Staff & 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.  In 2017, Sarah and the High Rocks were awarded the state WV Red Wagon Award for helping WV children, and in 2019 Sarah was honored with the Power of Performance Award for changing lives across southern 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.



SARAH MANSHEIM,
 DEVELOPMENT AND MARKETING MANAGER

Sarah Mansheim is a Pocahontas County native from Lobelia, WV. After a childhood of roaming the woods, she moved to the southern border city of El Paso, TX, at 14, spending her high school years living in that ethnically diverse, desert city just across the Rio Grande from Juarez, Mexico. Sarah earned her Bachelors of Arts in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque before returning to her West Virginia home. Here, she served the community as a newspaper editor and columnist while raising two daughters. Sarah is honored to join the High Rocks team as Development and Marketing Manager, doing her part to further the High Rocks mission.



DEVIN PRESTON,
 HUB PROGRAM MANAGER, K-12 PROGRAM LEADER

Devin Preston has been with High Rocks in various capacities since 2010, as a camp teacher, AmeriCorps volunteer, High Rocks parent, part-time staff member, and now, as manager of The Hub. He fervently believes in the mission of High Rocks and how it is vital in making West Virginia a viable place for young people to live, work, play, and stay.  His degree from Bluefield State is concentrated in History, Psychology, and English (because he couldn’t seem to pick just one), and while Devin grew up in Greenbrier County, he’s spent several years living in Florida, Alaska, and his beloved hometown of Seattle.  Although he’s never learned how to actually juggle, he does a pretty good job juggling his time with High Rocks with the other facets of his life as a performance artist, writer, movie theatre manager, husband, and father to four. He’d really like to add lead singer for a rock band to that list, so let him know if you’re looking!



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.


KEVENEY BAIR, HUB CAFE MANAGER

Originally from Winchester, VA, Keveney and her husband, Luke, moved to his WV family farm in 2004. After graduating from Virginia Tech in English, Keveney worked for various non-profit organizations for over 15 years in administration and management. Having grown up on an apple orchard, her childhood set the stage for her love of farming and good food. This led her and her family to cultivate and raise vegetables, herbs, heritage
pork and eggs on their farm for over 10 years. In 2015, Keveney launched Redwing Soup, which she operated for 5 years. She is excited to be part of High Rocks and to continue to serve her community and especially the younger generation.


MISSY CAREY, HIGH ROCKS ACADEMY COORDINATOR

Missy received a M.A. in Secondary Education from West Virginia University in 2006 and focused her studies by doing her own classroom research. She has over eight years of teaching experience. Missy loves to travel and has taught in many different places including West Virginia, Pennsylvania North Carolina, Hawai’i, California, and Spain. Missy is overjoyed to be back in her home state of West Virginia working with the High Rocks team to promote the High Rocks mission. Missy spends most of her leisure time outside. You can always find her roaming the mountains or paddling a stream on the weekends.



JANET SWIFT,
 AMERICORPS PROGRAM MANAGER

Original natives of the Washington, D.C. area, Janet and her husband moved to Greenbrier County, West Virginia from Vermont in 2005 seeking the rural mountain life they love in a climate with a bit less winter.  With an early background in for–profit management and finance, she discovered a passion for non-profit work here in the Greenbrier Valley.  She has been an enthusiastic volunteer over the years and has enjoyed donating time to activities such as reading for the blind on NPR, teaching adults to read with a Literacy program, and serving on a number on non-profit boards.  As a mother to four children and grandmother to seven, she is committed to the High Rocks mission to educate, empower and inspire young people.  In her free time she enjoys traveling, gardening, sewing, and spending time with family and friends.


SAMANTHA MITCHELL, FIRST2 STUDENT COORDINATOR

Samantha was born and raised in Pocahontas County and has been part of the High Rocks program since 1997 where she acted as a member, a junior counselor and a junior board member.  After graduating from Pocahontas County High School in 2001 she attended West Virginia University where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus on Accounting as well as a Master of Arts in Public Administration.  After college she entered the workforce as a Financial Analyst working with government contracts and then created and co-owned her own company for many years.  For many years she served on the High Rocks Board of Directors until stepping down to compete for a position on the High Rocks staff.  When she’s not busy working with the First2 Network coordinating college students across the state of WV she enjoys creating hand made home decorations, traveling with her husband, and snuggling with her nieces and nephews.


CASEY WITHERS, FARM MANAGER, OPERATIONS MANAGER

Casey grew up in Edray, WV and graduated from Pocahontas County High School.  After high school he earned a B.S. degree in Environmental and Energy Resources Management at WVU.  In 2016 Casey headed west to spend the next three and a half years in Oregon and Washington.  There, he helped manage a national visitor use monitoring program on public land, covering 11 National Forests.  Now that Casey is back in the mountain state, he is excited to be home around his family and to help serve and grow the communities of Appalachia.      



CINDY BURKS,
ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Cindy Burks is a lifelong resident of Pocahontas County.  She graduated from Pocahontas County High School in 1994.  Cindy has worked in clerical and administrative settings for over 20 years in the county including in banks, medical offices, and the county clerk’s office.  Cindy brings a smile and great organizational skills to help keep all the High Rocks systems on track everyday, and is a critical lynchpin in the High Rocks business. Cindy has been a parent volunteer for the last 15 years in school activities, 4-H, with her church youth group.  Cindy is an active community volunteer, taking lead on numerous fundraisers and community events.  Cindy is a wife and a mother of two boys and a teenage girl, and spends most of her weekends with her family traveling the rodeo circuit.

OUR BOARD

OUR BOARD MEMBERS:

PRESIDENT    

Moniefia (Mo) Maitland 

High Rocks Alumnae 

BerryDunn-Government Consulting Group, Consultant 

Charleston, WV

 

VICE-PRESIDENT 

Anita Snyder

High Rocks Parent 

White Sulfur Springs, WV

 

TREASURER 

Katherine Thompson 

South Enotah Child Advocacy Center, Executive Director 

Gainesville, GA

 

SECRETARY 

Sharon Vance 

Retired Teacher, Pocahontas County High School 

Renick, WV

 

MEMBER-AT-LARGE 

Kacie Parsons  

High Rocks Alumna 

Ashworth University Student 

Animal Care Technician 

Hagerstown, MD

 

Maribeth Saleem-Tanner 

Former Co-Director, High Rocks AmeriCorps VISTA Alumnae 

Director of Civic Engagement, Marietta College 

Williamstown, WV

 

Ray Creager 

High Rocks Parent 

Software Engineer, Green Bank Observatory 

Green Bank, WV

 

John Norman

Manager, External Affairs, FirstEnergy 

Spencer, WV

 

Tily Stanley

High Rocks AmeriCorps Alumnae 

Trauma Data and Research Specialist, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital 

Capon Bridge, WV

 

Margaret Falletta 

High Rocks Intern, AmeriCorps and Staff Alumnae 

Director of Counseling and Wellness Services, Davis & Elkins College 

Elkins, WV