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 Christine Diaz is an educational consultant and coach with Center for Responsive Schools. Prior to working with CRS, she was a reading interventionist in a Title I school in Chandler, Arizona. During her thirty-plus years of teaching, she has taught fourth, fifth, and sixth grades while also working with K–6 ELL students in various settings. Christine earned her bachelor of arts degree with a middle school education 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 RC workshops for over a decade. She was also 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.
Dave Rodich is a sixth grade social studies teacher in Queens, New York, with over a decade of experience in the field of education. He benefits from having taught in a wide variety of settings, including urban, suburban, and rural. Dave fell in love with Responsive Classroom after a professional development workshop in New York City. He appreciates how Responsive Classroom humanizes students and prepares them for a life rich with connections and self-reflection. When not teaching, Dave likes to fish, write, hike, play soccer, and spend time with his family.
Dawn White is a consulting teacher for Center for Responsive Schools. In addition to consulting, she is the social-emotional learning instructional specialist in a K-8 Minneapolis Public School in Minnesota. Dawn has been a classroom teacher for most of her 25-year career, teaching students ranging from preschool to sixth grade. When completing her master’s degree in education in 2000, she attended her first Responsive Classroom course at a friend’s suggestion. The approach dramatically changed her instructional methods in the classroom and supported what she knew to be best for all children. The Responsive Classroom approach creates the structure for both academic and social-emotional learning to happen every day. In her free time, Dawn loves to be active with her partner, Steve, and her two sons, to teach yoga, and sew fun, useful creations.
Deanna Cousineau is a pre-K teacher in Stillwater, Minnesota. She has twenty-five years of teaching experience and has taught early childhood special education and pre-K. Deanna is honored to share the Responsive Classroom approach with educators across the United States. She is passionate about empowering educators with strategies and practices that will support their students’ learning needs and guide their students in developing the skills they need to be successful in and out of school. She is married and has three young adult children, a lovely daughter-in-law, and a grandbaby. In her spare time, she enjoys being with family and friends, going for long walks, and reading.
Dina Muncer is the instructional support teacher at Holland Elementary School in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She received her master’s degree in education from Saint Joseph’s University in instructional technology. Throughout her 18 years of teaching, Dina has worked as a learning support teacher and general education teacher in first, third, fifth, and sixth grades. She was introduced to Responsive Classroom during her first year of teaching and immediately saw the power of building a positive learning community. Dina became a Responsive Classroom certified teacher in 2013, working to train staff in her home district. She began working for Center for Responsive Schools as a consulting teacher in 2015. She believes wholeheartedly that sharing the Responsive Classroom approach with educators helps students develop the lifelong social, emotional, and academic skills necessary to succeed. When she is not in the classroom or presenting workshops, Dina enjoys spending time with her family on the beach or running to various sporting events, exercising, and watching football.
Donna Petit is a retired elementary teacher with over 30 years of teaching experience in both rural and urban K-6 classroom settings. She received her BS in education from the University of Connecticut and later went on to pursue her MEd in arts and education from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She currently is a part-time consulting teacher for Center for Responsive Schools. Donna developed a passion for Responsive Classroom practices after attending a workshop in 1996 and seeing the positive impact the approach had on her students and school community. She loves the work of sharing the Responsive Classroom approach with fellow educators and believes deeply in the power of this approach in creating high-quality educational opportunities for all children. When she is not working, Donna enjoys spending time with her family and friends, tending to her gardens, and traveling.
Dr. Crystal Cooper
Dr. Crystal Cooper Thompson 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 Starling Elementary School. 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.
Earl Hunter II
Earl Hunter II has been an educator his entire career. He spent many years as a dynamic elementary school teacher in California. Now a full-time education consultant, Earl travels throughout the United States leading engaging professional development for schools. Earl is a certified Responsive Classroom presenter and consultant and a featured contributor to the book Teaching Self-Discipline. Earl lives in the Los Angeles area with his amazing family.
Emily Loughead has had the unique experience of teaching fifth grade for the past five years in both rural and urban public school settings. Emily was first introduced to Responsive Classroom while teaching on the Rosebud Reservation in rural South Dakota, where she worked alongside her leadership team and Responsive Classroom consultants to integrate culture and community within the Responsive Classroom approach. She has continued her Responsive Classroom journey in an urban public school in Washington, DC, and is currently working on a team to redesign and prototype alternative learning to best meet the needs of all students. Emily enjoys running, reading, and spending time with her family.
Emily Parrelli is an English/language arts teacher with eight years of both high school and middle school teaching experience. Her current teaching position is at the Ensworth School in Nashville, Tennessee, working with seventh and eighth graders. After being introduced to Responsive Classroom through a four-day workshop and completing the consulting teacher training, she co-founded a professional learning community at her school site to support colleagues seeking training and certification in this impactful approach to teaching. Implementing Responsive Classroom has had a positive influence on both her personal teaching practice and her students. Emily is especially passionate about the power of language in the classroom and its ability to empower students to be autonomous learners. When she is not in her classroom or presenting workshops, this native Californian loves spending time with her husband at the beach. Emily also enjoys reading memoirs, French cooking, Vinyasa yoga, and walks with her dog, Charlie.
Emily Stefanich Emily is currently an elementary teacher and curriculum developer in Massachusetts and has been in the field of education since 2012. Emily holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Merrimack College and a master’s degree in literacy learning and language from Lesley University and is currently pursuing a certificate of advanced graduate study in educational leadership. She was initially introduced to Responsive Classroom in her second year of teaching, and now she can’t imagine teaching without it! She and her students have built a positive classroom community by utilizing engaging academics and developmentally appropriate strategies. She has experience teaching second, third, and fifth grades in both public and private settings in urban and suburban communities. In her spare time, Emily loves being with her family, exercising, and trying new recipes. She is thrilled to be supporting educators as they implement the Responsive Classroom approach!