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.
Barbara Klein is a consulting teacher for Center for Responsive Schools, and sharing Responsive Classroom is a passion of hers. She especially enjoys working with teachers and educators, helping them learn and implement the Responsive Classroom approach in the work they do with children. Barbara has been an educator for over 30 years, working in a variety of roles and settings. She has worked with preschoolers as a teacher, education coordinator in a Head Start Program, and co-director of a childcare program. She has taught elementary age children for 18 years, using the Responsive Classroom approach for most of that time. Since retiring from full-time teaching in 2012, Barbara has worked as an adjunct instructor at Quinnipiac University in the School of Education. When she is not working, Barbara enjoys spending time with her husband and family, reading, and creating pottery in the ceramics studio.
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 is currently a second grade teacher with New Albany Plain Local Schools, just outside of Columbus, Ohio. She has been active in the field of education since 2005. She received two master’s degrees from Ohio State University, one focused on drama, language, literacy, and culture and the other in 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 with students in her classroom and staff members in her building. 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.
Beth Osgood is a consulting teacher for Center for Responsive Schools. 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. In addition, she has extensive experience working with students that have a variety of academic, social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. Beth cocreated an SEL summer program for multiaged autistic students for her district and served as the program’s head teacher for several years. She holds a master’s degree in education and a certificate of autism spectrum disorders from Antioch University New England.
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 currently carrying many roles at his home school, Holy Spirit Episcopal School. He is the head of middle school and director of technology, and teaches the middle school technology classes. Brian has been involved with the educational world for 20 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.
Brian has worked closely with the teachers and staff of his school to introduce and implement Responsive Classroom. He is passionate about this program as he feels it provides an atmosphere of respect and intellectual growth. He feels that Responsive Classroom can help all schools provide the best experience for their students.
Bridgette Kelly currently serves as Responsive Classroom and culture coordinator at Steel City Academy in Gary, Indiana. After earning her bachelor of science from Chicago State University in 2004, she enlisted in the United States Army Reserve. After earning her master of science, she began teaching grades 7–12 physical education and health. Bridgette began her work in social-emotional learning in 2015 and has since begun implementing social-emotional skill development within her organization. She believes deeply in the connection between social-emotional development and academic achievement, and this belief drives her dedication in implementing Responsive Classroom practices with fidelity. Joining the Center for Responsive Schools team has been very fulfilling and has allowed her to better implement the Responsive Classroom approach within her organization. When Bridgette is not in the classroom, she is dedicated to spending time with her two-year-old daughter, Rylie Camille, and watching sports on television.
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.
Carolyn Rottman, M.Ed., has extensive experience as a facilitator and leader of professional development across multiple K-8 educational settings, and has been leading Responsive Classroom workshops for 24 years as a consulting teacher for Center for Responsive Schools. Carolyn taught multiple grades in the St. Paul, Minnesota, Public Schools, was a District PBIS leadership team member, led PLC data-driven meetings, and participated in Equity Leadership. She served as a founding board member of New City School in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is co-owner and vice president of B and R Consulting, LLC, a professional educational organization. Carolyn’s extensive leadership experience, passion, and additional degree in working with gifted and talented youth provide a unique skill set for student academic and behavior support. She is dedicated to working with educators and diverse learners to incorporate positive, engaging approaches for all! When she is not coaching educators or working with students, she enjoys exercising and being at the lake.
Chris Carter is a second and third grade teacher in New York City. He has worked at charter, public, and international schools. Chris was fortunate to be introduced to the Responsive Classroom approach in his first year in education. He has a thirst for high-quality professional development. He is also passionate about the power of picture books and getting his students outdoors during all four seasons. Chris holds a bachelor of science degree in bioenvironmental sciences from Texas A&M University and a master of arts degree in childhood education from New York University. He is licensed in early childhood, childhood, and special education. When he is not trekking through the city, hatching chicks, or raising trout with his students, Chris is traveling, running, or catching the latest blockbuster or independent film.
Christine Diaz is a reading interventionist in a Title I school in Chandler, Arizona. During her 25-plus years of teaching, she has taught fourth, fifth, and sixth grades while also working with K-6 ELL students in a variety of settings. Christine earned her bachelor of arts with a middle school emphasis from Spring Arbor University. She also earned a master’s degree in bilingual/multicultural education from Northern Arizona University. Christine has been using Responsive Classroom practices and presenting workshops for over a decade and was a review reader for Middle School Motivators. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her blind dog and going on adventures with her two children.