Kelli Ritter, Ph.D., LPC, NCC – Student & Parent Counselor

The Founder and President of Effective Parenting, LLC in Atlanta, Kelli B. Ritter earned her Ph.D. in counseling from Georgia State University where she specialized in child and family counseling. Dr. Ritter is trained as a play therapist with many years of experience and research in child and family therapy. She possesses a unique approach to helping families by utilizing concepts and skills from both Play Therapy, Individual Psychology, and Positive Psychology.

Dr. Ritter inspires parents to make the most of play with their children. Through her classes, workshops and products, Dr. Ritter’s FEEL Method helps parents by engendering confidence in and control over their own parenting style. Dr. Ritter’s parenting book & DVD, Come Play with Me!, illustrates her true passion for working with parents, caregivers, and teachers to enhance relationships with children. Dr. Ritter is also an inspiring public speaker and presenter.

Val Schwan, LPC, NCC, MA- Director of Counseling Services

Val Schwan, LPC, NCC earned her M.A. in Community Counseling from Argosy University and holds a B.S. in Business from Arizona State University.

Val’s work experience includes individual and small group counseling with children and adolescents in the school setting as well as in private practice. She is experienced in helping students with tools for their social and emotional needs that will enable them to thrive. Val enjoys the unique gifts and characteristics of each child and works from a child-centered and strength-based framework.  She provides a supportive environment that encourages students to reach their highest potential academically, emotionally and behaviorally. She is also a certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator who helps parents with strategies to navigate difficult parenting challenges.

Belinda Horne, M.Ed – Student & Parent Counselor

Teaching in Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System for eighteen years gave me the wonderful experience of combining my passion for teaching with my desire to help each child attain to his/her highest possible expression. During that time I was privileged to work in classrooms, as well as, in a program for high-achieving students. I also designed and presented training for teachers seeking certification in Gifted Education for the state of North Carolina. Following my public school teaching I spent a few years traveling nine southeastern states as an Educational Consultant for MacMillan Publishing Company.

My role at Cumberland Academy of Georgia will include staff development, along with parent and student consultations. I will be sharing skills which I have found to be successful while working with ADD/ADHD students, as well as those on the autistic spectrum. I will also create a safe, inviting, de-stressing room within the school for use by the students and others who choose to be there.

Britani Wilson, LAPC, NCC – Counselor

Britani Wilson, LAPC, NCC, earned her M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Argosy University and has a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education. Britani has worked with children of all ages and in a variety of environments. She developed a curriculum for programs such as: Torch club, College Prep, Girl Smartz, and Street Smartz. She founded the Cumberland Spirit Club and enjoys working with Cumberland high school students on creating projects and ideas that empower the students. In her spare time, Britani enjoys fishing, traveling, and watching sports.

Tracey Hawkins – Intern Counselor

Tracey Hawkins is currently the Lead Faculty in Art History at The Art Institute of Atlanta.  She graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Art History and Humanities/Classics from Ohio Wesleyan U. and completed an M.A. in Art History from Emory University. In addition to her classes, she has led and taught study-abroad programs throughout Europe and Russia. Tracey is also a freelance writer and editor; her work has appeared in various magazines and websites including the in-flight magazines for AirTran and Frontier Airlines, American Contemporary Art, and
Tracey is currently completing an M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Argosy University with special interests in creative therapies, equine-assisted therapy, and wellness counseling.