New About

Jill Brown

Founder of GenerationText

Jill Brown is the President and Founder of Generation Text Online. Jill’s vision is to equip universities and colleges, K-12 schools, sports organizations/clubs, youth organizations and families on an international level with the necessary support system for the psychological, social and emotional well-being of today’s youth, adolescents and young adults.

Jill assembled a team of experts in their fields – doctors and pediatricians, neuroscientists, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, educators, and mental health professionals to develop a 21st Century Social and Emotional Framework and a Mental Health and Wellness curriculum. This framework and curriculum are being used around the world by athletic organizations, educational institutions, community groups, and counselors to support young people in academic success, provide them with life skills, and prepare them for the workforce in a global economy.

Jill is internationally recognized for her work and commitment to address the mental health and wellness of adolescents and young adults. The Generation Text Online’s framework and curriculum supports educators, counselors, coaches, and others working with adolescents and young adults by offering a 21st Century Mental Health and Wellness curriculum to address:

  • bullying, cyberbullying and the pitfalls of social media
  • pressure, stress, anxiety and depression
  • anger management and self-control
  • detentions, suspensions, and expulsions
  • negative coping strategies including drugs and alcohol
  • self-harm and thoughts of suicide

Jill is a leader in the youth community and has served on the boards of:

  • Presbyterian Church of Westfield, NJ Mission Commission
  • Family Life Department of Westfield Area YMCA
  • Citizens Advisory Committee for Enrollment for the Westfield Board of Education

She has also held various roles in her local PTO. These experiences have given Jill a keen sense of how adolescents and young adults are affected by stress, how they interact, their online social behaviors and the need for a community of adults who are committed to their social and emotional well-being. Jill is also very active in two non- profit organizations.

A member of the advisory board for Furniture Assist (an organization she co-founded over 10 years ago), she works to promote and fundraise for a non-profit that helps needy families receive used furniture, mainly beds. 

Jill also sits on the board of a Canadian nonprofit organization, Kiwi Seminars, which works in Canadian schools teaching internet safety.

Jill’s passion is youth ministry. For the last 24 years, she has volunteered in a weekly youth group meeting, spiritual retreats and mission trips all over the world. It is from her experience of working side by side with young people while serving people less fortunate, that her commitment to protecting and empowering teens was born. Jill possesses that special connection with teens, one that includes listening, validating and understanding 21st century youth.

Jill has been featured on NBC’s Today Show, for being a “Supermom” in 2005. She has appeared on Good Day New York, Live with Alex Witt, several NBC and ABC affiliates, Fox News, well as written up in the New York Times and the Boston Globe. Her participation on several panels at Social Media Week 2012 in Toronto and her work in Australia gives her an international perspective. She works with Hope for Depression, a non-profit in NYC and has served on several panels at their community events raising awareness for mental health and depression. Her most recent request is to work with youth in Africa.

Jill is a 1993 graduate of Northeastern University where she holds a BS in Management, as well as in Marketing. Her specific interest and experience is Communications and Organizational Behavior, the study of behaviors of individuals, groups and structures and the impact each has on behavior within an organization. Jill’s experience of training school administrators, supervisors, and teachers and working with students, allows her to understand how and why these lesson plans give the opportunity for real change in your school! Jill’s experience as a mom of a high school aged child, a middle school aged child and an elementary school aged child, as well as being an active member of the community has played a key role in the shaping of her ideas and her business plan. Over the past 19 years, Jill has successfully balanced a career of consulting, leadership, management and motherhood.

She has 3 children, ages 21, 19 and 15. Jill Brown is the founder of, an online network where tweens can socialize safely. She is highly regarded and well known in the circle of Internet Safety, Cyberbullying and Bullying experts. has been constantly regarded as the social networking choice by parents for their tweens.

Mehul Shah

Director of Digital Engagement and Online Platforms

Mehul spent over a decade in K12 education. He received his Bachelors degree from the University of Georgia and began a 10 year stretch of teaching through Teach for America. Teach For America is a diverse network of leaders who confront educational inequity by teaching for at least two years in high need urban schools.

He received an MBA from the University of Houston, where he spent a lot of time digging into numbers and found a passion for data driven instruction. He created an Excel tool that automated the MCQ item analysis for schools, and took the tool to market to help over 10,000 students find their math misconceptions in Texas.  

Mehul now operates a new and innovative teaching platform that improves student outcomes through added engagement. Students have the ability to type with their teacher, move objects, click on buttons, and much more on almost every slide. Students show improved focus/attention and time spent engaging is higher on interactive activities. It maintains their interest longer, and helps create learning breakthroughs.

Mehul is excited to partner with Generation Text Online. After the pandemic hit, it has become clear that students need social and emotional support. Our students voices and feelings need to be heard in safe environments.  By partnering together, we hope to achieve a level of engagement that mimics the live classroom, even in times when we physically cannot be together.

Shawn Stone

Director of 21st Century Pedagogy and Practice
Shawn Stone comes to us with vast background and diversity that is welcomed by our team. He was born in Alabama and being the first generation in his household to start his schooling in a desegregated classroom, his family offered little academic support but loads of love and values to get him through. From there, he has never looked back. Upon graduating high school, Shawn excelled at sports and was the Senior Class President; he often finds this an epiphany and symbolism as his journey has encountered frontiers; opportunities and experiences unseen by his own description from the humble beginnings of his hometown. Acknowledged or being the first to graduate from university and receiving a Division I basketball scholarship exceeded all expectations- hoping to finish school as a graduating high school student was the only goal at that time.

Joining the USMC with his closest friends was the start of his journey; he has since then completed bachelors, graduate diplomat’s, masters and currently a PhD student at one of Western Australia’s leading universities in Technology. Shawn was the founder, developer and part of the online learning, professional learning communities. He now blogs, tweets, consults and reviews the latest developments in 21st century learning.

Shawn maintains a very busy schedule by assisting businesses, schools and teachers across the globe in implementation and use of technology and educational practice that is in line with 21st Century Skills. As a valued expert in the field of 21st Century, Shawn has been an invaluable asset to the development and implementation of the Generation Text Framework to enhance the experience for the students, teachers and community audience. Shawn’s expertise comes from experience as he continues to refine and reshape education moving into the next century of education. Shawn’s current PhD looks closely at this digital revolution to explore what tools, skills, and abilities are essential and how we can quantitatively measure that in a variety of ways. Shawn continues to offer the Generation Text Online Framework in schools in Australia.

Shawn is the founding director of Australian Teachers; an online learning platform for teachers, tutors, and students. Shawn is highly regarded in the space of digital learning- Pedagogy and Practice.

Shawn is a 1996 graduate of California State University, Graduate Diploma at Edith Cowan University, Masters Degree at Curtin University in Perth Western Australia. Shawn’s experience of working in schools on a daily basis, consulting in the classroom or providing professional development, allows him to understand how and why this interactive staff development and accompanying teacher directed lessons give the opportunity for real change in your school! He has taught in some of the top schools in Perth and is highly regarded in his field.

Dr. Jeffrey S. Zwiebel

Director of School District Development
Dr. Jeffrey S. Zwiebel was an educator for 31 years, serving as a teacher, assistant principal at both the middle and elementary school levels, elementary school principal and district superintendent. Jeff holds a BA in Music Education K-12 from Wilkes University, a Master’s in Educational Administration along with elementary and secondary principal certificates from Temple University, and a Doctor in Education in Instructional and Curriculum Leadership from Northcentral University.

Jeff’s administrative experiences included managing the day-to-day operations of a school district including, but not limited to, educational programming, finances, staffing, facilities, transportation, community, and business engagement. Jeff also collaborated with educators, business professionals, government leaders and other stakeholders. In the 2017-2018 school year, Jeff’s district was the first in Schuylkill County to implement a 1:1 iPad program for all K-12 students, which became an indispensable part of educating students during the COVID-19 pandemic. In his last year as superintendent, Jeff worked in conjunction with Schuylkill EMS to launch an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Program at the high school, the first of its kind in Schuylkill County.

As Director of School District Development at Generation Text Online, Jeff’s focus is to lead the vision and execution of the Generation Text Online program to deliver to schools and communities. The goal of Generation Text Online is to improve the communication systems between schools and families which strengthens the team approach in a 21st century learning environment that prepares students to successfully compete and succeed in a post pandemic global economy.

Sam Sochet

Director of Family and Community Engagement

Sam Sochet was celebrated as the 2019 New York City High School Principal of the Year by the  NYC High  School Principal’s Association, for his monumental work in transforming Martin Van Buren High School, a large comprehensive high school in Queens, New York.  When Sam took over as principal in 2012, the school’s 4-year graduation rate was below 50%, and approaching NY State Receivership status.  Undaunted by the odds, within six years, through a concentration on three “big rocks” (emphasizing in order Culture, Community, and Learning and Teaching), the school moved its graduation rate to 80%!  All this was done while still retaining the teaching staff.   During his 7+ years as principal, the school also achieved similar increases in College Readiness, Student Attendance, and new found access to academic programs such as Robotics, Health Careers, Pre-Law, as well as Science Research. 

Sam has over 32 years of experience as a highly successful Teacher, Science Chairperson, Assistant Principal, and Principal.  Sam taught Advanced Placement Biology for 10 years and Advanced Placement Psychology for 7 years. Sam has great respect for both the art and science of teaching.  He has demonstrated a great understanding of working effectively with school communities, teachers and administrators unions, elected officials, as well as students and faculty. He also served as Co-President of the Science Supervisors Association of New York City, and is currently a Trustee at the Syosset Public Library in his hometown. He is also an alumnus of New Leaders, a nationally recognized Principal Leadership Program.  

Sam grew up in Queens, New York, received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Syracuse University, a Master of Science in Botany and Plant Pathology from Colorado State University, and a Professional Diploma in Education Administration from Queens College.

Dawn Castilleja

Director of Secondary SEL Development
Dawn Castilleja has 29 years of experience working with students, and adult learners, in the areas of Social Emotional Learning, Health and Wellness, and Literacy. She received her BA in Elementary Education from Purdue University and M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction, specializing in Educational Leadership, from the University of North Texas. A seasoned presenter, Dawn has facilitated professional learning both remotely, in small groups and at many large conferences across the nation. In her role as Director of Secondary SEL Development with GenerationTextOnline, Dawn supports the work of educators and organizations to develop strong SEL skills ensuring that students are college, career and military ready.

Tim Melvin

Director of Middle and Alternative Education
Tim brings 30 years of experience in public education to Generation Text Online. He has served as a middle school teacher, team leader, department chair, high school assistant principal, vocational center director, College and Career Academy CEO, district dual enrollment coordinator, and Technical College Board of Directors member. He has worked in traditional, charter, and virtual school settings. He holds a B.A. in History from Virginia Military Institute, an M.Ed. in Middle Grades Education from Georgia Southern University, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Curriculum from Liberty University.

Tim is passionate about the need to deploy impactful SEL programs to support the needs of students and their teachers. As Director of Middle and Alternative Education, Tim works to support school leaders in their work to create SEL enriched environments capable of producing first in class student outcomes.

Dr. Christina Ryan


Dr. Christina M. Ryan, MD is one of the major contributors to the Generation Text Online mental health and wellness framework. Dr. Ryan currently works in the PICU, within the Pediatrics Department at Saint Barnabas Hospital in Livingston, NJ.

Dr. Ryan received her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. Her Ph.D. is in Microbiology and Immunology. Her area of research involved tumor immunology. She has worked as a Pediatric Hospitalist at Kaiser Permanente in CA prior to her start at SBMC as a Pediatric Hospitalist where she cares for sick children on the pediatric floor and in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

“Children and adolescents are faced with physical, mental, social, and emotional stresses and demands on a daily basis. While a great deal of emphasis is placed on excellence in academics, proficiency in sports, participation in multiple extracurricular activities, and acceptance by peers, very little attention is focused on the inherent strains generated by such a rigorous lifestyle.

Our young people are ill-equipped with healthy coping mechanisms to help them navigate the stresses of growing up in today’s world. This takes a significant toll on their mental health, which inevitably manifests with physical symptoms, thereby compromising their physical health. However, if we expand awareness about the intricate balance between physical and mental health, and arm children and adolescents with a positive set of coping tools, it is expected that today’s young generation will be happier and healthier, and ultimately pass these techniques on to tomorrow’s future.”

More about Dr. Ryan

Tom Kersting

Contributor, Director of Counseling
Tom Kersting is a licensed psychotherapist and the founder of Valley Family Counseling.  Valley Family Counseling is a private counseling practice that has been serving families to provide the very best therapy services to help clients achieve strength, balance and peace of mind. Specific areas of focus: depression, anxiety, substance abuse, relationship trouble, school issues, parenting concerns, mental health & wellness.

Tom began his career (now retired) as a public-school guidance counselor to help students learn to deal with social and emotional issues. Tom also initiated group and individual therapy sessions to help resolve their psychological, social and emotional issues and navigate anxiety, stress, anger and relationship issues in the school setting.  Tom worked very closely with school administration and the Child Study Team to create programs for students who needed support.

Tom is the author of the book, Disconnected: How to protect your kids from the harmful effects of device dependency. He is a regular, guest expert on many television news shows including The Today Show, and more.

Tom has also hosted television series’ for A&E Network, Food Network and National Geographic Channel, offering insight and advice about parenting, relationships and wellness.  He lectures throughout the country about these topics.

Steve Dahl

Developer of Learning Designs
Steven Dahl’s credentials include:

  • Working as a professional administrator as a federal programs director
  • Serving as a classroom Special Education teacher
  • Adjunct university faculty
  • Online professional development course instructor
  • Private educational consultant

Steve’s expertise and interest is in designing learning systems for students, professionals and systems. His focus includes classroom based practices, teacher learning, maximizing student engagement, transformative practices, and supporting teachers making transformational shifts that results in evidence of impact of student learning.

Steve has provided insight in the development phase of the Generation Text Approach and developed the learning designs for the online professional development and the online student lessons and learning activities. Steve is a integral part the team at Generation Text Online to support the customization of our professional development systems ensuring state guidelines and standards are infused into our division that handles the larger school districts.

Jen Lee

Online Instructor
Jen Lee is an online instructor for GenerationText online.