We are a group of Education Wellbeing Experts that includes teachers, psychologists, coaches, researchers and parents with over 300 years of experience.
Anita Andersen is a life coach and counselor/educator with a career serving adults and children in a variety of capacities. Anita has championed positive education and positive psychology practices in the school setting by providing Professional Development to faculty, collaborating on lessons across subject areas, and designing frameworks of implementation for whole school models. Having had the privilege of working with children for over 30 years, Anita finds great joy in witnessing their growth and development, particularly in regard to the application of positive psychology practices.
Anita has a close relationship with her adult daughters who work to support students and parents through their respective roles as private practitioner and art therapist. Spending time with family and friends in upstate New York along with gardening, biking and creative cooking are a constant boost to her well-being.
Anita will obtain her Positive Education Certification - August 2020
Kimberli Breen is a Behavior Change Agent affiliated with the University of Kansas SWIFT Center, KOI Education and Affecting Behavior Change Inc. She implements, trains and coaches the Multi-Tiered System of Support framework, with a focus on Positive Behavior Supports (PBIS) and family partnerships. Kim supports family, school, district, county and state teams. She’s driven school reform as a School Counselor, School Psychologist, and in leadership roles in HI, NY, IL and CA statewide networks. Kim is grateful for the quality of life she and her family experience by using Positive Behavior Supports at home in Chicago with her son who has autism.
Nadine Briggs is CEO of Simply Social Kids, an online social skills and resiliency education program and Managing Partner of Social Success Central, LLC. She is co-author of the best-selling How to Make and Keep Friends book series.
Nadine has expertise in coaching individuals with social emotional challenges, emotion management, positive psychology, cognitive behavioral coaching, and relational aggression.
Nadine resides in Westford, MA with her husband, Jeff. Her adult children, a daughter with Down syndrome and a son with ADHD, are the catalyst for her career. She has a personal passion for helping others find true friendship and connectedness while improving overall well-being.
Sandy is a graduate of The Flourishing Center’s Certification in Applied Positive Psychology. She holds additional certifications in Positive Education, Flourishing Skills Groups, and Bounce Back Better Resiliency Training. As a late bloomer, she has earned a Master’s degree in Health Education from Russell Sage college in Troy, NY and a Bachelor of Psychology degree from SUNY Plattsburgh. She facilitates Flourishing & Resiliency skills workshops to adolescents and adults, as well as integrating positive psychology into her health education curriculum. Sandy is affiliated with The Academy for Character Education in Troy, NY, coordinating Youth Leadership Summits and Champion of Character Banquets to promote and support character education in area schools.
The catalyst for her career change was her parents’ struggle with alcoholism, anxiety, and depression. She has a passion for sharing evidence-based strategies to develop effective coping mechanisms in the face of adversity and to help promote human flourishing and well-being.
Sandy lives in Upstate New York with her significant other, Patrick and has 4 adult children, Rebecca, Jessie Ann, Lacy, and John. She loves to tend to her vegetable and flower gardens in the summer and traveling to historical locations, visiting both state parks and amusement-type parks, especially the water parks!
Dr. Jeanie Cockell, Co-President of Cockell McArthur-Blair Consulting , is an educational and organizational consultant who specializes in collaboratively designing strategies to surface the wisdom of individuals and groups in order for them to build positive futures and to respond effectively to change. She is a leader in using Appreciative Inquiry and facilitates workshops, speaks at conferences, and consults for clients worldwide - both virtually and face to face.
She has authored and co-authored many articles on resilience, leadership, appreciative inquiry – including the books, Appreciative Inquiry in Higher Education: A Transformative Force and Building Resilience with Appreciative Inquiry: A Leadership Journey through Hope, Despair, and Forgiveness.
Jeanie lives with her life partner, co-facilitator, co-author Joan McArthur-Blair near the ocean in Victoria, BC, Canada.
Ellen Feig Gray
Ellen Feig Gray, M.A., CiPP, CPCC is a certified Positive Psychology Coach, speaker, and author specializing in helping families flourish and cultivate whole-being wellness. Using a strengths-based approach, and drawing upon evidence based practices from Positive Psychology and Education, as well as the wisdom traditions, she supports parents, children and teens in building resilience and becoming happier and more successful.
Ellen is the co-author of Hacking School Culture: Designing Compassionate Classrooms (2018). She presents her work at national conferences, facilitates workshops for parents and for teachers, and writes articles and blog posts for her website https://parentwithperspective.com
A native of Brooklyn, New York (before it was cool), Ellen lives in Miami, Florida, with her husband and cat, Mr. Simba. She is the proud mother of a grown-up son who is a national news producer, married to a national news correspondent.
Discovering My Purpose serves at-risk youth and college students by providing them a positive psychology program focused on self-discovery, resilience, mindfulness and strength. All of this is focused on helping youth live happier, more meaningful lives. The program rests on the work of thought leaders from Harvard, NYU, Penn, Stanford, UCLA and beyond.
Laura lives in Atlanta, Georgia and is mom to two boys, aged 29 and 10. Her husband patiently accommodates her tendency to fill their home with many pets, furry and feathered.
Mary is an enthusiastic educator at St. John's Preparatory School in Danvers, Massachusetts. Currently Wellness Curriculum Specialist and full-time faculty member, she has been in the educational field for over thirty years.
From faculty/staff workshops on Positive Psychology and Education, Meditation and Mindfulness and Appreciative Inquiry to student courses in psychology and religion, along with an academic course on the Hebrew Scriptures, Mary is a curious, creative, life-long learner who is enlivened and enriched by teaching others.
Mary has a certificate in Positive Psychology and is also a certified Appreciative Inquiry Practitioner. Mary served on the Steering Committee member for the 2018 World Positive Education Accelerator and is also a Holocaust Legacy Partner for the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies of Salem State University, Salem, Massachusetts
Mary is a transplanted Southerner who fell in love with New England thirty years ago and happily lives in Greater Boston near her two very fun young adult children.
Tamara’s commitment to improving proactive wellbeing on a global scale and has led to her involvement with world leaders in contextual wellbeing measurement, Positive Psychology and Positive Education. In 2019 she was appointed the inaugural Director of The Center for Positive Education after spending 18 months with the Geelong Grammar School team from Australia.
She has been a staff writer and happiness expert for Deepak Chopra’s Chopra Center for many years. In her book The Happiness Reset- What to do When Nothing Makes You Happy she has coupled Positive Psychology interventions with days of the week to give structure answering the question “How can I be happier?”. Tamara has a passion for mindfulness, the science of habit formation and disrupting thought patterns to promote growth.
When Tamara is not speaking, writing or learning she can be found fuelling her zest by throwing epic parties, spending time with her husband and four children, and planning travel. Her deep belief if that happiness happens by choice, not chance.
Mia Pumo is co-founder of Constructive Learning Design, an organization that trains and supports instructional coaches and designs powerful learning experiences for students and teachers.
She is passionate about creating positive environments for students and teachers and designs professional development for educators based on positive psychology research. Mia is also a certified life coach and published her first book in 2017, What Are You Craving? A Step-by-Step Guide to Designing the Life You Were Meant to Live.
Mia is married and resides in Salem, Virginia with her husband, their four children, and two dogs.
Dr. Michele Robison is an evidenced-based Psychologist using the science of Positive Psychology, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Neuroscience to help her clients flourish. She is on a mission to decrease the startling statistics regarding depression, anxiety, and suicide among youth by taking the science of well-being and integrating it into practical application.
Dr. Robison has had the honor of being a keynote speaker at youth conferences, workshops and seminars in the USA and internationally. She also conducts trainings in schools on how to create institutions of Positive Education and is the author of a workbook called “PERMA +HR 2 - A Model of Well-Being: Practical Tools Integrating the Science of Well-Being into Existing School Curriculum.”
She and her husband are the founders of Fruited Plains, a non-profit organization in Kenya that helps farmers in agribusiness so they can provide for their families.
Marge Schiller, PhD, started her career in government and politics. She moved to the private sector to lead a management consulting company. She was a very early adopter as Appreciative Inquiry emerged as a field of practice and study.
Now in her 80’s, her energies are devoted to the co-construction of intergenerational learning and writes and consults, with a specific focus on schools and youth as agents of community and world benefit. Marge has co-authored an Appreciative Inquiry children’s book, Stan and the Four Fantastic Powers, with her grandchildren and Shira Recher Levy, a school psychologist.
She has taught at the School of Education University of Massachusetts-Amherst, The Kennedy Institute, Harvard University, and Duquesne University’s executive education program.
Bill Vining is the founder of HeartBridge Collective, an organization with the mission of increasing social-emotional intelligence and positive thinking in children and youth.
HeartBridge has developed three levels of curriculum to serve Elementary, Middle School, and High School students, with focus on building growth mindset, mindfulness, compassion, and gratitude. HeartBridge also provides training, consulting, and professional development for teachers, staff, and administrators.
Bill lives in Hot Springs, Arkansas with his wife, Marsha. He has three adult children, Kristen, Matt, and Mark. He is a grandfather to five wonderful grandchildren, who he loves to spend time with.
Mark is the group's technology guru. He has been helping people and organisations work online for more than a decade. He is an expert at making technology do useful things, and at developing and delivering simple explanations for complicated concepts. Cloud whisperer. Google guru. Change expert. Builds online environments for fun. Over the past decade, he's helped hundreds of schools embrace new ways of working and thinking, and shown them how to change culture by weaving technology and humanity and applying them to a shared purpose. Founder of EdintheClouds and 123GO!