♥ Executive Director, International Speaker and Educator, Anthony M. McCrovitz, Ph.D., LMHC, HSPP, BCPC, IMH-E® (II), DAPA
Establishing Globe Star in 1996 with his wife, Amanda, was an outcome of their shared vision to bring Gentle Teaching to their community of 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’s coordinated successful collaborations for mentoring students in career-building and accepted teaching opportunities as an adjunct faculty member, teaching psychology at Purdue University North Central, Indiana University School of Social Work for the South Bend and Northwest campuses, and presently at St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana.
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.”
His passion is found in cultivating growing processes that have value and meaning for one’s life and learning, or for one’s professional development and practice. He’s dedicated to the sharing of knowledge and solutions, and holds a doctorate in I/O Psychology from Walden University, a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Adler Professional School of Psychology, a master’s degree in pastoral counseling from Loyola University of Chicago, and a master’s degree in business administration from Indiana Wesleyan University.
Anthony never hesitates in sharing or offering his expertise to the community. In addition to serving as President of Quality of Life Institute, a nonprofit organization he established for creating resources and educational opportunities for training, supporting and demonstrating value for Direct Service Providers and their quality of life, 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).
♥ 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 Kindergarten 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.)
♥ Quality of Life Mentor, 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. From July 2017 through October 2018, Zathoe fulfilled the role of executive director. She is planning for her retirement this spring, while continuing to share her diverse and abundant gifts with the Globe Star community.
Zathoe is an accomplished and exceptional professional, with a natural ability to mentor others. She’s made significant contributions to Globe Star’s training programs and the facilitation of services that continue to enrich the lives of individuals. Their quality of life improves as she beautifully puts the principles of Gentle Teaching into practice, 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.
She says the best part of her time away from the office and the work field, is the time she spends enjoying her grandchildren.
♥ 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 (QoML) Mentor, Elizabeth Coe
Elizabeth Coe brings much expertise and competence to the Globe Star community, and is particularly skilled in the building of relationships. She holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in forensic psychology.
She is a Quality of Mentoring Life mentor, and enjoys helping and encouraging individuals to make and reach their goals.
Elizabeth came entered the field of work several years ago, and tells us that Globe Star’s mission is what brought her to Globe Star.
“I feel that building a team and working with an individual to showcase the best aspects of themselves is something that many people can benefit from. I feel that I have a good ability to work with individuals that redirects behavior to a more positive approach.
One of my goals is to continue working with individuals to build a more positive relationship with their families and their community. I would like to be able to give individuals the necessary tools for being able to have a positive outlook, attitude, and action toward life.”
When she isn’t working, Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her daughter and her family. She also loves poetry and writing, and has had her own work published in the Library of Congress more than once. She also enjoys crocheting and homemade crafting, creating items that make people smile. On the weekends she looks forward to Disney movie dates and tea parties with her daughter, and sharing the simple joys of life with her.
♥ Communications and Curriculum Development, Mara Hawks
Mara has worked in a supportive capacity with the Globe Star community and Quality of Life Institute, Inc., since 2012, collaborating in the development and production of teaching and training materials and events, creating content and design for marketing and informational brochures, newsletters and websites. Prior work experience includes elementary classroom assistant and support positions as an executive assistant for school directors (of grades pre-K through elementary/8 yrs, and of a graduate program/2 yrs).
Writing background includes two years of CE classes at UCLA (1990-92), two years as a staff writer for a small-town newspaper (2009-11), and over twenty five years of designing and producing marketing content, brochures and newsletters, writing blogs, designing websites, and assisting in the development and production of educational materials.
Formal education includes a master’s degree in humanities from Naropa University (CO), and a bachelor’s degree from Barat College of DePaul University in music and literature/history of spiritual traditions.