Olive Crest Academy

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Success for Every Student
      A non-public, non-profit special education school for children in grades K-12 with behavior challenges.  We serve students who reside in Orange and Los Angeles Counties.     
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Meet our Director Team:

Donald A. Verleur II

Donald A. Verleur II
President and CEO Donald-Verleur@olivecrest.org

Donald Verleur has been the Chief Executive Officer of Olive Crest since 1996, overseeing all aspects of the organization's operations, programs, and services. Mr. Verleur gained practical experience and insight by participating in many areas at Olive Crest over the past 30 years, from working as a childcare worker to his present position as CEO. Mr. Verleur fervently believes that education is a vital component of equipping children for lifetime success. Mr. Verleur received his undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of California Irvine, and he received his Masters of Business Administration from Chapman University.

Nina Coull

Nina Frankman, LMFT
Director of Special Education Nina-Frankman@olivecrest.org

Nina Frankman came to Olive Crest in 1996, joining the Olive Crest Academy team. Since then, she has served as a therapist, clinical program supervisor, assistant clinical director, clinical director, director of therapeutic services, and is now the Director of Special Education. As part of her many responsibilities, Mrs. Frankman oversees the Olive Crest Academy school in Orange County and serves on the National Program Core Management Team. Prior to coming to Olive Crest, she had a private practice in Marriage and Family therapy for ten years and has been a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist since 1986.

Mrs. Frankman earned a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from Pepperdine University where she was named Valedictorian of her graduating class. She also has a Masters of Arts Degree in Marriage and Family Counseling from Fuller Theological Seminary. Mrs Frankman has received training by the Orange County Department of Education as a Behavior Intervention Case Manager (BICM) and she brings an expertise of behavior management and modification to our schools.

Bob Henning

Robert (Bob) Henning, Ed.D (abd) Principal Bob-Henning@olivecrest.org

Bob is in his fifteenth year of serving as a member of the Olive Crest Academy (OCA) family. It is since he came to OCA that he has discovered his passion for working with children in the education setting. He began his tenure as a one-to-one aide for a young deaf child and then began working in the administrative office. In addition to his administrative duties, he helped in the classrooms and around campus as a teacher’s aid and behavior specialist. He has served at several of our campuses in many different roles: Assistant to the Director of Education at TEC SA, Assistant Site Director at TEC SA, Site Director at TEC The Ranch, Co-Director at TEC SA, Interim Director at TEC Bellflower, and Director of Staff Development and Support Services (all campuses).

During Bob's time within the OCA schools he has realized that being a source of stability and structure for the students is essential to getting them back on the right track. While OCA is not a traditional school setting, it has provided Bob the opportunity to use his personal experiences in relating with the kids in order to help them succeed. Understanding the motivation for behavior and how children will respond to this behavior has helped Bob in his quest for the schools statement of purpose "success for every student".

Bob's willingness and dedication to preserving the educational needs of the students, adds strength to an already strong foundation of the OCA programs.

Lisa GrabowskiLisa Shea
Director of Admissions Lisa-Shea@olivecrest.org

Lisa Shea joined Olive Crest Academy in 2003 as the Director of Admissions. This role allows her the opportunity to spend time with students while sharing the program concepts with parents and networking with the public school districts. With a daughter who qualified for Special Education services, Mrs. Shea brings personal understanding of the many obstacles both students and families may face.

Prior to Olive Crest, Mrs. Shea had six years of education experience and nine years of volunteer experience with the Girl Scout Council of Orange County where she wore many hats, including serving for 3 years as a Service Unit Manager in Yorba Linda, CA. She attended the University of Kentucky with a Communication and Sociology emphasis. In 1997, she did coursework at Fullerton College in Early Childhood Education and took a teaching position at Friends Christian School in Yorba Linda. Mrs. Shea continues to be committed to work with children in an effort to encourage, nurture and educate them. She currently lives with her husband in Long Beach, CA, and enjoys traveling, boating, and cooking. Travel now includes visits to Texas and Kentucky to spend time with her two adult daughters, Tamara (husband Jace) and Natasha.

Emily Vazirian

Emily Vazirian Assistant Principal of Educational Services Emily-Vazirian@olivecrest.org

Emily Vazirian has been affiliated with Olive Crest since 2003 where she started working in the Group Homes at the Residential Treatment Center. In 2006 she became the Program Specialist for all of the Group Homes, but discovered she had a passion for supporting the students who were in the foster care/ group home systems with their education. She began working as the Educational Specialist, which allowed her to act as a liaison between the schools and the students in Olive Crest care to help support their educational needs. She left to further her education in 2008 and received her Master in Education with an emphasis in Special Education, as well as her Moderate/Severe Educational Specialist credential from Claremont Graduate University in 2009. She worked as a Special Education Teacher in Pomona Unified School District, as well as a Master Teacher for Claremont Graduate University and returned to Olive Crest to work at the Academy in 2013. She is excited to take on the leadership role in collaborating with teachers and staff on how to better their practice as educators.

Joel Bugay

Joel Bugay, M.A., LMFT Assistant Principal of Therapeutic Services Joel-Bugay@olivecrest.org

Joel Bugay is the newest member of our leadership team and has been working with Olive Crest Academy since 2011. Joel started as a therapist at OCA's previous high school campus in Santa Ana. Besides his previous position as a DIS Counselor, he has held a position as a Lead Therapist until he was hired as the Assistant Principal of Therapeutic Services at OCA. Joel is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, who holds a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Joel has previously worked for six years as a therapist in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility, DIS Counselor at Irvine Unified School District, and Counseling Manager at a NPS in Riverside. Joel has over ten years of volunteer experience as an instructional coach for youth sports- roller hockey, baseball, and basketball. He currently lives with his wife in Riverside County and enjoys cycling, swimming, traveling, and watching his boys play sports.

Nicole Williams-Carson

Nicole Williams-Carson Program Specialist Nicole-Williams-Cars@olivecrest.org

Nicole Williams-Carson is the newest member of our leadership team, having worked at Olive Crest Academy since 2015. She began as a therapist and recognized her passion is working with the high school population as they prepare to transition into adulthood.

Ms. Williams-Carson, a mother of three, holds a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology and is a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern, currently in the licensing process. In addition to more than ten years of primary and secondary teaching in the public and private school settings, she instructs psychology courses at the college level. Additionally, she has more than 25 years experience of how mental illness impacts the family unit as a whole. She understands from real-world experience and is passionate about finding support for OCA students and their families to ensure Success for Every Student.

Ms. Williams-Carson is currently attending University of Redlands pursuing her Pupil Personnel Services credential with an emphasis in School Counseling. As the Program Specialist, her goal is to inspire both adolescents and young adults to become the best version of themselves through academic counseling and guidance, potentially creating and supporting a community where students not only survive, but also thrive!