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My journey into self-discovery began with the birth of my youngest son, Oliver. He provided me (up close and personal) with what it means to raise a child who is at risk in multiple areas. There were moments of complete devastation and heartbreak yet somehow, I knew I was being groomed to be the mother he would need to survive. 

Serving as principal of Premier Academy in Joliet IL., a Regional Safe School designed to provide alternative education for at-risk middle and high school students from Grundy, Kendall, and Will Counties in Illinois. was a professional milestone. Under my leadership, an average 83% of students transitioned back to their home schools with grade-level or above credits and a renewed desire to continue their education. As a result of raising an at-risk child and educating hundreds of at-risk students, I was compelled to share my knowledge and experience to help others.

At-Risk Students: Transforming Student Behavior, published by Rowman & Littlefield, details the warning signs of disturbing behaviors, which are often overlooked by educators and/or misdiagnosed by mental health professionals. After the book, Education & Evolution® (E&E), was created and serves as YTS' SEL training program. My journey's greatest triumph remains being the mother of my two sons, Robert, and Oliver, three grandsons, Elijah, Landon, Avery, and one granddaughter, Layla. To explore more about me, visit charissebeach.com.

Charisse Beach, M.Ed.


Playing in the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) for basketball and Track and Field and placing 8th in the 200-meter dash category for Lockport Township High School (LTHS). marks the beginning of my journey. After graduating from University of Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in History (major) and Psychology (minor) in 2006, I taught U.S. History, World History, Economics, Geography, Psychology, and American Government. I also coached track and field (sprints), cross country, and football. In 2009, I attended Olivet Nazarene University and earned a M.A.T. In 2017, I earned a second masters, (Master of Art) in Counselor Education/School Counseling and Guidance Services from Concordia University Chicago. I believe the most effective approach to violence prevention integrates the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) model and Social Emotional Learning (SEL).

Today, I serve as a School Counselor at my alma mater, LTHS, a Clinical Therapist at Edgewood Clinical Services, and SEL support services for YTS. As a result of my related services, I bring a wealth of experience to coordinate: diversity and equity initiatives, support evidence-based teaching and learning strategies, and collaborate with parents, teachers, administration, clinicians, and community members. Most importantly, I remain an active first responder and voice for children and families in need.

Robert Beach, LPC, NCC