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2024-25 LEADERSHIP TEAM

COSEM's Leadership Team is dedicated to being changemakers within education from diverse experiences and backgrounds. Together, we explore ways to best meet the needs of our COSEM membership, and education as a whole. Board members commit to a three-year term and help drive the decisions of our organization. They provide the voice to our coalition. Please feel free to connect and contact any board member at any time. We are here to serve you. 

Board of Directors & Operational Team

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LINDSEY FRANK

President Board Chair, Operational Team Director

Special Education Teacher and former District SEL Coach in CCSD59

Educational Coach/Consultant

Illinois, USA

Lindsey Frank, M.Ed. is our 2022-2025 COSEM President. She has been in education for over 13 years working with students from early learning through eighth grade in different teaching roles. She was instrumental in developing the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Department in her district as the first districtwide Climate and SEL Coach. She has dedicated her mission to transforming education through Mindfulness-Based SEL (MBSEL). Her master's degree is in Educational Leadership, she is an MBSEL children’s book author, a special educator, a certified yoga teacher and SEL*f Facilitator through Breathe for Change, learned techniques from Mindful Schools, has her trauma-informed yoga and mindfulness speciality, is a mindfulness and meditation teacher, and is a certified Integrative Transformational Coach. Lindsey developed her company, The Butterfly Within™, to empower educators and leaders as Heart-CenterED Changemakers to create courageous, calm, and connected learning communities and lives. 

 

Connect With Lindsey Frank: 

www.TheButterflyWithin.Me

LinkedIn 

Instagram, & Twitter/X @LindseyFrank88

Facebook @TheButterflyWithin

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TRACY HEILERS

Vice-President/Treasurer, Operational Team

COSEM Founder in 2018

Illinois, USA

Tracy Heilers founded COSEM in the summer of 2018 and was Executive Director for 4 years before the Operational Team was created in 2022. For 20+ years, she has taught yoga and mindfulness to a wide range of adult and student groups in the far west Chicagoland area. She is appreciative and eager to serve and has a strong desire to use her unique talents to help the mindful education movement grow in momentum, connecting educators with mentors as well as with all of the great mindfulness-based SEL resources now available. Tracy has an engineering degree and completed her 200hr yoga teacher training in 2003, two of Mindful Schools’ online courses in 2016, and an MBSR training in 2019. 

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CATHERINE SIPHON

Co-Treasurer, Operational Team

California, USA

For the last 18 years, Catherine Siphron has been teaching at Campell Hall, a K-12 private school in Los Angeles. She currently teaches The Science of Mindfulness, Financial Literacy & Wellness, and English 10. She earned her Bachelor’s degrees from UC Berkeley in both English and Art History and her MA in English from Middlebury College. Catherine has completed Susan Kaiser Greenland’s Inner Kids Professional Training, which focuses on how to teach mindfulness to children and teens, and also received her Certification in Mindfulness Facilitation through UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center. Using her knowledge and passion for the education of our youth, she created The Science of Mindfulness, the first-of-its-kind elective for teens that earns academic credit through the Cal State and University of California systems. She also released a mindfulness series for Audible Originals entitled Press Pause: A Young Person’s Guide to Managing Life’s Challenges. As a teacher, Catherine leads meditation groups, sharing the transformative power of mindfulness with students, faculty, parents, and adults. Over the course of her teen and adult classes, she has observed how finances impact the well-being of colleagues and students alike. Completing and continuing coursework through UCLA Extension’s Personal Financial Planning Certificate Program, Catherine is a lifelong learner who joyfully share what she learns with others, from Taylor Swift’s streams of passive income to the ins-and-outs of budgeting. She created her school’s highly popular UC-approved Financial Literacy and Wellness course and launched a financial wellness curriculum for faculty and staff. She loves to hear from former students about how they have paid off student loans and reached their savings goals. In addition, Catherine does speaking engagements and corporate events. At her tiny home in the foothills of Glendale, she enjoys the outdoors with her German Shepherd whose crooked tooth smile brings her joy.

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ATHEA DAVIS

Co-Secretary, Operational Team 

Director of Social Emotional Learning, Étoile Academy Charter School, Houston, Texas 

Texas, USA

Athea Davis is the Director of Social Emotional Learning at Étoile Academy Charter School, a mindfulness educator, creator + host of the podcast, Mindful Living with Athea Davis, and author of Today’s Gonna Be Awesomesauce: Daily Meditations for Youth, Parents, and Families. Join her conversations about the intersections of philosophy, mindfulness, neuroscience, SEL, psychology, and education. She holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Policy and Leadership, is a Texas Certified Educator, an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 500), and a Children’s Registered Yoga Teacher.

 

Follow Athea on Twitter, IG, LinkedIn, and Facebook @atheadavis

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DINA EVANS

Co-Secretary, Operational Team 

Reading Specialist, Mount Pleasant Elementary School; Mindfulness Facilitator for the Brandywine School District

Delaware, USA

Dina P. Evans has been a Reading Specialist at Mount Pleasant Elementary School for the past 13 years. Holding a master's degree in reading from East Stroudsburg University, and in active coursework for Mindfulness Certification, Dina’s passion has long been promoting Mindfulness-Based SEL and the love of literacy in children.  Most recently, she has been active and engaged in bringing mindfulness to Mount Pleasant and the district, especially focused on its impact on staff and the whole child. She is an active part of helping her school become a Trauma Informed School, helping the mindset change to respond and understand the way trauma impacts a student’s availability to learn. Ms. Evans  has also been involved with the school’s family engagement team, building a school-wide MBSEL library for teachers. She is a Mindfulness-Based Social Emotional Micro-Credential graduate and continues to learn and grow in her MBSR certification and further SEL certifications.

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CARRIE ROHRBACH

Communications, Operational Team 

Former French Teacher, Educational Consultant

California, USA

Carrie Rohrbach, M.Ed., is a lifelong learner who is earning her EdD in Transformative Action in Education through the University of the Pacific. She spent thirteen years teaching French in middle and high school classrooms, and wore many hats throughout her career including administrative assistant, soccer/swimming/softball coach, library assistant, tutor, sustainability coordinator and technology support. Carrie is passionate about supporting teachers in centering their wellness through mental, emotional, physical, relational and spiritual exploration. She is certified as a yoga teacher and social-emotional workshop facilitator through Breathe 4 Change, and has earned COSEM’S Micro-Credential in MBSEL Carrie currently works as an entrepreneur, consulting for schools, coaching educators and supporting those who seek to deepen connection with themselves.

Follow Carrie on

FB: Carrie Rohrbach / Empowering Educator

IG: @empowering.educator

LI: Carrie Rohrbach

Tw/X: @EmpoweringEduc

Directors-At-Large

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DAWN BROOKS DECOSTA

Deputy Superintendent

Harlem Community School District 5

New York, USA

Dr. Dawn Brooks DeCosta is the Deputy Superintendent of Harlem Community School District 5 in Harlem, NYC where she leads the district’s Culturally Responsive and Affirming Social Emotional Leadership and Learning framework. She is the former principal of elementary school Thurgood Marshall Academy Lower School in Harlem where she focused her leadership on cultural responsiveness, social emotional learning and academic achievement. Dawn began her service of teaching 28 years ago, worked as a teacher for the NYC Public Schools teaching in Harlem, NYC for 16 years and served as principal for 11 years. Previous to that, she taught at St. Gabriel’s Catholic School in East Elmhurst, Queens. Dawn’s awards and recognitions include, Teacher of the Year 1998, Heroes of Education Award 2002 for her work with students involving the 9/11 tragedy and Outstanding Educator 2002. She is a 2015 Yale Institute Marvin Mauer Spotlight Award winner and a 2015 Cahn Fellow with Teachers College, Columbia University. Dawn’s dissertation research is entitled, “Black Principal Perspectives on SEL and CRSL in Urban Schools: The Role of Beliefs, Values and Leadership Practices. Dawn’s published work includes a 2016 article titled, Museum Cultural Ambassadors Parent Engagement through Museum and School Partnerships, the 2019 article entitled, Cultural Awareness and Self-Awareness at Thurgood Marshall Academy, the 2021 journal article, An Unwavering Commitment to CRSE and SEL, a Columbia University’s 2022 journal article entitled, Reimagining Education: Restore, Rebuild, Curate, Uplift, and Celebrate and a 2023 chapter in the book, From Being Woke to Doing the Work: Using Culturally Relevant Practices to Support Student Achievement & Sociopolitical Consciousness entitled, Restoring the Village Through Radical Self Care. ​Dawn holds an EdD and M.S. in Educational Leadership, from Teachers College, Columbia University, an M.S. in Fine Art Education, Queens College and a B.S. in Education, from St. John’s University.

Follow Dawn on

IG: @decostadawn

LI: Dr. Dawn Brooks DeCosta

Tw/X: @DeCostaDawn

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DARREN "DEE" DUBOSE

K-12 Educator, Researcher, and Community Organizer

Michigan, USA

Darren "dee" Dubose is a K-12 educator, researcher and community organizer. Born in the rural Black Belt of Alabama, his journey was impacted by federalism that limited his opportunity to the American dream. A graduate of Alabama State University and Texas A&M University, he started his educational career at The Calhoun High School as a physical education teacher before relocating to KIPP Texas Public Schools as a middle school reading teacher. As an antiracist teacher leader, he witnessed many marginalized students' dreams deferred by similar inequities of his educational experience. With that at the center of his work, he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Education Policy at Michigan State University, where his research interests are interconnected with the race and space of Black populations. In particular, he's interested in the functionalities of social emotional learning, SEL, as space of torture for Black boys. To that end, he hopes to use his scholarly research and experiences to understand schooling for Black boys while developing an inclusive SEL framework and curriculum to support Black male students across the United States of America. 

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CAMELIA (MIMI) FELTON

Yoga Professional (Mimi’s Yoga Kids)

Georgia, USA

Camelia (Mimi) Felton is a BYTA (Black Yoga Teacher Alliance) and a Yoga Alliance RYT500, E-RYT200, YACEP, a KAY (Kidding Around Yoga) Certified Kids Yoga Teacher, a Certified Meditation Instructor, a YBB (Yoga Behind Bars) certified Trauma-Informed Yoga Instructor & a Reiki ll Practitioner. She is also currently enrolled at Prema Yoga Institute to become a certified Yoga Therapist. Mimi started Mimi's Yoga Kids in 2018 after realizing the many benefits of doing yoga with her young grandson. She knew that this was something that kids and their families needed. She couldn't find what she wanted so she decided to create it! She currently has a community yoga/wellness space in Peoplestown, a community in Atlanta, Georgia. She offers free yoga/wellness practices to the community and surrounding areas. She is very excited to share all these wonderful practices with children and their families. She wants to share her knowledge with the world to cultivate awareness on how these wonderful practices can teach all of us, especially our children, MINDFULNESS, INNER PEACE, MEDITATION & IMAGINATION!

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Follow Mimi on Instagram: @MimisYogaKids

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KAILYN FULLERTON

International Educational Consultant

Jakarta, Indonesia

Kailyn Fullerton is an educational consultant passionate about supporting teachers, schools and families with the integration of mindfulness-based SEL into their systems of practice. Coming from a background in teaching young children in international schools, Kailyn values play, curiosity, and presence in teaching and learning. On her journey to develop her own mindfulness-based SEL competencies, she completed multiple courses from Mindful Schools and a graduate certificate in Positive Education. Kailyn holds a Master's in Mindfulness for Educators and is currently completing her EdD with a specialization in SEL from Antioch University, where her research focuses on the influence of MBSEL practices for educators. She is a certified mindfulness meditation teacher, and also holds SEL facilitator certifications from the organizations SEE Learning and 6 Seconds. She recently published a book chapter called Integrating SEL into Online Learning for Lower Elementary Learners in an International Context in the book “Exploring SEL in Diverse Academic Settings” and has also written for Edutopia. Born in Canada, Kailyn currently lives as an expatriate in Jakarta, Indonesia with her partner and four bonus children.

 

Follow Kailyn on Twitter or LinkedIn @kaifull

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ASHLEY GIBSON

K-12 Educator, Founder of Interior Learning

Texas, USA

Dr. Ashley Gibson is a veteran K-12 in-service educator in Houston, TX. Her areas of passion and expertise include building capacity for teacher critical consciousness and restorative practices. She earned her doctorate in Learning and Organizational Change at Baylor University where her research and writing centered on intersectional learning communities, restorative practice facilitation, and enacting culturally sustaining pedagogies. She has taught in a variety of K-12 classroom settings, including advanced placement rhetoric and composition, and social action. Dr. Gibson’s broader research and writing interests are included at the intersections of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB). She also serves as a curriculum team member of Houston’s Project Curate, a faith-based social justice and activist collective, and enjoys reading, writing, teaching Zumba, and hanging out with her two cats James Baldwin and Mandy.

 

Follow Ashley on

FB: Ashley Gibson / Interior Learning

IG: @Interior_Learning

LI: Ashley Nicole Gibson

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DREW GILES

Director of Quality Enhancement & Professional Development

Oakland Unified School District

California, USA

Dr. Drew Giles is a dedicated leader for equitable, high-quality early childhood education, bringing together his expertise in systems-thinking, developmentally appropriate practices, mindfulness, and trauma-informed practices to support the holistic development of young children and their families and educators. In 2023, Dr. Giles co-authored the book, "Trauma Informed Practices for Early Childhood Educators," a resource dedicated to guide childcare providers and early educators working with infants, toddlers, preschoolers and early elementary-aged children to understand trauma as well as its impact on young children’s brains, behavior, learning and development. Drew thrives at building innovative, thoughtful, human-centered, and sustainable systems focused on collaboration, conflict resolution, and relationship building. Drew’s multifaceted background and unwavering commitment to early childhood education continue to make a positive impact in the lives of children, families, and educators alike. Drew completed his Ed.D. doctoral research study focused on mindfulness-based professional development in early childhood education settings. Dr. Giles currently serves as Director of Quality Enhancement & Professional Development in Oakland Unified School District in Oakland, California.

Follow Drew on

FB: Drew Giles / Healing Minds Collective
LI: Drew Giles

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CRAIG MARTIN

Award-Winning Teacher & Leader, Founder & CEO of CCM Education Group

Massachusetts, USA

Craig Martin, Founder & CEO of CCM Education Group, is an award-winning teacher & school leader with 20+ years of experience in urban education serving as a mentor, instructional coach, teacher developer, and professional learning facilitator. Martin also works with groups, individuals, and organizations to create bold and joyful solutions that amplify equity and belonging. Craig is also the co-host of SELinEDU, The Podcast. Craig is also a part of the Transformative Educational Leadership (TEL) Fellowship.

 

To learn more about Craig, visit: craigcmartinleads.com

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KRISTI MORALE

Founder, The Innocent Brown Girl Project

Texas, USA

Dr. Kristi Morale, a passionate educator, realized her dream of becoming a teacher early on, even organizing neighborhood summer camps as a child. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Dillard University and embarked on a teaching career. In Houston, she excelled with 4th and 5th-grade students, assuming leadership roles and completing a Master’s Degree in Multiple-Subject Teaching from the University of Southern California. After 14 years in the classroom, Kristi transitioned to a role as a Teacher Behavior Specialist in the Social and Emotional Learning department of a local district. Kristi recently defended her dissertation at Texas Southern University; her research focused on the impact of social-emotional learning practices on the discipline rates of African-American middle school girls. Inspired by her findings, she founded The Innocent Brown Girl Project, an educational consulting firm specializing in curriculum development and professional development for educators and advocates of Black and Brown Girls and gender-expansive youth. Currently, Dr. Morale serves as a Guidance Facilitator supporting the well-being of middle school scholars and educators. Kristi is a nationally recognized speaker and the host of The TeachHER Podcast, where she interviews experts in the field of girls' education and empowerment.

 

Follow Kristi

FB: The Innocent Brown Girl Project

IG: @theinnocentbrowngirlproject

LI: Dr. Kristi Morale

Tw/X: @theIBGP

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YUSRA (SARAH) SAID

ELL English Teacher in U46

Illinois, USA

Sarah Said is an educator who has served in various roles: teacher, assistant principal, dean, curriculum coordinator and multilingual coordinator. Sarah is an advocate for the students she serves and is a strong voice in education. She currently works in Elgin School District U-46 as an ELL English teacher at the district's Alternative High School- Dream Academy. Sarah started her mindfulness journey years ago when we served as a district administrator- she saw she needed to work on herself and began practicing yoga. During the pandemic, Sarah wanted to support students and families in their mindfulness journey and became a 200 Hour Certified Yoga Instructor through Breathe for Change. She is currently working on her 500 Hour Certification. Sarah runs Yoga, Tea and Justice, an organization she has just begun to support women, particularly Muslim Women in their Mindfulness and Yoga practice. She has been published in various publications such as Edutopia, Learning for Justice, EdWeek, Teaching Channel, and Confianza.

 

Follow Sarah on Twitter/X @MrsSaid17.

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DENISE SCHIRA

Former Assistant Superintendent, NYC Department of Education

Founder and Educator, Wellness Education

New York, USA

Denise Schira is a former New York City Department of Education Assistant Superintendent that served over 1,000 schools and thousands of staff, students, and families in over 30 districts across four boroughs for over 30 years as teacher, school administrator, central director, and master trainer. She is an Executive Board Director for the New York Academy of Public Education and continues to support and impact communities and promote mental and physical wellbeing and positive culture and climate as a mindfulness, yoga, somatic movement, restorative practices, social emotional learning, and crisis de-escalation specialist, practitioner, and master trainer offering culturally responsive trauma informed professional and personal learning opportunities and wellness sessions to schools, districts, institutions, teams, and communities. Ms. Schira has served as Board Director and Chair on multiple renowned city, state, and national Executive Boards- including the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators and the New York State Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents which she co-founded and served as the lone Latina Executive Officer- and was the first lifetime member of the national Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents. Denise graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from Cornell University as a Cornell Tradition Fellow and obtained a Master of Science in Education for Early Childhood Leadership at Bank Street College of Education. She is a published author and has been recognized and honored by various organizations for her excellence in educational leadership and outstanding service and impact. 

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KALEE THOMPSON

K-12 Educator

American Embassy Schoo

New Delhi, India

Kalee Thompson is a mother to two darling and spunky children, a yoga + meditation teacher, a holistic educator, and an elementary school counselor at the American Embassy School in New Delhi, India. Kalee is a Transformative Educational Leadership Fellow and a featured meditation teacher on the Insight Timer app. In 2022, she gave a TEDx talk on “The Oh so Simple and Life-Changing Power of Gratitude”. Kalee is passionate about whole-school wellness and has led countless workshops for faculty, students, staff, and parents on the topic. In the summer of 2024, Kalee will publish her first book called One Breath at a Time: A Sacred yet Practical Guide to Living with Presence and Purpose as an Educator. It has been Kalee’s honor to teach mindfulness practices around the world in private + public schools, homeless shelters, studios, backyards, and festivals. Gratitude is her religion and being present is her life’s work. To nourish her soul, Kalee loves spending time in nature with her family, riding horses, and designing dresses made of beautiful Indian textiles.

Follow Kalee on

IG: @kaleethompson

LI: Kalee Thompson

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JAMIE WASSER-GOFORTH

Founder, All About MMEE (Mindfulness, Meditation, Education, Exploration) LLC

Illinois, USA

Jamie has been an educator for 25 years. She has been fortunate to work in the public, private, and parochial systems. She focused her skills with at-risk preschoolers, low income / mission school elementary age students in East St. Louis, and two county safe school programs for grades 6-12. She has a BS double major in Speech Communication / English Language Arts and a minor in Psychology from SIUE. In 2018, she incorporated Mindfulness Based SEL in her classroom. She completed the 4 Foundation Classes through Mindful Schools. She studied with Fleet Maul and the Engaged Mindfulness Institute from 2023-2024. She graduated in June 2024 as a CMT-P (Certified Mindfulness Teacher Professional Level 300+ hours) and is a registered member with IMTA (International Mindfulness Teachers Association). She is the owner and sole operator of All About MMEE (Mindfulness, Meditation, Education, Exploration) LLC. She trains educators, first responders, medical professionals, and the general public on the importance of Mindfulness.

FB: Jamie B. Wasser-Goforth / Mindfulness, Meditation, Education, Exploration 

IG: wasserjamie 

LI: Jamie Wasser-Goforth 

Advisor of Equity and Inclusion

  • Tovi Scruggs-Hussein, Past COSEM President, CEO Tici'ess Inc, Former Principal, Oakland, CA

Advisory Team (alphabetical order; contact us to join):

  • Laura Bakosh, Inner Explorer

  • Khayree Bey, Former COSEM Board Member, Middle School Health Teacher, Colonial School District, DE

  • Kristie Brendel, Assistant Professor of Social Work at Aurora University

  • Gina Beigel, Stressed Teens​​​

  • Annmarie Chereso, Conscious Leadership Advisor, BringIt! Home​

  • Jennifer Cohen Harper, Little Flower Yoga

  • Matt Dewar, Past COSEM President

  • Cheryl Dodwell, Peace of Mind

  • Mike Fauteux, GiveThx

  • Kathy Flaminio, MoveMindfully

  • Lisa Flynn, Yoga 4 Classrooms

  • Mary Furbush, Executive Director, CASE DuPage

  • Jim Gillen, Yoga Calm

  • Ashley Green, Senior Program Manager, Action for Healthy Kids

  • Ohilda Holguin, Former COSEM Board Member, Educational Consultant and Trainer, NYC, NY

  • Michele Kane, Former COSEM Board Member, professor, Northeastern Illinois University

  • Anne Kasa, Former COSEM Board Member, Regional Office of Education 9 in Illinois

  • Theo Koffler, Mindfulness Without Borders

  • Barbara Larrivee, Former COSEM Board Member, former professor, Rhode Island College & California State University

  • Meghan LeBorious, Former COSEM Board Member, High School SEL Coach & Mindfulness Teacher, Brooklyn, NY

  • Jill Apperson Manly, JabuMind

  • Renee Metty, With Pause

  • Miriam Ojaghi, Former COSEM Board Member, SEL Consultant​​​, Dekalb Regional Office of Education, IL

  • Brendan Ozawa-de Silva, Associate Director for SEE Learning, Emory University

  • Amy Saltzman M.D., Association for Mindfulness in Education, The Still Quiet Place

  • Laurie Seidel, Former COSEM Board Member, Roanoke City Public Schools

  • Deb Smolensky, Mindful City Project

  • Barnaby Spring, Former Director of Mindfulness in Education, New York City Department of Education

  • Matt Weld, Former COSEM Board Member, Regional Offices of Education in Illinois

COSEM Advisory Team

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