2020-21 LEADERSHIP TEAM
We are always on the lookout for passionate educators willing to commit to 3 year-long, July-July terms on our all-educator Board of Directors. This commitment entails attending 4-5 online Board meetings per year as well as volunteering at our annual conference. The Board steers our nonprofit, helps develop new resources for our members, and makes key decisions regarding our professional membership and annual conference. Each director is assigned a specific area to oversee during their tenure.
We are also seeking a diverse cross-sector Advisory Team to help us reach our fullest potential as a nonprofit. Well-established nonprofits that also serve youth will be highly valued support, as well as law, accounting, financial, grant, policy-makers, and technology experts with a passion for our mission.
Professional members can also help out without being on either of these. All are welcome to be part of our monthly Planning Committee meetings and attend our Board meetings.
We hope you find our Resource webpage, book, Equity-Based Conversation Series, professional membership, conference, newsletter, Facebook groups, chapter meetings, etc. helpful as you embark on or continue your mindfulness journeys.
With Love, Joy, and Appreciation,
Founder and Executive Director
Board Officers (bios below):
Tovi Scruggs-Hussein-President, Former Principal, San Lorenzo High School, Oakland, CA
Maria Bidelman-Treasurer, Social Worker, Community High School District 155, Crystal Lake, IL
Jenny Franz-Co-Secretary, Counselor, Downers Grove South High School, IL
Michele Kane-Co-Secretary, Former Professor, Northeastern Illinois University
Directors-at-Large (alphabetical order; bios below):
Sally Albright Green, Instructional Coach, Valley View CUSD 365U, IL
Sheila Anderson, Counselor, Britton-Hecla School District, SD
Lauren Beversdorf, Spanish Teacher, Bannockburn School, IL
Khayree Bey, Middle School Health Teacher, Colonial School District, DE
Matthew Dewar-Past President, Teacher and Well-Being Coordinator, Lake Forest High School, IL
Lindsey Frank, Climate and SEL Coach, D59, IL
Jennifer Haston-Maciejewski, Teacher and Behavior Specialist, Greenfield-Central School District, IN
Ohilda Holguin, Educational Consultant and Trainer, NYC, NY
Barbara Larrivee, Former Professor, Rhode Island College & California State University
Gene Olsen, Director of Student Services at CCSD 89, Glen Ellyn, IL
Advisory Team (Contact us to join):
Barnaby Spring, Director of Mindfulness in Education, New York City Department of Education
Miriam Ojaghi, former COSEM board Member, SEL Consultant, Dekalb Regional Office of Education, IL
Lisa Flynn, Yoga 4 Classrooms
Gina Beigel, Stressed Teens
Cheryl Dodwell, Peace of Mind
Amy Saltzman M.D., Association for Mindfulness in Education, The Still Quiet Place
Renee Metty, With Pause
Theo Koffler, Mindfulness Without Borders
Laura Bakosh, Inner Explorer
Jim Gillen, Yoga Calm
Jennifer Cohen Harper, Little Flower Yoga
Jill Manly, JabuMind
Charlie Merrow, Empowering Education
Deb Smolensky, Mindful City Project
Kristie Brendel, Assistant Professor of Social Work at Aurora University, MBSR Course facilitator
Annmarie Chereso, Conscious Leadership Advisor, BringIt! Home
Marianne Pokorny, Senior Manager of Strategic Engagement at YWCA Metropolitan Chicago
Mary Furbush, Executive Director, CASE DuPage
Ashley Green, Senior Program Manager, Action for Healthy Kids
Founder and Executive Director
Tracy Heilers lives in St Charles, IL and is married to Gary Heilers, Dept Chair of PE and Health at Glenbard North High School in Carol Stream, IL. For 15+ years, Tracy has taught yoga and mindfulness to a wide range of student groups. 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 resources now available. She completed her 200hr yoga teacher training in 2003, two of Mindful Schools’ online courses in 2016, and an MBSR training in 2019. She has a degree in Civil Engineering from U of Iowa.
Board Chair and President
Former Principal, San Lorenzo High School, Oakland, CA
Tovi is an educator, author, and award-winning urban high school principal with over 25 years of emotional intelligence and self-mastery experience. She is the visionary behind Racial Healing Allies™. She has served as California’s Regional Executive Director of Partners in School Innovation, founding co-director of the Association of CA School Administrators Equity Leaders Academy and Regional State Equity Representative, and co-founded a secondary school. Tovi is the founding co-teacher of the trauma-informed leadership course at Mills College. Most recently, Tovi was personally trained with Brené Brown and is a Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator and Courage Catalyst. Her other certifications are numerous and include Integral Coaching by New Ventures West, Search Inside Yourself, and Niroga Institute.
Social Worker, Community High School District 155, Crystal Lake, IL
Maria Bidelman is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, receiving her Masters in Social Work from the University of Chicago. Maria also has a Masters in Educational Administration from Northern Illinois University. Maria has been practicing mindfulness for over 8 years both in the school setting and private practice, originally trained by Dr. Amy Saltzman, the author of A Still Quiet Place, then by Patricia Broderick, the author of Learning to Breathe. Maria has also been trained in Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness with David Treleaven. Maria teaches mindfulness to high school students at an alternative high school and also provides classes and workshops for district staff. In addition, Maria provides group and individual counseling with the Center for Emotional Wellness in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago.
Counselor, Downers Grove South High School, IL
Jenny Franz, LCPC, MSW, NBCT has been a School Counselor for 19 years. She earned her Masters in both School and Community Agency Counseling from Northern Illinois University and her Master in Social Work from Aurora University. Jenny worked in private practice for several years specializing in adolescents and families and formerly taught as an Adjunct in the Counseling Program at National Louis University. She has been teaching mindfulness in high school since 2015, implementing the Learning to Breathe Curriculum and the Mindful Schools Curriculum. She is currently working on becoming a Mindful Schools Certified Mindfulness Instructor (CMI). Jenny pushes into both Math and Health classes to teach mindfulness and runs small mindfulness groups during the school year.
Professor, Northeastern Illinois University
Dr. Michele Kane has been an advocate for gifted learners and gifted education for more than 25 years. During this time she has been a frequent presenter at state, national, and international conferences. She is a professor at Northeastern Illinois University, where she coordinates the Master of Arts in Gifted Education program. Michele is a contributing author to Off the Charts, Giftedness and Creativity, and Living with Intensity. She co-authored Planting Seeds of Mindfulness with Dorothy Sisk in 2018. She was honored by SENG (Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted) as their 2018 Educator of the Year. Inspired by her experience raising six gifted (now adult) children, Michele’s interest remains on the social, emotional, and spiritual needs of gifted children and the caring adults in their lives.
SALLY ALBRIGHT GREEN
Instructional Coach, Valley View CUSD 365U, IL
Sally Albright Green is an instructional coach, and mindfulness practitioner and trainer. She has her MEd in Curriculum and instruction and is a Certified Teacher Evaluator in the state of Illinois. She spent fourteen years teaching 8th grade ELA in a large ethnically diverse middle school, and is now a Teaching and Learning Coach at a K-5 Title 1 school in suburban Chicago. She has taken courses provided by Mindful Schools, The Mindsight Institute, Mindful Leadership and UCSD Center for Mindfulness. She is part of the Racial Healing Allies™ trio and began studying her racial identity almost twenty years ago, and has worked to incorporate her sensitivities about race into her day to day life in and out of school.
School Counselor, Britton-Hecla School District, SD
Sheila Anderson is a K-12 school counselor at Britton-Hecla School District and former special education teacher at Tiospa Zina Tribal School. During her time as a school counselor, she has been involved in the governing board of the South Dakota School Counselor Association and in 2014 was recognized as school counselor of the year for South Dakota and was honored by former First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House. She is a Certified Yoga For Kids trainer and is also a Certified Resilience trainer with the Global Center for Resiliency and Wellbeing.
Spanish Teacher, Bannockburn School, IL
Lauren Beversdorf teaches K-8 Spanish at Bannockburn School in Bannockburn, IL. With 18+ years of experience working with all age groups, she also coordinates, designs and implements SEL and mindfulness curricula and multi-age lessons for students and fellow educators. She received her mindfulness instructor training through Teacher Advancement Courses, Gina Biegel’s MBSR-T program, the Mindful Schools curriculum and is an experienced certified yoga instructor. Lauren has led workshops, mindful groups, spoken at conferences, and presented a variety of mindfulness strategies in schools and workshops. She is also a certified ELL/Bilingual Educator.
Middle School Health Teacher, Colonial School District, DE
Khayree Bey, BBSc, M.Ed., 2021 Colonial School District/McCullough Middle School Teacher of the Year, 2019 SHAPE Delaware’s Health Teacher of the Year. Recently appointed to the Delaware Senate Standards Board, Delaware State Education Association Trainer Cadre, Gift Global/Delaware Save Lives Foundation Trainer. Currently implements an equity-based trauma/poverty-informed culturally responsive approach to teaching students, community, and Colonial staff in the art of MBSR, Kemetic yoga (200YTT), and other self-care practices. He serves on his district's Educators of Color council which focuses on equity and the underrepresented population in teaching by recruiting, assisting, and maintaining educators of color and the newly formed Equity Audit Committee to better serve all Colonial students.
Director and Past President
Teacher and Well-Being Coordinator, Lake Forest High School, IL
Dr. Matthew Dewar is the founder of Journey 30K, a personal development platform that utilizes wellness and mindfulness strategies to transform individuals and organizations. Matthew is also a high school teacher, well-being coordinator, and learning facilitator who has designed and implemented teacher professional development and school wellness curricula, including mindfulness-based wellness for faculty and students. Most recently, Matthew has created and implemented mindfulness programming for professional and collegiate athletes. His work has been featured on TEDx, NPR, and the National Wellness Institute's podcast. He is the author of Education and Well-Being: An Ontological Inquiry.
Director of Chapters
Climate and SEL Coach, D59, IL
Lindsey J. Frank is the Regional Director for COSEM Chapters and a districtwide Climate and SEL Coach in Illinois. She has developed her coaching role since its creation in 2017 layering wellness approaches that start with the adults and span outward to learners and communities. She has taught and supported students ranging from early learning through junior high as a coach, learning behavior specialist, interventionist, and teacher. Her master’s degree is in Educational Leadership & Supervision. She is a certified yoga, meditation, & mindfulness instructor for adults and children with a focus on trauma-informed approaches. She is the author of Big Change, Better You, Beautiful World.
Teacher and Behavior Specialist at Greenfield-Central High School, IN
Jennifer Haston-Maciejewski is the lead teacher of an alternative placement program and behavior specialist at Greenfield-Central High School. She lives with her husband and 4 children in Greenfield, Indiana. After receiving her 200hour training in Yoga and mindfulness, she opened her own yoga studio and started a program called Stop.Breathe.Be. Her program focuses on restorative practices, replacing detentions and suspensions with a mindfulness program, skills to implement mindfulness into your classroom, and developing a personal mindfulness practice. She just completed her wilderness therapy training and hopes to bridge that with mindfulness in the future.
Education Consultant and Trainer, New York City, NY
Ohilda Holguin is an education consultant and trainer, author, keynote speaker, and wellness coach. Ohilda worked in the field of domestic violence for over 15 years, managed after-school programs, and taught middle school reading before entering the world of educational publishing and technology for the last twelve years. Currently, she is a Breathe for Change trainee where she is studying to be certified in yoga and social emotional learning and is in a mindfulness training program at Mindful Schools. She develops powerful leadership training, consultation, and coaching programs. Her areas of specialties include K12 education technology, social emotional learning, business development, innovation, leadership, and women’s empowerment.
Former Professor, Rhode Island College & California State University
Dr. Barbara Larrivee is an author, researcher, and former teacher education professor at Rhode Island College and California State University. She is the author of eight books and 25 articles in education, psychology and counseling journals. Her books for educators include Cultivating Teacher Renewal: Guarding Against Stress and Burnout, Authentic Classroom Management, and An Educator’s Guide to Teacher Reflection. Her latest book is for a general audience, A Daily Dose of Mindful Moments: Applying the Science of Mindfulness and Happiness. Donating the profits from this book, she has established Mindful Moments in My Classroom to sponsor grants to educators to implement mindful moment practices.
Director of Student Services, CCSD 89, Glen Ellyn, IL
Gene Olsen supports students, staff and families in programming and planning for successful student outcomes for all children. He has served as a teacher of students with disabilities, local and building IFT rep, member of the PARCC Educator Leadership Cadre, and has presented at multiple state conferences. His responsibilities include coordinating special education services and supervising staff. He also oversees the district's administration of services for IDEA, 504, McKinney Vento, Social Emotional Learning and DCFS. In his role, he has worked with federal and state initiatives, including PARCC, P20 Council, and CASEL. He is a member of the Illinois State Assessment Review Committee, and the Treasurer of the Illinois Alliance of Administrators of Special Education (IAASE).