Date: Thursday, March 24, 2022

Time and time zone: 7:00pm ET

Target audience: K-8 Administrators and Educators


In this webinar, participants will hear directly from school leaders as they share their vision for the future and what motivates them to remain in the educational field. These school leaders will also share strategies they use to encourage and support teachers during these difficult times.   

Participants will . . .

  • Consider how the pandemic has impacted schools across the country and what that means for the future of education
  • Gather ideas for ways they can empower and support other educators
  • Learn how to work together as adults to cre­ate a safe, joyful, and inclusive school environment 



Michelle Benson is the chief professional learning officer for Responsive Classroom. She began her education career as a middle school English/language arts teacher. Prior to joining CRS full time, Michelle served as a secondary curriculum specialist for eight years in a rural school district in North Carolina. Her passion throughout seventeen years in education has been ensuring all students receive a high-quality education through great teaching and learning.




Gina Castelli has been teaching adults and children for over nineteen years. She is a certified Responsive Classroom consultant and an adjunct professor at the University of Delaware, and she owns a small business coaching and supporting educators. She has an undergraduate degree in elementary education from the University of Delaware and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Wilmington University. She is also an author of several Quick Coaching Guides, including Leading With Confidence and Inspiring Curiosity and Wonder Through Questioning.



Dr. Crystal Cooper is a former Teacher of the Year and twenty-five-year veteran instructional leader. She has gained a reputation as a passionate thought leader who leads with intention, insight, and grace. Her Responsive Classroom journey began while teaching in Paterson, New Jersey, in 1997. She was coached by founders Ruth Charney, Chip Wood, and Marlynn Clayton and became a consulting teacher in 2000. After seven years teaching grades 1 to 4, Dr. Cooper worked as a reading coach for two low-performing schools. Since moving to Georgia in 2005, she has worked as an intervention teacher, literacy coach/coordinator, and assistant principal. In 2012, she began her principalship at a Title I school in Gwinnett County, and is now working as a principal at another elementary school in the district. She earned her bachelor’s from William Paterson University, master’s from the University of Georgia, specialist degree from the University of West Georgia, and doctoral degree in educational leadership from the University of Georgia. 


Lisa Dewey Wells has taught preschool through middle school for thirty years in Massachusetts, New York, and Maryland. For the past ten years, she has partnered with public and independent schools as a consultant and coach for Center for Responsive Schools as a professional development designer, presenter, and author. Participants find her relatable, insightful, and a skilled facilitator of adult learning. She has published several articles and cowrote the book Empowering Educators: A Comprehensive Guide to Teaching Grades K, 1, 2. She is currently working on a book for parents that focuses on responsive language. Lisa holds an MEd in early childhood education and is a certified health and wellness coach and registered yoga and mindfulness teacher. She is currently a second grade teacher at the Naval Academy Primary School in Annapolis, Maryland.



Dr. Nyah Hamlett began as superintendent for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools on January 1, 2021. Under Dr. Hamlett’s leadership, the district serves approximately 12,000 students and 2,000 employees in eleven elementary schools, four middle schools, three high schools, an alternative school, and a school for young people being treated at UNC Hospital. Before arriving in Chapel Hill-Carrboro, Dr. Hamlett enjoyed a long and successful career in public education in Virginia. She previously served as chief of staff for Loudoun County Public Schools, serving as a key strategic advisor to the superintendent and other cabinet members. In her work with the superintendent and school board, Dr. Hamlett supported and coordinated the governance team approach to serving over 84,000 students and 12,000 employees. While there, Dr. Hamlett also played an important role in supervising the director of equity and leading the district’s equity efforts.


​Brian Smith is currently carrying many roles at his home school, Holy Spirit Episcopal School. He is the head of student life and director of technology and teaches the middle school technology classes. Brian has been involved with the educational world for twenty years, since graduating with his bachelor of science in psychology from Sam Houston State University. Brian’s journey has included providing instruction in a Texas state jail, teaching special education and science in an inner-city Title I school, and, after receiving his MEd from the University of St. Thomas, serving as an administrator in a private Episcopal school.



Registration is Closed!