Our Board Members

At The Matthew 19:14 Project, our board members have decades of combined experience in education, children with special needs, Catholic affairs, and more. We are dedicated to building a better future for students with special needs in the Arizona Catholic school system.

Through the education, work experience and personal experiences of our dedicated board members we hope to tirelessly work toward this goal- and to realize our ultimate mission of ensuring that every family that desires a Christ-centered education for their child should have it, removing financial obstacles to assist Catholic schools to support all learners.

Erin Bratton

Case Management Resource Coordinator, Phoenix Children's Hospital

Erin received her undergraduate degree in Social Work, a certificate in leadership/ethics/service, and her Master's degree in Healthcare Innovation from Arizona State University. She works at Phoenix Children’s Hospital as a Resource Coordinator. She attended Ss. Simon and Jude Catholic elementary school and Xavier College Preparatory. Erin has a first hand experience of having a disability while attending Catholic schools. Having a brain...


Educational Consultant and Director of Academic Inclusion at Notre Dame Preparatory High School

Crystal Brooks has been in education for the last twenty-three years serving students with disabilities in a variety of capacities. She earned her degree in Elementary Special Education from Keene State College followed by a Master’s degree in Communication Disorders from the University of Massachusetts.

Over her career, Crystal has served students with disabilities as a speech and language pathologist in public schools and private...


Retired, 30+ years as a teacher and director in Special Education

Mary Brownell is retired, after spending more than 30 years as a director and teacher specializing in Special Education. She has a Master's degree in special education from Arizona State University.

In addition to her work with The Matthew 19:14 Project, Mary currently serves on the executive board for the Arizona Council for Exceptional Children and is the president of the East Valley Chapter of the Council for Exceptional...


Married 30 years, parents of 3 gifts from God. A MSW & a MBA that have some free time right now.

Lynn & Scott have lived in Phoenix over 17 years with other moves around the country and have raised 3 children through Catholic schools in 2 states. McKenna & Paul have graduated from/are studying at the University of Notre Dame and little Ave is a pioneering 7-year-old Kindergartener in St Francis Xavier’s commitment to Full Inclusion, embracing her Down Syndrome gifts and special needs.

The Cassidys feel honored to...


Teacher, St. Francis Xavier Catholic School

Ashley Ezell has been a teacher for ten years, eight of which have been at St. Francis Xavier Catholic School. She has hands-on experience with the challenges facing children with special needs at school. At age 12, she was diagnosed with a form of Macular Degeneration known as Stargardt’s Disease. Being visually impaired almost her entire life, she knows the importance of educating students and families on what it truly means to advocate for...


Partner, Thrive Healthcare Consultants

Ed is founder and partner at Thrive Healthcare Consultants. Ed's previous roles include 18 years as a Medicaid consultant at a Fortune 200 company and four years as a health plan executive at a Fortune 10 company.

He has volunteered in support of many youth-based organizations, responding to a calling to support youth development during these formative years. Most recently, he has supported a Boy Scout Troop as a Troop Leader and...


Clinical Psychologist, Founder and President, The Matthew 19:14 Project

Lisa is our founder. Her professional experience as a clinical psychologist along with her personal experience as Arizona Catholic high school student with a hearing loss was what drove her to establish the Arizona Catholic Schools Disabilities Fund (now The Matthew 19:14 Project) in 2014.

As a third-generation native of Arizona, Lisa was the first student to be mainstreamed at her public elementary school due to Public Law 94-162, the...

Untitled design (44).png

Development Coordinator at The Matthew 19:14 Project

Kailey earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Benedictine University Mesa and also earned her Masters in Education with a concentration in School Counseling from Ottawa University. She attended Seton Catholic Preparatory High School and Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Scottsdale.

Kailey has previous experience working with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities through The Emmaus Retreat as well experience...


Retired Catholic Resource Teacher

Kathy Johnson, recently retired is a dedicated Catholic educator who spent the last nine years at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School in Scottsdale, Arizona as a resource teacher and Student Support Coordinator.

With almost 40 overall years in education, Kathy served mainly as a speech and language pathologist and an assistant special education director in public schools. Kathy has been on this board since its inception in...


Director of Professional Learning at National Catholic Educational Association

Colleen has been working in various teaching and leadership roles in the field of education for 23 years. As a teacher and leader, she has worked with K-12 Catholic and public schools and at the collegiate level as an instructor, program developer and coordinator, principal, and assistant superintendent. She is currently a fundraiser and marketing and communications associate, with Catholic Education Arizona.

As an advocate for...

tom mar.jpg

Teacher, Theology & Philosophy - St. Mary's Catholic High School

Tom Mar is a long time Catholic educator, who currently teaches theology and philosophy at St. Mary's Catholic High School. He formerly taught at Brophy College Preparatory. He and his wife Lily are raising six kids, one of whom has Down Syndrome. Accordingly, Tom sees the mission of the Matthew 19:14 Project as both a professional and personal obligation.

He likes to say that Catholic education is all about preparing children both for...


Contact The Matthew 19:14 Project

We would love to hear from you! We are hoping that you are moved to make a much needed donation to our cause. If you would like more information please feel free to contact us.