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.
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.
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.
Cindy Leonard holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and a master’s in reading and literacy instruction. She is currently a senior lecturer in the Elementary Education Program at the University of Vermont. Cindy has also taught grades K–2 in the public school system for fourteen years, as well as doing consulting work around literacy instruction and classroom management for teachers in grades K–6. Teaching is her professional passion, and she believes deeply in the power of Responsive Classroom to create a more inclusive, supportive, and productive learning environment for all students and teachers. Cindy’s personal passion is spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren.
Claudia Shultz has over 30 years’ experience in elementary education. While she has taught all grades through sixth, she has been devoted to honing her skills at the second grade level for the past 13 years. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. From early on, Claudia has been dedicated to educating the whole child, socially, emotionally, and academically. Therefore, when she was introduced to the Responsive Classroom approach in 2005, she immediately experienced a strong connection with the philosophy. That connection resulted in an even stronger commitment to practicing the Responsive Classroom strategies and beliefs in her classroom and school, with fidelity. In 2011, Claudia took her commitment to the next level and became a consulting teacher for Center for Responsive Schools. In her off-time, Claudia enjoys running, gardening, and spending time with family and friends.
Cory Wade is a certified Responsive Classroom teacher and consulting teacher for Center for Responsive Schools (CRS). He has a master’s degree in education, is pursuing his educational administration license, and has worked as an adjunct professor at North Central University in Minneapolis since 2012. As a teacher in Bloomington Public Schools in Minnesota for 13 years, Cory has experience teaching first, second, and third grade. Upon his first exposure to Responsive Classroom early in his career, Cory quickly developed a passion for the transformative mindset and practices surrounding the approach, and has since traveled nationally and internationally to train educators in adopting a similar focus that supports all students in learning. Cory has witnessed the positive impact the Responsive Classroom approach has had on his students, families, and co-workers through implementation of the core beliefs, principles, and practices.
Dan Tomaino is currently a looping teacher for grades 1 and 2 at Shelburne Community School in Shelburne, Vermont, and has been working in the field of education since 2008. He received his bachelor of science degree in elementary education with a dual major in psychology from Keene State College. Prior to becoming a classroom teacher, Dan had the opportunity to work in many different support staff roles in school community, focusing his drive to educate children. Dan was originally introduced to the Responsive Classroom approach to teaching eight years ago while working in a kindergarten classroom. During his career as an educator, Dan has felt the positive results from utilizing Responsive Classroom and has supported his colleagues in learning more about this approach through professional development. Dan became a Responsive Classroom consulting teacher in the spring of 2019 and is thrilled to be sharing his passion for Responsive Classroom with fellow educators. In his spare time, Dan loves to spend time exploring the outdoors and going on spontaneous adventures with his wife and two children.