A person runningBEST Summer Institute 2014


Mindfulness in Education- A Multi-tiered K-12 Approach
Reclaiming Wellness for Children and Adolescents

Marilyn Webb Neagley, Aostre Johnson, Sonia Cassani, Sheri Rand, Jody Smith, and Anthony Quintiliani


Current neuroscience research indicates that mindfulness practices may improve stress reduction, emotional regulation and focused attention, all helpful for teaching and learning.  As modeled by the nationally recognized South Burlington School District program, this strand begins with self-care for the teacher or other adult members of an educational system.  The strand also includes classroom applications for the various grade levels and concludes with mindfulness as a positive behavior intervention.  Strand sessions will be structured as follows:

1) Mindful Practices-and Self Care (beginning with the teacher, counselor, administrator.) This will be a retreat-styled session introducing mindfulness practices and the importance of self-care.
2) Mindfulness and Core Knowledge Areas (Teaching and Learning/Healthy and Safe Environments); Personal Development (Social and Emotional Learning);
Enrichment of Classroom Culture.  Relevant research will be provided.
3) Mindfulness and Classroom Applications (PreK-6 and 7-12) Bringing mindfulness to public schools. Resources:  South Burlington School District model.
4) Mindfulness and Positive Behavior Intervention (related to the Vt. Youth Risk Survey).   

Participants will receive a copy of the book, Educating from the Heart.


The Mindful Child - Chapter 1 (pdf)

The Mindful Revolution (Time Magazine article) (pdf)


Marilyn Webb Neagley Marilyn Webb Neagley is the director of Talk About Wellness, a Vermont based initiative that partners with public schools to deepen and support the inner lives of children. She, with Aostre N. Johnson, is the co-editor of Educating from the Heart (2011), a compilation of essays by educators. Sheis aco-coordinator of the South Burlington School District’s new training manual, Mindfulness in Public Schools (2013),  author of Loosie B. Goosie (2013) and Walking through the Seasons (2008).  Marilyn was  the president of Shelburne Farms during its formative years.
Aostre N. Johnson Aostre N. Johnson is professor of education and coordinator of the Master’s in Curriculum program at Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont, where she teaches courses in integrated curriculum theory and practice, child and adolescent development, and contemplative education. She recently spent six months as a Fulbright fellow in Ireland, researching and lecturing on contemplative education. She has published many articles related to creativity, spirituality, religion, human development, and education and is a co-editor of Educating from the Heart and of Nurturing Child and Adolescent Spirituality: Perspectives from the World’s Religious Traditions. She received her B.A. and M.Ed. from Harvard University and her Ed. D. from the University of North Carolina.
Sonia Cassani, R.N., M.Ed., CYT Sonia Cassani, R.N., M.Ed, CYT, is an instructor in the Wellness and Resilience Program for teachers in the South Burlington School District. Her contributions to the district’s new Mindfulness in Public Schools manual include the Mindful Movement and Mindful Breathing sections and lessons in the Teens and Adults section.  Other professional experiences:  teaching stress reduction courses at Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, VT, teaching Kripalu yoga, producing a CD, Mindful Expressions Through Gentle Movement, and presenting at many conferences in Vermont, including the Governor’s Prevention Conference. 
Sheri Rand, M.Ed.

Sheri Rand, M.Ed., assistant principal (ret. 2013) at the Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School in So. Burlington, VT. and current program administrator for the district’s nationally recognized Wellness and Resilience Program, helping teachers and students respond positively to stress by using mindfulness-based practices.  She administered the compilation of a newly published Mindfulness in Public Schools manual.  Sheri has taught courses in social and emotional learning to graduate students and has developed a mindfulness based exploratory program (MAPSS) for Grade 6 students.

Jody Smith, M.Ed. Jody Smith, M.Ed., is a veteran primary teacher, currently teaching an all day kindergarten in South Burlington, Vermont.  She has taught preschool, kindergarten, first and second grades in public schools for 30 years.  She was trained in mindfulness and inner resilience through the South Burlington School District’s Wellness and Resilience Program and has developed creative ways of bringing mindfulness into the classroom. Jody enjoys the meditative quality of horseback riding and while she cannot take her class out on the riding trails, she brings mindfulness into the lives of her students each day.
Anthony E. Quintiliani, picture not available Anthony R. Quintiliani, Ph.D., is the author of Mindful Happiness (2014) has published articles and handbooks in both clinical psychology and education and was a contributor to the South Burlington School District’s manual: Mindfulness in Public Schools. In his thirty-five years of professional experience, he has also served in public education, higher education, and various clinical consulting roles. Dr. Quintiliani is considered an expert in psychological and organizational aspects of co-occurring disorders and mindfulness implementation systems.