Nearly sixty presenters are offering their unique perspectives on holistic education.

Click here for printable (PDF) of Presenter biographies.

The HTLC Committee is honored and excited to host Dr. Jack Miller as a keynote speaker.

Dr. Jack Miller

John (Jack) Miller has been working in the field of holistic education for over 35 years. He is author/editor of 17 books on holistic learning and contemplative practices in education which include Education and the Soul, The Holistic Curriculum, Transcendental Learning: The Educational Legacy of Alcott, Emerson, Fuller, Peabody and Thoreau, and most recently, a revised edition of The Contemplative Practitioner. His writing has been translated into eight languages.  The Holistic Curriculum has provided the framework for the curriculum at the Whole Child School, now named Equinox school, in Toronto where Jack has served on the Advisory Board. Jack teaches courses on holistic education and spirituality education for graduate students and students in the Initial Teacher Education Program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto where he is Professor.

Featured pre- and post-conference opportunities with Dr. Fred Korthagen

Fred A.J. Korthagen

Fred Korthagen is a professor emeritus of teacher education at Utrecht University, the Netherlands, specializing in the professional development of teachers and teacher educators. He is co-developer of the Core Reflection approach and has worked with many schools, both national and international, on the use of Core Reflection. Fred received international awards for his scientific work, for example from the American Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) and the American Educational Research Association (AERA). For more information, see


All Presenters (in alphabetical order)

Amy Abbott

Amy Abbott has dedicated thirteen years to classroom teaching, five of which have been spent working as a Gifted Resource Specialist servicing elementary, middle, and high school students.  Her educational achievements include a B.S. in Elementary Education, a M.S. in Secondary Education, a Gifted Endorsement from the University of VA, and earning National Board Teaching Cercccctification in the area of Generalist-Middle Childhood.  She is currently a Graduate Assistant in the Curriculum and Instruction PhD program at Old Dominion University.  Her research and literature topic interests are: alternative assessment, data-informed decision making, motivation, and problem-based learning.

Dr. Nicole Apelian (presenting with Marna Hauk)

Nicole Apelian is a researcher, expeditionary leader, Southern Africa specialist, mother, scientist, and educator. Her doctoral research focused on indigenous-based tourism maintaining intergenerational knowledge in Bushmen communities in Botswana. She is working on an ethnobotanical study of Bushmen plant uses in the Kalahari Basin and teaches traditional skills. Nicole is recognized for bringing vibrant energy and passion into her work in the field of transformative nature education. She mentors and teaches at Prescott College and leads EcoTours International, specializing in tracking and wildlife safaris in Southern Africa. Nicole received a BS in Biology from McGill University in Canada, a MS in Biology from the University of Oregon, and a PhD focused in Cultural Anthropology and Sustainability Education through Prescott College.

Gary Babiuk

Gary Babiuk has been an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba for the past eight years. He has over 35 years combined experience as a classroom teacher, school administrator and teacher educator. In the faculty, he teaches mainly Social Studies curriculum courses in the BEd program. Gary's research interests include holistic education, education for sustainability and well-being, integrated curriculum, and inquiry learning. He is the co-editor of the newsletter, the Holistic Educator, along with Susan Schiller. He also is a team teacher of the University of Manitoba Summer Institute course, Education for Sustainability.

Heesoon Bai (presenting with Avraham Cohen)

Heesoon Bai, Ph.D. is Professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Canada.  She researches and writes in the intersections of ethics, ecological worldviews, contemplative ways, and Asian philosophies. Her books include: Fields of Green: Restorying Culture, Environment, Education (co-edited with M. MacKenzie, P. Hart & B. Jickling) and Contemplative Learning and Inquiry Across Disciplines (co-edited with O. Gunnlaugson, E. Sarath & C. Scott). Her most recent publications are in Journal of Moral Education, Studies in Philosophy and Education, Cultural Studies of Science Education: CSSE, and International Handbook on Research in Environmental Education. Through her work and teaching, she promotes cross-cultural, worldview-informed, wisdom tradition-based, and contemplative education. View her published works here:

Deborah Baker (presenting with Zahra Lightway)

Deborah Baker is an Educator of the Heart.  As a classroom teacher, she was recognized by the Salem/Keizer Chamber of Commerce as a Crystal Apple educator and by ING as an Unsung Hero.  She is a Freedom Writer Teacher and co-author of Teaching Hope.  Deborah has more than three decades of experience engaging, enlightening and empowering others to live their highest potential.  She is known as a teacher, mentor and coach who connects heart to heart in ways that are beyond words.  Deborah is Creator of the Diamond Heart Learning Model and Diamond Hearts International's IMU, an intensive, experiential wisdom lab that opens the door to transcend perceived limitations and nourish one's unique soul gifts.

Erika Bare (presenting with Michelle Zundel and Jay Preskenis)

Erika Bare is Assistant Principal at Ashland High School.

Angela Bosco

Angela Bosco is currently a full time Primary/Junior educator with the Toronto District School Board in Toronto, ON, Canada. She is a recent MEd graduate (November 2012/UofT) and 2nd year PhD student (start 2013) of the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Her research interests include exploring a more holistic approach to learning that looks more closely at interactions as relationships that are taking place between individuals within classrooms and schools. Through many years of classroom experience, she has come to associate classrooms with habitats where children's learning is affected by such interactions and where individuals co-exist, often without having choice as to whether cooperation and various conflicting issues are at play.

Tom Browning

Tom Browning is a graduate student and associate instructor at Indiana University-Bloomington.  His scholarly interests reside within the intersection between teacher education, criticalism, and multiculturalism.  He supervises pre-service teachers during their practicum and student teaching experiences.  Additionally, he facilitates the instruction of two courses at Indiana University: Teaching in a Pluralistic Society and the Community of Teachers Field-Based Seminar.  Before his graduate studies, Tom was an alternative high school science teacher for seven years.

Kathryn Byrnes (presenting with Jane Dalton) 

Kathryn Byrnes, Ph.D. is a Program Officer at the Mind and Life Institute in Hadley, MA. She works with pre-service, in-service, and teacher educators to cultivate ecologies of care through a program titled “A Call to Care”. Most recently she taught education courses, including a course on Mindfulness in Education, at Bowdoin College in Maine. Her research focuses on contemplative pedagogy and has been published in Encounter and the Journal of Transformative Education. She presents at conferences, gives invited talks for educators, and facilitates workshops and professional development courses at the Garrison Institute, public and private K-12 schools, and universities. She served as Curriculum Coordinator at a contemplative elementary school, trained as a facilitator for the Cultivating Emotional Balance (CEB) project, is a certified yoga instructor, contributes as faculty to Teachings in Mindful Education (TiME) in Maine, and is a current board member of the Mindfulness in Education Network (MiEN).

Michael Carberry, M.S.

Michael Carberry is the founder and director of the Whole Life Learning Center in Austin, Texas. He explored Waldorf, Montessori and democratic education before coming to the realization that a truly holistic approach to learning would integrate the best aspects from all of these approaches while putting the learner first. Thus, Whole Life Learning was born. Since 2011 Michael has been directing WLLC, which offers many innovative programs serving ages 5 and up. He is passionate about transforming education, building community, and making the world a better place by encouraging people of all ages to do what they love! Michael is currently pursuing an M.A. in Post-Modern Schools and Integral Learning from the SelfDesign Graduate Institute.

Jane Carr

Jane Carr is a Ph.D. student and Instructor in the Division of Public Administration at Portland State University, where she teaches courses in the Civic Leadership Minor. Prior to pursuing her doctoral degree, she worked as a bilingual teacher in New York City public schools and earned an M.S.Ed. degree from Bank Street College. Jane’s recent work includes serving as program associate for an international workshop hosted by PSU on integrating civic engagement into college curricula, serving on a curriculum committee for the Northwest Earth Institute, and facilitating workshops for Generation Waking Up. She also worked as an environmental education volunteer in Peace Corps Paraguay.

Avraham Cohen (presenting with Heesoon Bai)

Avraham Cohen, Ph.D., RCC, CCC is Professor, and the Associate Director for the Full-Time Masters in Counselling Program at City University of Seattle in Vancouver BC. He has over forty years experience in the field of counselling and psychotherapy and currently conducts a private practice and offers collaborative clinical consulting and supervision in Vancouver BC. His publications include, Speaking of Teaching: Inclinations, Inspirations, and Innerworkings (Sense, 2012). His forthcoming book (2015) is Becoming Fully Human in Educational Environments: Relationship, Inner Life, and Learning. Vancouver BC: Writeroom Press ( ). His forthcoming co-authored book is Cohen, A., Porath, M., Clarke, A., Bai, H., Leggo, C., & Meyer, K. (in-press, 2014).  Speaking of Learning: Recollections, Revelations, and Realizations.  Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers. Contact:

Dr. Rupert Collister

Dr. Rupert Collister has worked in the post-compulsory education sector for over seventeen years and his experience reflects the diversity of the sector in its broadest sense.  Rupert’s personal philosophy of teaching and learning is guided by a deep belief in the transformative power of learning and that it is the context within which that learning occurs that determines whether the transformation is positive or not. He believes that it is the role of those who support learning (in any context) to create learning environments that facilitate such a positive transformation. Finally, he believes that the systems and processes which underpin teaching and learning (including technology) should be transparent and should simply be the catalyst for community building including communities of learning, practice, and discourse.  His first book, A Journey in Search of Wholeness and Meaning, was published in 2010 by Peter Lang Publishers (Switzerland). He is currently working on two writing projects. The first is exploring teaching from the point of view of the teachers, and the second explores the connections between meaningful work, learning, and collective consciousness as they relate to transforming toxic organisations.

Caroline Cory

Caroline Cory is a teacher of Consciousness Studies, author and the founder of the OMnium University--a new education system for learning, healing, media creation, and consciousness expansion. Caroline completed her graduate studies in Educational Psychology. However, because most of her knowledge and deeper awareness came through direct experience, she has designed an education system based on the same principle of what she calls resonance or “entrainment.” This means that one can bypass the traditional system of rote learning--reading, repeating and memorizing--and acquire the information or knowledge as a direct consciousness and experience. For more information, please visit: OMNIUM ONLINE UNIVERSITY

Sam Crowell

Sam is professor emeritus at California State University, San Bernardino and is the founder of the MA in Holistic and Integrative Education. He serves as a doctoral faculty member at Cal State and faculty for the UNESCO Chair for Education for Sustainable Development with the Earth Charter. Through his presentations, teaching, and writing,
Sam’s vision is to facilitate experiences that help others integrate holistic perspectives of science, learning, and sustainable culture in their lives and organizations; cultivate practices that nourish the inner life; and participate in creative arts, nature, and loving service to others. His latest book, Emergent Teaching with David Reid-Marr, explores a deeper understanding of creativity, significance, and transformation. Sam serves on the board of the Skillful Meditation Project.

Jane Dalton (presenting with Kathryn Byrnes)

Jane Dalton is an Assistant Professor of Art Education at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. She earned her Ph.D. in Expressive Arts in Education and a M.F.A in Textile Design and Weaving. Her teaching includes designing arts-based professional development workshops for K-12 teachers, preparing pre-service art education teachers and studio artclasses. She teaches with the arts at the center of learning, believing they are a powerful tool for motivating students to make connections across content area, to work cooperatively, and to think critically and creatively by tapping into multiple learning styles and modes of expression. Through the arts, her aim is to support individuals to become richer, more whole, perhaps more compassionate because of greater self-awareness and a deeper understanding of their place in the world. She is the co-author of The Compassionate Classroom: Lessons that Nurture Empathy and Wisdom. Her research interests include teacher renewal and contemplative pedagogy in classrooms using the arts.

Nitai Deranja

Nitai Deranja was founding director of the first Education for Life (EFL) School in 1972 at Ananda Village in Northern California, as well as co-founder there of the first EFL high school in 1997. Since then he has overseen the development of other EFL schools in California, Oregon, Washington, Slovenia, and Italy. Nitai currently serves as executive director of Ananda College of Living Wisdom. He is the author of For Goodness' Sake: Supporting Children and Teens in Discovering Life’s Highest Values.

Mia Driscoll (presenting with Tia McLean)

Tia & Mia have been teaching and learning together for the past 11 years.  They are passionate about teaching kindergarten togther using developmentally appropriate practices at Helman School in Ashland.  They are constantly exploring new ways to incorporate music, singing, dancing and the arts into their curriculum.  Their students enjoy learning new concepts through the arts, and sharing their love of song and dance with the community.

Gina Dusenbury (presenting with Younghee Kim and Rebecca Tree)

Gina Dusenbury has a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Development and 35 years of experience teaching and learning with children, families and other professionals, including 28 years in several Head Start programs as well as Early Childhood Special Education programs. Gina is currently the Education Director for Southern Oregon Head Start and part time Early Childhood/Elementary Education program instructor at Rogue Community College. She believes that by being present, we can be our true-self with others and support meaningful experiences.

Paul Freedman

Paul Freedman is an elementary school teacher, a school Founder and Director, author and activist.  Paul has taught for 22 years including in public schools in California and Oregon.  In 2001 he helped to found the Salmonberry School, an independent pre-K – 6th grade school on Orcas Island, WA, where he continues to serve as the school’s program director.  The school is founded on principles of holistic education. Paul holds an MA with a concentration in Partnership Education from Goddard College.  He served for a number of years as a Contributing Editor for the journal Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice.  He has published work in this journal as well as Education Revolution and Communities Magazine. He has presented workshops at many conferences and hosted several of his own.

Jenny Freeman

Tobin Hart, Ph.D.

Tobin Hart, Ph.D. is father, professor, psychologist, author and consultant. He serves as professor of psychology at the University of West Georgia, as well as the co-founder of the ChildSpirit Institute, a nonprofit educational and research hub exploring and nurturing the spirituality of children and adults. His work explores consciousness and integrates spirituality, psychology and education. His latest books include: The Four Virtues, The Integrative Mind: Transformative Education for a World on Fire, From Information to Transformation: Education for the Evolution of Consciousness, and The Secret Spiritual World of Children.

Marna Hauk, Ph.D. (presenting with Nicole Apelian)

Marna Hauk, Ph.D., is a professor, regenerative designer, and collaborative creativity catalyst. She innovates experiential educational programs for wild Gaian thriving. Marna serves on the faculty of Prescott College and directs the Institute for Earth Regenerative Studies at the convergence of creativity, ecological restoration, and the living wisdom traditions ( Marna graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Reed College, with an M. A. from the Sophia Center at Holy Names University, and from Prescott College with a doctorate in Sustainability Education. She has been studying, designing with, and teaching permaculture for twenty-seven years. She has advanced training in contemplative listening and poetic medicine. Marna publishes and presents internationally. Her research interests include Gaian Methods, terrapsychology, and community-based climate action.

Heather Hutton (presenting with Shauna Sorce)

Heather Hutton has enjoyed a diverse livelihood as a teacher and musical artist in the Rogue Valley since making her home here in 2000. After receiving a Bachelor's in Music and teaching credential from Humboldt State University in her native county, she continued as a music specialist in the public schools, spanning four school districts over 16 years. Heather's teaching experience also includes Waldorf education, general substitute teaching, and her private studio practice: "Unified Voice-Works." The nature of her entrepreneurial work is to bridge the performing arts to personal growth. Current projects include a new pilot project for middle schoolers connecting music and poetry, and also pursuing a Master’s in Education from Southern Oregon University.

Younghee Kim (presenting with Gina Dusenbury and Rebecca Tree)

Younghee Kim is a professor of education and an early childhood specialist in the School of Education at Southern Oregon University. Her recent record of scholarship includes whole child development and play, core reflection, diversity, teacher preparation, and the human potential. She has a special interest in a holistic approach to learning and teaching and applying core reflection in working with preservice and beginning teachers and teacher educators.

Edmund Knighton

Edmund Knighton is Associate Professor and Department Chair, Clinical Psychology PhD/MA programs, Marriage and Family Therapy, Somatic, Pre/Perinatal Psychology Concentrations, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Department Chair and Professor, MA in Education for Public Charter School Teachers, Rudolf Steiner College. Organizational Development Consultant. Founding Member: Anthroposophic Psychology Associates of North America. Research: brain development and spatial perception. Faculty and administration of nine graduate institutes and four Waldorf Schools. Currently working on a book on mindfulness in education. PAST: Postdoctorate: Family Systems, Hakomi Body Centered Psychotherapy. Certifications: Conflict Management, Yoga, Spacial Dynamics Movement Therapist, Ropes Course Instructor. Educator for 25 years at early childhood, primary, secondary, graduate levels. Trained in circus arts and drama. K-12 PE teacher for 20 years. High School Humanities/Science Teacher. Created SES 4th-12th grade programs using Kessler’s Mysteries Curriculum. Neuropsychological assessment at UC-Davis Med-Center Department Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specializing in traumatic brain injury, multidisciplinary medical team biopsychosocialspiritual model.

Fred A.J. Korthagen

Fred A.J. Korthagen is a professor emeritus of teacher education at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. He published many articles and books on the professional development of teachers and teacher educators. He is a co-developer of the Core Reflection approach and has worked with many educational institutions on the use of this approach. Fred received international awards for his scientific work, for example from the American Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) and the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Together with Younghee Kim and William Greene (SOU) he published the book: Korthagen, F.A.J., Kim, Y.M., & Greene, W.L. (Eds.) (2013). Teaching and Learning from Within: A Core Reflection Approach to Quality and Inspiration in Education. New York/London: Routledge.
For more information, see

Zahra Lightway (presenting with Deborah Baker)

Zahra Lightway is the creator of E.P.I.C., Empowered Parents, Inspiring Children,  a 3 month virtual training program coaching parents to create progressive homeschool education.  Zahra is known as the most sought after designer of alternative, holistic, education programs for children and youth. She is famous for empowering parents to inspire their children to realize their full potential using existing resources within their community all without creating elite programs no-one can afford.  She is the founder of Light Way Schools and Blue Star Training, and co-founder of Seeding The Future NOW and The Children of the New Earth Conferences.  Zahra has two decades of experience in teaching and leading workshops, has presented internationally and been interviewed numerous times for radio, tele summits and magazines.

Bob London

I am a professor at California State University, San Bernardino; program coordinator for the MA in Holistic and Integrative Education; and director, Spirituality and Education Network. My major professional interest is clarifying the implications of a spiritual perspective in education, particularly a spiritual perspective that is consistent with a variety of spiritual traditions, as well as consistent with the implications of the new sciences and some current educational psychologies.  My specific interests in this area include: identifying principles and statements concerning education considered consistent with a spiritual perspective, clarifying the implications of a spiritual perspective for developing a strong connection with nature, describing a research methodology consistent with a spiritual perspective, and transformative approaches to teacher education.

Geoffry "Ba" Luvmour, M.A.

Geoffrey “Ba” Luvmour, MA is a consultant, educator, and Summa Academy Director. Endowed with a keen sense of social justice and natural abilities for research and introspection, Ba has dedicated his life to discovering how to restore and deepen optimal well-being in society and the world. Ba has worked with thousands of families, teachers and schools on all facets of relationship with children using the system of Natural Learning Relationships whole-child development for over 27 years. Over time, he has published five books on relationships with children as well as numerous articles. Ba's 's many years exploring the expanses of spirituality informs all of his work. Participating in the spiritual essence of children can be discovered in each of his interactive seminars.

Josette Luvmour, Ph.D.

Josette Luvmour, PhD is an educator in human development and a developmental consultant specializing in child and adult development, adult transformational learning, and sustainable family relationships. She serves in the non-profit sector as Director of Family and Professional Development at Summa Institute, a nonprofit organization that provides Natural Learning Relationships™ programs to students, families, and professionals. In addition to her 27-year consulting practice at Luvmour Consulting, LLC, her writing has been published in ENCOUNTER: Education for meaning and social justice, Paths of Learning, Journal of Adult Development, Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Parenting Matters, Family Post, Holistic Education Review, Mothering Magazine, Naturopathic Doctor News, and she is also the author of five books that focus on building positive relationships with children.

Stephen Marble

Stephen Marble researches problems and issues related to secondary teacher education, including Lesson Study, Academic Literacy and the implications of the philosophical perspectives of Gilles Deleuze. He served as a Program Manager and Vice-President with the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory in Austin, Texas, leading the Southwest Consortium for the Improvement of Mathematics and Science Education for six years. He taught public school in rural Texas and Bush Alaska, and has taught in teacher education programs at the University of Texas at Austin and The University of Hawaii. He is currently an Associate Professor of Education at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, where he teaches Foundations, Secondary Literacy, and a number of secondary teacher preparation field courses

David Marshak

David Marshak is the founding president of the SelfDesign Graduate Institute, a unique international learning community with offices in Bellingham, WA. David is an emeritus professor in the College of Education at Seattle University and the author of The Common Vision: Parenting and Educating for Wholeness, a study of the coherent teachings about human unfoldment in childhood and adolescence of Rudolf Steiner, Sri Aurobindo, Ghose,, and Hazrat Inayat Khan.

Michael Maser

Michael Maser is a co-founder, educator and visioneer of the innovative and award-winning SelfDesign Learning school programs in BC, now enrolling close to 2,000 BC children and youth. A 27-year award-winning educator (Prime Ministers Award, BC Ministry of Education Special Merit), Michael's special focus, based on leading-edge research and experience, is on optimizing personalized learning for people of all ages and all backgrounds. Michael's recent book, 'Learn Your Way! SelfDesigning the Life You Really Want, Starting Now' is now an approved health and personal development text book for BC middle and high school courses. Michael lives in Gibsons, BC. More about Michael may be found at

Hunter McEwan

Hunter McEwan is Professor of Education in the Department of Educational Foundations at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. For the past three years he has been chair of the new Doctorate in Professional Educational Practice (EdD).  His scholarly interests are in the epistemology of professional practice, particularly in regard to issues of practitioner inquiry.  Recent publications include Narrative Reflection in the Philosophy of Teaching: Genealogies and Portraits, published in The Journal of Philosophy of Education, Vol. 45, No. 1, 2011 and, in collaboration with Liuxin Yang, Xu Di and Roger Ames, A Chinese Philosophy of Education for the World: "On Teaching and Learning" Xue Ji 學記" in the 21st Century which was recently accepted for publication by SUNY Press.

Tia McLean (presenting with Mia Driscoll)

Tia & Mia have been teaching and learning together for the past 11 years.  They are passionate about teaching kindergarten togther using developmentally appropriate practices at Helman School in Ashland.  They are constantly exploring new ways to incorporate music, singing, dancing and the arts into their curriculum.  Their students enjoy learning new concepts through the arts, and sharing their love of song and dance with the community.

Janai Mestrovich

Holistic educator for 40 years, Janai Mestrovich creates a haven for the whole being with, fun, innovative techniques, teaching about inner resources beginning with preschoolers. CBS Morning Show has showcased her work. State of Oregon awarded her work in the 1990's. Instructor at Univ. of Oregon and SOU, Janai's books are used in classrooms and with general public. Her television series was awarded 2nd place, Silver Medal out of 2,000 entries worldwide at the NY International Film and Television Festival for children. Children and adults alike find her approach irresistible and confidence building. She is known for her inner child focus with all ages, using play as a foundation for 3D experiential learning. She is an outrageous grandmother!

Haley L. Moore

Haley is a graduate student at the Eastman School of Music, at the University of Rochester. She received her Bachelors of Music degree in violin performance and is now in her second year in the Music Education program. Haley began playing violin when she was 8 years old, starting with both classical music and Irish traditional music. She has matured in and performs both genres and considers herself a professional violinist and fiddler, giving her a unique perspective on music teaching and learning. It is this perspective that sparks her to share her love of music with others. Haley will receive her masters degree in May 2015 and plans to enter Eastman’s doctoral program after some field research abroad.

Ayako Nozawa

Ayako Nozawa, Ed.D., MA is an author, Kundalini yoga instructor/trainer and a global presenter, having conducted workshops & seminars in North America, Europe and Japan. The themes of her work include contemplative practices in education & personal development, global citizenship education and holistic parenting. She has been involved with the Boise Waldorf initiative to bring more holistic education to Idaho. Aya also serves as a Vice President of the Idaho Japanese Association and has served as the Vice Chair of the Dresden Japanese School’s administrative committee in Germany. Published works include: The Power of Contemplative Practices –Their Impact in Educators’ Personal and Professional Lives, LAN, Germany, 2009; Kurashi Holistic-Dresden Dayori (Holistic Lifestyle in Dresden, Germany), Seseragi Shuppan, Osaka, Japan, 2008.

Tom Peterson

Dr. Thomas Peterson has served for the past 24 years as a professor of Social, Cultural and Philosophical Foundations of Education at the University of West Georgia. He teaches teacher education courses including philosophy, critical theory, and history. His research interests include teachers' inner-life, teacher burnout/renewal, growing a spiritual classroom, and igniting a SPARK in high-risk adolescence. Son of a preacher, Tom lived his formative years in South East Asia. Prior to his appointment at UWG, he was an elementary/middle school principal in NC, art teacher in California and Maryland, World Masters gold medal winner in badminton, flight instructor, and pilot missionary to Africa. 

Jay Preskenis (presenting with Michelle Zundel and Erika Bare)

Jay Preskenis is a teacher at Ashland High School.

Andrea Purcell (presenting with Mariella Saba)

Andrea Purcell has over 20 years of experience working in alternative school settings as a teacher, administrator, and program development consultant. She believes strongly that schools are happily filled with imperfect and unpredictable human beings, and that developing genuine and respectful relationships with families and students is more powerful than any curriculum. Dr. Purcell received her PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Hawaii and is currently the Principal at New Village Girls Academy, a Big Picture Company school for young women in Downtown Los Angeles.

Gay Garland Reed

Gay Garland Reed is a Professor in the Department of Educational Foundations at the University of Hawai‘i. She received her M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Social Foundations of Education from the University of Virginia where she also served as adjunct faculty. Currently she teaches courses in Multicultural Education, Social and Cultural Contexts of Education and Foundations of Education at the graduate and undergraduate levels at the University of Hawai‘i but has also taught in China, Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, and American Samoa. Her research and publications focus on the intersection of cultural values and education in China, Korea, Hawai‘i and Bhutan. She has also published articles on moral education, Confucianism, multicultural education, identity construction, and globalization.

Doug Robertson

Doug Robertson has been an elementary school teacher for eight years from Southern CA to Hawaii to Oregon teaching 3rd, 4th, and 6th grades. He will teach 4th again next year at the newly formed Tablerock Elementary in White City, OR. Doug has a grand plan to become a famous teacher and infect future generations of educators and students with his positive and loving teaching philosophy, which will lead to a joyous education renaissance, flying unicorns, and rock and roll for all. To that end he's written a book called, He's the Weird Teacher that is available at most booksellers and which outlines his plans for education domination through joy.

Lucila Rudge

Lucila Rudge began her career in holistic education as Waldorf kindergarten teacher in Brazil, her home country. She has a doctorate in Holistic Education from the Ohio State University. She co-developed and taught a new M.A. program in Holistic Education at Ohio State. She is now Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at The University of Montana. Her teaching and research interests include teacher education, multicultural education, teacher-student relationships, pedagogy and learning, and holistic approaches to education. In the past few years, her research has focused on evaluating teacher education programs aimed at improving the quality of teacher-student relationships and advancing awareness and understanding of diversity.

Mariella Saba (presenting with Andrea Purcell)

Mariella Saba, 26, primarily identifies as a healing arts practitioner, community organizer, writer, teatrista and learning facilitator.  Daughter of [im]migrant parents, born and raised in East Los Angeles of mixed Arabic and Mexican decent.  Director of IDEPSCA’s Aprendamos (Let's Learn) Program since 2009, leading popular education based curriculum with children, youth, and families throughout Los Angeles. She is a community organizer, co-founder of Stop LAPD Spying coalition and co-founder of Teatro Moonaguas. Attended UC Santa Cruz where she co-founded Students Informing Now, and graduated in 2009 with a BA in Literature, Concentration in Creative Writing, and a Minor in Theater Arts. Also graduated as a Massage Therapist from the Institute of Psycho Structural Balancing (IPSB) 2013 working to model self, family, community, and systemic healing.

Cari Satran

I have been a middle school teacher for the past eleven years, teaching both seventh and eighth grades.  Since I began teaching, I have also been meditating with my students. Throughout my Masters Studies I focused on holistic education generally, and spirituality in the classroom specifically, exploring meditation in the classroom and its benefits. I completed my Master Degree at the University of Manitoba in October 2012. My presentation will impart how a classroom meditation practice can be easily implemented and contribute to a sense of overall well-being for individual students, as well as the classroom culture as a whole, and embody holistic education.

Susan A. Schiller, Ph.D.

Susan A. Schiller, Ph.D. is the Director of the M.A. in Humanities Program at Central Michigan University as well as a professor of English and member of the Graduate Faculty at Central Michigan University.  She teaches composition and rhetoric, American literature, film studies, and English education.  She and Gary Babiuk co-edit The Holistic Educator: The Newsletter for the Holistic Learning and Spirituality in Education Professional Interest Community Group of ASCD.   Her research interests include spiritual approaches to writing and learning, holistic education, and studies in Willa Cather.  Her most recent publication is Sustaining the Writing Spirit: Holistic Tools for School and Home, 2nd ed. (Rowman and Littlefield, 2014).

Charles Scott


I am an Associate Professor at City University of Seattle where I coordinate an M.Ed. program on Leadership in Education. I am also an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University where I work with international students in a Master’s TESOL program, have taught in a doctoral program on Transformational Change, and am now working in a Master’s program on Contemplative Inquiry and Learning. My research interests are in contemplation (particularly in its intersubjective manifestations) and its applications in education, in conceptualizations of dialogue and its applications in education, and in holistic approaches in education for both contemplative and dialogic practice. Finally, I love teaching and working with and learning from students and love the blurring and consideration of the distinctions between student and teacher.


Mark Sherbow

Mark Sherbow has been an elementary teacher for over 30 years in Ashland, Oregon, Park City, Utah and New South Wales, Australia. He has taught grades k- 8th . In Ashland, he team taught for 13 years in a multi-age class of first through fifth graders. Currently, he is teaching in a 4-5 loop and teaching mathematics at SOU in the summers. His pedagogical interests include constructive approaches to mathematics, multi-age teaching, place-based education and mentoring pre-service teachers.

Shauna Sorce (presenting with Heather Hutton)

Shauna Sorce lives in Grants Pass, Oregon, with her partner and their three children. She holds a BS in elementary education and is pursuing a master’s degree in education at Southern Oregon University. Shauna has worked in Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and Waldorf education programs. She has also run her own preschool and kindergarten program blending aspects of these methods. Most recently, she has taught “Nature Studies” as a special subject and middle school mathematics at Woodland Charter School, a Waldorf-inspired school in Murphy, Oregon. Shauna is currently working on developing curriculum for an after-school, hands-on science program to be implemented at Woodland in the coming academic year. 

Michele Tanaka

Michele Tanaka is an assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Her learning~teaching~researching focuses on clarifying and articulating the essential elements, intuitive processes and practical tensions inherent to the Transformative Inquiry process with pre-service teachers. To address these issues, she has been carefully attending to the process of mentoring, the rhythms of inquiry, and to the thoughts and opinions of course participants. Her research interests include transformative learning, mindfulness, holistic education, indigenous ways of learning and teaching, cross-cultural understanding, and re-visioning educational culture for sustainability. For more information, please visit:

Rebecca Tree (presenting with Younghee Kim and Gina Dusenbury)

Rebecca Tree is the Founder and Director of Roots & Wings Community Preschool and a strong advocate for play and playful learning in early childhood programs and beyond. She has served in the early childhood field for over 30 years beginning in Colorado prior to moving to Oregon in 1990. She believes that through intentional observation and understanding children's play we can make meaningful curricular decisions that support children's development and learning.

Lisa Tucker

Lisa Tucker has been involved in holistic education for nearly three decades, serving as an early years teacher, the Director of Programs at the Manitoba Children’s Museum, and currently in the Faculty of Education at the University of Winnipeg.  In 2012 she co-founded the Holistic Educators Group in Manitoba, and with her husband Robert, she serves as a Resource Person for the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland.  She has published articles on spirituality in teacher education, mindfulness, and re-visioning education.  As a teacher, musician, and keynote speaker, Lisa inspires people to connect with their deepest self, others, the Earth and beyond.

Rachel Van Boven

Rachel Van Boven has worked in the field of education since 2002 in a variety of roles, including as a classroom teacher, an environmental educator, and a tutor. She has a Masters in Teaching from the University of Washington and teaches curriculum development at Ananda College. She is currently the 1st/2nd grade teacher at Living Wisdom School, a school based on yogic principles in Portland, OR. In this supportive community, she has complete freedom to integrate nature into her classroom, including spending one day a week playing and learning on the same piece of land outside of the city.

Rick Vanosdall

Rick’s work focuses upon individual and collaborative learning experiences when we mindfully design for the interdependency of mind, body, spirit, and location. His work builds upon the research and knowledge base in addition to his research and 19 years in public K-12 school settings plus 11 years in public university settings. Currently, Rick works with educational leaders and graduate students who are responsible for learning in PreK-12 school settings. Rick earned a B.S. in Natural Resource and Environmental Education (Michigan State, 1984), and an M.Ed. and Ed.D. in Educational Administration and Supervision (Arizona State, 1988 & 2003). Rick was a student of Nelson Haggerson at Arizona State University, and has deep research and practical experience in heuristic inquiry, transformative pedagogy, and teacher/leader professional development.

Emily Waymire

Emily Waymire has studied and practiced traditional and indigenous spiritual mysticism around the world for over 25 years. Her background in Arts Education and Energy Medicine led to a private practice including Somatic Brief Therapy approaches, Hypnotherapy, Trauma Therapy and Hellinger Family Constellations. Whether it is imprisoned sex offenders, homeless children, those labelled mentally ill, people living with illness, or simply parents, couples, individuals seeking greater peace...her focus is on connecting social context with personal meaning. She currently facilitates individual and group sessions, intensives and trainings in which she combines her experience with Satsang, Energy Medicine, Masculine/Feminine Electromagnetic Polarity, and the Ancestral Soul. Contact:

Leslie Whitcomb, Ph.D.

Leslie Whitcomb, Ph.D. Child and Family Development in Applied Ecopsychology
Dr. Whitcomb is Academic Dean at Project Nature Connect Institute of Graduate Education/ Akamai University, Department of Applied Ecopsychology. She maintains a courtesy faculty appointment within Portland State University. Her experience as a Post Partum Adjustment Educator, Parent/Infant Mental Health Counselor and Somatic Therapist enrich her current teaching and facilitating. Dr. Whitcomb's experience as a bi-cultural White/Indigenous woman and mother of six children led her to integrate Sensory Ecologies of teaching and counseling into her work. She values thirty years of time spent in forests, along coastal shorelines and in riparian grasslands, teaching, counseling and learning, as essential to her professional contributions.  Leslie mentors and teaches graduate students in the of fields Education, Family Therapy, Social Service, Systems Engineering and Community Organization in order to support their integrations of Applied Ecopsychology into professional settings.

Michelle Zundel (presenting with Jay Preskenis and Erika Bare)

Starting her fifth year as principal at Ashland High School (AHS), Michelle Zundel has been an administrator in the Ashland School District for twenty years. Born and raised in New Orleans, educated at Brown and Harvard, Ms. Zundel taught and coached volleyball in high schools in Oregon and the American International School of Zurich in Switzerland. She has visited schools in 14 countries. In the last four years, AHS has earned recognition from U.S. News and World Report, Newsweek, ASCD, and Career Information Systems. Oregon ASCD awarded AHS the 2014 Whole Child Award for turning “vision into actions that result in learners who are not only knowledgeable and emotionally and physically healthy but also fully prepared for college, careers, and citizenship in our world.”


Please visit this page regularly for presenter updates.

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