Student Health Advocates was founded by "two dads with six kids" and a passion for helping others. After years of development and innovation, they created a network of professional "Advocate" services designed specifically for students, and made them available to families and schools across the U.S. & Canada.
Joe has an extensive background in finance, starting his career over 20 years ago during the dot-com bubble. He has traded equities and options as a NASDAQ Market Maker, NYSE Block Trader, and hedge fund portfolio manager. His "risk management" experience helped shape his belief that families need guidance when sending students abroad. Joe has run a comprehensive financial planning practice focused on helping families achieve financial confidence and security. He is an expert in asset allocation, risk management, and protection strategies. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Joe wanted to address the increased risk for students studying away from home. He founded SHA to provide peace of mind and security for families, and to help Schools better understand the risks. He enjoys spending time with his family, coaching his children's sports teams, golfing, hiking, traveling, and attending sporting events. Joe resides in West Hartford, CT with his wife and three children.
Pete has been working within education for most of his career; leading companies who develop educational software and progress monitoring tools for teachers and schools. Most recently he served as the Senior Vice President & General Manager for an Education Accessibility Services firm that paired hearing-challenged students with custom services to provide equal access to education at more than 500 institutions across the country. In his spare time, he trains graduate students to develop effective interview skills at Drexel University's LeBow College of Business where he earned his MBA. Pete is also an avid outdoorsman, and holds a deep passion for "health & wellness". He spends time hiking, camping, kayaking and paddle boarding whenever possible. As a parent of 3, Pete founded SHA to provide a better solution for students who attend school without guardian support. He lives with his family in a small town outside of Philadelphia, PA.
Heather Callaghan is currently the Director of Health and Wellness at Avon Old Farms School, an all-boys boarding school in Avon, CT. She has worked in the Health Center as a staff nurse and now the director for over 7 years. Heather is currently an active member of CRSNA (Connecticut Residential School Nurse Association) and has been hosting weekly zoom meetings for nursing directors of CT boarding schools since the start of the pandemic. Heather helped lead all of the school's COVID-19 health and safety efforts throughout the crisis. She was also asked to serve as a panelist on a national webinar to discuss testing as well as other mitigation strategies to help school's open their doors. Heather was also a nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Connecticut Children's Hospital in Hartford, CT. In addition, Heather has served as a Spanish Teacher, coach, dorm parent and advisor as well as Director of Community Service and Sustainability Coordinator. Heather lives on campus with her husband, Graham (Dean of Studies at AOF) a teacher and the school's baseball coach, as well as their son Owen (14), a freshmen at AOF, their daughter, Sarah (11), and their two dogs.
Dr. Solenberger is an education professional with more than 17 years of experience. She holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from St. Joseph’s University. Throughout her career, she has served as a general education teacher, special education teacher, and reading specialist before becoming an administrator of a school with more than 600 students and 90 staff members, which she continues to lead through the COVID-19 pandemic. She is an expert in the application of literacy strategies, multi-tiered systems of support, special education, differentiation, inclusion, social emotional learning, and education innovation. Dr. Solenberger serves as SHA's "Education Advisor".
After completing active duty in the US Navy, Dr. Tonkin obtained a master’s degree in Radiation Biophysics from the University of Kansas and an medical degree from the University of Tennessee. He trained in Internal Medicine at Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford, CT. As a naval reservist, he served in the Gulf War and was promoted to the rank of captain. Board Certified in Internal Medicine, he owned a private practice in Manchester, CT for 23 years. In addition, he has served as Chair of the Dept. of Medicine at Manchester Hospital and Medical Director of several long term care facilities. Dr. Tonkin serves as SHA's "Medical Advisor". He assists with "best practice" protocols for live-in care providers and chaperones during SHA Quarantines and emergency 24hr care when needed during the school year.
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