TEAM

Meet Our Team

The Just For Kids Child Advocacy Center Team

Our staff of experienced professionals is dedicated to helping victims of abuse find hope and healing through high-quality, evidence-based treatment services.

Dr. Deanee’ Johnson

Executive Director

Dr. Deanee’ Johnson

Executive Director

M. Deanee’ Johnson, Ph.D., began her career as a mentor for adolescent sexual assault survivors. She is a child developmentalist with over 20 years of experience in the crime victim field. She is known internationally as an expert on adverse childhood experiences and child exploitation. Dr. Johnson is a trained child forensic interviewer and assisted in establishing the first forensic interview program in Wichita Falls, TX.

Dr. Johnson completed a three-year fellowship with the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime, where she created the Child Exploitation and Polyvictimization Working Group. This group worked in conjunction with the U.S. Office of the Deputy Attorney General to identify the range of child sexual exploitation programs available nationwide, illuminating best practices. She was on the National Children’s Alliance’s Working with Federal Partners workgroup and assisted Facebook’s Safety Advisory Board to establish policies protecting children and youth. She was on the National Advisory Board for Linking Systems of Care for Children and Youth, Federal Interagency Workgroup on Child Abuse and Neglect, and the Maryland State Child Fatality Review Board.

Dr. Johnson enjoys hiking through the woods somewhere gathering plants or roughing it in her Jeep and snuggling her mini-ausidoodle, Roosevelt, and bangle cat, Vincent while reading books on the Revolutionary War. She is a proud member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and enjoys researching her Welsh Romani ancestry.

B.A.  Criminal Justice, Sam Houston State University

M.A. Counseling, Midwestern State University

Ph.D. Child Development, Texas Woman’s University

Dissertation: Substantiations of Sexual Abuse Allegations and the Effects on Adolescent Socioemotional Development and Coping Behaviors

 

Michelle Burgess

Counselor

Michelle Burgess

Counselor

Michelle Burgess is a full-time Counselor at Just For Kids servicing both Raleigh and Fayette Counties. Michelle was born in Europe and came to West Virginia as a teenager. She is a graduate of Nicholas County High School and Marshall University earning a Master of Arts degree in Counseling. Michelle is a certified school counselor and Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT) trained. Michelle provides trauma-informed therapy to children and families affected by child abuse, neglect, and witness to violence. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, and boating at the lake.

Tim Vickers

Forensic Interviewer

Tim Vickers

Forensic Interviewer

Tim Vickers is a full-time Forensic Interviewer at Just For Kids. Tim was born in Southern West Virginia and has lived in this area for his entire life. He is a graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School and Concord College with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Tim began his work with Children and Families in 1997, working at Child Protective Services, investigating child abuse and neglect allegations. He has been training Forensic interviewing techniques through the State of West Virginia for the past 16 years to Law Enforcement, Child Protective Service workers, Prosecuting Attorneys, and Child Advocacy Staff.

Cathy Heft

MDIT Coordinator

Cathy Heft

MDIT Coordinator

Cathy Heft is the MDIT Coordinator at at Just For Kids for both Raleigh and Fayette Counties. Cathy began as Case Coordinator/Office Manager and eventually became a Family Advocate. Cathy earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Concord University and attended Finding Words Forensic Interviewer Training at Marshall University. She was the full-time Forensic Interviewer in Raleigh county until she took over as the MDIT Coordinator. Cathy loves to travel and is always at peace by the ocean.

Manon Wheeler

Family Advocate

Manon Wheeler

Family Advocate

Manon Wheeler is a full-time Family Advocate at Just For Kids. As the parent of a survivor of abuse, Manon joined the Board of Just For Kids in 2013 and transitioned to her role as an advocate in 2015. She has a heart for the hurting, and through Just For Kids, she can see children and families get the care they need to start to live their lives again.

Lynn Lawson

Bookkeeper

Lynn Lawson

Bookkeeper

Lynn Lawson is the Bookkeeper at Just for Kids, Inc., joining the staff in 2018. Lynn is a native of West Virginia. As a person who has experienced child abuse first hand, she considers it a privilege to be associated with an organization with a true heart for children. Lynn is an avid reader and enjoys gardening and spending time outdoors. Her time spent with family and friends is her top priority.

Kendall Shumaker

Forensic Interviewer

Kendall Shumaker

Forensic Interviewer

Kendall is a full-time Forensic Interviewer for Just For Kids. She is a graduate of Fayetteville High School and West Virginia State University, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Kendall has a passion for working with children and wants to see them get the justice and healing they deserve. On her days off, you can find her enjoying time with her family, watching crime shows, or at the lake during the warmer months.

Ria Mitchell

Family Advocate

Ria Mitchell

Family Advocate

Ria Mitchell is the Family Advocate in Beckley, WV for Just For Kids. She attended Fairmont State University, where she earned Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Sociology, and her Masters in Criminal Justice. She is a proud mother of a toddler and has a passion for serving the community and helping children. She is a true crime enthusiast who spends her free time writing, creating art, and playing in nature.

Dr. Deanee’ Johnson

Executive Director

Read Bio

M. Deanee’ Johnson, Ph.D., began her career as a mentor for adolescent sexual assault survivors. She is a child developmentalist with over 20 years of experience in the crime victim field. She is known internationally as an expert on adverse childhood experiences and child exploitation. Dr. Johnson is a trained child forensic interviewer and assisted in establishing the first forensic interview program in Wichita Falls, TX.

Dr. Johnson completed a three-year fellowship with the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime, where she created the Child Exploitation and Polyvictimization Working Group. This group worked in conjunction with the U.S. Office of the Deputy Attorney General to identify the range of child sexual exploitation programs available nationwide, illuminating best practices. She was on the National Children’s Alliance’s Working with Federal Partners workgroup and assisted Facebook’s Safety Advisory Board to establish policies protecting children and youth. She was on the National Advisory Board for Linking Systems of Care for Children and Youth, Federal Interagency Workgroup on Child Abuse and Neglect, and the Maryland State Child Fatality Review Board.

Dr. Johnson enjoys hiking through the woods somewhere gathering plants or roughing it in her Jeep and snuggling her mini-ausidoodle, Roosevelt, and bangle cat, Vincent while reading books on the Revolutionary War. She is a proud member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and enjoys researching her Welsh Romani ancestry.

B.A.  Criminal Justice, Sam Houston State University

M.A. Counseling, Midwestern State University

Ph.D. Child Development, Texas Woman’s University

Dissertation: Substantiations of Sexual Abuse Allegations and the Effects on Adolescent Socioemotional Development and Coping Behaviors

 

Michelle Burgess

Counselor

Read Bio

Michelle Burgess is a full-time Counselor at Just For Kids servicing both Raleigh and Fayette Counties. Michelle was born in Europe and came to West Virginia as a teenager. She is a graduate of Nicholas County High School and Marshall University earning a Master of Arts degree in Counseling. Michelle is a certified school counselor and Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT) trained. Michelle provides trauma-informed therapy to children and families affected by child abuse, neglect, and witness to violence. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, and boating at the lake.

Tim Vickers

Forensic Interviewer

Read Bio

Tim Vickers is a full-time Forensic Interviewer at Just For Kids. Tim was born in Southern West Virginia and has lived in this area for his entire life. He is a graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School and Concord College with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Tim began his work with Children and Families in 1997, working at Child Protective Services, investigating child abuse and neglect allegations. He has been training Forensic interviewing techniques through the State of West Virginia for the past 16 years to Law Enforcement, Child Protective Service workers, Prosecuting Attorneys, and Child Advocacy Staff.

Cathy Heft

MDIT Coordinator

Read Bio

Cathy Heft is the MDIT Coordinator at at Just For Kids for both Raleigh and Fayette Counties. Cathy began as Case Coordinator/Office Manager and eventually became a Family Advocate. Cathy earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Concord University and attended Finding Words Forensic Interviewer Training at Marshall University. She was the full-time Forensic Interviewer in Raleigh county until she took over as the MDIT Coordinator. Cathy loves to travel and is always at peace by the ocean.

Manon Wheeler

Family Advocate

Read Bio

Manon Wheeler is a full-time Family Advocate at Just For Kids. As the parent of a survivor of abuse, Manon joined the Board of Just For Kids in 2013 and transitioned to her role as an advocate in 2015. She has a heart for the hurting, and through Just For Kids, she can see children and families get the care they need to start to live their lives again.

Lynn Lawson

Bookkeeper

Read Bio

Lynn Lawson is the Bookkeeper at Just for Kids, Inc., joining the staff in 2018. Lynn is a native of West Virginia. As a person who has experienced child abuse first hand, she considers it a privilege to be associated with an organization with a true heart for children. Lynn is an avid reader and enjoys gardening and spending time outdoors. Her time spent with family and friends is her top priority.

Kendall Shumaker

Forensic Interviewer

Read Bio

Kendall is a full-time Forensic Interviewer for Just For Kids. She is a graduate of Fayetteville High School and West Virginia State University, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Kendall has a passion for working with children and wants to see them get the justice and healing they deserve. On her days off, you can find her enjoying time with her family, watching crime shows, or at the lake during the warmer months.

Ria Mitchell

Family Advocate

Read Bio

Ria Mitchell is the Family Advocate in Beckley, WV for Just For Kids. She attended Fairmont State University, where she earned Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Sociology, and her Masters in Criminal Justice. She is a proud mother of a toddler and has a passion for serving the community and helping children. She is a true crime enthusiast who spends her free time writing, creating art, and playing in nature.

The Just For Kids Child Advocacy Center Board Of Directors

Marcy Nolan

Board President Daniels, WV

Becky Arthur

FCNB Fayetteville, WV

Jonathan Grose

City National Bank Beckley, WV

Tom Lemke

Board Secretary Daniels, WV

Becky Lively

Board Treasurer, Jackie Withrow Hospital Chief Financial Officer Beaver, WV

Tali Stepp

Retired Daniels, WV

Gary Schroeder

Retired Minister Daniels, WV

Gerry Wait

Retired Daniels, WV

Ronn Robinson

AEP Beckley, WV