Our Staff and Board

OUR Staff Members:

Sarah Riley, Executive Director

Sarah grew up here in Pocahontas County and then went off to conquer Harvard University. She graduated with honors with a BA in history with a focus on economic underdevelopment and a slew of theater experiences. She was a founding partner with Susan Burt in High Rocks and has been planning, teaching, counseling, fundraising, networking and building this place in one way or another since 1996. Sarah was named one of 40 under 40 emerging leaders in West Virginia in 2009. In 2014, WV Focus Magazine featured Sarah as one of West Virginia’s “Wonder Women” in their premiere issue.  In 2015, the Appalachian Studies Association awarded Sarah the prestigious Helen Lewis Community Service Award for outstanding community service to Appalachia and its people.  Sarah was honored as a 2015 Zenith Award winner for exemplary service the Greenbrier Valley of WV.  Sarah has four children and lives happily on the family farm her husband grew up on, raising local meats, eggs and produce.  She is grateful to still be working with her mother, Susan Burt.

SUSAN BURT, FOUNDER

After teaching the “Gifted Program” in the Pocahontas County middle schools for 20 years, Susan decided to leave in 1996 to start a summer camp for girls that would help girls feel confident, beautiful and smart as they started high school. She worked with Virginia Steele and local loggers to figure out how to start this dream, by buying 200 acres and doing selective logging on the property. She enlisted many volunteers to help develop a girl-focused camp, and has taught Girls’ Group to all entering girls for many years. In her free time she loves to ride her horse, play piano and guitar, and hang out with her six grandchildren.


Kasey Carter, Development and marketing manager

Kasey is a native to Greenbrier County and a graduate of Greenbrier East High School. After living out of state for a few years she returned to the mountains to be closer to family and friends. Kasey worked for many years as a manager of different for-profit businesses, including her own café and catering company. In 2008, she completed a degree in business with a concentration in marketing. The next year, Kasey discovered the mission-driven worlds of social profit and youth advocacy. Since that time Kasey has served in various roles to promote a better future for West Virginia children and adolescents. In her role as Development & Marketing Manager, Kasey seeks to spread the word far and wide about all of the wonderful ways that High Rocks is supporting young people to have the confidence and skills to create a vibrant, sustainable future for us all. In her free time Kasey enjoys cooking, running and cuddling with her two favorite fellas, her husband and their pug named Frank.


Karline Jensen, Business Manager

Karline Jensen received a B.A. in math from Oberlin College in 1997, where she also studied anthropology and the interactions between human cultures and their environments.  She then spent four years as the Production Manager growing organic vegetables with college interns for Maysie’s Farm Conservation Center Community Supported Agriculture in Glenville, PA, before building her off-the grid straw bale house here in Pocahontas County.  She is so happy to have found a home in the wild mountains she could only dream of in her Chicago suburb childhood.  High Rocks has been a family to her and she is proud to be investing her career in helping to build the dream of a culture of leadership and acceptance for young people in West Virginia.


Renae Anderson, operations Coordinator

Renae Anderson moved to West Virginia and entered High Rocks as a girl in 2002 and grew immensely by participating in the different programs that High Rocks offered. She graduated from Pocahontas County High School and continued her education as a first-generation college student at Alice Lloyd College, where she majored in Social Science with a minor in Sociology. After graduating she returned home to West Virginia where she was given the opportunity to give back to the organization that had given her so much by serving two years as an AmeriCorps volunteer and then becoming a permanent staff member. She is so excited to work at a place that has such a powerful impact on every life we touch.

SHELBY MACK, HIGH ROCKS ACADEMY cOORDINATOR

Shelby began her journey at High Rocks as an intern in 2011 and fell in love in West Virginia and everything that  High Rocks does. After graduating with a degree in photojournalism from Western Kentucky University in 2014, it was an easy decision for her to return to High Rocks as an AmeriCorps member to share her passion for photography and media-making with young people. She feels lucky to continue doing so now as a staff member while also helping High Rocks AmeriCorps members and interns have the powerful,  life-changing experience she had herself.


BRITT HUERTA, HUB COORDINATOR

Britt Huerta is a proud Mexican American from a small seacoast town in New Hampshire. Without knowing a single soul in the state of West Virginia, she left New England in 2006 to attend West Virginia University. As a first-generation college student she earned her BA in Sociology and Anthropology, where her passion for people, their cultures and histories flourished. During her undergrad she spent her free time exploring wild-wonderful West Virginia and fell in love with the Appalachian people, culture and its vast natural beauty. After graduation Britt decided to stay in West Virginia and give back to the people of this state. She spent two years serving youth and their families as an AmeriCorps Member at a historic community center in the Greater Morgantown Area. She came to the foggy mountains of Pocahontas County in 2015 to join the High Rocks team and help the organization fulfill their mission of empowering the young people in West Virginia. Outside of work Britt enjoys cuddling with her cats, exploring the great outdoors and advocating for environmental justice.


KAYLA RILEY, ADMINISTRATIVE ASSIsTANT

Kayla is a High Rocks alum and native of Pocahontas County. She spent two years at New River Community and Technical College to achieve her Associates Degree in Business Administration Office Technology, and is now attending West Virginia University online to obtain a BS in Business Administration with focuses in Advertising, Professional Editing and Writing. Kayla has been involved with High Rocks since 2006 as a girl, junior counselor, AmeriCorps member and now part-time Staff member. She is excited to be working with, and giving back to, the organization that has been her home away from home for many years. In her free time she enjoys photography and spending time with her family and friends.


OUR BOARD MEMBERS:

  • PRESIDENT,  Stephanie Macgill
    Senior Manager Foundations and Workplace Partnerships, Best Friends Animal Society, Slatyfork, WV
  • VICE-PRESIDENT, Sarah Garrison
    Professor, Davis & Elkins College, Buckannon, WV
  • SECRETARY, Kat Thompson
  • MEMBER-AT-LARGE, Ray Creagor
  • MEMBER-AT-LARGE, Rhonda Withers
  • PAST PRESIDENT,  Andrea Larason
    Associate Financial Advisor, Ameriprise Financial, Powell, OH
  • HONORARY MEMBER, Jolie Lewis
    Professor, Emory and Henry College, Writer
  • HONORARY MEMBER, Sean Brain
  • HONORARY MEMBER, Bill Lenherr

 


QUESTIONS? CONTACT INFO@HIGHROCKS.ORG