Meet the Education Team
Kara Grafft is the Program Manager of Education with Four Oaks Education. Kara’s experience in mental and behavioral health and inpatient and community-based services complement many years spent studying and teaching yoga, meditation, and mindfulness techniques. Kara is passionate about creating trauma – informed and restorative systems that focus on the well-being of children.
“I feel so fortunate to collaborate and work with educators in Iowa. The capacity of our school systems to support not only the academic achievement of our children but their physical and mental well-being is tremendous. I am inspired by the possibilities every day.”
Megan serves as the Four Oaks Education Director which includes oversight of school-based programming, therapeutic classrooms, professional learning services, and ensuring coordinated educational practices for youth in residential care with Four Oaks.
Megan has 15 years of experience working with schools and families across the state, but with a specialized focus on high-risk, high-need neighborhood and school communities. With a background in school social work, Megan has partnered with vital neighborhood schools to bring much needed resources to youth and families. She has mentored numerous social workers, educators, and administrators in implementing a coordinated care model for integration of education and community-based support services.
As a Licensed Master Social Worker, Megan provides essential support to the Education Team as well as district and AEA partners of Four Oaks. She can assist schools with developing a consultation process for educators seeking assistance with students experiencing Adverse Childhood Experiences, Emotional Dysregulation, Mental Health needs, and/or Trauma histories. She provides consultation on establishing a coordinated referral and care system within a school setting and facilitating ongoing communication and case management between the school system, community service organizations, and families.
Outside of Megan’s role at Four Oaks, she serves as an adjunct faculty at Mount Mercy University’s Department of Social Work. In this role Megan serves as an educator and mentor to students as they pursue higher education in the helping fields. She holds an BASW from Mount Mercy University, a MSW from University of Iowa, and is licensed through the state of Iowa as an LMSW. She has two young children at home and is passionate about baseball and football!
Her mission is “to help people feel supported so they can learn and grow”
Brittany Roberts is a Professional Learning Coordinator with Four Oaks Education. She worked in a public school system as a high school teacher and instructional coach prior to joining Four Oaks Education.
In her role, she partners with school districts and AEA teams to determine goals for SEBH work and then provides coaching and consultation to districts and educators around those goals. This work centers around implementing best classroom practices in social-emotional learning, trauma-informed care, Restorative Practices, and other aspects of wellness and regulation. Brittany is a certified trainer in Youth Mental Health First Aid and in the International Institute for Restorative Practices. She is very passionate about helping adults practice a work/life balance, emotional regulation, and self-awareness in order to model real strategies and thinking for students.
Her mission is to “love people well and ease suffering by showing grace and compassion.”
Agustín Harless is the Four Oaks Community Support Specialist serving the Fairfield public school district. Professionally he has spent the last 15 years working in Education and Agriculture. After completing his Masters this year, Agustín was recruited to the field of social work because it was clear to his supervisors that his emotional intelligence and his generous spirit could make a huge difference in the lives of those struggling most in the district.
In his current role, families of students that aren’t thriving in school are referred to him and he helps connect them with social services and resources that can uplift their family. It is his great privilege to meet with parents and offer them a space of acceptance and compassion and then explore together what might make a positive difference for their family.
Erin Harmon serves as the Four Oaks Community Support Specialist for the Fort Madison Community School District. Erin holds an interest in building strong communities and fostering growth opportunities in both children and adults, which began during her time serving with the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps. After working with the program for seven years, Erin completed her Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Iowa, where she developed a new passion in Social-Emotional Health and Trauma Informed Practices.
In her role as Community Support Specialist, Erin works to bridge the gap between students, families, and the school community by building relationships and embedding a holistic and restorative mindset among school staff and families. Erin does this by working with referred families to help them in identifying any needs they have and accessing the community services available to address those needs. Her mission is to create an environment of empathy and compassion where others feel safe, seen, and supported.
Jeremy Petersen is an Education Liaison and the West Des Moines CSD Healthy Lifestyles Coordinator for Four Oaks Education. He has served as an educator for over a decade including roles as a Physical Education and Health teacher, a Special Education Teacher, and a Therapeutic Classroom teacher.
Healthy Lifestyles is an approach utilizing Restorative Practices to help students feel connected to their school community and make healthy decisions that foster connection when substance use violations occur. This service is designed to help schools offer alternative opportunities to build connections with students when “harm” has been done to the relationship.