April Bates currently teaches math at the middle school level in a rural school in Maine where she has over 30 years’ teaching experience. Her journey with Responsive Classroom started 20 years ago while teaching in elementary school. Her passion for the approach inspired her to become trained to present the elementary, middle school, and advanced workshops. April’s dedication to Responsive Classroom has helped train and support pre-K through eighth grade teachers in her own district as well as countless educators across the country. When she isn’t working, April enjoys spending time with family and friends, hiking, kayaking, and golfing.
Ashley Gilbert is an educational consultant and coach for Center for Responsive Schools. For over fourteen years, she has supported the unique learning needs of students and helped them grow in their social-emotional and academic competencies. Prior to joining CRS, she held roles as a special education teacher, classroom teacher, reading specialist, and, most recently, a building administrator in upstate New York. She holds a master of science in building and district leadership, a master of science in literacy, and bachelor of science degrees in general education and special education. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys hanging out with her husband and two daughters, reading, traveling, and finding new hiking adventures.
Barb Hobe is a library-media specialist for a K-6 elementary school and Responsive Classroom coach for her district. Prior to her role as the LMS, Barb taught third grade for 10 years in a suburb of Chicago. Throughout her teaching career, she has been fortunate to work in a district that fosters the Responsive Classroom philosophy. Through her unique experience as a classroom teacher, specialist, and school and district leader, Barb has worked with fellow educators to create supportive environments, systems, and practices where students and staff can grow academically as well as socially in safe and inclusive schools. Barb continues to push herself to learn new things. She holds a master’s in reading, various academic endorsements, and is actively involved in diverse learning opportunities to develop both professional and personal knowledge and skills. Barb takes this love for learning and shares it with her family, colleagues, and students in the hope that they too get hooked on new discoveries.
Barbara Borer has over 30 years of educational experience in a variety of positions that include classroom teacher, educational consultant, and principal. During her career, she has been passionate about leading innovation to create schools that serve all students. The Responsive Classroom approach has been an integral component of her work. She was initially trained in the approach in 1996 and has enjoyed connecting with other educators around the country ever since. Supporting teachers in developing reader and writer workshops with their students has been her second educational love. Out of the educational realm, Barbara enjoys reading, biking, and sitting by the lake “up north” in Minnesota.
Becky Hutto has been implementing Responsive Classroom practices in her roles as teacher and building and district leader since 1994. She became a Responsive Classroom consulting teacher in 1998 and has been privileged to present Responsive Classroom workshops throughout the United States, learning so much from her participants and colleagues. Becky served as a classroom, gifted and talented, and basic skills teacher in grades K-6 for 23 years, working in New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York City, New Jersey, and Northern Ireland, followed by 16 years as a building administrator in New Jersey. She earned a BA in English from Bates College, an MEd in elementary/early childhood education from Antioch New England, and an EdD in educational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. Becky loves to read, cook, travel internationally, and spend time with her family. Her “go to” Responsive Classroom books are The Power of our Words and Solving Thorny Behavior Problems.
Rebecca “Becky” Wanless-Bobo is a second grade teacher in New Albany Plain Local Schools, outside of Columbus, Ohio. She has been active in the field of education since 2005. She received two master’s degrees from The Ohio State University, one focused on drama, language, literacy, and culture and the other on education administration. Becky developed a passion for the Responsive Classroom approach after reading several Responsive Classroom books and attending a Responsive Classroom workshop. Her passion was ignited even further once she saw the positive impact Responsive Classroom practices had on students and staff members in her school. Becky coauthored Empowering Educators: A Comprehensive Guide to Teaching Grades K, 1, 2 and has contributed to Center for Responsive Schools’ Journal of Social and Emotional Learning. In her spare time, she enjoys walking her dogs, Matilda and Kobe, and trying out new coffee shops. She is thrilled to be supporting Center for Responsive Schools as a consulting teacher.
Ben is currently an elementary teacher in the Twin Cities Metro Area, Minnesota, and has over sixteen years of experience. He earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and then later went back to school to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Augsburg College (Minneapolis, MN). He was introduced to Responsive Classroom before his first year of teaching; however, about eight years into his career, he retook all the Responsive Classroom classes and has been enamored with the approach ever since. He has been blessed to work closely with other Responsive Classroom consulting teachers in his district. He feels incredibly fortunate to have been immersed in this approach for over half of his teaching career and to witness the positive results from utilizing RC on a daily basis. He is thrilled to have the opportunity to share Responsive Classroom with other educators.
Beth Osgood is a consulting teacher for Center for Responsive Schools and an executive function coach working with a variety of students in the virtual setting.
Prior to her work with CRS, Beth was an elementary educator for twenty-five years, teaching both second and third grade in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. She received her master’s degree from Antioch University and later went on to pursue a certificate of autism spectrum disorders to support her varied work with autistic students. Beth has extensive experience teaching children with a variety of academic, social, emotional, and behavioral challenges and has cocreated an SEL summer camp program for autistic students in her school district. In her spare time, Beth enjoys swimming, being outdoors, traveling with her husband, and spending time with her adult children. She is thrilled to be supporting adult learners as they explore Responsive Classroom practices.
Betsy Pattison has 19 years of experience as a classroom teacher at Dunbar Hill School in Hamden, Connecticut. She has taught second and third grades and is currently happy in her position as a kindergarten teacher. She was first introduced to the Responsive Classroom approach in 2008 and after seeing the positive impact it had on her own teaching and her students’ learning, she continued her Responsive Classroom journey and joined Center for Responsive Schools as a consulting teacher in 2012. Betsy earned her bachelor’s degree in social work, her master’s degree in elementary education, and a sixth-year professional certificate in classroom instruction. She is passionate about sharing the Responsive Classroom approach with educators to help them create optimal learning environments that are inclusive, empowering, creative, and fun. When she is not working, Betsy enjoys knitting, reading, gardening, and traveling with her husband and son.
Bill Knittle is a consulting teacher for Center for Responsive Schools and an elementary school principal in rural western Massachusetts. A principal for ten years, and a teacher for seven, he came to education after a twenty-plus-year career in the newspaper business. A member of the Massachusetts School Administrators’ Association’s Teaching and Learning Committee, Bill works to represent small, independent public schools in statewide discussions. He holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is also a member of In Bloom in Western Mass, supporting outdoor education initiatives at his and other like-minded schools.
Bonnie Baer-Simahk currently serves as the ELL Director for the Fitchburg Public Schools in Massachusetts, where she has worked for many years in various capacities. Her teaching experience includes K-6 ESL, kindergarten, adult English learners, and college students. She has enjoyed sharing the Responsive Classroom approach with her colleagues in Fitchburg, along with others around the country, for more than 25 years! One of the principal authors of Language Central for Science and a chapter in the Dove and Honigsfeld text Co-Teaching and Other Collaborative Practices in The EFL/ESL Classroom: Rationale, Research, Reflections, and Recommendations, Bonnie is interested in the ways in which teachers collaborate to promote language learning and academic growth for English language learners. When not working, she and her husband enjoy music, theatre, and sharing in the adventures of their grown children (their daughter—a teacher, and their two sons—both working actors).
Brian Smith is the head of Student Life for kindergarten through eighth grade and director of technology at Holy Spirit Episcopal School, where he teaches the middle school technology classes. Brian has been involved with the educational world for over twenty years, since graduating with his bachelor of science in psychology from Sam Houston State University. Brian received his MEd from the University of St. Thomas. Brian’s journey has included providing instruction in a Texas state jail and teaching special education and science in an inner-city Title I school. He is a coauthor of Empowering Educators: A Comprehensive Guide to Teaching Grades 6, 7, 8.
Bridgette Kelly currently serves as the elementary assistant principal at Steel City Academy in Gary, Indiana, where her responsibilities include K–12 special education and K–6 culture. She has also served as a high school health and physical education teacher, special education teacher, and culture coordinator. Bridgette earned her bachelor of science degree from Chicago State University and master’s degrees in special education from Indiana University Northwest and in exercise science from California University of Pennsylvania. Bridgette is going into her fourth year as a Responsive Classroom consulting teacher, facilitating workshops across the country. Joining Center for Responsive Schools team as a certified consulting teacher has allowed her to better implement the Responsive Classroom approach within her organization. In addition to her work as an educator, Bridgette has served in the Indiana Army National Guard for seventeen years, currently as a logistics officer. When Bridgette is not in the classroom, she is dedicated to spending time with her daughter, Rylie Camille.
Caitie Meehan has been teaching for almost 15 years and is currently a fourth grade math teacher in Washington, D.C. She has experience teaching in Title I schools and has seen how the benefits of the Responsive Classroom approach reach many different schools and students. Caitie was initially introduced to Responsive Classroom 10 years ago and she continues to see the positive results from building a strong positive community in her classroom. As the community in her room grows, her students feel more comfortable to take academic risks in a socially and emotionally safe place. Caitie holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from James Madison University. In her spare time, she visits her family in Virginia Beach whenever she can.
Caltha Crowe travels around the country, teaching Responsive Classroom courses and visiting schools to support implementation of the approach. During her 38-year teaching career, she taught a range of elementary grades and preschool in a variety of settings, including urban New Haven, Connecticut, as well as suburban schools in Winnetka, Illinois; Glencoe, Illinois; Hamden, Connecticut; and Westport, Connecticut. Caltha has spent many years involved with a variety of educator support programs including Connecticut’s Beginning Educator Support and Training (BEST) program and Westport’s Resource Teacher program. She is the author of Solving Thorny Behavior Problems, Sammy and His Behavior Problem, and How to Bullyproof Your Classroom, all published by Center for Responsive Schools.
Caltha has a BA from Smith College, a master’s degree in early childhood education from Goddard College, and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Bank Street College of Education. She lives in Estes Park, Colorado, and enjoys hiking, climbing, spending time in the outdoors, and being with family and friends.
Carmela Pine is a sixth grade teacher for Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia. Originally from Philadelphia and now living in Alexandria, Virginia, Carmela has taught seven grades (first through sixth and eighth) in three states. She has been teaching for 17 years and has worked with Center for Responsive Schools as a Responsive Classroom consulting teacher since 2012.