Meet the Team
Jill Apperson Manly
Co-Founder | Certified iRest® Teacher
Jill is an award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books; they are translated and distributed in 5 continents as part of Social and Emotional Learning Curricula. She has taught elementary school children in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Okayama, Japan; and Mbabane, Eswatini. She earned her BA in French Literature from Pomona College and completed language training in comprehensive Italian at Department Of State Language Center, Roslyn, VA. Before starting JabuMind, Jill owned Jabulani Yoga Studio in Corona del Mar, CA. She created and led youth yoga programs for the City of Newport Beach, CA and at local elementary schools. She is passionate about teaching, learning, and sharing. She is a certified iRest teacher. She practices and teaches somatic yoga, iRest, and yoga nidra. Her desire to promote emotionally healthy and compassionate education tools led her to start JabuMind. She joined educators, administrators and mental health specialists who shared her belief in the importance of caring for the classroom teachers. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her adult daughters, teenage sons, husband and coaching High School Girls Basketball. She likes to practice mindfulness and meditate next to her large Italian Sheepdog.
Carolyn Grabiel, M.A.
Carolyn has a background in Sales, Finance, and Counseling. She holds a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University and bachelor’s degrees in both Business Economics and Psychology from UC Santa Barbara. Before joining JabuMind, Carolyn worked for 20 years in finance as a residential loan officer for both wholesale and retail mortgage lending sales, and 5 years counseling chronic pain patients with both traditional therapy methods and biofeedback techniques. Always intrigued with the interdependence of logical/informational with intuitive/emotional brain functions, she also created and presented Stress Management Seminars for corporate clients, an area in which her blend of business and counseling expertise coalesced perfectly. While raising her children, Carolyn held leadership roles in Parent/Faculty boards and other education-related organizations at her children’s schools and a position as assistant cross-country and track coach at the high school and middle school grade levels. In this manner, she has experienced today’s educational structure from several different vantage points: parent, volunteer, and employee. In her free time, you will find her with her husband watching their son in crew races & visiting their daughter at college. She works on daily meditation in many different forms including quiet reflection, long runs or a walk on one of the beautiful beaches near her home.
Ann Rankowitz, MSW, LCSW, CPC
Ann is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Professional Life Coach with extensive leadership and management experience in the non-profit environment. She holds a master’s degree in social work from Rhode Island College. Before joining JabuMind, Ann worked in high-level non-profit leadership positions. She has expertise in supervising clinical staff and mentoring and coaching new clinicians, managers, and leaders. Ann is passionate about connecting with others whose mission is to have a powerful impact on the lives of others through meaningful change to help individuals live their best lives yet. In her free time Ann enjoys volunteering, cooking, reading and spending time with close family and friends. On the weekends Ann can be found attending vintage car shows and taking long car rides discovering the West. Ann enjoys traveling east, as often as possible, to spend time with her daughter and 3 granddaughters. She practices mindfulness by connecting with nature and practicing breathing techniques.
Taite Bergin Pauley, M.A.
Taite is a marketing and communications professional with a broad range of experience in business development, community relations, event production, and international business. She holds a master’s degree in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University and a bachelor’s in modern languages from Marshall University. Before joining Jabumind, Taite worked for twenty years in consulting, high-level meeting management, marketing, communications, and event production. She is currently Director of Marketing and Communications at Renegade Racing, a health and lifestyle sports management company in Southern California. Prior to that, Taite worked for The Cohen Group, an international consulting firm led by former United States Cabinet Member William S. Cohen. There, she assisted a diverse portfolio of clients in international business, as well as managed policy events, conferences, and global trade delegations. She has served on numerous boards and committees, including the Irvine Chamber of Commerce Executive Board and the Irvine Children’s Fund. She is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) and was named one of Orange County’s Top 40 Under 40 by OC Metro Magazine. In her free time, you will find her cooking, hiking, going to HIIT and spin classes, and enjoying epic adventures with her son and husband in the Renegade Rig, their vintage Blue Bird Bus RV. She practices mindfulness by connecting with nature and doing deep breathing exercises with her kindergartner.
Erin Swanson, M.Ed.
Content Marketing Specialist
Erin is a content marketing specialist with a background in Education. She holds a master’s degree in Education from Stanford University. Before joining JabuMind, Erin taught the first, fourth, and fifth grades for five years in both public and private schools throughout California and Oregon. As a teacher, she led her students through daily mindfulness lessons and saw the profound effects this had on her students’ wellness and focus. She also completed a certification to teach children’s yoga through The Yoga and Mindfulness Institute. With this certification, she taught children’s yoga in her own classroom and at local studios. Upon leaving the teaching profession, Erin co-founded RAISE Programs, a social-emotional program for children and their families. As the Content Director of RAISE, she crafts engaging content for children on topics such as conflict resolution, grief, and the global pandemic. Earlier in her career, Erin worked with children with autism, Down syndrome, and life-threatening illnesses at organizations built to support children with unique needs, such as Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Camps. Erin feels drawn to work that serves humanity. As a former educator who has personally seen the life-changing impact of mindfulness practice, she is eager to share the JabuMind App with teachers. In her free time, Erin enjoys paddleboarding, rock climbing, hiking, yoga, and just about any outdoor adventure she can find. If she’s not curled up at home with a good book, she’s likely out at a local lake with her husband and two dogs. She practices daily insight meditation and experiences mindfulness through moments of gratitude and time in nature.
Margarita Aguiriano Arrue, M.Ed.
Margarita is a teacher with 28 years of experience teaching children of the Los Angeles Unified School District. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education from California State University, Los Angeles. She is a California State Certified Spanish Language Teacher and currently teaches in a Dual Language class. Margarita sees many parents who have a high interest in having their children in a Dual Language Program. She sees this as an encouraging sign of respect and appreciation for all people and cultures. She has always had a desire to be of service to the children and families she serves and has been using mindfulness practices in the classroom with her students as they face socio-economic stressors daily. Margarita loves to travel and to walk her three little rescue dogs. She is a Pinterest and Teacher Pay Teachers addict. She practices mindfulness by meditating, using iRest® practices, and being present in nature even in the city.
Kathleen H. Caffrey, M.Ed.
Kathleen is an educator with experience both as a teacher and as an administrator. She holds a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Rhode Island College, a master’s degree in Elementary Education from Syracuse University, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rhode Island. Before joining Jabumind, Kathleen worked for over thirty years as an elementary teacher and principal at the elementary levels. Her teaching experience also includes preschool and the college level in five different states. She has served on a variety of educational committees, piloted several instructional programs, and participated in the writing and development of instructional curriculums and programs. Kathleen has also served multiple school districts as a school-change facilitator. In her semi-retirement, she finds balance in an active lifestyle, spending time with family and friends, often on Cape Cod, and volunteering in the schools and at the library. She practices mindfulness to retain her resilience.
Certified iRest® Teacher
Stacey Fetterman is an iRest® Level 2 Yoga Nidra Meditation Teacher with six years of experience in teaching yoga, mindfulness, and art. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication from The University of San Diego. Stacey holds her Certified Yoga Teacher (200 hours) in Power Yoga, Restorative Yoga, and Yin Yoga. Before joining JabuMind, Stacey was a full-time teacher for Jabulani Yoga. She also consulted for and had contracts with local schools, crisis centers, and recovery homes. For three years, Stacey has been an essential part of the Peer Assistance League (P.A.L.) program, and it’s TeamWork Leadership Ropes Course. She leads the yoga portion of the workshop where she teaches mindfulness, the science of the brain, and yoga poses to elementary and high school students and teachers. Stacey also received grants from UCI Law and the Center For Living Peace to teach the iRest method. She developed and led the kids’ yoga program, Peaceful Painting program, and Mind-Body -Nature Summer Camp for three years at Sherman Library and Gardens in Corona Del Mar, CA. She is a certified Creatively Fit Coach with artist Whitney Freya, a preschool teacher at the River School, and is also a professional artist who loves supporting others as they explore and play with creativity. Stacey finds joy living and creating her art surrounded by nature and animals. She practices mindfulness and present moment awareness through her art and connecting with others.
Nora Seager, PDE
Nora Seager is an educational profession with twenty-three years of classroom experience. Nora teaches in the high school level with seniors in a highly competitive public high school. Nora holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Pomona College and a Professional Diploma in Education from the University of Hawaii – Manoa. She has taught as an educator for twenty-three years, has consulted with the College Board for fifteen years, consulted with the Federal Reserve Bank and their Educational Advisory Group in 2015 and serves on the Board of the California Association of School Economics Teachers (CASET). Like most public school employees, she also served as department chair, coached sports for nine years, participated in the District Continuous Improvement Committee and serves her school site as a Union Representative. Nora enjoys spending time outdoors and modeling for her students a balanced life with athletic activities, surfing, sailing, swimming, and hiking, along with time with family. She practices mindfulness by focusing on setting a daily intention for her classroom, her students and herself.
Joel is an accomplished composer, performer, bandleader, and recording artist, as well as a guide and mentor to a number of community development and creative arts projects. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and History from DePauw University. Joel has produced six musical albums and he has performed and taught in 17 different countries. He is the founder of Roots Grown Deep, a global arts, healing and education ensemble based in South Africa; with this beautiful and talented collective, Joel facilitates co-creative collaborations with artists and grassroots community projects around the world, fusing the vocations of permaculture, healing arts and education. Joel professionally facilitates teacher training and learning for people of all ages and backgrounds through a fluid, experiential curriculum called “The Musical Ecology”. Currently, he is guiding the creation and establishment of a new youth development program and school model in Limpopo, South Africa, and he assists the coordination of a post-cyclone natural rebuilding project in Manica, Mozambique. Known lovingly as “Karabo” in his homes in southern Africa, Joel enjoys living out the art of being a human, and he’s always ready to sing a song for the children!