Become a CASA Advocate
Staff Directory 2023

East Texas CASA Board of Directors 2023

 Main Office: (903) 753-8093  • Fax: (903) 753-4841 

East Texas CASA 2023 staff


Michelle Cobern

Executive Director of East Texas CASA

I joined East Texas CASA on October 10, 2022. I have been blessed with the privilege of serving children in the foster care system for almost 11 years. It is very exciting to work with a gifted group of men and women, on Staff and as Advocates, that share the same passion of serving EVERY child in foster care system in Gregg, Rusk, and Upshur Counties! Developing partnerships and working collaboratively with others, we can ensure that no child is left alone without a supportive adult or given a voice while trying to navigate the foster care system. If you or someone you know would like to join the talented group of East Texas CASA Advocates and fulfill the vision and share your passion for serving children, please give me a call!  I look forward to serving children in Gregg, Rusk, and Upshur Counties, and I hope you will join me.


Ariel Angel – Advocacy Director

Ariel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology from Stephen F Austin State University. Ariel has a wealth of knowledge about children and families. Ariel was employed with Child Protective Services from August 2014- February 2021. She has seven years of conservatorship caseworker experience. Ariel prides herself on her strong work ethic, coupled with her dedication to the children she serves. Ariel grew up in a small town, Eustace, where she graduated high school. After college moved to Longview where she met and married her husband, Erik. Ariel and Erik have a daughter, Landon. As a family they enjoy going on vacations, especially the beach!


Autumn Derrick- Training Director 

Autumn holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Health & Kinesiology from the University of Texas at Tyler. Autumn has a heart for serving her community and the children and families that call East Texas home. Autumn is dedicated to the mission of CASA and hopes that we can serve 100% of the children and families navigating the foster care system in her community. Autumn enjoys reading, outside activities with her son and husband, and riding her horse Charlie. She has started a small Homestead with chickens, bunnies, dogs, and a HUGE garden.


Chris Derrick- Development Director 

Chris has a background in Insurance and helping businesses build their company from the ground up. He has an incredible skill of talking to people and makes you feel as if you have known him forever. Chris has a heart for serving his community and giving back in any way possible. He hopes that everyone in his community will hear about CASA and the work that they do with children and families that are navigating the foster care system. Chirs likes to do research, kayak with his wife and son, and work on his small Homestead.


Angelica Higueros- Advocate Supervisor 

Angelica (Ange) has been with CASA for over 5 years. She adopted her son from foster care, so she has been on both sides of the table in the foster care system. She became a CASA because her son had different caseworkers and placements, but his CASA remained the same throughout his time in foster care. Ange is bilingual. She likes to shop and has a love for shoes and purses.


Jennifer Goodson- Advocate Supervisor 

Jennifer graduated from Texas A&M- Texarkana. She was employed with Child Protective Services from 2007-2018. She has experience with casework, investigations, Family Based Safety Services, as well as supervisory experience. Jennifer has a tremendous passion in helping others, especially children. She currently lives in a small East Texas town of Hughes Springs, where she grew up. She is married to her husband Jimmy. They have 2 children and 4 grandchildren. They Love to camp, garden, and attend all of the grandchildren’s events.