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Meet The Team transforming school climates through social and emotional learning education.
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Sarah Stevenson
President and Founder

Sarah Stevenson is a mother to five, author of The Affirmative Classroom, and a former public school teacher with a degree in psychology. In addition, she is a 500 Hour Registered Yoga Teacher for both children and adults. Her mission is to shift the culture of school districts in order to support the emotional well-being of students, staff, and parents. Her experience in working with over a dozen school districts has refined her abilities to tailor social and emotional learning goals in accordance to the needs discussed with Administration and Curriculum Supervisors. Being a mother who has bravely climbed the mountain of mental health, she has a personal compassion to support today's youth who struggle with self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. Through her guidance and experience personally and professionally, she has witnessed culture change among the various schools she works with. She firmly believes that if we teach students and staff to study the self, relationships will thrive, personal growth will expand, and learning will abound for all involved. 

Brian Prendergast
Fitness and Wellness Professional

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Hailing from New Jersey, Brian Prendergast is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, having received his Health Coaching Certification in 2012 from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. In addition to the many nutrition and continuing education credits from within the Fitness and Wellness industry, he holds a certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutritional Studies at Cornell University. Brian is a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor (W.I.T.S./NASM) and holds a Level 1 Coach credential from USA Track and Field (USATF). 

Currently, Brian serves as the Practice Manager of MedFit Care, the telehealth branch of the MedFit family as well as the Assistant Director of Education for the MedFit Education Foundation. 

Brian is the Founder and Head Health Coach of High Five Health and Fitness, a full-service health and wellness corporation that focusses on community health and promoting great health within the corporate workspace. Here, he coaches those lucky enough to work with him to Eat Well, Move Well, Think Well, “R” Well and Connect Well. Yes, this is the “High Five” of High Five Health and Fitness.  The mission for High Five Health and Fitness is to “help people live a long and healthy life” by living the “High Five” and getting out of their heads and into their hearts. 

On the Media side, Brian is the Co-Founder of TFC Productions and Co-Creator/Co-Host of The Two Fit Crazies and a Microphone podcast. TFC Productions provides media content and podcast production services to the health and fitness industries and beyond. He is the Co-Host/Co-Producer of the MedFIt Network Podcast and the MedFit Education Foundation Webinar Series. 

He is the Head Coach of the boys Cross Country team at Manasquan (NJ) High School.  

In addition, Brian is a competitive Master’s Distance Runner, 8x Sub 3 Hour Marathoner and kettlebell enthusiast. He resides in Brick, NJ with his awesome teacher wife Maria and his three sons, Colin, Dylan and Owen. 
 

PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIALS AND CERTIFICATIONS

PROFESSIONAL TRAINING AND CERTIFICATE PROGRAM - THE INSTITUTE FOR INTEGRATIVE NUTRITION - NEW YORK, NY

CERTIFICATE IN PLANT BASED NUTRITION – T. COLIN CAMPBELL CENTER FOR NUTRITION STUDIES

CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER (CPT) - W.I.T.S. (WORLD INSTRUCTOR TRAINING SCHOOLS)

CERTIFIED GROUP FITNESS INSTRUCTOR - W.I.T.S. (WORLD INSTRUCTOR TRAINING SCHOOLS)

USA TRACK AND FIELD CERTIFIED COACH - LEVEL 1

CERTIFIED COACH - BABE RUTH LEAGUE/RIPKEN BASEBALL COACHING CERTIFICATION PROGRAM

SUBSTITUTE TEACHER CERTIFICATION – NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

CPR CERTIFIED
 

Sarah Alberts
Fitness and Wellness Professional

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Sarah Alberts is a mother to three young children and a certified school counselor. She has worked with students from grades K-12, including most recently at Ocean Road Elementary School in Point Pleasant Boro. She is passionate about supporting the social and emotional development of her students, both within the school and community settings. She has supported students who experience challenges with anxiety, stress, depression, and other mental health issues. Utilizing techniques such as mindfulness, Sarah has been successful in supporting her students through these difficult times. In addition to being a school counselor, Sarah co-founded the Shore Stars Young Athletes Special Olympics program in Monmouth County, and worked with special needs children and their peers to enhance their physical, social, and emotional development from 2017-2020. Sarah enjoys spending time with her family, reading, relaxing at the beach and coaching her children’s sports teams. 

Sarah Alberts
Fitness and Wellness Professional

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Sarah Alberts is a mother to three young children and a certified school counselor. She has worked with students from grades K-12, including most recently at Ocean Road Elementary School in Point Pleasant Boro. She is passionate about supporting the social and emotional development of her students, both within the school and community settings. She has supported students who experience challenges with anxiety, stress, depression, and other mental health issues. Utilizing techniques such as mindfulness, Sarah has been successful in supporting her students through these difficult times. In addition to being a school counselor, Sarah co-founded the Shore Stars Young Athletes Special Olympics program in Monmouth County, and worked with special needs children and their peers to enhance their physical, social, and emotional development from 2017-2020. Sarah enjoys spending time with her family, reading, relaxing at the beach and coaching her children’s sports teams. 

Michelle Gerdes
MSW

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Shannon Hawley Mariani is a trained trauma-informed social worker (MSW from NYU in 2006, breathwork facilitator and sound-bath meditation practitioner. She has experience counseling and advocating for children, families, and teachers in alternative schools in Vermont, domestic violence shelters in New York City, and bringing music and mindfulness classes to preschools in Los Angeles, CA. 

She has worked with groups and individuals using sound and breathwork as tools for mindfulness, self-awareness, and empowerment. She is also a singer-songwriter native of New Jersey, and mother of two children. 

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