Meet Our Team
Gail M. Curran, MS, MBA, CEP
Therapeutic and Educational Placement Professional & Parent Coach
President & CEO
Gail M. Curran, MS, MBA, CEP is the principal independent educational & therapeutic placement consultant for Optimal Edu Options. She concentrates on the therapeutic and learning needs of children, teens, and young adults with behavioral, emotional and learning differences, including those involved in the juvenile system.
Gail has over 25 years of experience working with residential and day treatment programs for special needs students in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Arizona. Her work in residential treatment centers ranged from direct care to executive level management which allowed her to have a different perspective on types of therapeutic placements that are the best options for families. She possesses and specializes in comprehensive knowledge in finding the best options for struggling teens and young adults in the Phoenix and Tucson areas, as well as all of Arizona and across the United States of America.
Gail has been working in the profession of educational and therapeutic placement consulting since 2012. She earned professional member status of the Independence Educational Consultants Association (IECA) in 2015, and in 2017 was honored with the distinguished certification from the American Institute of Certified Educational Planners (AICEP). The certification sets the standard for professional educational advisors not only in knowledge and experience but ongoing professional development. There is no higher mark of distinction in the profession.
As part of her assessment process, she travels extensively across the country to evaluate boarding and therapeutic boarding schools, struggling teen programs, young adult programs, and other treatment facilities. Gail has a Master’s Degree in Human Development and Family Studies, in which she wrote her thesis on attachment disorders in children who experience trauma, loss, and separation from biological caregivers. She also holds an MBA in Organizational Leadership.
She is a member and serves on the board of ATTACh (Association for Training on Trauma and Attachment in Children). Her colleagues describe her as passionate, committed and determined to help youth, adolescents and young adults.
- Certified Educational Planner AICEP (American Institute of Certified Educational Planners)
- Professional Member IECA (Independent Educational Consultants Association)
- Professional Member NATSAP (National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs)
- Professional Member ATN (Attachment & Trauma Network)
- Certified Parent Coach CPC (Parent Coach Trainers Academy)
- AZ-PA (Arizona Psychological Association)
- SBSA (Small Boarding School Association)
- SSAT (Secondary School Admission Test)
Young Adult Life Coach, Mentor & Advisor
A graduate of the University of Rhode Island with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and a former native of New England, Matt moved to Arizona in 2009.
Matt worked for a Fortune 500 company for twenty-three years in a sales position before transitioning to education. After spending too many years chasing monthly budgets, his primary motivation was to do something meaningful. Matt taught in a therapeutic residential school in Massachusetts for three years. He was an Economics teacher and responsible for outdoor challenge elective. Activities included white water rafting, fishing, camping, and hiking. There was always a waiting line to get into his elective, as it was the school’s most popular.
In 2009, Matt joined a young adult independent living program as a student advisor. In this role, he helped students achieve their independent living, career, educational, social and community involvement goals. He also taught “Basics of Financial Awareness” and “Financial Decisions for the Future” where he utilized his professional and real-life experiences.
In 2017, he joined Gail’s educational consulting practice, assisting her on the business side of things. He also works as an Advisor, Mentor and Life Coach for Young Adults.
Matt is an avid Boston sports fan. His other interests include fishing, physical training, golfing and any outdoor activities.
Educational & Therapeutic Placement Consultant, Life Coach & Advocate
DeAnna Granado is a graduate of Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Administration of Justice. Originally from Southern California, DeAnna moved to Arizona 22 years ago to attend ASU and has an extensive background in the criminal justice field with an emphasis on the juvenile and mental health population.
DeAnna’s background includes an array of experience working with juvenile offenders, residential treatment facilities and post-secondary programs for young adults, for over 15years. More recently, as a Manager of Business Operations, she wore many hats, which also included teaching and advising young adults transitioning into independence. The emphasis was to encourage and empower young adults into independence. This was accomplished by teaching life skills classes and coaching. In addition, as a student advisor, she helped students strive to achieve their goals with a primary focus on a career, education and social integration.
DeAnna joined Gail’s practice in 2019, as an education consultant and assisting with life coaching for young adults. DeAnna works in collaboration to provide a different perspective on the best therapeutic placement and options for families.
DeAnna and her husband have four children and enjoy cooking, being outdoors and traveling.
Brady, our certified therapy dog is a fun-filled explosion of energy that our students and clients love to pet and play with. She especially loves to play catch and chase a ball, or just lay by your side or on your feet.