Restorative Circle

I began teaching in 1990 and have since enjoyed a rich and varied career as an educator, writer and workshop leader in nonprofit, alternative, and therapeutic settings. In addition to 23 years as a circle facilitator for adults, I have also served as a writer and president of two non-profit organizations focused on supporting people to live with purpose, love and courage.

I began practicing Mindfulness in 1986 as part of the UNH rowing team and then as a rock and ice climber, but didn't dedicate myself to a formal sitting practice until the ever-growing mountains of research on its effects made it impossible not to. A "Mindful Teaching" course dramatically improved my one-on-one work with highly challenging teens and improved my own life in profound ways. In 2014 a bike accident and resulting MTBI propelled my practice even further, as it was the only thing that improved my symptoms. The resulting changes in my life, health, and work led me to pursue a MEd at Antioch University's Mindfulness for Educators program. (Visit here for my MEd website.) Responding to interest and requests from my colleagues, I began teaching other teachers about the power of mindfulness and restorative practices in and out of the classroom.

My dedication to Restorative Practices began with my experiences as a new teacher in 1990. I did not know it was called Restorative Practices when I worked collaboratively with students to explore the harm they did and support them to find ways to repair it, or when I gathered students in circles and passed a "talking piece" to share stories, ideas and challenges, or when I responded to disruption in the class with curiosity instead of judgement. All I knew was that students who usually walked out of class to roam the halls were staying in mine. Kids who were known as "bad" kids were bringing in their class projects to show classmates. And students from different sides of the "tracks" were working well in groups. I was excited and proud of my work. But in 1995 I left education because these restorative approaches did not fit the punitive culture of most schools.

After a career as writer and circle workshop leader I returned to education in 2006. At the Centerpoint School, a therapeutic school for young people unable to function in "regular" school. For six years I worked one-on-one with traumatized or highly challenged youth. These experiences along with the 180 hours of clinical training I received provided me with priceless insight into how to work with traumatized and anxious youth. In this work I was encouraged to use a restorative, relationship-based approach that separated the "deed from the doer" and treated every human in the building with unconditional positive regard. I developed the skill to set strong and fair boundaries in the face of unexpected behaviors, all the while communicating respect and care. At CTE Essex, as an English Teacher I focused my efforts on building a community of care in my classroom where everyone built the skill, capacity and motivation to actively engage in learning and to be able to name, acknowledge and repair harm

In 2017 she received her Masters in Mindfulness for Educators focusing on the interdependence of Mindfulness, Restorative Practices, Equity and Trauma Informed Practices. She currently serves locally and nationally as lead consultant of True Nature Teaching in Vermont, founder and coordinator of the Holistic Restorative Education certificate program at Saint Michael’s College, and co-founder of Partners in Restorative Change (soon to be Starling Collaborative) A deep love for teachers and students and faith in the inherent goodness of our true nature drives her work.

I have two grown children and live with my husband and dog Molly in Underhill Center, VT.

Relevant Education, Training, & Experience

Education & Training

M.Ed. in Mindfulness for Educators, Antioch University, New England (2016)

Basic Restorative Practices (3-day), International Institute for Restorative Practices (2017)

Foundations of Dialogue Education: From Principles to Practice (4-days), Global Learning Partners (2017)

Trauma Informed Care for Professionals Working with Youth (10-hrs), Center for Adolescent Studies (2017)

Advanced Trauma Informed Care Toolkit for Professionals Working with Youth (20-hrs), Center for Adolescent Studies (2017)

Mindful Educator Essentials (6-week), Mindful Schools (2017)

Restorative Justice Summer Institute (3-days), The Community Restorative Justice Center, Inc (August, 2016)

Restorative Practices Level 1 & Level 2 Training (2-days). with Jon Kidde and Lisa Bedinger (2016-2017)

Essex Community Justice Center, Community Volunteer Training (2017)

Mindfulness for Educators Certification (5-days) with Daniel Rechtschaffen (2017)

Mindful Life Intensive (6 months), Grow Mindful Roots (2015-2016)

Mindfulness, Restorative Practices and Rites of Passage Instructor, 3-credit (2016)

Mindfulness and Restorative Practices: A Powerful Partnership, Presenter 1-Day Workshop, CVEDCVT (2016 -2017)

Transforming Teaching & Learning Through Mindfulness and Restorative Practices 3-credit, Instructor, CVEDCVT (2017-2018)

Modern Mindfulness, Level 1 and II Training (2014)

Center for Mindful Learning, Board Member, (2015 - 2016)

Research Paper: Beyond Relaxed and Focused: The Relationship Between Executive Functioning, Mindful Awareness Practices and Therapeutic Approaches in Alternative School Settings.

One-Month Meditation Retreat Intensive (2015)

Relational Mindfulness and Playful Techniques for Effectively Engaging Adolescents in School-based and Clinical Settings, Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (2014)

Mindful Teaching 3-credit, Burlington College (2014)

Rites of Passage Leadership Intensive (1-day), Rites of Passage Journeys (2007)

Community Rites of Passage Project (1-year), East Montpelier (2007)

Rites of Passage facilitation (2000-current)

Community Circles and 3-day retreats, Soul Flares, founder (2006-2013)

CircleWork Leadership Training (1-week), Institute for CircleWork (2006)

Circle Work 3-Day Retreats, Heron Dance, Leader (2000-2007)

Clients and Seminar or Training Topics

(last updated 2020)

Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program: Three-school pilot program to use RP to prevent drug abuse. Lamoille, Vergennes, CVU (2018-Present)

Bakersfield School: “Being Restorative vs. Doing Restorative” (2017) “Advanced Circle Keeper Training” (2018) “Restorative Communication” (2019)

BEST Institute: “Restorative Approaches for the Whole School” “Restorative Practices Foundations & Implementation” (2018-Present)

Burlington High School: “Building Vital Learning Communities” (2017)

Burlington School District: District Wide RP In-Service Strand (2018-2019)–Keynote Speaker 8/18, 10/18, 12/18, 3/19; Training Team Lead for four full district PL events 10/18. 12/18, 3/19, 5/19. Circle Guide development. RP Leader Team Consultant (2020-2021)

Burlington Technical Center: “Restorative Communication” (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020) “Implict Bias Training” (2018)

Center for Spiritual and Ethical Studies: “The What, Why, & How of a Restorative Approach to Discipline - Part 1” (Online 4-Part Course, 2020) “The What, Why, & How of a Restorative Approach to Discipline - Part 2” (Online 4-Part Course, 2021)

Champlain Valley Educator Development Center:

Full-Day Seminars: “Mindfulness and Restorative Practices: A Powerful Partnership” (2016), “Building a Vital Learning Community with Restorative and Mindful Practices” (2017), “The Restorative Classroom: Using Circles and Restorative Communication to Improve Learning”(2017), “The Mindful Teacher: Developing Resilience and Compassion in Challenging Times” (2018).”Restorative Responses to Harm” (2019), “Restorative Communication” (2019).

3-Credit Course: “Transforming Teaching and Learning Through Mindfulness and Restorative Practices” (2017–3 sections, 2018– 2 sections, 2019–2 sections)

Edmunds Elementary School: “Trauma Informed Restorative Practices for Paraeducators and Aides” (2018)

Edmunds Elementary School and Sustainability Academy: “Trauma Informed Restorative Practices” (2019)

Edmunds Middle School: “To Circle or Not to Circle” (2019), “Advanced Circle Keeping” (2018), “Having Difficult Conversations” (2019).

Enosburg Falls High School: “Circle Keeping for Students”

Essex High School: “Restorative Response to Challenging Behaviors” (2017)

Essex Technical Center: “Six Week Restorative Teacher Coaching” (2018)

Flynn and Hunt Elementary Schools: “Restorative Approach to Behavior” (2018) "Affect Theory" (2020)

Franklin Northeast Supervisory Union: Conflict resolution circle for leadership.

Gouverneur Central School, Gouverneur, NY: “Restorative Practices Leveraging existing strengths to build a more restorative school” (2019)

Highgate School: “Restorative Practices Building Relationship & Repairing Harm” (3-Day Institute 2018), “All School Circle Training” (2018), “CIP Team Circle Training” (2018), Site visit and assessment (2018, 2019), Faculty Conflict Resolution (2018).Monthly Faculty Modules (2019-present)

Howard Center School Clinicians: “Basic Circle Keeping” (2018), “Introduction to Restorative Practices” (2019)

Integrated Arts Academy: “Being Restorative vs. Doing Restorative” (2018)

Jean Garvin School: “Restorative Circles and The Power of Presence” (2018)

Middlesex School Board: Conflict resolution circle.

Milton School District: “Restorative Practices Institute” (2018–4-day, 3-credit) Consultant-Coach (2019-Present)

Monroe School, Monroe, NH: “The Restorative Approach Using Restorative Practices to Transform Education” (2019) (2020).

Newbury School: “The Mindful & Restorative Teacher” (2019) Faculty Modules (2020-Present), Trauma Informed Teaching (2020)

Northfield Middle School: “Circle Training” (2018)

Richford Middle and High School: “Restorative Practices: A Mindfulness-Based Approach” (2018, 3-credit course), “Restorative Practices Institute” (20-hr, 2018)

River Valley Technical Center: “Connected or Disconnected? The impact of connection on student and teacher stress and success” (2018)

Saint Michael's College: Adjunct Instructor and Director of the Holistic Restorative Education (HRE) Certificate Program

South Burlington Community Justice Center: “Circle Retreat for CJC Employees” (2018)

Springfield High School: “The Restorative Approach: Using Restorative Practices to Transform Education” "Games and Connection:The Power of Belonging" "Youth-Adult Partnership" "Trauma Informed Practices" "RP Resources" (2018-2020)

The Rainbow School: Annual Mindfulness Conference, NC: “The Power of Presence: Expanding Interpersonal Mindfulness Through Restorative Circles”

Up for Learning: “The Art of Circle Keeping for Youth” (2018)

UVM Medical School: “Mindfulness in Medicine” 2017

Williamstown: “Mindfulness: A Superpower for Educators” (2018), “The Mindful Teacher: The Power of Pausing and Connecting” (2018)

Vermont After School: “Restorative Communication Leadership Training” (2018)

Vermont Agency of Education and NEA: “Restorative Practices: Creating a Culture of Equity and Belonging” (2019)