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Mental Wellness » Meet the Team

Meet the Team

Tawni Barlow - Student Services Director
 
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Tawni Barlow is the Student Services Director for the Medical Lake School District. She oversees nursing, 504, special education and mental health services for the district. Tawni grew up in Medical Lake and she is passionate about advancing education effectiveness by interconnecting school mental health and school-wide positive behavioral support. She is an advocate for systems and ensuring that the “whole” child is addressed. 
 

Fun Fact: She has Leonberger puppy who is bound to end up weighing about 180 lbs! 

 

 

School Psychologists
Dr. Theresa McDowell - Hallett Elementary School
 
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 Dr. McDowell is a School Psychologist serving the Medical Lake School District including Hallett Elementary. She oversees Special Education Evaluations, Section 504 Accommodation Plans, works closely with teams on student centered plans and interventions, and is a part of our district ISF team. She provides supervision for interns throughout the district in the areas of mental health therapy, school psychology, and social work. I grew up in upstate New York and have worked for many different agencies across the country. My husband and I met when he was playing baseball for the Houston Astros. He is from Medical Lake and we moved here from Florida in June of 2000. We have three girls who have all played college softball and followed in the footsteps of their father. Most of our family lives in Medical Lake and we are thrilled to be near them and part of such a close community! I am incredibly proud to be part of a district that is leading important work such as mental health and inclusion for all. 

Fun Facts: I once received a letter from Sonny Bono, have met Derrick Jeters, and am related adjacent to Michelle Obama. I am also a die-hard Jaquars fan! Go Jacksonville. After I retire I would like to be part of an elite Hurricane Hunters squad.
 
 

Jenna Finnerty - Michael Anderson Elementary

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I chose MLSD for so many reasons! I quickly came to understand that Medical Lake School District recognizes and supports holistic education, something I am personally and professionally dedicated to. Educating and empowering the whole child takes a village and the team at Medical Lake jumps wholeheartedly into this responsibility. Providing wraparound support for students and families is challenging and absolutely fulfilling and I am so excited to be a part of a team who steps into it together! 
 
Fun Facts: In my spare time I love running, creating recipes, and working the yard.

 

 

Dr. Robin Andrus - Middle and High School
 
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Dr. Andrus is a school psychologist serving MLMS, MLHS and Endeavors. She oversees special education evaluations, Section 504 Accommodation Plans, works closely with teams on student centered plans and interventions. She provides clinical supervision for interns throughout the district in the areas of mental health therapy, school psychology and social work. I graduated from Medical Lake High School and my children have attended Medical Lake Schools. I love the Medical Lake community and have considered it home since 1979! I believe our schools are an integral part of our community, offering authentic learning experiences and mental wellness services for all district and community members!
 
Fun Fact: In 2019 I traveled to China to adopt my youngest child and explored several cities and sites. It was a life changing experience!
 
 
School Counselors
Seth Sammons - Michael Anderson Elementary
 
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I started with Michael Anderson Elementary at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year after working the year before as the School Counselor at Hallett Elementary. Working on Fairchild AFB has been a great experience, and I am constantly learning more about how best to work with students and families in the armed forces. I am passionate about working with elementary students and helping them acquire and practice skills that will help them to be successful in school and in life.

 

Fun Fact: I enjoy spending time with my wife and daughter, hiking throughout the Pacific Northwest, experiencing new restaurants, indoor rock climbing, traveling, and writing movie reviews.

 

 

Rachael Roll - Middle School
 
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My name is Rachael Roll and I am a proud member of the Medical Lake Middle School Counseling Department. This is my 12th year as an educator and my 4th year as a School Counselor. In the past, I taught English Language Arts for 8 years before getting my Masters Degree in School Counseling at Eastern Washington University. Like many of our families in Medical Lake, I moved around quite a bit as a middle and high school student, so I know how challenging new places and routines can be. As an adult, I've also taught in 4 different states and encountered all kinds of students. I now live with my husband and two dogs in Spokane. I'm proud to work with such resilient, kind, and supportive families and students in Medical Lake. 

 

Lori Wilbanks - High School 

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I have worked for the Medical Lake School District since 2013. Prior to that, I was employed at La Center School District and worked in the admissions office at Gonzaga University. I chose this career because I needed someone as a teen, to help me navigate through personal issues, academic questions and career and college planning. I didn't have that person, but I hope to be that person to the students (and parents) I serve. I really believe that the students and staff at Medical Lake High School are special and it feels like a family. For that reason, I haven't left, and I look forward to the new and exciting ways we are working together as a district to help students grow

 

 

Kam Gunther - High School 

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Kam is the Alternative High School Endeavors Social Interventionist. Kam completes administrative actions, plus supports students with social emotional interaction. I live here in Medical Lake and love our school district. I have a soon to be 9th grader and have love working with all her teachers and the staff at each school.   
 
Fun Fact: I had a whole other career before this one. I served for 23 years as an active duty officer for the Army.  I have been all over the world to include a tour of duty in Iraq. I retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. 
 
 

Alita Crosby- Mental Health Coordinator and Therapist 

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Alita is the Mental Health Coordinator & Therapist. She coordinates the work of the mental health and social work interns serving in the district. I understand without the proper attention to social, emotional, and physical needs, a person will struggle to excel in other areas of their life. As a mom and the wife of a teacher, supporting the whole person in school settings is my heart's work. 
 
Fun Fact: I am a sucker for trendy series like Harry Potter (Go Hufflepuff), Marvel (#Ironman), and Twilight (Team Edward). And yes, the books are better!