Erin Smith, PhD

Executive Director

Erin Smith, PhD, is a dedicated advocate for high-quality mental health care and education, based in Prescott, Arizona, United States. With a firm belief in the transformative power of education and compassionate mental health services, Erin has dedicated her career to nurturing individuals’ creativity, intelligence, and capacity for happiness.

Her doctoral research focused on trust in teacher-principal relationships in therapeutic environments, with a particular emphasis on reducing burnout and compassion fatigue among educators. This research laid the foundation for a leadership model designed to enhance well-being in educational settings.

Erin’s journey in education began in 2008 when she joined Spring Ridge Academy as an English teacher. Her passion for creating tailored educational experiences for students in therapeutic schools led her to co-develop a curriculum centered around internal motivational strategies. Her exceptional dedication and innovative approach earned her recognition as a Claes Nobel Top Ten Teacher of the Year in 2014.

Serving in multiple leadership roles, with a focus on operations, Erin collaborates with executive, clinical, academic, and residential teams, leveraging the latest research to develop and implement best practices in programming, human resources, accreditation and legal compliance, and finance. Her aim is to create a culture of growth and evolution for all involved, while making mental healthcare more accessible and affordable.

Erin holds a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Educational Leadership and Administration, an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in Educational Leadership and Administration, a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Secondary Education and Teaching, and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English Language and Literature. With her extensive expertise and unwavering commitment to improving mental health care and education, Erin Smith continues to make a profound impact in her field.