♥ Executive Director, Zathoe Sexton, MSW
Zathoe’s passion for service and helping others in need was recognized long before she began caring for one of her own children after a car accident in 1984, that resulted in a traumatic brain injury. After the outpouring of care and support that rallied around her and her family during this time, Zathoe knew she wanted to develop a career path that would create opportunities for giving back to the community. She enrolled at Indiana University Northwest where she earned a degree in sociology with a minor in women’s studies, then went on to receive her master’s degree in social work. Her inclination for social work, she says, was inspired by her reading about Jane Addams when she was a teenager, whose life impressed her with the thought: “Yes I want to be like her.”
Before Zathoe came on board at Globe Star in 1999, her career in social work began to develop as a Director of Development at Hoosier Boys Town (now known as Campagna Academy), where she was responsible for all of the fundraising, worked closely with Foundation and Board members to expand giving opportunities, and provided group and individual therapy to young men who were disadvantaged youth, children in need of services or court ordered services.
Over the next few years, Zathoe’s career path included work with the Salvation Army. Here, she implemented their major gifts program, and fulfilled a position as Director of Development for the Area Youth Ministry, working with fundraising, grant writing, special gifts, and donations.
One additional feather in her cap that she takes great pride in, is her work with Duneland School Corporation in the Drug Free Schools Program. Zathoe was instrumental in getting a new budget line item to fund the Positive Life Program, a student assistance program for youth with alcohol, drug and other problems that interfered with their receiving an education.
Many years of experience provided Zathoe opportunities for developing a strong skill set to be a service-focused social worker and coordinator, with a strong commitment and practical compassion for serving the needs of marginalized youth and adults, including developmentally disabled and special needs populations. She was the perfect fit for Globe Star, and continues to be an invaluable member of our management team, and a daily support for the the whole Globe Star community.
From the start, Zathoe has continuously held leadership positions at Globe Star, in various aspects of mentoring and caregiving. Early on, she supervised a team of 18 social workers, qualified professionals in intellectual and developmental disabilities, and office administrators, developed and maintained teaching curriculums for direct care staff, and was responsible for writing and maintaining the Employee Handbook and Policies and Procedures for the agency. She was also instrumental in helping to establish the Quality of Life Institute.
Since 2006, she primarily fulfilled the role of Quality Assurance Servant Leader for all of the Globe Star offices, and then served many years as a Quality of Mentoring Life Servant Leader. She has been a teacher, a trainer and supervisor for employees and interns, and provided assistance to the executive director, before stepping into this role in 2017 as Globe Star’s new executive director.
Zathoe strongly believes in enriching the quality of life for the individuals we serve, helping them to understand their emotions and guiding them to make good decisions. The one challenge she is best at solving for the individuals she works with is unconditionally valuing them as human beings and respected members of the community, helping them to feel safe, loved, loving and engaged.
When Zathoe is not busy working, she loves to walk on the beach and look for beach glass and heart-shaped rocks, go for bike rides with her husband, read, and do quilting.
The best part of her time away from the office and the work field, is the time she spends enjoying her grandchildren.
♥ Assistant Executive Director Amanda M. McCrovitz, MSE, JD
Amanda, with her husband, Anthony, co-authored Anthony’s Backpack, A Child’s Journey into Gentleness. It is a story about three children who discover and apply the simple principles of Gentle Teaching on a day-long adventure.
In addition to her heartfelt work on behalf of Gentle Teaching, Amanda manages the home front, caring for their four children: Anthony, John-Paul, Gretta and Peter-James, and teaches math and language arts to 4th through 8th grade students at St. Patrick School in Chesterton.
In her early career as a special education teacher, Amanda taught children with moderate to severe disabilities in an upper elementary school setting.
She holds a master’s degree in special education from Indiana University, and a law degree from Valparaiso Law School.
For many years, Amanda has been involved with the Gentle Teaching community, and serves as a board member of Gentle Teaching International (GTI), advocating for individuals and their quality of life.
From 2005 to 2008, she worked closely with Gentle Teaching co-founder, Dr. John McGee, and his work in Puerto Rico. Together, they developed a program for individuals with disabilities to remove them from institutions throughout the Island, and place them in homes with families to care for them. Amanda’s knowledge of the legal system and her background in special education, contributed to her successful interactions with the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Health. Her unique contribution to this project was most valuable in carrying out Dr. McGee’s work in Puerto Rico, on behalf of individuals who had been institutionalized. (note: this project evolved as a result of a federal law suit over the care and conditions in the Puerto Rico institutions.)
♥ Co-founder of Globe Star, International Speaker and Educator Anthony M. McCrovitz, Ph.D., LMHC, BCPC, IMH-E® (II)
As a co-founder of the agency in 1996, Dr. Anthony M. McCrovitz fulfilled the role of executive director of Globe Star until 2017. He continues working with Globe Star, developing and implementing plans for the funding and expansion of the Quality of Life Institute, Inc., a nonprofit organization that was founded to create resources and avenues for training, supporting and demonstrating value for Direct Service Providers and their quality of life.
For over three decades, Dr. McCrovitz has worked with individuals and their families to improve their overall quality of life, introducing and implementing Gentle Teaching-based frameworks of support that encourage and guide others in overcoming barriers of community integration.
Establishing Globe Star in 1996 with his wife, Amanda, was an outcome of their worldwide vision to share Gentle Teaching with their own community in Chesterton, Indiana. This flagship office has grown over the years, and today, additional offices in South Bend, Indianapolis, Warsaw and Lafayette, serve communities and counties of north central Indiana.
With Anthony’s extensive background experience in outpatient, therapeutic interventions for both children and adults with intellectual disabilities, expertise in parent training approaches toward intervention, and experience in working with multidisciplinary teams, Globe Star is able to offer a a broad range of support services for individuals with developmental disabilities.
In the ongoing development of Globe Star, Dr. McCrovitz collaborated with local colleges to enhance leadership in research, career advancement, and education for interns. He coordinated successful collaborations for mentoring students in career-building and accepted teaching opportunities as an adjunct professor of psychology at Purdue University North Central, and at Indiana University School of Social Work for the South Bend and Northwest campuses.
These partnerships provided ideal learning environments and the opportunity for Dr. McCrovitz to work directly with interns and educators in designing the foundation for developing and enriching academic programs. To date, his contributions and collaboration have produced programs that achieved the development standards established by the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, and the Council on Social Work Education.
Early in his career, Anthony accepted an invitation from the Loyola School of Social Work to study at their graduate school in Rome. He was invited, during this time, to present his research regarding how quality of life aspects are fortified for a child, through applications of Gentle Teaching.
The programs he designed and developed for Globe Star’s direct services, consistently achieve these same standards of excellence, as certified by CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities), with the agency’s autism program for children and adults being given exemplary honors.
Regarding his own teaching philosophy, Dr. McCrovitz says: “My teaching philosophy leans on a multimodal person-centered approach that works toward enhancing relationships and decreasing challenging behaviors, by using positive and supportive teaching techniques and non-aversive behavioral intervention. I also strongly believe in unconditional valuing with a focus on mutual change and didactic interpersonal variables. My philosophical perspective is demonstrated throughout my extensive experience in the designing of positive, proactive treatment plans, rooted in holistic biopsychosocial models.”
Anthony offers his expertise to the community. In addition to serving as President of Quality of Life Institute, he is an active and contributing member of related associations, serving on the boards of the Share Foundation, Indiana State Counseling Association (ICA) as their past president, current president of the Indiana Professional Counseling Foundation (IPCF), and an active board member for Gentle Teaching International (GTI) and the International Snoezelen Association (ISNA-MSE).
♥ Quality of Work Life Mentor, Vanessa Willis
Vanessa Willis is a wonderful teacher, committed to changing the lives of individuals for the better by nurturing their potential. With her background in general and special education, she strongly believes that every individual can learn, and does everything in her power to encourage them. As a classroom teacher, she made certain that students always had access to the resources that they needed and deserved, and is experienced in teaching individuals from diverse social and cultural backgrounds. She also has a successful track record of reintegrating excluded students back into the public school system. At Globe Star, she is involved in job coaching and mentoring individuals who have mild, moderate, and severe needs.
Being a positive and inspiring role model for others is important to Vanessa. She is very professional, patient, and sensitive with individuals who become easily frustrated or overwhelmed by their emotions, and is a strong representative and advocate for protecting and promoting the rights of individuals with special needs in school or state-run meetings.
She enjoys Bible study, spreading good news, working in the garden, and, as she puts it, ‘trying very hard not to be the worst bowler in her family!’
♥ Quality of Mentoring Life, Counselor and Field Mentor Amy M. Pullen
Amy Pullen is a licensed, mental health counselor associate, offering accredited Quality of Life Services and programs in Lake County, Porter County, and surrounding counties and communities of Northwest Indiana.
Her practice encompasses the philosophy of Gentle Teaching, based on mutual respect, interdependency, and unconditional acceptance.
With a Gentle Teaching framework, Amy follows a CARF-accredited training program for caregivers (Direct Service Providers) for integrating the mentoring of Gentle Teaching, ensuring that all members of an individual’s team are able to adapt this framework for daily living.
Ms. Pullen has more than 15 years of social services experience, with a primary focus of working with individuals with intellectual disabilities.
Through her beginning years of coordinating services, Ms. Pullen became aware of the dire need for counseling services within this population. There simply were no providers that were qualified and able to provide this service. Motivated by eagerness to expand productive services for the intellectually disabled population, Ms. Pullen pursued her master’s degree in the field of counseling, with a research focus on applying traditional counseling techniques to differently-abled individuals.
She has a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling from Capella University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Rowan University.
Within the field o f social services, Ms. Pullen has worked as a Direct Service Provider, a Program Manager over residential services, and a Case Manager over waiver services.
♥ Occupational Therapist, Joann Scheetz, OTR
Before coming on board with Globe Star, Joann Scheetz had already had a long career of successfully interacting with Individuals, using intervention approaches that addressed the needs of Individuals planning to return home, or meeting the needs of Individuals adjusting to permanent assisted living or long-term care.
Prior to her years as an OT, Joann worked as a Respiratory Therapist in the acute hospital and LTC settings, providing services to children and adolescents at Riley Hospital in Indianapolis, and the adult and geriatric population in hospitals in Muncie and Anderson, as well as in her home state of Ohio. She worked successfully in educating patients and families in their respiratory conditions, and in providing them treatments according to their physician’s orders.
JoAnn provides services in South Bend and the surrounding areas. She is available to work with Individuals and their caregivers or families, offering Globe Star’s quality of life services that incorporate occupational therapy. She is also Globe Star’s coordinator and a provider for quality of life services for Individuals, using the multi-sensory environment (Snoezelen Room), located at the South Bend office.
“Individuals who would benefit from this multi-sensory approach include children with special needs, adults, and seniors with hyperactivity, depression, chronic pain, dementia, failure to thrive, and other conditions. This treatment, although not new in itself, is an exciting new service model for the South Bend community!” -Joann
View or download Joann’s informational brochure that explains more about the purpose and benefits of a multi-sensory environment, and where you can also learn more about Joann and her excellent background and work in therapeutic fields.
Please feel free to contact her with any questions or to learn more about how she can work with you and/or your Individual. We are happy to have her on board, and welcome her to the community!
♥ Quality of Community Life, Navigator Mentor, LaRanza Carson, BS,QIDP
LaRanza Carson came on board the Chesterton office in 2018, and is a direct service provider for residential, respite, and community participation services. She wholeheartedly embraces the concepts and culture of Gentle Teaching, a philosophy and practice that she discovered and is developing, while completing her master’s degree at Liberty University.
The philosophy and practice of Gentle Teaching resonated with LaRanza’s strongly-held principle to model servant leadership in her interactions with others, as this builds relationships and enriches the quality of life for the individuals we serve. Being organized and meeting an individual where they are (instead of where we want them to be), creates the invitation and the “growing room” for mutual discovery and growth.
LaRanza is inspired and inspiring in providing services and meeting the needs of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She has developed her profession in this field for more than 10 years, in positions of management, supervision and direct social work. For more than five years, she has been involved in Special Education Compliance training, developing inclusion advocacy practices and her strong and effective work ethic.
She attributes her education and daily opportunities for continued learning, as being the foundation for her understanding of organizational change and for her ability to recognize mentoring possibilities with individuals, cultivating personal change and social-emotional growth and development.
She is currently completing her studies at Liberty University, for a Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling and Executive Leadership. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Leadership and Supervision, and also an Associate of Arts in Sociology and Human Resources from Purdue University.
LaRanza has three wonderful children, who, she says, “push her to work hard and be great,” and she loves every minute of her time with them when she’s not out mentoring others. She also enjoys sharing good times with friends and attending family events, as well as volunteering at her family’s food pantry.
One of her favorite and guiding quotes for her mentoring practice:“Servant leadership is all about making the goals clear and then rolling your sleeves up and doing whatever it takes to help people win. In that situation, they don’t work for you; you work for them.” -Ken Blanchard
♥ Quality of Community Life, Navigating Mentor, James Boyd
His natural ability to coach and care for others is a gift he brings to the mental health field, where he has developed his career. He is proficient in building relationships, teaching skills to others, and helping people set and achieve their goals.
James is experienced as a high school-level assistant for special education classrooms. He has served as a community counselor for adolescents and adults, and supervised a residential adolescent unit at a local mental health hospital. James also spent nine years as a direct service provider, developing companionship with an individual with developmental disabilities.
Outside of work, James is a volunteer at his local church, with past experience as a high school youth group leader, and as leadership support for a hip-hop music outreach project. He currently leads a youth and adult karate ministry at his church.
“My goal is to support the individuals and crewmembers I serve, and to grow and discover new skills and interests. I seek to help them broaden their understanding of who they are and discover new things about themselves in order to enrich their quality of life.”
When he’s not working or volunteering, James enjoys training in the martial arts. When the weather is nice, he likes to hike and camp. He believes there are few things better than curling up with a good book or playing some music with others in the community.
♥ Quality of Community Life, Navigator Mentor, Clayton Temple
Clayton Temple graduated from St. Joseph’s College (Rensselaer, Ind.) in 1995, with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. He soon realized, however, that his real area of work interest centered around interactions with others, and being able to offer support for their goals and quality of life.
Today, having served more than 20 years in the mental health and behavioral healthcare field, he has gained knowledge and wisdom from his dedicated work experiences, from caregiving to case management, working with adults, children, and families.
When Clayton learned about Globe Star, he felt that it was a way of working that he would enjoy, recognizing that it was “an organization that not only holds the individuals and families we work with in the highest regard, but employees, as well,” he said.
With a sense of humor, wonderful patience and his practice of deep listening and giving care to others, Clayton is a very approachable and natural servant leader. His motivation comes from his willingness to empower others by creating possibilities with them, and by valuing the people he serves, works with, and learns from.
I love to see our individuals learn and value new experiences,” he commented, “and celebrate their successes with them. My primary goal in working with our Individuals is to somehow enrich their life. The most crucial part of this is finding things our individuals value and wish to pursue, and providing support, encouragement, and resources to do so. One of the most challenging and exciting parts of this is when an individual is able to step out of their comfort zone and have new experiences. Everyone needs to experience things that are new to them in order to grow.”
In his time away from work, Clayton treasures time with family and friends. He also enjoys weight training and practicing massage therapy. Being a big fan of music, he attends concerts as frequently as he can. Recently, he rekindled his trumpet-playing talent and began teaching to his son how to play and love the gifts of music.
♥ Social Worker Assistant, Warsaw Office, Angela Saiz
Angela Saiz was first introduced to Globe Star through her work at Dungarvin, an agency where she was a direct service provider, and where she’d become friends with a house manager who later became a crewmember at Globe Star.
Angela grew up in Bremen, Indiana and attended two years of college at Ivy Tech in South Bend, before beginning her career in social work. When she learned about Globe Star’s practice of Gentle Teaching, she was very drawn to the concept and philosophy of teaching others how to feel ‘safe and loved.’ She loved discovering Globe Star’s sensory room and its benefits for Individuals, and also liked seeing how everyone worked together as a team.
When working with others, Angela strives to make sure that every individual is treated with respect, and cared for according to their needs. She feels that challenges are always going to be a part of life, we all have them and when dealing with them you take one step at a time and do the best you can with what you are given.
For nearly five years, Angela has been licensed as an Emergency Medical Technician, and takes pride in being ready for ‘the next call’ that sometimes is just a matter of providing some simple assistance, while other calls are more intense and demand all of her skills and training in this area. She likes feeling she can make a difference, helping someone in any way, whether providing some support with daily activities or stopping physical pain.
When she’s not working, Angela enjoys being outdoors, spending time with her family and friends, fishing, shooting a bow, traveling, and swimming.