Safe and Sound Schools
Empowering a Nation of Safer School Communities
Safe and Sound Schools

Our Team & Staff

Michele Gay, Founder

Michele Gay is a mother, former teacher, and now one of the founders of Safe and Sound: A Sandy Hook Initiative. After losing her daughter, Josephine Grace, on December 14, 2012, she chose to take action as an advocate for improved school security and safety in our nation’s schools.

Michele’s background as a teacher and involved parent, along with her personal loss and post-tragedy perspective, uniquely position her to help school communities prevent tragedy, and better prepare and respond in the event of an emergency in their own schools.

Michele holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Towson University and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from McDaniel College.  She taught at the elementary level in Maryland and Virginia public schools before staying home to raise her three daughters and advocate for the special needs of her youngest daughter, Josephine.  Michele is dedicated to honoring Josephine in her work to make schools in our country more safe and secure.

Alissa Parker, Founder

Alissa is the mother of Emilie Parker, one of the 20 children who died tragically in the Sandy Hook School Shootings on December 14, 2012.  In the wake of the tragedy, Alissa was moved to engage parents in securing the safety of their children’s school. She became an active member of the Newtown Public Schools’ Safety Committee.  She has become passionate about school security and safety, speaking, traveling, listening and learning in school communities across the United States.

Alissa graduated from Weber State University in her hometown of Ogden, Utah.  She is a co-founder of Safe and Sound and also co-founded The Emilie Parker Art Connection, which gives to art programs for kids across the country.  She is the author of the book, An Unseen Angel, a memoir of faith, hope and healing.  Alissa brings a powerful perspective and passion to our foundation.  She is devoted to creating a legacy of safety for our nation’s children in honor of her beloved Emilie.

Board of Directors & Staff

Tina Cantu, JD, MBA, RN
Jim Murtha, Ph.D.

Bob Gay

Bob Ducibella
Alissa Parker
Adam Safir, Esq.
Bob Martin
Susan Sawyer, Esq.

Michele Gay, Executive Director
Susan Parziale, Administrative Coordinator
Amy Shanler, Public Relations Director
Ermolande Jean-Simon, Communications
Martha Gonzalez-Corona, Social Media

Advisors and Professional Contributors

Mark K. Bailey, MEd., EMT-P
Fire Chief
Fort Thomas Fire Department
Ft. Thomas, Kentucky

Tau Braun, Ed.D., M.Sc., EMT
Director of the Violence Prevention Agency
Violence Prevention Specialist
Threat Assessment and Management Professional
South African Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Stephen E. Brock, Ph.D.
Licensed Educational Psychologist
Nationally Certified School Psychologist
Author PREPaRE:  Crisis Intervention and Recovery
Lead Editor Best Practices in School Crisis Prevention and Intervention
Professor and School Psychology Program Coordinator
Graduate and Processional Studies in Education
California State University, Sacramento
Sacramento, California

Mo Canady
Executive Director
National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO)
Hoover, Alabama

Michael Dorn
Executive Director
Safe Havens International
Macon, Georgia

Paul Hildreth, MBA, CEM
Emergency Operations Coordinator
Fulton County Schools
College Park, Georgia

Amy Klinger, Ed.D.
Director of Programs
The Educator’s School Safety Network
Author: FEMA/DHS Crisis Management for School-based Incidents for Key Decision Makers (online course)
Author: Moving Beyond Lockdown: Lockdown Alternatives and Enhancements for Active Shooter Response in Schools (online course)
National School Safety Lecturer and Consultant
Associate Professor of Educational Administration, Ashland University
Public Education Teacher and Administrator of 28 years

William Modzeleski
Former Associate Assistant Deputy Secretary
Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools
U.S. Department of Education
Co-Author:  The Safe School Initiative
Co-Author:  Threat Assessment In Schools
Co-Author:  School Associated Violent Deaths in the U.S.
National School Safety Expert, Author, Lecturer

Shari Nacson, LISW-S
Child Development Consultant
Clinical Social Worker
Adult Educator, Editor
Cleveland Heights, OH

Scott Poland, Ed.D.
Licensed Psychologist
Nationally Certified School Psychologist
Author: Coping with Crisis
Professor, The Center for Psychological Studies
Nova Southeastern University
Hollywood, Florida

Kevin Quinn
School Resource Officer
Chandler Police Department, Arizona
Past President: National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO)
President: Arizona School Resource Officers Association (ASROA)
Chandler, AZ


Melissa A. Reeves, Ph.D.
Nationally Certified School Psychologist
Licensed Professional Councelor
Licensed Special Education Teacher
Co-Author: PREPaRE: Crisis Prevention and Preparedness
Co-Author: Identifying, Assessing, and Treating PTSD at School
Co-Author: Comprehensive Planning for Safe Learning Environments
Lecturer, Winthrop University
Rock Hill, South Carolina

Stephen C. Satterly, Jr.
Director of Transportation and School Safety, CSC Southern Hancock County
Certified Indiana School Safety Specialist
Co-Author: Staying Alive: How to Act Fast and Survive Deadly Encounters
School Safety Practitioner
Expert Witness
Speedway, Indiana

Jaclyn Schildkraut, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Public Justice
State University of New York at Oswego
Co-Author: Mass Shootings: Media, Myths, and Realities 
National author & expert on school/mass shootings (e.g., The Wall Street Journal, WORLD Magazine, Popular Science, NPR, Syracuse Post-Standard)
Oswego, New York

Paul Timm, PSP
Facility Engineering Associates, PC
Author: School Security: How to Build and Strengthen a School Safety Program
Chicago, Illinois