View information about the Volunteers on the 2024 trip
Secretary-Treasurer, National PTA
Shaton Berry is passionate about education, children and community, which led her to apply to the Lifetouch Memory Mission four times. She’s thrilled and honored to be a part of this year’s trip. Outside of Canada, this will be her first time traveling internationally and she is looking forward to connecting with the other volunteers and Guatemalan community.
Shaton has been involved with PTA for over 17 years and currently serves as the National PTA’s Secretary-Treasurer for the 2023-2026 term. Her passion stems from her personal experience with unique family structures. She does not have any biological children but she raised her two younger brothers, Anthony and Deontae. Professionally, Shaton is a public servant who has worked for the federal government for more than 20 years. She also serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Purposeful YOUth Detroit, a non-profit organization that focuses on the empowerment and mentoring of girls ages 6-18.
Shaton reminds us that education is the one thing no one can take away from someone else. She is excited to help build the educational infrastructure for the Guatemalan community to help strengthen their educational journey.
Dr. Shari Camhi
Superintendent, Baldwin Union Free School District
Immediate Past President, AASA
Baldwin, New York
Dr. Camhi believes educators spend their lives in service of children and communities, and thus, she is especially excited for the opportunity to serve the children of Guatemala during this mission trip. An avid traveler, Dr. Camhi finds the people and the beauty of the land to have the greatest impact on her as a person. In addition to her role as superintendent, she is an active member on several boards in public service. Upon her return, Dr. Camhi looks forward to sharing her experiences on the Memory Mission with her school community and incorporating what she learns from this humbling expedition into her district’s own vision.
Dr. Camhi and her husband Stuart have two children, Max and Eliana, and a dog named Charlie.
Liza Caraballo Suarez
National President, NAESP
Principal, P.S. 120K The Magnet School of Architecture, Engineer & Design
New York, New York
Dr. Liza Caraballo-Suarez is the President of the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the principal at P.S.120K in Brooklyn, NY.
Liza can’t wait for this year’s trip. She’s looking forward to learning how to build a sustainable bottle school and take that knowledge back home. She’s also excited to learn more about Guatemalan culture. As a native Spanish speaker herself, it’ll be an opportunity to engage deeply with the community the team will be serving. She’s also looking forward to spending time with the teachers and school staff to hear about their journeys, teaching strategies and professional preparation.
As President of NAESP, Liza travels across the country to visit members and attend state conferences. She’s looking forward to sharing her experience in Guatemala with the NAESP community and her network in New York. PS 120 is proud to be a national recognized Lifetouch School and her students are excited to create partnerships with the students she meets in Guatemala.
Liza is the proud mother of Sophia and wife of Gerson.
Principal, Woodland Elementary
Lisa has been the Principal of Woodland Elementary for the past 18 years. Lisa has been applying to the Lifetouch Memory Mission trips for more than a decade and was worried she wouldn’t get an opportunity like this until she retired. When she was selected this year, she literally jumped for joy. Although she has traveled, she has not yet had the chance to do a mission trip, which has been her lifelong dream. She is most excited to contribute to the construction of a sustainable school and to connect with the people and children of the community. She hopes to bring this experience back to her students to teach them about Guatemalan culture. Lisa has spent countless hours volunteering with her church and her school.
Operations Manager, Lifetouch, a Shutterfly Company
Farmers Branch, Texas
Stephanie believes education is the key to a better future. After applying to the Lifetouch Memory Mission for the past few years, she is excited to finally be chosen to help make a difference in this Guatemalan community through the Lifetouch Memory Mission. Stephanie volunteers at her local food bank and also as a dog walker at the animal shelter. She is most excited to connect with people in Guatemala and to take portraits of the children for their first-ever picture day.
Photography Supervisor, Lifetouch, a Shutterfly Company
Emily has been applying to volunteer on the Lifetouch Memory Mission since she started working at the company in 2017. As a major in cross-cultural missions during college, she is looking forward to her first opportunity to volunteer abroad on this year’s mission.
Emily enjoys learning about other cultures and languages and hopes to improve her Spanish on this trip. Growing up in the wooded Midwest and as an active member of her church congregation, Emily has spent time volunteering at food pantries as well as at Lifetouch events where the company team brought photo days to underprivileged youth. She’s excited about the opportunity to not only volunteer on this year’s Memory Mission but to bring a picture day to the lives of kids who have never experienced having their portrait taken.
Photo Supervisor at Lifetouch, a Shutterfly Company
To Deb, the Lifetouch Memory Mission seemed like a life-changing experience, which is why she applied for the first time this year. She was shocked to find out she was selected. While she doesn’t have international travel experience, she’s been volunteering in her community for a long-time including building children’s beds for a local nonprofit and working with the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts.
Deb’s motto is – Be open to anything. On this trip she’s looking forward to traveling out of the country for the first time, helping to build a school and assisting with the Guatemalan community’s first ever picture day.
Business Development Representative, Lifetouch, a Shutterfly Company
Hendersonville, North Carolina
Sage has been waiting for the opportunity to go on a Lifetouch Memory Mission for the past 15 years. He is excited about the upcoming trip and for the chance to meet like-minded people who will share this experience. Sage and the local Lifetouch employees in Asheville, NC, have actively participated in Help Portrait since 2010. Help Portrait is a movement that empowers photographers to capture and deliver portraits to individuals facing various challenges. Over the years, they have partnered with organizations dedicated to assisting the homeless, a shelter for battered women and children and most recently, supported the families associated with the local Boys & Girls Club. Sage is looking forward to participating in the first-ever picture day at the school in Guatemala.
Dr. Russell Dyer
Superintendent of Schools for Cleveland City Schools
Dr. Dyer loves adventure. Hiking and spending time outdoors are at the top of his list for favorite outdoor activities. The Cleveland City Schools Superintendent applied to this year’s Lifetouch Memory Mission because it would be a new adventure and he knows how a trip like this can change lives. This isn’t Dr. Dyer’s first time volunteering abroad – he’s served on mission trips to the Bahamas and Costa Rica with his church and brought high school students to Argentina. This will be his first-time visiting Guatemala. When traveling he loves to meet locals and learn about their community and culture.
Dr. Dyer is looking forward to meeting with ESL students from his district ahead of the trip to gain their perspectives on this opportunity and plans to bring his experience and learnings home to share with them. He’s looking forward to making lasting memories and building relationships with other volunteers as well as the Guatemalan community.
Staff Accountant, AASA
Tara has applied for the Lifetouch Memory Mission for a number of years and is grateful to be selected for this year’s trip. She’s most looking forward to meeting the children and their families, and working alongside the community to build a sustainable school.
Tara has traveled to Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Central America. She loves getting to know new and different cultures, especially by spending time with the locals. Outside of her work at AASA, Tara volunteers in her local community helping animals and the elderly.
Board of Directions, National PTA
Mindy Haas, a dedicated PTA volunteer for over 30 years and a member of the National PTA Board of Directors, passionately supports children and families in discovering their best selves, driving her volunteer career.
This year, Mindy eagerly anticipates the Lifetouch Memory Mission trip as a valuable opportunity to contribute to others' well-being. Selected after over a dozen applications, her enthusiasm is undiminished. She looks forward to gaining skills in sustainable school construction for an immediate impact on the community in Guatemala.
Beyond education and humanitarian efforts, Mindy is the Executive Director for the Jewish Federation of the Bluegrass, showcasing leadership. Simultaneously, she serves as a county commissioner for the Human Rights Commission, highlighting her commitment to social justice.
Mindy's multifaceted contributions underscore her as an influential figure committed to positive change.
Community Relations Manager, Lifetouch, a Shutterfly Company
Since 2007, Jan has led Lifetouch Memory Missions in their rebuilding efforts in remote areas of the country and the world. Along with Lifetouch's educational partners and employees, Jan has witnessed the enormous impact the Memory Missions have on communities and the volunteers. Jan believes that volunteering and working alongside community members in developing countries is good for the soul and provides a life-changing experience for everyone involved. Jan has built lifelong friendships through her many Memory Missions and believes it's amazing what a small group of people can accomplish if they all work together with a common goal of providing hope through education.
This is Lifetouch Memory Mission’s second trip to Guatemala. Jan is excited about the continued partnership with Hug It Forward which has taught the teams of volunteers how to use plastic bottles and inorganic trash to build community schools. She knows there will be many lessons, new friendships and ideas that the volunteers will bring back to their communities, students and families and she’s honored to be a part of the impact of the Lifetouch Memory Missions.
Dr. Susan Harkin
Superintendent, Community Unit School District 300
Susan is the Superintendent of Community Unit School District 300. Susan has participated in multiple mission trips throughout her life. She believes that it is important to give back and has been able to do so through volunteering with her church and through her local homeless shelter. Susan has been able to travel abroad many times and her greatest impression from her experiences were of how kind the people were and how much they valued family.
Principal, Talent Middle School
Katherine Holden was named the 2022 National Assistant Principal of the Year. Since then, she’s moved on to the principal role at Talent Middle School where she continues to grow professionally and lead the way for her students, teachers and community. Katherine is no stranger to international travel, and this will be her second trip to Guatemala. She believes that travel and experiencing other cultures has broadened her perspective and made her a better educator.
A volunteer at her local food bank, Katherine has also participated in a number of natural building projects – cob ovens, straw bale houses, etc. She’s also been involved with environmental projects like forest restoration. She’s looking forward to learning how to build a bottle school and seeing the impact it will have on the local community.
National President, NASSP
Principal, Benjamin Bosse High School
Aaron Huff is the President of the National Association of Secondary School Principals and in his fifth year as principal of Benjamin Bosse High School. He’s got a background in elementary, middle and high schools which give him a well-rounded perspective on school leadership.
Aaron values cultural experiences and the opportunity to serve others. He’s excited that this trip will prioritize both of those values. He looks forward to this as a learning experience that he can bring back to his students, staff and community, and inspire their service work.
This will be Aaron’s first international trip, and first mission trip. He’s an active volunteer in his community – serving as Santa at the local children’s museum, serving as a Deacon at his church and providing education training to up-and-coming educators.
Director of Children’s Lighthouse of Tuscan Lakes Early Childhood
League City, Texas
Monica has spent her entire career working in early childhood education. She also has served on numerous boards that benefit her community. This was her first time applying for the Lifetouch Memory Missions and she was thrilled to be chosen. She is most looking forward to sharing her experiences with her staff when she returns. Monica regularly volunteers in her community with various children’s charities and events. Her other passion is training other early childhood professionals and she looks forward to implementing her experience into her training sessions.
Videographer, Media Producer, River Street Creative
Eden Prairie, Minnesota
As the media producer in charge of documenting Lifetouch Memory Missions, Donnie has had the extraordinary experience of attending nearly all of the mission trips to capture the spirit of these journeys through his deeply moving videos.
The Lifetouch Memory Missions have changed Donnie’s worldview and offered him an amazing life experience. Improving the lives of people in other parts of the world is the ultimate goal of these trips, but Donnie didn't realize how much he would be improving his own life as a volunteer. When Donnie participated in his first Memory Mission, he had reservations about traveling to Kosovo. By the end of the trip, Donnie was transformed and he returned home wanting to be a better spouse, parent, and coworker. Donnie loves traveling and experiencing new cultures, traditions, and music.
Superintendent, North Country Charter Academy
Littleton, New Hampshire
Lisa has been in the education field for more than three decades, all of which have focused on serving underprivileged, at-risk students and recovered dropouts. For the past 20 years, she has spent her time at North Country Charter Academy in northern New Hampshire with two campuses covering nearly a 4,000 geographical square mile rural area, almost half the entire area of New Hampshire. She is passionate about education and knows the impact it can have on the lives of youth, communities and the world. An avid traveler, Lisa aims to learn about education in other countries. Throughout her personal travels, she has sought out opportunities to visit schools in Germany and the Dominican Republic. In addition to building connections with other volunteers and the Guatemalan community, Lisa feels privileged to have been given the opportunity to learn how to build a sustainable bottle school for a community in need.
Lisa is an active volunteer. She has served as a community member for many education and community organizations, as well as participated in her local Trout Unlimited and Bass Nation Associations and Rotary Club.
Photography Training Specialist
Eden Prairie, Minnesota
BJ applied to the Lifetouch Memory Mission trip to give back in a meaningful way and to experience the world from a different perspective. After applying multiple times, he is honored to be a part of this trip and excited to positively impact the community in Guatemala. In the past, BJ has volunteered with the organization Hearts and Hammer, and has participated in multiple food drives in his community. BJ is most excited to interact with the children and to provide them with their first portraits.
Dr. Steve Matthews
Superintendent, Rockford Public Schools
When Dr. Matthews found out that he would be attending the Lifetouch Memory Mission trip, he couldn't wait to tell his friends and family. He volunteers with his Rotary Club and he has led multiple youth groups through summer camping and hiking experiences. He is most excited to be able to create educational opportunities for the children in Guatemala. Dr. Matthews believes that education is a powerful tool for change and a significant driver of opportunity. He is also excited about the trip’s connection with his district’s Spanish immersion curriculum. He will bring back his first-hand experience of Guatemalan culture to his students and colleagues.
Dr. Kevin McGowan, Ed.D.
2023 AASA National Superintendent of the Year
Superintendent of Schools, Brighton Central School District
Rochester, New York
Dr. McGowan is the 2023 AASA National Superintendent of the Year. He has been the Superintendent of the Brighton Central School District since 2009. Dr. McGowan spent the beginning of his career in elementary education as a teacher before becoming a high school assistant principal.
This will be his first time volunteering abroad. He is thrilled to be representing the ethic of care demonstrated by his colleagues each day through this project, knowing the difference it will make for the children and families of Guatemala. Dr. McGowan is guided by the age-old advice ‘treat others the way you would like to be treated.’ This trip is an opportunity for him to carry that mission forward.
Inside Sales Supervisor, Lifetouch, a Shutterfly Company
Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Lindsay loves to travel internationally and has visited eleven different countries. She applied for the Lifetouch Memory Mission for the first time this year because of her experiences on previous mission trips through her church. Lindsay is passionate about learning about new cultures and interacting with people around the world. In addition to the mission trips, Lindsay has previously volunteered for Feed my Starving Children as well as at food banks and homeless shelters. She is most looking forward to picture day and seeing the kids light up when they see their portraits for the first time.
Dr. Jack R. Mitchell
Assistant Superintendent for Business, Valley Stream 24
Valley Stream, New York
Dr. Mitchell represents the Valley Stream Union Free School District 24 as the Assistant Superintendent for Business. He is a community leader who is passionate about strengthening educational network ties and initiating impactful advancements within society. He also founded and co-hosts the SBO Perspectives podcast to stay connected with his peers and provide insight on the multifaceted role of school business officials (SBOs). Through a conversation earlier this year for the podcast, Dr. Mitchell was inspired to apply for this year’s Lifetouch Memory Mission.
Dr. Mitchell is looking forward to creating an improved and stable classroom and school environment for the Guatemalan community. He can’t wait to learn about the process of building a sustainable bottle school and being able to share that with his community and classrooms back in New York. Additionally, Jack is excited to engage with the community while appreciating the land, tasting the food, meeting the students and participating in the overall mission.
Jack is the President-elect of ASBO, NY. He has volunteered at his local hospital and is currently a Knights of Columbus, a fraternity member, and serves as a lector and catechist.
Lead Account Specialist, Lifetouch, a Shutterfly Company
Kelli has been applying to the Lifetouch Memory Mission trips for 14 years and is excited to be given the opportunity to go on the mission this year. She is looking forward to photographing the children and providing them with photographs to share with their families for years to come. Kelli has been on multiple mission trips, including building a schoolhouse for an orphanage in El Salvador. She believes that helping people is the true source of happiness.
Dr. Stephanie Nehus
Superintendent, Hot Springs School District
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Dr. Nehus is in her 26th year in the field of education and her seventh year as a Superintendent. She deeply values education and the impact this profession allows her and others to have on shaping the minds of the future.
In addition to her career in education, Dr. Nehus has volunteered in many organizations throughout her community - from serving on the boards of local nonprofits to state educational boards, to being an active participant in her church. This will be her first mission trip experience and she’s thrilled to be part of the Lifetouch Memory Mission volunteer team.
She looks forward to experiencing a new culture, building relationships with other volunteers and the community and sharing her experience with students in her schools. Dr. Nehus oversees an International Baccalaureate district, which is centered around being globally-minded. The Memory Mission opportunity will help her serve as an example of being a servant leader in her community.
Operations Manager, Lifetouch, a Shutterfly Company
This will be Shaelynn’s first volunteer mission trip, in fact, it’s the first time she applied for the Lifetouch Memory Mission. Shaelynn has volunteered in a number of different capacities over the years throughout her community, her longest tenure being with a local dog rescue organization where she oversaw adoptions.
On this trip, Shaelynn is most looking forward to picture day. Working for Lifetouch, she knows the true power of photography and the incredible impact it can have on an individual and a family. Additionally, Shaelynn is excited to learn more about Guatemala and the community and to help make a difference in their lives.
Business Manager, William Aberhart High School
Robyn has been in the educational field for 17 years. She has always wanted to attend a mission trip and is especially excited that she will be helping the children of Guatemala. Robyn has traveled abroad before including supervising a student trip to London. In addition to her full-time position at the High School, Robyn is also a coach for Kickboxing. While she is Guatemala, she is looking forward to working on her Spanish-speaking abilities.
National Sales Executive, Lifetouch, a Shutterfly Company
New Bedford, Massachusetts
Nathan has applied to join the Lifetouch Memory Mission trips many times throughout his 19 year career with the company. As a professional photographer, travel - especially with his camera - is an extra special part of his life. While he’s traveled throughout North America and Europe, this will be his first time in Guatemala.
Nathan is big on ‘paying it forward.’ He’s looking forward to learning how to build a sustainable bottle-school alongside the community. He’s also excited about picture day. He’s participated in the picture day experience here in America, and knows that this opportunity, which is the first picture day ever for many of these students and educators, will be a highlight of his trip.
Activities Director at Millikan High School
Long Beach, California
Grant entered the educational field to help others. He loves being able to make an impact in his own community and applied for the Lifetouch Memory Mission for the opportunity to serve those outside of his community as well. He’s delighted to be a part of this year’s volunteer team.
Grant believes in living life to the fullest and this trip will allow him to do just that.
While Grant has traveled internationally, this will be his first trip to Guatemala. He’s looking forward to interacting with the community, and building relationships. He can't wait to share his experience with his students as he knows it will empower and inspire them to get more involved in their own communities.
Vice President, Development & Major Gifts
National Center of Missing & Exploited Children
Marita has been volunteering throughout her life including at Special Olympics events and at mission trips through her church. This was her first time applying for the Lifetouch Memory Mission and she is excited to go into this experience with an open heart and mind. Marita is a fluent Spanish speaker and has traveled abroad many times. Her favorite thing about traveling is meeting new people and learning about the culture. Marita’s other volunteering experiences include working at soup kitchens, delivering Thanksgiving meals, tutoring youth, and volunteering with the organization Blessings in a Backpack.
Principal, New Albany Elementary School
New Albany, Mississippi
Gwyn has been the principal of New Albany Elementary school for five years, where she’s drawn on her experience as a teacher, coach, and special education director to enact positive academic and cultural change. She will be using those skills on this year’s Lifetouch Memory Mission trip.
Gwyn believes in the power of education and recognizes that it isn’t afforded to everyone equally. She’s looking forward to the opportunity to help build a sustainable school and make education more accessible to the community in Guatemala. She’s also excited to share this experience with her students when she returns and hopes to inspire them in their own volunteer efforts.
International mission trips have been part of Gwyn’s life and volunteer work. She’s traveled throughout the United States, as well as England, Thailand, Costa Rica, China and Uganda to do mission work.
Principal, St. John Brebeuf
Nick is a Principal in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He has always had interest in participating in mission work and is thrilled his application was accepted. Nick believes that we are all called to serve others and is currently volunteering with the Knights of Columbus. Nick lived in South America for five years and looks forward to experiencing the Guatemalan culture and getting to know the other volunteers.
National Sales Executive, Lifetouch, a Shutterfly Company
Charlotte, North Carolina
As a long-time Lifetouch employee, Jason saw the positive impact the Lifetouch Memory Missions have had on communities around the world. He applied after hearing about the life-changing experiences from past volunteers. Jason is most excited to be part of a team of people from different backgrounds coming together to achieve a common goal. Jason currently volunteers locally at his children’s schools.
Jason and his wife Kellie have two kids, Ben and Jack.
Digital Marketing Strategist, Lifetouch, a Shutterfly Company
Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Hayley first took interest in Lifetouch’s Memory Mission after seeing what a positive impact the mission had on both the community and the volunteers who participated. To her surprise, she was accepted after her second time applying. Hayley has had many opportunities to travel while studying abroad and through mission trips around the United States and is excited to expand her contributions to a global level. She is especially looking forward to connecting with the Guatemalan community and watching the transformation of the school each day.
District Manager, Learning Care Group
Kelsey Taft has worked in early childhood education since she was sixteen, most of which was spent at Learning Care Group (LCG). She is honored to be part of this year’s Lifetouch Memory Mission trip and represent her community abroad.
This will be Kelsey’s first mission trip abroad. She’s excited to learn about Guatemalan culture and to help build a sustainable bottle school for the children today and the future generations it will serve. Ahead of the trip, Kelsey is planning to visit each of the LCG schools in her district to discuss the Memory Mission volunteer opportunity. Upon return, she plans to share a picture of the Guatemalan school in each community room of her schools.
Director of Manufacturing, Lifetouch, a Shutterfly Company
Rob was excited to be chosen for the Lifetouch Memory Mission because he will be the one to personally deliver the prints from the Lifetouch plant in Muncie, Indiana to the children and families impacted by this year’s mission trip. In addition to working on a building project in each community, every Memory Mission makes it a point to offer children their own personal portrait, which is oftentimes the first portrait these children have ever had taken of them. Rob was drawn to apply to go on this trip because his nephew was adopted from Guatemala and he is excited to immerse himself in the culture and the community. Rob has also volunteered as a coach for youth sports for most of his adult life.
Senior Manager, Programs & Strategic Initiatives, National PTA
Amy has been with the National PTA for over six years, but this is the first year she has been able to apply to the Lifetouch Memory Mission. She is also an active PTA member at her daughter’s school. Amy is overjoyed at being selected for this trip, as her experiences abroad have shaped who she is today. Amy has had many opportunities to travel and volunteer abroad. She has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and currently volunteers with EcoAction Arlington.
Principal, Riley Upper Elementary
Jon Wennstrom believes in the motto “service above self” and has lived that through his service to his community as an educator and the President of his local Rotary Club. Although he has traveled to many different countries, he is very excited to travel in a service capacity and share his experiences from the Lifetouch Memory Mission with his students and his community.
Assistant Superintendent for Finance/Chief School Business Official, CCSD46
Chris can’t wait to jump right in! This will be his first service trip and he is grateful for the opportunity. Originally from the United Kingdom, most of Chris’ international traveling has been throughout Europe. He’s excited to explore Guatemala, make authentic connections with the community and build relationships with other volunteers.
Chris has colleagues who have attended the Lifetouch Memory Mission in past years and is excited to be selected for this year’s trip.
Principal, Marley Middle School
Glen Burnie, Maryland
Kim first heard about the Lifetouch Memory Mission trip from a principal colleague who was able to attend prior and applied for the first time this year. She is most excited about seeing a new country and making an impact on the students and teachers of the community. Kim has traveled all over the world and is inspired by exploring areas outside of the United States. Kim believes this opportunity to serve allows her to live into the motto statement of Marley Middle School, “It takes each of us to make a difference for all of us.” She is looking forward to sharing her experience with her students and staff when she returns.