Joanna Schwartz is the founder of Toolbox for Teachers, LLC. Joanna holds a Master of Education, and a Master of Counseling with a concentration in holistic studies. Joanna’s interest in providing professional development for educators comes from her experiences as a K-8 teacher in Philadelphia, her years of mindfulness practice, and experience as a child and family therapist. Joanna is a member of Philly Core Leaders, a coalition of rising education leaders, as well as the Philadelphia ACE Task Force, which seeks to increase awareness of adverse childhood experiences in pediatric settings. Joanna has been the featured Induction speaker for the School District of Philadelphia, an award winner at the University of Pennsylvania’s 2016 Graduate School of Education business plan competition and in 2015, won MSNBC’s “Know Your Value” competition for her work with Toolbox for Teachers.
Beth Berman, PsyD, is a senior staff psychologist at Einstein Behavioral Health where she engages in psychotherapy with adolescents and adults, integrating mindfulness and writing as therapeutic tools, and supervises doctoral students in psychology. Beth has also worked within the faith-based community fostering parent-child relationships and communication skills, and with pediatricians to increase their recognition and understanding of mental health issues in adolescents through funded grants. Additionally, Beth has trained as a macrobiotics counselor, a Tai Chi Easy instructor and a Yin and Hatha yoga teacher.
Jamila A. Hankinson has been teaching in urban schools for over a decade and holds a Master of Education and a BA in Social/Behavioral Health. Prior to becoming an educator she served as an advocate for at risk youth for the Philadelphia Housing Authority / Penn State Univ. Cooperative Extension connecting families to outreach programs. Jamila was also selected to participate as a State Fellow by the Center For Progressive Leaders in Washington DC. Based on her work for social change, she views trauma-informed education as a necessity for all professionals working in the field of public service.
Emily Reynolds holds a Master in Holistic Counseling & Expressive Arts Therapy, and has worked with women experiencing addiction, children and families in urban settings. Currently, Emily, who has completed the Mindfulness Fundamentals through Mindful Schools, is working as a clinician and school-based therapist in Philadelphia. Emily is passionate about living mindfully and creating cultures designed to promote health and well being.
Erin Rooney has served 15 years in urban schools, as a classroom teacher, instructional leader and instructional coach in Philadelphia. Erin holds a Ph.D. in Urban Education and has taught graduate and undergraduate students, and professional development sessions on education policy, education reform, qualitative research, and teaching and learning methods.
Gretchen Conn has more than 20 years working in the field of neuropsychology and has worked collaboratively with neuropsychologists in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. She holds a Master of Science in the field of Neuropsychology and has focused much of her career on diagnosing learning disabilities and specializes in Attention Deficit Disorder.
Maria Ottinger has been teaching in Philadelphia schools for more than 15 years and is currently a 4th grade teacher at Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander University of Pennsylvania Partnership School. Maria holds a Master of Education and has been selected to present in the field of differentiated reading strategies in various professional development trainings for educators in and around Philadelphia.
Darlene Vanasco is a former educator in the NYC public school system. She received her Master in Education and is trained in The Responsive Classroom Technique, and RCCP (Resolving Conflict Creatively Program). She was a participant in the Undoing Racism Program and served on academic cabinet of PS372, NYC’s first inclusion model school. Darlene was a regular presenter at several district 75 (Special Education NYC) trainings where she organized community building events to strengthen the home to school connection. Darlene is also a trained yoga teacher and doula.
Rebecca Felker is the digital marketing consultant for Toolbox for Teachers. With a B.A. in Psychology, she holds over 9 years of email, retention and online marketing experience. She believes by giving teachers the tools, strategies and support they need to apply their compassion and resiliency in the classroom, students will have the best chance to learn and to thrive.