Emily’s Hope K-5 Prevention Education Committee

At Emily’s Hope, our mission is to provide evidence-based substance use prevention education for children, teaching them about their brains and how to protect them from harmful substances. Our dedicated K-5 committee consists of experienced professionals from various fields, including education, medicine, and addiction counseling.

Our engaging and relevant curriculum includes lesson plans, activities, a song, an animated series, and accompanying children’s books for each grade level. The committee members played a vital role in creating and refining the curriculum.

Angela Kennecke

Angela Kennecke

President, CEO, and Founder of Emily’s Hope

Dr. Vivek Anand, MD

Dr. Vivek Anand, MD

Attending Physician at Avera Behavioral Health Hospital and Avera Addiction Care Center, Associate Professor at Department of Psychiatry, Sanford School of Medicine, University of South Dakota

Barbara Avery-Sterud

Dr. Barbara Avery-Sterud

South Dakota Parent Connection Navigator Coordinator

Carol Daly

Carol Daly

Retired Elementary School Teacher

Dr. Melissa "Mo" Dittberner

Dr. Melissa “Mo” Dittberner

Professor of Addiction Counseling and Prevention at the University of South Dakota, Board Member of Emily’s Hope

Cole Edwards

Cole Edwards

USD Med Student Specializing in Psychiatry

Anna Fey

Anna Fey

Executive Assistant and Marketing Manager at Emily’s Hope

Lindsey Gray

Lindsey Gray

5th Grade Teacher at All City Elementary and Curriculum Development and Research at Emily’s Hope

Montanna Herman

Montanna Herman

Avera Behavioral Health Technician

Linden Hiller, member of emily's hope education prevention committee

Linden Hiller

4th Grade Teacher at Anne Sullivan Elementary

Valerie Peters, member of emily's hope education prevention committee

Valerie Peters

Director of Education, Emily’s Hope

Cindy Reilly member of emily's hope education prevention committee

Cindy Reilly

Licensed Addictions Counselor

Dr. Summer Schultz member of emily's hope education prevention committee

Dr. Summer Schultz

Superintendent at Brookings School District

Tiffany Thoelke member of emily's hope education prevention committee

Tiffany Thoelke

Addiction and Psychology Major at the University of South Dakota

Dr. Tracy Vik member of emily's hope education prevention committee

Dr. Tracy Vik

Principal at Sonia Sotomayor Elementary

Our committee members bring their unique expertise and perspectives to the development and implementation of the Emily’s Hope Substance Use Prevention Curriculum. Together, we are committed to giving children the knowledge and tools they need to make healthy choices and combat substance abuse.