Mikael Gouge

Executive Director, Founder, Past Chair

Mikael is the mother of a superstar with Autism, Tyson Gouge.

She is a full-time Advocate who is passionate about obtaining services and therapies that her child needs, and she will not take no for an answer.

Mikael graduated summa cum laude from ETSU with a Bachelor of Arts.

“I believe that with enough determination and perseverance, we can pave the way for children with special needs to live successful, fulfilling lives. Through necessity, I have become well-versed in everything Autism.  If you need help finding a service or therapy for your child, I’ll do my best to help you find it. “ - Mikael Gouge

Jacque Lowe

Chairman of the Board

Jacque is a native of Johnson City, TN, and has lived in the Tri Cities nearly all of her life. Jacque became a licensed Realtor in 2006 and quickly found a passion for the industry. She is a Tennessee Broker,

TN Affiliate broker, a member of the NE Tennessee Association of Realtors, TN Association of Realtors, and the National Association of Realtors.

Robin Mottern

Founding member, Vice Chairman of the Board

Robin is a Master Facilitator, Certified Executive Coach, and Emotional Intelligence practitioner.  I  work with organizations of all types and have held various positions such as Sales VP, Consultant, and General Manager.

“My affinity for business, coupled with my expertise in talent enablement, enhances my ability to work effectively with people in a myriad of industries and company cultures.  My skill sets translate and correlate to the important work that must be done in the Tri-Cities area as it relates to the educational needs of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Children with ASD deserve to live and learn to their highest potential. They are my heart. We WILL lead the way for our ASD children.”

Beverly Wiginton

Director, Secretary

Beverly grew up in  Johnson City and has spent her career in Special Education. She has M.Ed. in Special Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education from ETSU.   Beverly retired after 32 years of service with ETSU, which included the Director position of ETSU's campus children's early childhood centers. Beverly also volunteers at Bristol Food Pantry & Branch House Family Justice Center in Blountville, TN

Linda Bogan


Linda is the mom of an adult son who has autism. She was always active in his education and volunteered for his class or school whenever she could. She volunteered as a substitute teacher and requested to work in the special education classes, which gave her more experience with differently abled children and their wonderful families. Linda believes a child's successful education is a team effort.

"I hope to share my life experiences and passion for children with different educational needs."

Michael Birdwell


Michael has over 10 years of experience in commercial insurance and is passionate about supporting local businesses so that our community can grow and thrive.

Rusty Lewis

Ex officio

Kevin Ward

Ex officio


Education happens within the context of a larger community. Our approach extends beyond the school to help ensure students have the necessary support to do their best learning.

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