Meet Our Team


Amy Allum-Poon

Group Guidance

Amy Allum-Poon has over ten years of experience in the non-profit and education sector. She received her BA in Psychology and Sociology from UC Santa Barbara. Amy...

Martha Brown

Director of Operations

Martha Brown is a Bay Area native and received her BA in Communications and Ethnic Studies from U.C. Berkeley. She brings over fifteen years of experience in...

Ruben Cortez

Guidance Team
Systems Administrator

Ruben brings 10 years of experience in education, enrollment, and operations to Mindful Schools, most recently having served as Assistant Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at...

Christina Costelo

Head of Community

Christina Costelo received her MA in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and her BA in Psychology from San Francisco State University. With a passion...

Beck Engwerda

Director of Growth

Beck brings more than 10 years of non-profit communications and development experience to the Mindful Schools team. She is passionate about creating positive change in the world...

Betsy Hanger

Community and
Content Specialist

Betsy works as the principal writer across our social media channels, providing resources, research, and inspiration to practice for educators, parents, and new mindfulness practitioners. Long interested...

Alison Lee

Head of Marketing

Alison brings more than fifteen years of marketing experience to the Mindful Schools team. Her early career included many years in Southern California in marketing and sales...

Nicole Naffaa

Director of Guidance

Nicole brings over twelve years of experience in recruitment and admissions to her roll at Mindful Schools. She received a BA in Sociology from the University of...

Linda Newman


Linda has a long history in the financial management of social service non-profits including a 11 years as controller for a child welfare organization, 8 years as...

Kory O’Rourke

Head of Program

Kory O’Rourke has been a public high school teacher and school leader for over a decade.  She believes that mindfulness is an essential tool for building equity...

Lacey Segal

Development Manager

Lacey’s mindfulness practice began thanks to an elective class offered in high school. This inconceivably influenced her life’s trajectory—she became a high school teacher herself, for ten...

David Selsky

Group Guidance

David Selsky joined Mindful Schools in May 2017 as a Group Enrollment Specialist, working with groups of educators to provide mindfulness trainings to youth K-12. He has...

Brooke Sever

Guidance Support

Brooke brings over twelve years of customer service and membership management background to her roll as Customer Care Specialist for Mindful Schools. After receiving her BA in Psychology...

Megan Sweet

Director of Training

Megan Sweet is an experienced Network Lead with a demonstrated history of working in the education management industry. She is skilled in Educational Consulting, Lesson Planning, Educational...

Guiding Teachers

Alan Brown

Lead Teacher

Alan Brown is Director of Integrative & Co-curricular Learning at Grace Church School in New York City, where he leads mindfulness & positive education programs for students,...

Devon Cresci

Guiding Teacher

Devon Cresci has been practicing mindfulness since 1997. She graduated with her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania in 2002. Currently she works part...

Argos Gonzalez

Lead Teacher

Argos Gonzalez is a teacher, lecturer, mindfulness teacher and yoga instructor.  He has 14 years of experience teaching high school in the Bronx and teaches pre-service and...

Kevin Griffin

Guiding Teacher,
Mindfulness Fundamentals

Kevin Griffin is a longtime practitioner and leader in the mindful recovery movement. He is the author of four books, most recently, Recovering Joy: A Mindful Life...

Nicole Libin

Guiding Teacher

Dr. Nicole Libin is an adjunct professor of Religious Studies and General Education at Mount Royal University, and incorporates mindfulness as both a pedagogical and a contemplative...

Ali Miller

Guiding Teacher,
Mindful Communication

Ali Miller is a psychotherapist in private practice, where she integrates mindfulness and Nonviolent Communication into individual, couple, and group therapy. She is the creator of the...

Cheryl Slean

Guiding Teacher,
Difficult Emotions

Cheryl Slean has practiced mindfulness for more than 20 years and is a graduate of UCLA’s Certificate Program in Mindfulness Facilitation. She has taught extensively since 2007,...

Erin Woo

Guiding Teacher,
Mindful Teacher Certification Program

Erin Woo is a teacher at the Mindfulness Center at Brown University where she develops and leads mindfulness programs for K-12 educators and students. She is also...

Course Trainers

Matthew Brensilver

Course Trainer

Matthew Brensilver, PhD, holds a master’s degree in clinical social work and has done psychotherapy with adolescents, adults and groups. He received a PhD from USC, where...

Megan Cowan

Co-Founder and
Course Trainer

Megan Cowan is a co-founder of Mindful Schools and comes to this work with over 15 years of formal and intensive mindfulness training, a background in teaching...

Vinny Ferraro

Course Trainer

Vinny Ferraro is a long-time mindfulness practitioner and instructor and a nationally recognized leader in designing and implementing interventions for at-risk adolescents. The child of an incarcerated...

Chris McKenna

Course Trainer

Chris McKenna has served as Program Director at Mindful Schools and was Executive Director of the Mind Body Awareness Project, a nonprofit that pioneered the development of...

Oren Jay Sofer

Author, Meditation Teacher

Oren Jay Sofer has had a dedicated mindfulness practice since 1997, and has taught classes, workshops and retreats for youth and adults nationally since 2007.  He has...

Advisory Board

Eve Ekman

Adi Flesher

Michelle Gale

Jim Gimian

Soren Gordhamer

Dr. Charlie Halpern

Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn

Dr. Dacher Keltner

Tim Ryan

Ila Sarley

Board of Directors

Daniel Bowling

GD Bowling Meditation

Daniel is mediator and conflict resolution trainer. He is a former staff attorney, mediator, and trainer for the US District Court for Northern California. Daniel began mediating...

Anu Cairo

S.H. Cowell Foundation, Program Director

Anu is the Director of Programs at the Cowell Foundation. Previously, she served as Bay Area Director at the New Teacher Center, a national non-profit organization that...

Anne Roise

Program Manager, Spirit Rock Meditation Center

Anne oversees planning for retreats and classes at Spirit Rock. Earlier, Anne was an instructor of Urban Studies and Planning at Savannah State University, and the CEO...

Richard Shankman

Mindful Schools, Co-Founder, and Author

Richard is the co-founder of Mindful Schools. He has practiced mindfulness for 46 years, and has been a mindfulness teacher for more than 25 years. Richard brings...

Dr. Nicole Shectman

Stanford University, Director of Evaluation, Vice Provost for Graduate Education

As an education researcher for over 18 years, Nicole leads multidisciplinary teams to create innovative solutions to complex educational problems, building deep understandings of educational systems from...

Jeff Snipes, Chairman

Jeff is the Co-Founder and Chairman of where he leads the strategic vision and collaboration efforts of the school, research and professional development programs. He has...

Denis Udall

George Lucas Education Foundation, Senior Program Officer

Denis is a senior program officer with the George Lucas Education Foundation where he manages the strategic direction of the Foundation’s research related to project based-learning in...

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