Our Team

Staff

Sally Bindley, MSW

Sally Bindley, MSW

Founder & CEO

I founded School on Wheels because I became aware of an unmet need in the community and believed that our community members had the resources to meet that need. That need was focused educational support; the one thing that can pave a way out of homelessness for children. School on Wheels connects community members looking to make a difference to kids who need academic support, personal attention, and hope.

Education levels the playing field for kids and provides them with the promise of a brighter and more equitable future. A solid education is a critical step in breaking the cycle of homelessness. Since education is the one thing in life that cannot be taken away from us, it is the most valuable commodity in our society.

Kate Hussey

Kate Hussey

Chief Operating Officer

School on Wheels enables me to marry my passion for education with my commitment to contributing to and leading high impact teams. The School on Wheels team is the most talented and dedicated group of individuals with whom I’ve had the good fortune to work with. We are committed to serving the most vulnerable population in our community, children and families who are experiencing homelessness.

Beyond the intrinsic joy of learning, education enables people to understand and navigate the world. If the students we serve can achieve a high school diploma or secondary education, they will be much more likely to be housed, have stable jobs, and have the quality of life that every person deserves. Education is key to health, happiness, and stability.

Kelly Coker

Kelly Coker

Chief Program Officer

Since graduating from DePauw University, I’ve spent my entire career in the nonprofit sector. I’ve worked both for organizations focused on supporting those experiencing homelessness and those focused on education. School on Wheels combines these two passions. I love the partnership aspect of School on Wheels’ model, and am committed to working with our partners to support the mission of providing academic support to students experiencing homelessness and their families.

Education paired with the type of supportive relationships provided by School on Wheels and our partners can have life-changing results. Through education, students learn critical thinking, are exposed to different worldviews, and learn empathy and care.

Amber Ewing Kostoff

Amber Ewing Kostoff

Chief Philanthropy Officer

For the past twenty years, my work has been focused on helping local nonprofits build strong revenue streams and connecting individuals, corporations, and foundations to causes that are important to them. Fundraising marries my love of service in the community with the relationship building and leadership skills I developed through coursework at DePauw University and further honed by securing certification as Certified Fund Raising Executive. School on Wheels addresses a unique need in our community, and I’m honored to be able to support that work through my efforts.

Education is fundamental to the development and growth of a child. It builds their knowledge base, instills a greater sense of confidence, and can break down barriers to opportunity.

Alaina Adams

Alaina Adams

Education Support Coordinator

I’ve spent 12 years in social services, education, and the nonprofit fields providing services directly to individuals in need. During this time, I gained insight into the need for additional academic support and access to other community resources. The work that I do with School on Wheels is the perfect culmination of my experience and has given me the opportunity to continue to be of service to youth and families in our city.

Access to a quality, equitable education is essential to improving ones quality of life. Education gives us the freedom to dream and see beyond our current circumstances. When individuals have access to education, they are one step closer to self-actualization; and children who are able to self-actualize grow up to change the world.

Brittany Bayles

Brittany Bayles

Education Manager

Since completing my Masters of Public Affairs with a focus in Nonprofit Management from IUPUI I’ve been involved in the nonprofit sector in Indianapolis in many capacities. I enjoy that School on Wheels’ mission not only provides academic support through tutoring but also opens new doors for families through education-based case management. We are the educational cheerleaders our families need and I love seeing a student or parent get that ‘aha’ moment during a parent meeting or tutoring session.

Education is the key to ending the cycle of poverty and is truly life changing for so many. It allows students to build so many skills over time and allows them to work on their social emotional skills, problem solving, creative thinking, and many more valuable lessons.

Keith Bevacqua

Keith Bevacqua

Education Support Coordinator

Over the last decade I’ve worked with a number of education-based organizations. During this time I realized that projects focused on community building ended up having the greatest impact on student life. School on Wheels is an organization dedicated to improving communities at all levels. The more I learned about the organization the more I wanted to be a part of its mission. 

As the child of an educator in a small town, I learned from an early age that schooling directly shapes how a community functions. Quality education is not only foundational to the economic life of a community, but also its civic life. Without a solid education system, accessible and accountable to all citizens and residents, we cannot properly confront the challenges we collectively face. 

Claire Brosman

Claire Brosman

Vice President of Grants & Communications

Growing up as the child of a camp director, I spent every summer fully absorbed in simply being a kid. So many children don’t have the same luxury of a carefree childhood, but every child should. I choose to work with School on Wheels because of the network of support offered by the staff of dedicated and caring educators, social workers, and youth workers and the stability they provide to children and families through building meaningful relationships.

As a graduate of Indiana University Bloomington with a dual degree in English and Business through the Liberal Arts and Management Program, I’ve spent my career contributing to the successful communications of organizations. I love projects that engage individuals in thoughtful discussion and move people to action.

Erin Brown

Erin Brown

Education Director of Shelter-based Services

After spending part of my career at a local community development corporation, my desire to return to the education field led me to IUPUI to complete a Transition to Teaching program. I then taught Social Studies to high schoolers in Indianapolis Public Schools. When my daughter was born prematurely and I was not able to return to the classroom full-time, I started working with School on Wheels. It combines my passion for education and community development and I love the work we do.

I’ve been privileged and lucky to attend amazing public schools from kindergarten to graduate school, but I’ve also seen how that access is not equal across the board. Much of what I really hope to make a difference in with my role at School on Wheels is making sure families are able to access the best education available to them and their children and help fill in the gaps.

Tara Brugh

Tara Brugh

Communications Coordinator

While completing my degree in Public Communication at the University of Vermont, I realized that my passion lies in sharing the stories and impact of youth-serving organizations. My role with School on Wheels allows me to do just that. I love being able to experience the impact that our programs have on the children and families we serve and then opening eyes and ears to the issue of youth homelessness by sharing those moments through social media and email communications.

Access to a solid education has the ability to change lives. Not only does it open the doors to so many future opportunities, but it also fosters a lifelong curiosity and desire to keep learning and building new skills even into adulthood. Education is truly the key to both individual success and a strong community.

Shannon Cochran

Shannon Cochran

Donor Relations and Events Manager

Throughout my career in nonprofit development, program management and event planning, I’ve worked at many youth serving organizations. The staff at School on Wheels are second to none in their expertise and experience, which makes me proud to be part of this team. I love getting to know the volunteers and donors who give their time and resources to support our mission. Seeing their dedication to the children is why I choose to be here.

I believe one of the most fundamental ways we can overcome generational issues like poverty and inequality is through education. When children are given the support and tools they need to be able to learn, it opens a whole new world of possibilities to them.

April Cronin

April Cronin

Education Support Coordinator

I graduated from Valparaiso University with a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). I’ve spent much of my life working with youth in summer camps and volunteering for College Mentors for Kids. Since graduating, I’ve worked as an Elementary Educator in a Title 1 District. My role with School on Wheels gives me the opportunity to target and make maximal impact with the most at-risk students and families.

Education allows us to dream bigger, provides opportunities, opens our minds and attitudes, and allows us to better understand ourselves and the world around us. A lifelong learner is equipped with tools to both navigate and change the world.

Anna Gaoat

Anna Gaoat

Learning Assistant

School on Wheels is devoted to empowering young minds and helping those in need. It takes two of my greatest passions and merges it into one. Working with kids, seeing how much potential they have, and watching them grow into it has been something I’ve enjoyed witnessing ever since I started tutoring people from kindergarten to college.

Education is like seeing the world in just one spot, looking into the great minds of many generations and taking in what they learned. It feeds our curiosities and is what moves us forward and continues to push us to thrive for a better world. Education is important because it shows us perspective, different ways of taking action, and pushes us to grow, not just as a community but also ourselves.

Amy Gardner

Amy Gardner

Education Support Coordinator & Curriculum Specialist

I have many reasons for choosing to work at School on Wheels, but the most important reason is that I value the mission and culture. We’re all very serious about our mission and do everything we can to support each other in the role we play to fulfill it. 

Education is the key that unlocks the door to every opportunity. We meet people every day that have passion and grit to survive, but in order to go farther they have to have an education. We encourage our students to dream big to visualize their future self. All of the big dreams require access to many opportunities. It’s important to provide every student with access to as many keys as possible.

Sarah Grant

Sarah Grant

Education Support Coordinator

Since graduating with a Bachelors in Social Work, I’ve been working with at-risk teens to help aid them with their educational needs. My role with School on Wheels gives me the opportunity to provide academic support to students impacted by homelessness, inspire them to stay in school, and empower them to take charge of their future. I’m able to create a supportive and inclusive environment for the students I work with, which in turn is also helping me grow as a social worker and person.

Education is the key to a better quality of life. It opens doors to more opportunities, including better jobs and access to higher education. It also allows for more personal growth and development and is a fundamental part of life that can set the tone for our futures.

Gabby Hall

Gabby Hall

Learning Assistant

Mentoring and tutoring children has always been a passion of mine. I wholeheartedly believe that joining School on Wheels is how we make not only Indianapolis, but also the world a better place. 

Education provides stability in life. Knowledge is something that no one can take away from you.

Erin Haring–Switzer

Erin Haring–Switzer

Education Support Coordinator

Throughout my career in teaching, I’ve had the privilege of working with students and families in a variety of settings. I have found that the best way to support learning is to build relationships through meaningful connections. I love that through our work, we have the opportunity to connect in a unique and positive way to help students achieve success.

Education has always been an important part of my life. My parents were both fierce advocates for public education and taught me at a young age the power of education. Fostering a love of learning in children empowers them to be successful not only in school, but in life. 

Arielle Hirt

Arielle Hirt

Volunteer Manager

A consistent thread in my life has been working with children. From a camp counselor to a theatre director for at-risk youth, I have found the most meaning in my interactions with kids. I graduated from DePauw University with a major in English writing and a minor in theatre and my entire career has been in the nonprofit sector. School on Wheels is the perfect joining of my passion for youth, especially those that are continuously underserved, and nonprofit work.

Education shapes what we become. It gives children access to the world by unleashing curiosity, unlocking skillsets, and equipping them with the tools to communicate and create change. Beyond the financial impact, education creates a support system that validates self-worth and empowers learners.

Jake Hurd

Jake Hurd

Learning Assistant

I choose to work at School on Wheels because I wanted to make a difference in students’ lives. I have a passion for helping those in need. School on Wheels allows me to do both of these things. 

I believe that education provides an avenue for every person to succeed in life, allows people to grow, and helps us to understand the world and the people around us.

Fatima Johnson

Fatima Johnson

Community Engagement and Diversity Strategist

Ending homelessness is something I am very passionate about. I have seen how quickly a family can become displaced and how hard it is to find some sense of normalcy while trying to get back on their feet. School on Wheels volunteers and staff are devoted to our students and their families and are committed to their success. I am honored to do this work and help create a brighter future for our students.

Growing up I faced a lot of barriers, similar to the students we serve, but because of family members, teachers, and coaches who supported, encouraged, and showed me the importance of education, I have been able to go far. If a child understands the possibilities that are created through education and has the support system to assist them along the way, they will have the potential to enhance their quality of life.

Amy Kellams

Amy Kellams

Education Support Coordinator

I’ve always had a passion for education and working with vulnerable children. After graduating from Eastern Illinois University, I focused on early elementary education. However, I’ve had the privilege of adopting our youngest daughter from China as well as establishing and initiating a ministry focused on helping vulnerable children. Working at School on Wheels has allowed me to combine these passions and create meaningful connections with families.

I initially started a career in education because of a strong belief that the younger generations will eventually lead the way to our future and a better tomorrow. Education empowers generations with the confidence to believe that they can break cycles, change broken systems, and build hope for their future.

Rebecca Kopka

Rebecca Kopka

Accounting Manager

Bio coming soon!

Laura Long

Laura Long

Operations and Database Manager

Before joining School on Wheels, I worked for over 20 years in the sales, marketing, and fundraising fields. I began my journey with School on Wheels as a tutor and office volunteer. When the opportunity to work for my favorite nonprofit opened up, I quickly jumped on the opportunity!

Education lessens the challenges you will face in life; it is empowering. The more knowledge you gain the more opportunities will open up to allow individuals to achieve better possibilities in career and personal growth. It creates knowledge, builds confidence, and breaks down barriers to opportunity. For children, it is their key to open the door to a better life.

Jen Meeks

Jen Meeks

Education Manager

For 15 years, I was a classroom teacher serving students in Kindergarten through Grade 3 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master’s Degree in Reading. While I loved my experience as a classroom teacher, I wanted to find an opportunity to serve children in a different capacity. I was drawn to the mission of School on Wheels, specifically the concept of providing educational advocacy to children impacted by homelessness. 

Education can change lives! It has a direct impact on a child’s future and how they view the world around them, allows them to think critically and independently, and opens up opportunities in order to break the cycles of poverty and abuse. 

Amy Michie

Amy Michie

Learning Assistant

I joined School on Wheels as a volunteer tutor right before COVID hit. When the Learning Assistant position became available, it felt like the perfect opportunity for me. I’ve volunteered with various educational organizations, as I believe that education can be an equalizer. Children do not choose the circumstances they are entered into, so if I can help them learn and give them my time and attention, I may be able to impact their future. 

I believe that education can change the course of a child’s life. When given opportunities that may not have been presented to them in their everyday lives, children can flourish and begin to have belief in their own potential. 

Melissa Moore

Melissa Moore

Learning Assistant

I taught kindergarten for 7 years with Carmel Clay Schools and love working with children. I decided to leave teaching professionally in May and began working with School on Wheels in the fall. School on Wheels is the perfect fit to meet my desire to continue helping children, while also giving me the opportunity to help support homeless families.

Education is important to me because I know it can give children confidence and help them go more places as they grow. I want the students I work with to see that learning can be fun and they are capable of working hard and learning new things. Most of all, I want them to believe in themselves and know that I believe in them too. 

Alyssa Newell

Alyssa Newell

Education Support Coordinator

Social services and nonprofits became an interest of mine while in college. After obtaining Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Social Work, I worked for a Community Mental Health Center where I recognized the importance of providing access to services at an early age. School on Wheels allows for that through having a mission driven focus and providing educational services to students in need wherever they are.

Education builds confidence and awareness in self, and in the world around you. It opens doors to opportunities that otherwise may not be available and is fundamental in helping people get where they want to be in life. 

Lauren Ooley

Lauren Ooley

Education Support Coordinator

As I completed my psychology degree, I realized my passion for working with children. After graduation, I began working with children with autism and other developmental disabilities where I learned to appreciate the importance of advocating for students and their educational needs. After I had my daughter, I started working at School on Wheels where I am able to encourage students and their families to get excited about and take charge of their education.

Education allows students to create connections with peers and mentors, improve academic skills, and build soft skills. It encourages students to want more and provides them with tools to better themselves, as well as their communities.

Karen Routt

Karen Routt

Education Director of School-based Services

In my time as a middle and high school math teacher, I learned that not all students have equitable educational opportunities. Students experiencing homelessness must navigate obstacles that often seem insurmountable. When I learned about School on Wheels and how our programs help students overcome those nearly impossible obstacles, I knew I found my professional home. Our mission keeps me motivated to work each day to break barriers faced by so many students.

Education is one of the few gifts that can never be lost or removed from an individual. It prepares students for a prosperous career path, and it also allows future generations to lead with empathy, build positive relationships, and promote the well-being of our communities.

Stefanie Thomas

Stefanie Thomas

Education Support Coordinator

I’ve always loved working with children and teenagers. I enjoy getting to know them and helping them reach their full potential. I want to make a difference in their lives by building meaningful relationships and by creating a positive and safe environment that encourages learning. I want students to understand that through education, the possibilities for their future are limitless. 

I believe as Nelson Mandela said that, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” It’s the key to overcoming poverty, inequalities, and injustices and is the foundation for a peaceful and prosperous world. 

Paige Vlietstra

Paige Vlietstra

Education Support Coordinator

School on Wheels aids in helping close the achievement gap many of our students face. It provides a safe, welcoming place for students to learn and grow.

Education opens doors and should be accessible for all!

Nancy Wertz

Nancy Wertz

Learning Assistant

I choose to work at School on Wheels after I spent several years volunteering as a tutor. I saw the dedication of everyone working for School on Wheels. The office staff to the onsite staff all have the same goal – providing support to students impacted by homelessness. I’m proud to be part of such a great, caring organization. 

Education is the base for every person. To reach your full potential, you must be able to read and write. The kids we work with need a solid base to reach their potential.

Konah Williams

Konah Williams

Education Support Coordinator

I believe that education can break the cycle of homelessness and poverty. Education goes beyond just grade level, and the entire School on Wheels team works together to not only make sure our kids advance academically, but also personally. We are able to help kids believe in themselves and see the possibility of a better and brighter future. 

In the words of Nelson Mandela, “Education is the greatest engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that the child of the farm workers can become the president of a great nation.” Education is the key to opening doors and changing the world.

Board of Directors

Erik Long

Board Chair

Partner, Ice Miller LLP

Chris Mills

Vice Chair

VP, Client Success,
ML Talent Strategies

Doug Carpenter

Treasurer

Tax Director, Katz, Sapper & Miller 

Cathy George

Secretary

Accounting Consultant

David Adams

Partner, Krieg DeVault LLP

Chad Cassinelli

Managing Director,
BMO Harris Bank

Cal Ellison

President,
Executive Impact Group

Linda Gunn

Advisor, Oncology Customer Support Programs, Eli Lilly and Company

Lakshmi Hasanadka

CEO, The Indiana Afterschool Network

Crystal Haslett

McKinney-Vento Education Liaison, MSDWT

Steve Johnson, Jr.

Director IT Application Development,
Ice Miller LLP

David Marbaugh

Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG), Consultant, Eli Lilly and Company

Dennis Martin

President, Individual Life and Financial Partners, OneAmerica Financial Partners, Inc.

Amy McDonald

State & Local Tax Director, Katz, Sapper & Miller Location Advisors

Marisa Zukerman

VP, Brand Strategy,
Z Marketing Partners

Scott Thiel

Head of Regulatory Policy and Intelligence, Hologic, Inc.

Advisory Board

Mike Smith

Chair

Former Executive VP & CFO,
Anthem, Inc.

Bill Bindley

Chairman, Bindley Capital Partners

Howard J. Lacy IV

Community Volunteer

Bruce McCaw

Managing Director,
Merrill Lynch Financial Services

Cindy Simon Skjodt

Community Volunteer