Board of Directors

A spirited and talented group of community members joined forces in 2008 to form the Mind Matters Board of Directors.

Jerry Lucas, Chair
Janet Orvis Cook, 
Vice-Chairperson
Nancy Tiffany,
 Treasurer
Carol Hart and Mona Kayton,
Co-Secretaries
Jan Alcalde



Jan Alcalde, Board Member Since 2011

We are fortunate to have attracted a stellar staff at Mind Matters, all of whom are part-time, but work with full-time heart and dedication to make a difference in the lives of the families we serve.”
— Jan Alcalde

Jan earned a BA in English and a Lifetime K-9 Teaching Credential from San Jose State University, an MS in counseling and a Pupil Personnel Services Credential from Sacramento State University, and a Preliminary Administrative Services Credential from Stanislaus State University.  She moved to Murphys in 1972 and retired from the Vallecito Union School District in 2004 after 32 years of service teaching, school counseling, and assisting with curriculum development. She also taught modules for, and supervised interns in Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties’ credentialing programs.


Janet Orvis Cook, Vice Chairperson, Board Member since 2016

It is immensely rewarding to be a part of a solution to help families enable their children to learn the necessary skills and behaviors that allows them to live productive and independent lives.”
— Janet Orvis Cook

Janet Orvis Cook has been a member of the Mind Matters Board since April of 2016, rejoining the Board after a hiatus of 2 years. She previously served on the Board for 5 years. Janet is retired from a 40-year career in early care and education. Most recently she was the Executive Director of the Stanislaus County Office of Education's Child & Family Services Division. Previously, she was the Assistant Executive Director for the Human Resources Council, Inc. (HRC), HRC Calaveras Head Start / State Preschool Program Director for 15 years, a Child Development / Early Childhood Education Adjunct Instructor for San Joaquin Delta College and Columbia College, and worked in the Early Childhood and Social Services field for various non-profits. 

Janet is also a trainer and consultant in strategic planning, leadership, management, and systems development and implementation. She has a B.A. degree in Child Development / Special Education and a M.S. degree in Early Childhood Administration. Her honors and awards include the Jean Harrell Memorial Practicum Award, Scholar in Residence: Outstanding Leadership as a Graduate Student in the Field of ECE, the Renee Kaplan Scholarship Recipient for Outstanding Child Care Director, and a Head Start-Johnson & Johnson Fellow at UCLA. She has presented at numerous conferences on subjects as varied as Critical Thinking, Strategic Planning, to Child Discipline.


Jerry Lucas, Chair, Board Member Since 2011

I am energized by helping Mind Matters because of what we do for clients and their families.”
— Jerry Lucas

Jerry retired in 2004 after a career as a financial executive with the Postal Service.  He received a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Santa Clara University and a BSEE from the University of California. He worked as a nuclear engineer for five years prior to joining the Postal Service and served in the Navy as a nuclear submarine officer. Jerry is also the treasurer for the Murphys Community Club non-profit and for both the Angels-Murphys Rotary Club and Foundation.


Nancy Tiffany, Treasurer, Board Member Since 2017

Nancy Tiffany received an Associate of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education from West Valley College in the San Francisco Bay Area, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology (of the family) from San Jose State University. She received her Master’s Degree in Human Resources and Organization Development from the University of San Francisco in 1984.

Nancy’s career for many years was in human resources, working for several large corporations in the computer industry. In addition, she taught in graduate and undergraduate programs for the University of Southern California, University of Denver, and University of Phoenix. She served on the Disability Commission for the City of San Jose in the early nineties. In 2004, she moved to Calaveras County and was the director of a nonprofit program for young children. She went on to provide human resources consulting services and taught at a vocational college until she retired in 2016. She is now devoting her time to volunteering in the community, gardening and quilting.


Carol Hart, Secretary, Board Member Since 2018

Carol grew up in the Bay Area where she received her Associate of Arts Degree and then moved to her family’s favorite vacation area in Calaveras County.  She graduated in 1988 from USF at an off-campus program in Sonora, getting her Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Studies and Credential to teach.

She recently retired from Vallecito Union School District after teaching 2nd and 3rd grades for 30 years in which the Mind Matters staff came in to support children at the school. She often attended many brain conferences which specialized in learning to work with students with learning disabilities, autism, and ADHD.

Carol (and her husband), have 2 grown children and have lived in the area for more than 35 years. Because she had seen students succeed through support from Mind Matters, she was happy to joins the Mind Matters Board in the summer of 2018.


Mona Kayton, Board Member Since 2012

It is a privilege to be part of this organization and support them in their mission. They are a valuable community resource.”
— Mona Kayton

Mona is a 32 year veteran teacher of Special Education in Calaveras County.  She has been a dedicated and caring teacher of students with learning disabilities, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders and emotional disorders.  She has designed curriculum and managed hundreds of IEP's over the years and passed the Department of Education's HQ standards as a Highly Qualified teacher.

Recognized for her dedication, she was voted teacher of the year in 2009 in Calaveras.  She has also served as a mentor to other teachers, as the chairperson for Bret Harte Grad night and other volunteer positions in the community.