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The CharacterStrong Podcast: Weekly conversations for anyone in education. CharacterStrong is an organization that provides curricula and trainings for schools internationally. Our trainings help educators infuse character and social-emotional learning into the daily fabric of any classroom or campus. Our curricula focus on character development in order to help students cultivate social-emotional skills, their emotional intelligence, and help them develop a stronger identity and purpose in ...
 
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Dr. Larberg has served over 30 years in public education, serving as a school counselor at every grade level and an adjunct instructor at college. Before public education, she started her career in psychiatric and community mental health. She has been serving in Sumner-Bonney Lake School District as a Whole Child administrator for the past few year…
 
Kirsten Perry is a Social-Emotional Learning Specialist for the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) serving 27 schools in the Englewood and Auburn-Gresham neighborhoods. Kirsten also served as the President for the Illinois School Counselor Association (ISCA) during school years 2019-2021. Prior to this, she served as a K-12 School Counseling Specialist f…
 
Daniel has been in education for 18 years. He taught in both private and public schools as a middle and high school English Language Arts teacher. For the last two years he has been the Professional Learning Coordinator for the Student Services Department in the Racine Unified School District. Addtionally, he presents CharacterStrong, tutors studen…
 
Royce Bryan has been in education ever since graduation from Bemidji State University in 2003. He's taught in multiple states in the Midwest at multiple levels: middle school, high school, and higher education. Royce believes whole heartedly that life is all about being good at relationship and a good relationship is at the heart of wholistic educa…
 
Kaia St. John graduating high school in 2020 and spent her freshman year of college at Washington State University. Throughout high school, she was highly involved in ASB through which she gained a love of servant leadership and SEL. She also has a year of experience tutoring middle school students and leading afterschool activities through the 21s…
 
Jordyn Famimiko is a graduate of Raisbeck Aviation High School in Tukwila, WA. She strives to be a compassionate student-leader with a strong sense of civic responsibility. She inspires others to spread positivity and is looking to evoke change! Jordyn has been very active throughout her high school career. As a 2018 Teens in Public Service Intern,…
 
We kick off SEASON 4 with CharacterStrong Co-founder Houston Kraft and talk about the importance of having a strong foundation as we face adversity, and the difference between mental health and mental illness. We also chat about AET vs TDI, and the impact that focusing on academic engaged time has in our classrooms.…
 
Kwame Ambaah is a senior attending Sam Houston State University and majoring in International Business, where he serves as a student leader in multiple organizations and a College pastor at a ministry called Second College. He is driven by a passion to help people in any way he can. Throughout his life he has dedicated his time to leadership and se…
 
Addy Esco is a native Texan but has made Alaska her home for the last 10 years. After completing her Bachelor's and Master's programs in Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin she relocated to Wrangell, Alaska. Addy's life was forever changed as a teenager by a few people willing to invest in relationships, so this work is her passion. Af…
 
HealthCorps President and CEO Amy Braun brings a passion for education, a background in marketing and a belief in wellness to the organization. Amy began her career as a fifth-grade teacher in New York City, where she taught math and reading, and developed the grade-wide literacy curriculum that led to significant performance gains at her school. A…
 
Dr. Bikowsky is a Child & Adolescent Clinical Therapist and an Educational Staff Associate Certified School Counselor with a Ph.D. in Educational Counseling/Psychology. Bella has diverse experience in the education and mental health fields spanning 20 years. Over her career, Bella has gained clinical experience working in long-term residential trea…
 
Dr. Bikowsky is a Child & Adolescent Clinical Therapist and an Educational Staff Associate Certified School Counselor with a Ph.D. in Educational Counseling/Psychology. Bella has diverse experience in the education and mental health fields spanning 20 years. Over her career, Bella has gained clinical experience working in long-term residential trea…
 
Dr. Bikowsky is a Child & Adolescent Clinical Therapist and an Educational Staff Associate Certified School Counselor with a Ph.D. in Educational Counseling/Psychology. Bella has diverse experience in the education and mental health fields spanning 20 years. Over her career, Bella has gained clinical experience working in long-term residential trea…
 
Wes Kanawyer is the Principal of Woodgate Intermediate School in Waco, TX. He has a passion for serving, developing and empowering educators to pursue their own growth as they seek to enrich and enhance the lives of their students. He believes that relationships with students, families and staff are the foundational component to every area of succe…
 
Dr. William Rhodes is the founding Principal of Robert & Felice Bryant Elementary School in the Katy Independent School District located outside of Houston, in Katy, Texas. Dr. Rhodes has served as a Principal in both a well-established school and a first-year school; both requiring the development and fostering of school culture. Dr. Rhodes has ex…
 
We talk to Julie about her new role as an Implementation Specialist at CharacterStrong. Julie shares about the work she is doing focused on implementation, why the CharacterStrong implementation roadmap is so important for schools, and specific ways that CharacterStrong is supporting schools in her home state of Texas.…
 
The Glenwood Team: Betty Ross - School Counselor - 25 years at Glenwood Elementary (3rd and 4th grade Teacher, Enrichment Teacher, Gifted Educator and school counselor last 11 years) Previously taught in South Carolina for 3 years and served as a school counselor for 8 years. Cassie Kelley - 5th grade teacher - 9 years teaching in North Carolina Ca…
 
Rhonda Henderson is completing her 40th year as an educator. During that time, she has taught grades 1-8 in both public and private school settings, served as an Instructional Coordinator, Assistant Principal and Principal. Currently, she is the principal at Tom Wilson Elementary in Katy ISD in Texas. She is the mother of two adult children and has…
 
Having grown up amidst many challenges, his daily purpose is to inspire and motivate both students and staff by being a living testament that perseverance and determination can lead to success. But, this only happens with the right support network. Frank Arce will share with us some of his struggles and obstacles in life that made just getting thro…
 
James Woods has his masters in counseling, and is a registered yoga teacher. As president of FEEL FREE 2 FEEL FREE a health and wellness organization that provides programs and services for youth and adults who serve them, he, trains and holds workshops on self care, yoga, meditation, and mindfulness. Timmy Tut is the first book from James that ful…
 
Kate grew up in Missouri and attended William Jewell College, where I earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology. She went on to earn her Master's degree in School Counseling at University of Tennessee - Knoxville. Kate currently resides in Oregon, where her partner, their dog Atlas, and Kate spend as much time as possible hiking and walking our neig…
 
Dr. Renee Carr is originally from the west coast, from Vallejo, CA in the San Francisco Bay Area and from Silverdale, WA in the Kitsap Peninsula across from Seattle. Even though she has been in the DC area, on the Virginia side for the last 10 years, she has not left behind her west coast roots. Dr. Renee Carr, EdD has been working in education and…
 
Dr. Smith is the Director of Research at CharacterStrong. He has extensive experience providing mental health services to children and youth and has worked in schools as a school counselor, school social worker, and substance abuse counselor. Since receiving his PhD from the University of Washington he has spent over a decade translating research i…
 
Kris has been teaching for 39 years, all in Early Childhood. She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with a dual major in Elementary and Early Childhood Education (a pilot program at the time) and a minor in music education. Kris has taught in the states of Nebraska, California, Missouri, and most recently, Kansas. Kris received her …
 
Born and raised in Spokane, WA, Chelsea Gallagher has known since the third grade that education was her calling, except for that short stint where she wanted to be a professional ghostbuster. She graduated from Eastern Washington University with her bachelor’s degree, is a Nationally Board Certified Teacher in English Language Arts, and holds two …
 
Molly A. Gosline, EdM, MA is the Coordinator of Social Emotional Learning at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Illinois where she works with academic divisions and teacher teams to develop instructional practices that integrate social emotional learning into their classrooms to support students' SEL growth. Ms. Gosline collaborates with SEL and sch…
 
Alex Clark is a young, passionate and committed leader who has served most of his adult life making a strong impact on student-athletes across the northeast region. Alex has worked with students of all ages from K-12, to D1 athletes, to pros. Alex has expertise coaching many sports since he was a teenager that he wanted to work and inspire young pe…
 
Kelly has been in education for the last 15 years. She did her undergraduate work at the University of Portland, majoring in Political Science and got her Masters in Teaching through Concordia University. Kelly began her career teaching pre-school in Ireland and when she moved back to the states, she began teaching Kindergarten. Kelly spent the las…
 
Michele Borba, Ed.D. is an internationally-recognized educator who has spoken to over one million parents and educators. She is recognized for her solution-based strategies on raising resilient kids, and has appeared over 150 times on the TODAY show and featured in New York Times, Washington Post, Time, and Dateline. Her 24 books are translated in …
 
Houston talks to Isaac Hurtado & Mark Hugo from the Teenager Therapy Podcast about the role that the podcast plays in their lives, things that can prevent students from thinking about mental health at school, and they also share about the practical things that some of Isaac and Mark's teachers have done to put a focus on mental health.…
 
Andrew Jordan Nance has been an educator since 1990. He is the author of four published books; The Barefoot King, The Lion in Me, Mindful Arts in the Classroom, and the bestseller, Puppy Mind. He also adapted Puppy Mind, into a series of five episodes that will show on KTVU and distributed to school districts around the country. He is the founder o…
 
Founding President of YV Educational Resources Inc., Yaritza Villalba has eleven years of experience in education. She started her career teaching Social Studies to high school students in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York. Throughout the years she has developed numerous curriculum materials and conducted a variety of professional developments…
 
Tyler Bastian is an educator, filmmaker, father and the founder of Roots Charter High School. Tyler loves to teach and has a passion for discovering and developing potential in everything around him. For four years Tyler taught Character Education at a local High School and believes positive character is the greatest indicator of success. In 2012 T…
 
Suzy Benson is an inspiring coach, speaker, and facilitator who leads with passion, energy, and vision. Her mission is to help people become better leaders, find fulfillment in their work and live happier, healthier lives. Suzy founded and directed a non-profit-the African Promise Foundation - for 10 years. She then transferred her experience and s…
 
Melinda Arnost is a witty K-12 Intervention Specialist that is always thinking outside of the box. This curly-haired educator loves everything about about teaching minus the paperwork and standardize tests. Melinda has her Masters in Education, is a Registered Behavior Therapist (RBT), a personal trainer for students with unique abilities and an Au…
 
Monte Syrie is a high school ELA teacher at Cheney High School in Cheney, Washington. A 25 year veteran in the classroom, Monte is committed to finding the better in education and contributing to the humanization of students’ experiences in classrooms around the globe. You can join his journey on his daily blog at www.letschangeeducation.com and on…
 
Susy is an Oregon gal, born and bred. After her schooling at the University of Oregon and Linfield University, she was hired at McMinnville High School (her alma mater) in 2012 and began advising the ASB Leadership program in 2014; her position at MHS is now split between ASB and 9th/10th grade AVID. Susy was recognized as McMinnville's Outstanding…
 
Alicia has been a secondary administrator for 13 years at both the middle and high school levels. She has had the privilege of holding nearly every administrative position at a secondary site including, Vice Principal of Activities, Vice Principal of Student Support, Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction and finally a Principal. To say …
 
Ms. Barton was born and raised in Fort Worth, TX and graduated from Texas Wesleyan University. Her 21 years of teaching have all been with Crowley ISD where she was named "Teacher of the Year" in 2008 and was chosen as the Crowley ISD Heartbeat Award winner (district employee of the month) in 2015. Over the course of 21 years, she taught 2nd, 3rd, …
 
Daphne uses books as though they are EpiPens and every student who walks into her room has a mouth full of shrimp. The more books she can get inside of a student the more apt they are to fight the apathetic trap that snares so many of their peers. Daphne spent seventeen years teaching with class sets of Hatchet and Esperanza Rising until 2007 when …
 
Ebone Kimber is a licensed Master's level social worker who has been working in child welfare for over 13 years. She received her Bachelor's degree in Social Work at the University of Alabama in Birmingham and her Masters at The University of Alabama. She spent her early years in the field on the front lines offering case management and basic livin…
 
Each day this week we are counting down the Top 5 episodes of 2020! #1: Season 2 Ep. 56 - CharacterStrong Co-Founder John Norlin shares a recent experience from a training, and talks about why we can't wait to infuse social emotional learning and character development into the daily fabric of our schools.…
 
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