Shareen Springer – Executive Director
“I would like my life to be a statement of love and compassion — and where it isn’t, thats where my work lies” – Ram Dass
Who inspires you and how are you a bit like them? Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers) is one of my all time favorite humans on the planet. I would like to think that in addition to my love of cardigans…that my curiosity and belief in community are pieces that would make Mr. Rogers proud.
If you had a “theme song” that played whenever you walk into a room full of people, what would it be? Sometimes I like to imagine bursting through swinging doors perfectly timed with the intro music of “Kiss” by Prince.
What is set as the background on your computer? A photo of my babes (I have 3 year old twins), who are the center of my universe and the greatest inspiration behind my work in the world, and who I hope to be as a human.
Shareen has had the pleasure of being CRYJ’s Executive Director since 2010. Before that, she worked as a consultant and community engagement specialist – with solid roots in the non profit and social justice world. Fueled by chai and the incredible people that work with and around her – Shareen’s position at CRYJ centers on the leading and development of training and workshops, community education and outreach, and general ‘keeping the ship afloat’. Contact
Catherine Gunderson – Director of Community Engagement
“Said the river: imagine everything you can imagine, then keep going” – Mary Oliver
Kate Kanter – Director of Restorative Programming
“My optimism wears heavy boots and is loud.” – Henry Rollins
Three bucket list items: Become fluent in Spanish, live abroad, & learn how to take great pictures
Favorite “unwind” activities: Cooking, reading, and walking my two big dogs
First Concert: The Violent Femmes, 1998
Kate wears many hats in our office, but primarily works as CRYJ’s Student Advocate and School Engagement Coordinator. She’s passionate working with students, families, teachers, counselors, and administrators to build stronger school communities in our valley and beyond. Whether it be working with teachers to develop restorative practices for their classrooms or one-on-one with youth to craft plans for social and academic success, Kate is committed to the vision of creating school climates where everyone is safe to learn, share and grow. When she’s not working directly with schools or on other projects with the amazing CRYJ team, you can find her crunching program data and wrestling with the office printer. Contact
Burket Kniveton – Restorative Justice Specialist
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
What was your nickname growing up? My first name is unique. When I was younger all I wanted was to fit in. I went by my middle name, Michael. Michael turned into Mike, Mikey, and ‘Spike’. I started going by my first name -Burket- once I graduated high school.
If you could be one for just 24 hours, which cereal box cartoon character would you be? Why? Without question, I would go with Cap’n Crunch. I imagine that he is in charge of a pretty rad ship which sails a vast sea. I must have been a sailor in a past life…
What CD is in your CD player right now? Wait, what is a CD? Do they still make CDs? The most recently played album in my iTunes is: ‘An Awesome Wave’ by alt-J.
Burket is the newest member of the CRYJ team. His past professional experience includes working to support the emotional growth of teenagers at a therapeutic boarding school, developing a mountain sports academy for adolescents, and advocating for teens as a volunteer. His role at CRYJ is to support youth and families as they navigate the often challenging realities of being human.
Next time you are at CRYJ, see if Burket is available for a game of chess or Dominos. Contact
Tracy Roberts – Trellis Program Director
“Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing there is a field. I’ll meet you there” – Rumi
When you were in grade school, what did you want to be when you grew up? Why? I was pretty set on being a doctor. I went through a sixth-grade stint of wanting to be a marine biologist and a seventh-grade stint of wanting to be a brain surgeon.
What did you like best about your hometown? The landscape and kind-hearted Midwestern folk. I am a mountain and river kid at heart – passionate, playful, adventurous, and driven. I grew up in the sacred and vast lands of western and central South Dakota. The Black Hills and Missouri River paint the canvas for most of my childhood memories. I have traveled extensively and lived in many places since my time there, but the land and people in South Dakota will always have a special place in my heart.
What do you keep in the back of your car? A plethora of outdoor gear and my Bernese Mountain Dog, Mowgli – although he prefers to ride up front. He’s a pretty cute and not-so-effective co-pilot.
Tracy is the newest member at CRYJ and is the Trellis Program Director. She uses her brain power, passion, and love of working with youth to dream up creative ideas and projects, create amazing opportunities for teens, and attempt to make our wish-list projects a CRYJ reality. She is currently working on expanding and developing CRYJ’s Trellis Project. Tracy’s expertise is largely grounded in integrative mental health, outdoor education, wilderness therapy, creating meaningful opportunities for growth and development, rite of passage work, and empowering youth to be become their most authentic and wonderful selves. Tracy is currently working towards her Ph.D. in Mind-Body Medicine: Integrative Mental Health and is a licensed clinical professional counselor in the state of Montana. Contact
Kelsey Gockenbach – Public Information Specialist
“Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature, understand them thoroughly.” -Salvador Dali
Just like “Everybody Wang Chung tonight!”, what would your action be if your name were a verb? Breaking into a full body roll mid conversation with someone, while maintaining eye contact.
What was your nickname growing up or now? Yeslek – It’s “Kelsey” backwards. For some reason my brother and I started calling each other by our backwards names when we were kids. I was Yeslek, he was Bez.
You were just given a yacht, what would you name it? “Yeah, Buoyyy!”
Kelsey is a recent (2016!) addition to team CRYJ. She is learning the ropes in a lot of different aspects of CRYJ, and enjoying every minute of it. Kelsey is the Mayor of Frontlandia, website re-designer extraordinaire, social media ninja, volunteer coordinator newbie and an all around renaissance woman. Before stumbling into the welcoming arms of CRYJ she worked in the lobbying world of Wisconsin and lived in Melbourne, Australia for a spell. She has her B.A. in English from the University of Washington. Contact
Board of Directors
- Katy Brooke, Board President
- Claudine Johnson, Vice President
- Marj Dezort, Secretary/Treasurer
- Dave Bailon
- Valeri McGarvey
- Betsy Cummings
- Rick Flink
- CJ Cummings
“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” –Paulo Coelho
“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.” – Lyndon B. Johnson
“Make the world a bit better and more beautiful because you have been in it.” – Edward Bok