Staff and Board Members

Meet the staff and volunteers at the heart of our organization.

We are currently accepting applications for occupational therapists to join us. Contact us if you are interested.


Nancy Lyon

Executive Director & Equine Specialist

  • University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • Elementary Education Degree - 1980
  • K-12 School Counselor Degree - 1996
  • HorsePowered Reading Certificate - 2015
  • Creator of HorsePowered Math Programs
  • Creator of HorsePowered Life Skills Program
  • Creator of the Equine Escape Rooms
  • EAGALA certified since 2014
  • Former Title One Math & Reading Instructor
  • Worked with at-risk youth for 35+ years

Kristi Bieschke

Program Assistant

  • Equine Training and Management - Ellsworth Community College, Iowa Falls, Iowa May 2006
  • Bachelor of Science in Business – Doane College, May 2011
  • Equine Program Director – Timberlake Ranch Camp, Marquette, NE
  • Wholistic Hippotherapy Center, Hastings, Nebraska (5 years)
  • Volunteer at various 4-H and therapeutic riding centers

Board Members

Jessica LaVassauer

Jessica has spent most of her life working with children, whether in church activities, as a former substitute teacher, or as a current troop leader for American Heritage Girls.
She is a mom to 3 kids and homeschools the younger two.  Her family is active in their church and our local Christian Motorcycle Association chapter. She enjoys cooking, growing their own food, and if she has some free time, she likes to sneak in some reading or sewing.
Jessica graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kearney, Nebraska in 2010 with a degree in Language Arts 7-13 and ESL (English as a Second Language).
Jessica says, "I've chosen to be a part of LyonHeart because it's made such a difference for my daughter.  She enjoys the engagement with the other kids, but especially the horses.  She is better able to self-regulate her emotions when she has frequent time with the horses."

Kali Schoff

Kali Schoff is a mom of four children (Kael, Kash, Kamden & Colby). Along with her husband, Kyle, they make their home in Holdrege, Nebraska. She is paralegal at Sig Brauer Law Firm in Kearney, Nebraska occupies her time during the day.

Kali enjoys being a part of LyonHeart Equine Assisted Learning and everything the nonprofit stands for. Her family has been greatly touched by the impact of these programs on her own child. She loves to be a part of ensuring that capability for another child who is struggling. "I am excited to be a part of nonprofit that is making a difference in the lives of children."

In her spare time, she enjoys photography, creative writing, poetry and learning everything she can about breeding quarter horses. 

Tammie Beck

Tammie has worked for over 25 years in the Human Resource Field. She specializes in Leadership Development, Emotional Intelligence, and Strengths based training. Tammie currently owns a consulting business, Center Point Solutions.  Center Point partners with agencies, organizations, businesses, and individuals to develop strategies that will enable them to maximize the potential of their workforce through impactful soft skill training.

Tammie is actively involved in the Buffalo County 4-H Equine program.

Tammie and her husband, Charles, have two grown children.

Melanie Zwiener Klingelhoefer

Melanie Zwiener Klingelhoefer is a native of Pleasanton, Nebraska. She currently resides in Amherst. Melanie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education, Secondary Education-History, Psychology and Social Sciences from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She also obtained a Masters of Science in K-12 School Counseling from UNK.

Melanie recently retired as K-12 school counselor at Elm Creek Public Schools in Elm Creek, Nebraska. She enjoys community theater, sewing, gardening, photography, reading, and coaching softball & basketball.


Are you looking for a meaningful way to give back to our community? Our goal is to increase the number to serve on our board of directors - bringing the total to seven. Could this be you?

Meet: Quarterly (Either in-person or via ZOOM)
Expectations: Help with local events.  Introduce us to prospective partners and participants.
Qualifications: We are searching for new board members with an array of backgrounds and life experiences.  There is no need to be "horse-minded". Just a willingness to help LyonHeart EAL grow to the be the best version it can be.
Helpful Skill Sets (but not limited to:

Love working with people and/or horses

Please contact us:

We would love to have you join our team!

Nancy Lyon

Nancy Lyon & her husband, Dan, are co-founders of LyonHeart Equine Assisted Learning. They have four grown children and seven grandchildren.​ Her hobbies include riding motorcycles & horses, crafts, and spoiling her grandchildren.

Nancy received a K-6 grade teaching degree and a K-12 school counseling degree from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She has recently retired from teaching  at-risk youth at the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center in Kearney, Nebraska. Her passion is creating equine-assisted educational and behavioral programs.

"Horses have a unique way of getting to the heart of the matter in an instant."