At Risk.
Anne Khudari is a clinical social worker with Eliot Community Human Services in Concord. Anne has been a resident of Lexington for 20 years and is parent to two college-age children who attended the Lexington Public Schools. In former roles as international student advisor, career counselor, and job placement coordinator for refugees, Anne’s passion has been in working with individuals in transition.
Jamie Katz is a proud graduate of Lexington High School, as well as the father and uncle of LHS graduates. In Lexington, he has: served as a soccer coach, worked on the Board of Brookhaven, run a neighborhood pool, presented to various groups, served as a Town Meeting Member, and engaged in a variety of other activities. Mr. Katz is the General Counsel for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and is also a writer.
Timothy F. Dugan. MD (he/him)
Timothy Dugan, M.D. is a founding board member of LYFS, one of the clinical consultants, and former President of the Board of LYFS (2013-2016). He is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist in Lexington, a psychoanalyst, and longstanding Harvard Medical School faculty member at the Cambridge Health Alliance. On November 1, 2016, he starts a 3 year term on the Council (the governing board) of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Geoff spent nearly 20 years as an environmental consultant focused on the air quality impacts of the electric power industry. He now runs a small foundation, and is active in several Lexington organizations. He lives in Lexington with his wife and nine-year-old son.
Julie has been practicing law since 1989, after graduating from Syracuse University College of Law. After working as a litigator for ten years, she founded Shapiro Elder Law in Lexington. Julie has been an active member of a number of town committees, and is currently co-chair of the Council on Aging. She lives in Lexington with her husband, and has two college-age children.
Betsey Weiss (she/her)
Betsey has been active in school and Town politics for over twenty years. She was the Bowman PTA Co- President in 1993 and an active supporter and member of many Override Committees. From 2000- 2004 she was the Lexington High School PTSA Co-President and Vice-President. She was a member of the LHS Academic Stress Committee working to reduce stress at LHS. She chaired the Community Preservation Act ( CPA) Campaign which passed in 2006 and has brought over twelve million dollars in state matching funds to Lexington to date and then chaired the Community Preservation Committee for several years. She is currently the Lexington Housing Partnership Vice-Chair, which is an affordable housing committee and has been a Town Meeting Member since 2004.
LYFS Adult Advisory Board
Michele Cooke - no picture - (she/her)
Michele Cooke has lived in Lexington for 20 years caring for children either as a preschool teacher or private home provider. Her two (talented and handsome) sons grew up attending the public schools, Hancock Church and Boy Scouts. Elementary and junior high experiences were awesome - however - the high stress environment at the high school prompted Michele to join a group of concerned citizens in 2008 - thus beginning her position as Clerk for LYFS.
Josh is a 1998 graduate of Lexington High School and a 1992 graduate of Dartmouth College majoring in Sociology with a minor in Economics. Josh earned a Certificate in Accountancy in 1997 from Bentley University and has worked in accounting firms since then. Josh got involved with LYFS in 2012 helping the Treasurer prepare annual Forms 1099-MISC and prepared financial statements for the organization in 2013. Josh is willing to provide financial expertise and advice to LYFS going forward.
Barry is a Lexington Town Meeting member with a professional background in consumer marketing research, advertising research, and communication strategy. Before joining LYFS, he was a board member of a predecessor organization, RePlace. Barry's wife is a retired elementary school teacher. They raised three children who successfully navigated the Lexington school system. Currently two daughters live in Lexington and have between them four soon-to-be teens in the schools
LYFS Youth Advisory Board
Candela de Amorrortu (she/her)
Candela is a junior at Lexington High School, beginning her first year on the youth advisory board for LYFS. She has grown to be more involved with mental health, after becoming a peer mentor for Sources of Strength. She believes that mental health is a topic that should be comfortably spoken about among her Lexington community. Candela also enjoys being a peer mentor and leader at Lexington High School. Out of school, Candela loves performing with the LHS improv troupe, running for the track team and travelling with her family!
Arjun Delity (he/him)
Arjun is a sophomore at Lexington High School, and is thrilled for his first year on the Youth Board. He feels strongly about mental health because he wants to change how it is though about at his school. Arjun's mindset is that the best way to do so is to educate the community of Lexington, both students and parents, to help them understand how serious mental health can be. At school, Arjun is involved with robotics and jazz, and plays tennis outside of school. However, his primary passion is Indo-Chinese food.
Bill Gao (he/him)
Bill Gao is currently a senior at Lexington High School. He has been on the LYFS Youth Board since his sophomore year and looks forward to continue helping the community by educating and ending the stigma on mental health. Bill works at the local ice cream shop, Rancatore’s and is part of the Best Buddies Organization. He also has a passion towards singing and traveling.
Avani Kabra (she/her)
Avani is currently a junior at Lexington High School and she is very excited about her first year on the LYFS Board! She is extremely passionate about addressing the stigmatization of mental health within the Lexington community. Avani believes that awareness and education is key to finding ways to help people with mental health conditions. In her spare time, Avani enjoys traveling around the world, playing soccer, and taking pictures.
Mina Lee (she/her)
Mina is a new member to the LYFS Youth Board and is currently a junior at Lexington High School. She joined the youth board this year to have the opportunity to help teens and parents overcome the stigma of mental health and highlight the impact of cultural stress in Lexington. She is especially passionate on spreading positivity at the high school. Her other interests include music and photography. At LHS, she is the president of her class and is also an avid fan of smoothies and hugs.
Mona Tavangar (she/her)
Mona has been on the Youth Board since sophomore year and is so excited to continue the work LYFS is doing! Mona is part of Peer Mentors at LHS, and thinks building a strong, supportive community in Lexington is very important. She also loves music and drama, and is very involved with singing, acting, and playing the piano.
Logan Wells (he/him)
Logan joined LYFS as a sophomore and is now a junior at Lexington High School. He believes a sense of community is important for LHS students to thrive. Logan also spends his time on the debate team, programming, and is the vice president of his class.