Heartland Staff


Candice R. Greenwade M.Ed. 

Head of School 

Candice Greenwade is a visionary leader in the field of education who is committed to the needs of youth and families. She serves as Executive Director and Head of School for Heartland High School.


She was previously the Director of Youth and Family Services at the Columbus Urban League, where she was responsible for overseeing economic opportunities and community change for public system reform. Under her leadership, she pioneered a summer-work program for inner-city youth and developed strategies and systems to ensure economically challenged youth were provided stability and opportunities. 


Candice’s previous work in behavioral health allows her to have a unique perspective when meeting with Heartland’s students and families. At Pomegranate Health Systems Acute Hospital and Center for Psychiatry, she lead the Community Psychiatric Supportive Treatment team. Prior to her tenure at Pomegranate, she served as a Treatment Manager at Pastoral Counseling Service of Summit County. Candice also served as the Educational Director at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, and as an Academic Advisor for the Strive for Excellence Program at her alma mater, the University of Akron.

Leslie Headshot.png

Leslie MacNabb


For the last 16 years Leslie MacNabb has been an Intervention Specialist for middle and high school students. Her greatest fulfillment as a teacher is seeing growth in students in both academic and emotional intelligence.

Leslie has witnessed the benefits of good treatment in a loved one's recovery, who is now working as a counselor! She strives to break down the shame and stigma that often surrounds the recovery community by making her students feel welcomed.


She is also a trained yoga, meditation, and mindfulness teacher and Leslie loves teaching teens self awareness and coping skills. When not in school, Leslie enjoys being a soccer mom and attending concerts.

jen headshot_edited.jpg

Jennifer Belemu, PRS

Student Engagement Coordinator

With 11 years of experience working with teenagers in recovery at MaryHaven Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center, Jennifer Belému brings a unique and vital perspective to Heartland High School as Student Engagement Coordinator.

Most importantly, however, she is a living example of thriving in recovery. Jen's passion for healthy, productive and meaningful personal growth is evidenced in everything she has done over the last 20 years in sobriety. Jen is committed to supporting students' recovery process through diverse avenues such as nutrition education, therapeutic community development, and positive social activities.

Laine Kolesar, MSSW 

Pathway Program Manager

Laine Kolesar brings a passion for both clinical social work and program development to the Heartland team. Laine has worked primarily as a school-based social worker, in both Columbus and New York City.
She has always been passionate about supporting students in addressing their barriers to academic achievement, whether it is substance use and other mental health struggles, or environmental barriers
such as family conflict, lack of resources, and other systemic and institutional issues.

Laine’s experience as a clinician exposed her to the need for effective programs for individuals struggling
with addiction in the Columbus community. 

At Heartland, Laine works to continually develop and improve the Pathway program, supporting students in their eventual goal of attending Heartland High School.


Alicia Berkemer

Director of Enrollment & Office Administrator

Alicia Berkemer is a sought after professional in the field of mental and behavioral health administration. 

Alicia came to Heartland High School in early 2020 after 3+ years at the Murphy Thomas Foundation. At the Foundation she managed multiple departments to ensure the Foundation was meeting its mission to serve families and children affected by autism. Prior to that Alicia, spent 5+ years overseeing the billing and quality control functions at Pomegranate Health Solutions.

Alicia prides herself on building and mentoring strong teams, while always going above and beyond to ensure mission fulfillment is top of mind in all of her daily activities and interactions with faculty, students and parents. 

Alicia is a proud life-long resident of Central Ohio, and lives with her husband and their two daughters in Grandview.