Reaching Heights Staff Members
Krista Hawthorne joined the Reaching Heights Staff in 2006 as Communications Assistant. She became Assistant Director in 2009 and was selected by the Board of Directors to be Executive Director in April, 2014.
Before joining Reaching Heights, Krista worked as an administrator for Allen Technologies, Inc. and was Franchise Marketing Manager for Proforma, Inc., a franchisor of business forms and printing businesses, and Management Recruiters International, Inc., a franchisor of executive search firms. For more than 20 years, Krista has been a lead volunteer with the international student exchange organization, AFS Intercultural Programs. She recently ended 8 years as the Area Team Chair for AFS Cleveland-East. Krista is a graduate of Kent State University with a B. A. in Rhetoric and Communication.
She and her husband have lived in Cleveland Heights since 1988. Their two daughters attended Coventry and Boulevard Elementary Schools, Roxboro Middle School, and Cleveland Heights High. They have hosted 7 AFS exchange students who also attended Heights High and are Tiger Proud!
Jen and her husband have lived in Cleveland Heights for over 40 years and are the proud parents of two daughters and two sons who currently attend Gearity Preschool, Roxboro Elementary School and Roxboro Middle School.
She is a past Roxboro PTA President and immediate past PTA President for CHUH PTA Council Executive Board. She continues to serve on the PTA Council as the Diversity & Inclusion Chair which assists Reaching Heights in maintaining communication with community leaders in the CHUH School District.
She is also currently a board member of Ensemble Theatre and Ingenuity. She has experience in executive administrative duties and event planning.
Jen enjoys the beach and going on vacation with family and friends. She is a proud Heights Tiger parent who's working in support of the important mission of Reaching Heights.
Parent mentor, Amy Kerr-Jung joined the Reaching Heights staff in February of 2015. Amy Kerr-Jung brings a strong background to this position as a former educator, a public sector researcher, an active community member and parent of a child with special needs. If you need assistance in any of the above mentioned areas Amy can be reached by calling the office or by email at Amy@reachingheights.org.
Parent Mentors help build upon the fabric of support for families of special needs children by being responsive to the growing need and desire for information about the issues and concerns surrounding special education programs. Mrs. Kerr-Jung offers guidance and support to families who are navigating the special education system, which can often feel overwhelming at times. Parents who have children with exceptional needs can rely on the unbaised assistance that a parent mentor can offer, which can make a huge difference along the educational journey.
To clarify the process and provide support to families, Reaching Heights in partnership with the CH-UH school district will provide the following services throughout the year:
Support for families in-person, by email or over the phone to answer questions and concerns about the special education process
Guidance and information about the CH-UH special education program
Preparation, support and guidance for IEP meetings
Resources relating to special education within and around the CH-UH community
Host and promote community engagement events, workshops and special events
Current events, resources and updates can also be found on the Reaching Heights special needs parent support group page at
Linda Dudzinsky and her husband have lived in Cleveland Heights for over 33 years and are the proud parents of a daughter and son who attended Fairfax Elementary School, Roxboro Middle School and Cleveland Heights High. She is a past Fairfax PTA President and former member of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights PTA Council Executive Board. Linda also worked for the CH-UH School District for eight years, serving as Media Ancillary at Fairfax Elementary School.
She is an active member at her church and also volunteers for Thea Bowman Center, a community center in Cleveland’s Mt. Pleasant neighborhood, where her duties are similar to the ones she performs for Reaching Heights.
Linda enjoys skiing in the winter, bird watching at all times, and likes to cross-stitch in her spare time. She is proud to be working in support of the important mission of Reaching Heights.