About Us

Our mission is to empower educators to spark change from the inside out by cultivating awareness, resilience, and compassionate action in community. 

At Mindful Schools, we’re putting mental health and well-being first, for students and educators. Together we can build joyful, resilient, mindful schools across the country.

For almost 15 years, Mindful Schools has worked to create mindful and heart-centered learning environments where all community members can thrive. We’ve trained over 70,000 individual educators, and we partner with over 500 schools each year. We’re just getting started.

Today we are proudly:

By Educators, for Educators, with Educators: our team supports school leaders, teachers, and staff. Together we develop their unique capacity to cultivate thriving school communities of belonging, inclusion, and well-being.

Designed to Meet the Complex Needs of Schools: we listen deeply to schools and deliver a program to suit the specific context and goals of each individual community.

Systemic in our Approach: we support our school partners to dismantle inequitable decision-making and structures and to build schoolwide cultures that nurture collective well-being, healing, and liberation.

Our Challenge

Schools are facing a mental health crisis among both teachers and students, and current solutions aren’t sufficient. Teachers are burning out and leaving the profession, and students are struggling with soaring rates of anxiety, depression, stress, and trauma.

Stress

61% of teachers report being stressed out.

Mental Health

58% of educators say their mental health is “not good.”

Burnout

Public school educators are quitting their jobs at the highest rate on record.

Trauma

Almost half of children in the U.S. have experienced at least one serious childhood trauma.

Anxiety

Nearly 1 in 3 adolescents will meet criteria for an anxiety disorder by the age of 18.

Stress

Nearly 40% of high school seniors report that they often feel lonely and left out.

Our Approach

Nurture collective well-being, equity, and belonging

Support Adult Well-Being and Empowerment

We begin by providing immediate support to the adults in the school community because their well-being and engagement is foundational to the school culture and learning experience. Our programs guide school staff, administrators, and teachers to address stress, reactivity, and negative habits, and to reconnect with their strengths, heal from stress, and become more intentional, grounded, and fully present.

Create Trauma-Sensitive, Culturally-Sustaining Classrooms

Our programming then deepens to sharing mindfulness with students. We guide teachers to make compassionate and mindful choices in their relationships, cultivating expansive learning experiences that foster a sense of belonging, trust, and agency in the youth they serve. Educators share mindfulness practices with students, which helps students to heal from trauma, manage stress, and develop inner-resilience tools to navigate their lives.

Build Equitable and Thriving School Systems

We partner with school teams to develop their capacity to recognize inequitable systems and decision-making, navigate difficult conversations with awareness and compassion, and work together to create school-wide change that supports all bodies and experiences. Our team is guided by our experience implementing mindfulness in various school settings, and has an approach that is grounded in mindfulness practice, builds on the strengths of the community, and complements the school’s existing initiatives.

“Our students are beset by all kinds of challenges born of poverty, dire racism and consistent inconsistency that has caused ongoing trauma to their young lives. Our school is embracing a comprehensive wellness approach that begins with the development of mindfulness. We need more help in this. Mindful Schools has been an invaluable resource to our administration, our faculty, our students.” – Partner School Principal

Our Impact

Nurturing change from the inside out

School Services

Mindful Schools partners with schools from across the United States to create inclusive school cultures that prioritize the healing power of relationships and well-being. We’re especially passionate about supporting under-resourced and Title I school communities. Surveys with our partner schools revealed the following outcomes:

100%

of teachers reported that mindfulness in the classroom creates changes in their students’ overall well-being, ability to pay attention, impulse control, and mental health

88%

of students surveyed said that mindfulness is helping their teacher

70%

of students reported using mindfulness to calm down when experiencing difficult emotions such as anger, sadness, or anxiety

Online Courses

Our online courses make training and resources accessible, while also integrating virtual, live touch points to build connection with peers and the Mindful Schools faculty. Over 70,000 educators have trained with us and 99% of participants say they would recommend our courses.

The outcomes below were collected from teachers who participated in Mindful Schools’ original course for bringing mindfulness into the classroom. For more comprehensive information on our impact, please visit our research page.

Benefits for Educators

90%

Report lower stress and greater self-compassion

82%

Connect better with students

80%

Deliver curriculum with more ease

77%

Are more satisfied with their jobs

Benefits for Students

89%

Improve emotional regulation

83%

Improve focus
 

76%

Demonstrate greater compassion

79%

Improve engagement

Excited to get started?

Our Team

We know what it’s like to be an educator, and we’re here to support you. Our diverse, dynamic team has decades of experience as school administrators, social workers, teachers, mindfulness instructors, and BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ affinity group facilitators. We’ve experienced the benefits of mindfulness in the classroom firsthand, and are passionate about sharing these simple and profound practices with you.

Seewan Eng

Executive Director

Driven by her experience as a middle school teacher in diverse, resilient communities, Seewan is a lifelong learner and educator with a deep commitment to leading for...

Shannon Baker

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Shannon is passionate about supporting diverse and dynamic leaders in their work to build a more equitable and just future. She spearheads our fundraising and communications efforts,...

Martha Brown

Senior Director, People & Operations

Martha is a heart-centered and pragmatic leader with more than 20 years of experience in operations, communications, and human resources management. As the Senior Director of People...

Argos Gonzalez

Head of Program & Partnerships

Drawing on more than 13 years experience as a high school English teacher in the Bronx, Argos is an equity-driven educator and thought leader who leverages his...

Ray Bolton

School Support Specialist

Ray brings more than 15 years of experience in K-12 education as a teacher, coordinator, and coach. He is dedicated to supporting students and teachers that have...

Kaytie Brissenden-Smith

Program Manager, Delivery & Partnerships

Kaytie is a dedicated educator and advocate for social justice, born and raised in the vibrant city of San Francisco. Throughout her career, Kaytie has made a...

Darius Ingram

Head of Technology

Darius Ingram is an IT professional with more than 15 years of experience in systems administration and database management. He has worked almost exclusively in education-based nonprofit...

Alison Lee

Head of Marketing & Project Management

Alison is a Bay Area native and passionate about sharing the Mindful Schools story with the global community of educators. She brings more than 15 years of...

Sarah Rudell Beach

Program Manager, Content & Partnerships

Sarah Rudell Beach taught high school social studies for 17 years in the Wayzata Public Schools in Plymouth, MN, where she continues to teach mindfulness to adolescents....

Brooke Sever

Course Ops & Group Enrollment Specialist

Brooke brings over fifteen years of customer service and membership management background to her role as Course Operations & Group Enrollment Specialist for Mindful Schools. Since receiving...

Molly White

Office Manager

Molly has dedicated her career to serving the community – from experience working with the state as a civil servant and the county teaching people how to...

Neena Barreto

Program Facilitator

Neena comes to this work with over 20 years as a public school teacher and teacher leader. She has taught mindfulness in more than 30 classrooms from...

Raúl K. Betancourt

Program Facilitator

Raúl is an educator and mindfulness practitioner with 25 years of experience teaching science to middle and high school students. As a teacher, Raúl found that his...

Tanya Farmer

Program Facilitator

Tanya Farmer comes to Mindful Schools after teaching yoga, meditation and mindfulness in NYC public schools for the past 8 years. In her role as lead yoga...

Fontashia Johnson

Program Facilitator

Fontashia is a lifelong learner and founder of FACTS, a North Carolina nonprofit organization that is committed to serving underserved communities by offering mindfulness programs and financial...

April Frazier

Program Facilitator

April has served as a middle school teacher at an under-served school in the South Bronx. She considers herself a lifelong learner of mindfulness and yoga as...

Kelli Love-Yuan

Program Facilitator

Kelli has 20 years of experience as an educator in the roles of teacher, mentor, teacher leader, curriculum developer, and program facilitator, and draws from her own...

Lucy MacGregor

Program Facilitator

As an educator, Lucy has taught children and youth in a variety of classroom and therapeutic settings from instructing teens at North Carolina Outward Bound School to...

Nathalie Monin Voelker

Program Facilitator

Before joining Mindful Schools, Nathalie worked for 15 years in nonprofit organizations where she developed community projects and educational programs for low income communities. Most of her...

Jelena Popovic

Program Facilitator

Jelena is a school psychologist by training and a peacebuilder by heart. As a mom and Teaching Peace in Schools Leadership Council Lead for The Peace Alliance,...

Devon Sangster Rath

Program Facilitator

Devon served as a social worker at a San Francisco public high school for ten years. She is a queer woman who cares deeply about the power...

Consultants

Alan Brown

Consultant, Impact & Storytelling

Alan Brown has more than 15 years experience working in public and private K-12 schools as a classroom teacher and administrator. Alan has led mindfulness & positive...

Eden Feil

CONSULTANT, FINANCIAL STRATEGY AND ACCOUNTING

Eden is excited to rejoin Mindful Schools after previously serving as Director of Finance & Administration from 2015-2019. Eden brings over 15 years of nonprofit finance and...

Anthony “T” Maes

Consultant, Equity & Internal Learning

“T” is a mixed race Chicano man from the East Bay, California, who has dedicated himself to the path of Dharma and secular trauma-informed mindfulness since 2003....

Dia Joyce Penning

Consultant, Equity & Internal Learning

Dia has served as a K-12 curriculum developer, teacher trainer, arts specialist, mindfulness coach, DEI professional, and program administrator. In all her roles, she finds the themes...

Linda Trude

Consultant, Sales & Business Development

Linda Trude is Founder and CEO at Wicked Sage, where she leverages more than 30 years of sales and client success leadership experience to drive fast growth...

Mark Wax

Consultant, Equity & Internal Learning

Mark Wax has been a passionate student of meditation for the last 20 years. He is a consultant, facilitator, and teacher of mindfulness who feels so grateful...

Board of Directors

Anne Roise, Board Chair

Anne is currently the Director of Programs at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. Before moving to California, Anne was an instructor of Urban Studies and Planning at Savannah...

Ellie Burrows Gluck, Vice Chair

Ellie is the Cofounder and former Chief Executive Officer of MNDFL as well as a Vedic Meditation teacher, certified personal development coach and writer. After graduating magna...

Valorie K. Hutson, Secretary

Valorie K. Hutson is the Founder and CEO of Hutson Solutions LLC, a global leadership consultancy designed to help small business owners and leaders build strong infrastructure...

Tony Shen, Treasurer

Tony Shen helps mission-driven organizations thrive. He advises social ventures, non-profits, schools, and governmental institutions on wide-ranging business, operational, and strategic issues. Formerly as the Chief Operating...

Dani Bowling

Dani is a mediator, conflict resolution trainer, and meditation teacher. They also identify as non-binary and given their childhood in South Carolina in the forties and fifties...

Dr. Brian G Dias

Dr. Brian Dias is the Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Research on Children, Youth and Families – USC Keck School of Medicine & Children’s Hospital...

Mike Greenstein

Mike brings over 30 years of experience as the lead client partner, senior partner and business advisor to many of the PwC’s largest and most complex alternative...

Spencer Sherman

Spencer is a certified Search Inside Yourself teacher (founded at Google), the author of The Cure for Money Madness, and the Money and Spirit Workshop. Through his 30-year meditation he helps...

Advisory Board

Katiti Crawford

Katiti Crawford is a purpose-driven development executive with more than 20 years of business development, leadership, and fundraising experience. She is currently the Associate Director of Professional...

Elizabeth Cushing

Elizabeth is the CEO of Playworks, a national organization headquartered in Oakland that helps schools and school districts make the most of recess through on-site staffing, consultative...

Marielys Divanne

Marielys is the Executive Director of Educators for Excellence-New York (E4E-NY), leading the organization’s flagship chapter and its 15,000+ members. She has over 25 years of experience...

Deesha Dyer

Deesha Dyer is the Founder and CEO of Hook & Fasten, a social impact agency that specializes in transformational relationships between corporations and communities, diversity & inclusion,...

Ricardo Freeman

Ricardo currently works as a screenwriter focusing on narratives that reflect and illuminate the stories of underrepresented or marginalized individuals. He is particularly interested in exploring the...

Rob Roeser

Rob is the Bennett Pierce Professor of Care, Compassion and Human Development at the College of Health and Human Development at Pennsylvania State University. He has a...

Carina Wong

Carina Wong is a lifetime learner who loves working on big problems with visionary and creative leaders. She is a strategist by nature and designer by heart....

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Our School Partners

What does a mindful school look like?

Schools are where children learn, grow, heal, build community, and practice new ways of being. That’s why Mindful Schools is proud to be a partner of choice for schools across the country.

We’re especially committed to supporting under-resourced Title I public schools like Milner Middle School and Passaic High School, featured in the videos below. You can visit the Video section under Resources to see more of our work in action.

Reflections from Passaic High School, New Jersey

By Graciella Romero
Assistant Principal at Passaic High School
And Mindful Schools Graduate

We started our first cohort of 101: Mindfulness Foundations just months before we went into a pandemic. If you can imagine, folks are at home dealing with their own anxiety, with the world changing just minute by minute.

What ended up happening was, not only did the individuals who took 101 want more, they wanted to share and practice what they were learning. Every Monday and Friday morning, we practiced mindfulness together online, as a school community. We didn’t force anyone to come, it’s was volunteer-based, and it grew super organically. It wasn’t a huge commitment. It wasn’t a great deal of time–and the benefit that you felt was instantaneous.

There was a great deal of loss in our school community due to COVID-19. Our mindfulness practice gave us the ability to show up very honestly, candidly. Although we were sad or even a little depressed, we were able to sit with those feelings and share them as a community.

These meetings were a mix of adults and students. The roles—whether someone was a teacher, an administrator, a student, a parent—that all fell away. We were just a community of people coming together to be mindful, and sometimes to grieve, and sometimes to find joy in those moments; and Mindful Schools gave us the tools to do that.

Before the pandemic, before we integrated Mindful Schools’ training, some folks wouldn’t stop by my office to share concerns, or to share good news, but that’s changed now. As someone that’s in charge of the social-emotional learning in the school, as someone that’s in charge of climate and culture, this program has paid dividends. It has shifted our relationships. It’s shifted the culture of the school. For me as an administrator, the idea of community and that everyone is valued and needed–I’ve tried to always message that, but there’s a difference between saying it and then knowing that people believe it and see it. I have felt it. Mindful Schools’ programs created that for our school.

I was an English teacher for a long time. I live and work in a community that is low on resources, that is low on beautiful spaces. Everyone doesn’t have a backyard. When I was a young teacher, my dream was that every child had a backyard, that everyone had a space to play, a beautiful space. I feel like mindfulness has allowed me to give that to our kids. We’re not going to change the lives of our children–the physical space that they exist in. But we’re going to help them find their breath. We’re going to help them find that space within themselves so that they can deal with whatever life throws their way–and that’s greater than any playground.

Inspired to support mindfulness in schools?

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