Presenter Bios

Presenter Bios 2020-04-08T10:06:38+00:00

TMC offers in-person talks and workshops on a number of Self-Reg topics. Below is a list of presenters who may be available to present to you and your team. Please contact to make an inquiry about presenter availability and to make a booking.

British Columbia
Nova Scotia


Marilyn Barros
Marilyn BarrosSelf-Reg Consultant
Finding Self-Reg, the Shanker Method was something Marilyn had been looking for, for a long time. She has always been a person who tries to see the positive in others and learning about Self-Reg has helped her learn the science behind our actions. Marilyn’s experiences as a mom have taught her so much. Her career has taken her from residential services, vocational services, supporting mental health services then into the school system to her current role as an Occupational Therapy Assistant in paediatrics. In each of these roles, she has had the opportunity to meet and learn from so many children and their families.

Presenter Location: Sarnia

Lisa Bayrami
Lisa BayramiSelf-Reg Consultant
Lisa is passionate about fostering wellbeing among children, youth, families, and communities. As former Director of Research at Roots of Empathy, a large not-for-profit organization, Lisa oversaw all aspects of research globally. Lisa trained as a developmental psychologist under Dr. Stuart Shanker and Dr. Stanley Greenspan and continued her journey as Senior Scientist at the Milton and Ethel Harris Research Initiative (MEHRI) at York University where she designed and led multiple school-based research initiatives and worked with children with special needs and their families. She instructed as a Professor of Psychology in the School of Liberal Arts and Academic Partnerships at Seneca at York. Lisa also consults internationally supporting children, educators, parents, and Governments with the central focus of cultivating wellbeing.

In addition, Lisa is on the Advisory Committee for Measuring What Matters (People for Education) and the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Holistic Early Learning and Development. Previously, she has served as a member of the Babies and Preschool Working Groups as part of the National Reading campaign.

Lisa believes that Self-Reg is foundational to changing the landscape of wellbeing for all and is excited to bring her vision and enthusiasm to lead SRI into the future.

Presenter Location: Toronto

Amanda Binns
Amanda BinnsSelf-Reg Online Learning Facilitator
Amanda is a Speech-Language Pathologist, PhD student and mother. She is also a DIR-Floortime training leader, adjunct faculty at Fielding University, and blogger. Amanda has worked with children, adolescents and parents in home, school, hospital, university clinic and agency settings. She is passionate about sharing with others what she has learned about self-regulation through years of clinical and research work. She has presented to and consulted with professionals across four continents. Amanda continues to be inspired by working in conjunction with Dr. Stuart Shanker and his dynamic team at TMC.

Presenter Location: GTA

Casey Burgess
Casey BurgessSelf-Reg Online Learning Facilitator
Having lived across Canada from coast to coast, Casey has worked for over 20 years as an Autism Resource Consultant and Clinical Supervisor on multidisciplinary teams, in both British Columbia and Ontario. Currently in Sault Ste Marie, she is an adjunct faculty member at Algoma University (Psychology), Lake Superior State University (Education), and Sault College (Social Sciences), as well as a PhD student, a parent of a teen and a tween, and the partner of a very understanding man.

Presenter Location: Sault Ste. Marie

Stefani Burosch
Stefani BuroschSelf-Reg Online Learning Facilitator
Stefani is a Registered Social Worker with a background in research, communities, organizations, and planning. She is a passionate advocate for school-based mental health and spent five years in northern Alberta as a Project Coordinator with the Alberta Mental Health Capacity Building in Schools Projects. Since moving back to Ontario, Stefani has continued her work in mental health leadership within the education sector. She believes that self-regulation is absolutely essential for promoting the well-being of kids, families, and communities.

Presenter Location: Peterborough

Crystal Carbino
Crystal CarbinoSelf-Reg Consultant
As a Registered Early Childhood Educator with a passion for inspiring powerful positive relationships, Crystal is dedicated to sharing the impact of self-regulation on academic achievement and overall well-being. Currently the Early Years Facilitator for the Simcoe County District School Board, Crystal has gained an enormous amount of experience facilitating professional development for educators. Crystal is proud to call herself a Self-Reg Champion having complete TMC’s Foundations in Self-Regulation Certification, Self-Reg Learning Facilitators Certification and Self-Reg and Early Childhood Development Certification.

Presenter Location: Port Severn, Ontario

Lisa Cranston
Lisa CranstonSelf-Reg Consultant & Online Learning Facilitator
Lisa Cranston is a recently retired educator with over thirty years of experience. She has taught grades kindergarten to four and worked as an instructional coach for literacy and mathematics. Lisa spent the last eleven years of her career in education as the educational consultant for kindergarten and primary grades and led the implementation of Full-Day Kindergarten for her school board from 2010 – 2015. Lisa believes that Shanker Self-Reg® has changed how she views both her own behaviour and that of others, and her goal is to help others to ‘lend their calm’ to those around them. Lisa blogs about her Self-Reg reflections and learning at

Lisa recently completed a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership at Western University, studying policy enactment of self-regulation curriculum expectations in kindergarten. She has a Master’s degree in Curriculum Studies from the University of Windsor and an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education from Ryerson University in Toronto.

Presenter Location: Harrow, Ontario

Nancy Drew
Nancy DrewSelf-Reg Consultant
Nancy is a recent retiree, having spent her career of over 30 years in the education field. She began as a French Immersion Kindergarten teacher, which is where her passion for early years quickly developed. Nancy also has taught primary/junior grades, worked as an itinerant technology coach, and led her Board as the Teacher Consultant for the Early Years/Primary Literacy (Provincial) initiative. While in that role, she also developed and presented workshops for Southwestern Ontario school board teams. The latter part of her career were spent as a Vice-Principal and then Principal. As a Principal, Nancy was invited by the Ontario Principals Council to co-lead a Province-wide technology conference geared to Administrators.

Nancy initially became interested in growing her understanding of Dr. Shanker’s self-regulation method to assist her in finding the “key” to the issue of aggression in young children. She felt there was something more she needed to do for these children. As she learned more, self-regulation has become the lens from which she views all of life’s ups and downs. It is truly something that she “takes personally”!

Presenter Location: Tecumseh/Windsor

Aviva Dunsiger
Aviva DunsigerCo-Reg Community Moderator & Self-Reg Consultant
Aviva is no stranger to self-regulation, whether in the classroom or in her everyday life. When she’s not moderating Portal Plus, Aviva works as a JK/SK teacher at an inner-city school in Hamilton, helping her students develop self-regulation skills. Dr. Shanker’s book, Calm, Alert and Learning has been a source of inspiration for Aviva as a teacher and digital native.

Presenter Location: Dundas

Michelle Ferreri
Michelle FerreriSelf-Reg Consultant
Michelle, most often known by her cheeky nickname MF, is described as an authentic, creative, passionate visionary with a gift to share engaging stories.

MF is a dynamic speaker who thrives on connecting with people. She’s a vlogger, speaker and marketing consultant with over 18 years experience in television and media. The MF platform focuses on parenting, motivation, inspiration, self empowerment, mental health, social justice, philanthropy and beyond.

Presenter Location: Peterborough

Susan Hopkins
Susan HopkinsExecutive Director, TMC
*Limited availability* Booking availability for Fall 2019 onwards
A passionate advocate for children, families and communities, Dr. Susan Hopkins leads Dr. Stuart’s Shanker’s organization, The MEHRIT Centre (TMC). Susan’s leadership brings Dr. Shanker’s self-regulation knowledge to contexts across Canada and beyond. As a one-time at risk youth who quit high school twice, Susan went on to complete four degrees. Over the course of Susan’s career, she has been an educator, school administrator, special education teacher, inclusive schooling coordinator, curriculum developer, educational researcher, and educational leader. She has worked in every area of education from the early years to post-secondary and across contexts from Italy to the Northwest Territories. Susan led the territorial implementation of the Early Development Instrument (EDI), co-authored the Government’s Early Childhood Framework and developed the NWT play and culutre based kindergarten curriculum. She went on to lead the Planning, Research, and Evaluation division for the Department of Education before relocating to Edmonton to head up the Society of Safe and Caring Schools and Communities. These experiences always lead back to the self-regulation research, writing, and thinking of Dr. Stuart Shanker. In 2014 Susan became the Executive Director of The MEHRIT Centre and under her leadership the organization has grown and developed into a much respected, accessible, and successful Centre of teaching and learning. In addition, Susan now brings her skills to Stuart’s self-regulation research centre (SRI) as the lead researcher for SRI’s fourth area of focus: The Practice of Self-Reg.

Presenter Location: Peterborough

Leigh Anne Jacques
Leigh Anne JacquesSelf-Reg Consultant
Leigh Anne is a Montessori teacher and the owner of Beaches Montessori School. She is a wife and mother of four and lives in Toronto. She is inspired by Dr. Shanker and the Self-Reg movement. It has had such a positive effect on her personal life as well as the lives of the children and staff that she works with. She is working towards creating a Self-Reg haven at her school.

Presenter Location: GTA

Rebecca Leslie
Rebecca LeslieSelf-Reg Consultant
Rebecca completed The MEHRIT Centre’s (TMC) Foundations program, became a Self-Reg Consultant with TMC, and joined the research team at the Self Regulation Institute (SRI) in 2017. She currently delivers dynamic and interactive Self-Reg workshops in English/French and is available for presentations in Canada and the United States. Additionally, she is a teaching assistant for both TMC’s Leadership program as well as the Early Childhood Development course.

Drawn to Self-Reg as a way to understand stress, both negative and positive, she is particularly interested in the brain-body connection and applying Dr. Shanker’s framework in classrooms, families, and the workplace. With a BEd and graduate studies at McGill University, she also holds an MEd in Developmental Psychology & Education from the University of Toronto. Her research interests revolve around neuropsychology and exploring evidence-informed practices for enhancing teacher-student relationships.

Presenter Location: Toronto, but available to present in Quebec and the USA

Sonia Mastrangelo
Sonia MastrangeloSelf-Reg Consultant
Sonia Mastrangelo is an Associate Professor at Lakehead University Orillia in the Faculty of Education, associate editor of the International Journal of Holistic Early Learning and Development and former special education teacher. She is also a certified Miller Method therapist, a cognitive developmental approach to working with students on the autism spectrum. Sonia travels nationally and internationally, speaking with parents and teachers about autism spectrum disorder, self regulation, the importance of play and developmentally appropriate practice and provides direct consultative support to schools and clinics.

Presenter Location: Bolton

Gail Molenaar
Gail MolenaarSelf-Reg Consultant & Online Learning Facilitator
Gail is a passionate educator connecting nature and self-regulation as both a practicing Forest and Nature School Practitioner student and facilitator of nature learning and Self-Reg. Children naturally self-regulate in the forest! She graduated with honours in ECE from Georgian College. has an undergraduate degree in psychology from Lakehead University and is passionate about all things Early Years. Gail is an aspiring children’s author, an occasional blogger, and an independent Early Years consultant/presenter who is proudly amongst the first cohort in TMC’s Foundations 1 and 2 courses. She also works as a Kindergarten educator in the SCDSB and is a member of the CCCF and the AECEO.

Presenter Location: Barrie

Arlene Robinson
Arlene RobinsonSelf-Reg Online Learning Facilitator
Arlene is an elementary school principal with more that 25 years in education, wife and mother of two. She has been searching for more effective ways to support students to their fullest potential in spite of what lies in their life path. For Arlene, the Self-Reg is the answer to this search and she is finding the learning journey to be beneficial both personally and professionally, and believes everyone can benefit from
this learning.

Presenter Location: Lakefield/Peterborough

Angie Rosati
Angie RosatiSelf-Reg Consultant
Angie is a Professor of Early Childhood Education at Sheridan College and a PhD student in Education at York University. Angie has been interested in the impact of the schooling experience on the developmental pathways of children for as long as she can remember. Angie writes policy papers and op-ed pieces for an array of educational organizations and regularly delivers workshops to early childhood educators and college professors on the topics of Self-Regulation, Temperament and the Biology of Behaviour. Angie is working toward the day when the science of self-regulation becomes an embodied aspect of education and is hopeful that when all children come to be viewed through a Self-Reg lens by the important people in their lives, they will be freed to experience the promise of their potential.

Presenter Location: Loretto

Kim Smith
Kim SmithSelf-Reg Online Learning Facilitator
Kim is a wife and mother and has been an elementary educator for over 30 years with the York Region District School Board, 18 of those years as a Principal. She has a Master’s degree in education, is a Cognitive Coach and is also trained in Adaptive Schools and Mindfulness. Kim has been inspired by the work of Stuart Shanker and strives to create a haven in her school for students, staff and parents. She believes that self-reg is the way to finding calmness and comfort in our fast paced world and looks for ways of sharing this with others.

Presenter location: Newmarket

Brenda Smith-Chant
Brenda Smith-ChantSelf-Reg Consultant
Prior to becoming a researcher, Brenda was a therapeutic foster parent for teenage girls in a small community north of Algonquin Park. This was the motivation to become a university research professor and Director of Research at the Self-Regulation Institute. In addition to teaching about child development, the development of children with exceptionalities, and the science behind teaching techniques, Brenda focuses on community-university partnerships.

Presenter Location: GTA

Vicki Storaas
Vicki StoraasSelf-Reg Online Learning Facilitator
Vicki has worked with people on the autism spectrum for over 20 years in both clinical and educational settings. She currently works at the Upper Canada District School Board, providing consultation and professional development to educators who work directly with students with ASD. She has also been invited to present at conferences across Ontario as well as in the Caribbean.
Vicki originally started studying Dr. Shanker’s work in order to learn how to better support her 2 daughters, but quickly recognized its importance for the students and educators she supports. She now sees it as a gateway to fulfillment and overall wellness, and is passionate about sharing her learning with anyone and everyone.

Presenter Location: Ottawa

Linda Warren
Linda WarrenSelf-Reg Consultant
Linda believes self-regulation is the foundation of a happy life of learning and living. She is grateful for the opportunity to continue her journey of self-reg learning with Dr. Shanker and is committed to supporting others on theirs. Linda is an experienced presenter, and as a school and system principal, she has 30 plus years’ experience in education and community involvement. She has worked in centralized roles in Special Education and Safe Schools and has taught in elementary and secondary schools. Linda sits on the Board of Directors for Frontenac Youth Services, a not-for-profit mental health agency for children, youth and their families.

Presenter Location: GTA

British Columbia

Paula Jurczak
Paula JurczakDean of eLearning & Self-Reg Consultant
Paula Jurczak is a Registered Clinical Counselor, Registered Social Worker, DIR Clinician and Training Leader and Self-Regulation Consultant in BC specializing in assessment and treatment of infants, children and adolescents with complex mental health issues, specialized medical conditions and special needs. Paula holds a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology and a Bachelors Degree in Social Work. Paula uses a strength based, family centered multidisciplinary approach and her work is informed by current research and evidence based intervention. Paula maintains a private practice using DIR and Self-Regulation models to support individuals experiencing attachment and regulatory challenges, behavioral and emotional difficulties, autism and neurodevelopmental disorders and mental health issues. She is the Dean of eLearning for The Mehrit Centre (TMC) and works collaboratively to support Self-Regulation in schools, organizations, health and social service agencies across Canada. Paula Jurczak also presents internationally and provides psychoeducational workshops, reflective parent coaching, online support services and support groups and consultation to hospitals, mental health clinics, preschools and schools.

Presenter Location: Richmond

Vicki Parnell
Vicki ParnellSelf-Reg Consultant & Self-Reg Parenting Group Administrator
Vicki is the administrator of the Self-Reg Parenting group on Facebook. She also works as an RDI Certified Consultant and Special Needs Resource Navigator, offering parent support and personalized intervention for families throughout British Columbia who have been affected by autism and other neurodevelopmental differences.
Vicki can often be found reading from her growing pile of books about neuroscience, mindfulness and self-regulation, purchased while taking the Self-Reg Foundations course.

Presenter Location: Burnaby, BC

Carol Perry
Carol PerrySelf-Reg Consultant
Carol is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and member of the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors. She holds a MA in Counselling (2006) and a Bachelor of Education (Music Major).

Carol worked for 36+ years as a public school educator in a variety of roles including; K-7 Music Specialist, Intermediate Classroom Teacher, Elementary & Middle School Counsellor, and Elementary School Administrator. The capstone of Carol’s career was being a vital part of the shift from a behavioural lens to a self-reg lens at her last school. This five year transformation convinced Carol that self-reg is a missing link in many school’s today. This was the impetus for her to take both Foundations 1 & 2 courses through The MEHRIT Centre.

Carol currently works as an Adjunct Professor at UBC Okanagan teaching the course, “Developing Learners” to 103 enthusiastic Teacher Candidates. For two years Carol was a Faculty Advisor to several Teacher Candidates from UBC Okanagan where she saw the need for teacher education in this area of self-regulation. Carol speaks about the Shanker process of self-reg as often as she can.

Carol lives in Vernon BC with her husband Jim. The joy of their lives are their fourteen grandchildren.

Presenter Location: Victoria

Kyla Zachary
Kyla ZacharySelf-Reg Consultant
Kyla is a Speech-Language Pathologist who spent the first 13 years of her career working in early intervention as part of a multidisciplinary team. She now has her own private speech and language practice serving children and youth in greater Victoria. Kyla came to Self-Reg after seeing an unmet need in the children she serves and in her own children. She is inspired by the change and growth that have come from practicing the five steps of Self-Reg both in her professional and personal life.

Presenter Location: Vernon



Constance Herman
Constance HermanSelf-Reg Consultant
Constance has passionately worked to support parents, families, and communities for the past 19 years. In her role as the Provincial Coordinator for the Nobody’s Perfect Parent Program in Saskatchewan, Constance provides training, resource development, and support to service providers who work with parents and families. In her private coaching business, Constance provides personalized coaching and education services to parents. As a Parent Program Coordinator, Parent Coach, and mom to a 3 year old girl and 9 year old boy, Constance recognizes that parenting is one of the most rewarding, most important, and also the most challenging jobs there is.
Constance has always possessed a deep desire to better understand herself and others, with the intention of using her awareness to support others. She has a BA with majors in psychology and sociology, and Bachelors of Social Work. Of all her studies and experience, Self-Reg has proven to have created the greatest impact in Constance’s personal, educational, and professional life. She believes that adopting a deeper awareness of Self-Reg, in all aspects of society, is pivotal to creating meaningful, lasting, and positive changes for future generations.

Presenter Location: Saskatoon

Lisa Pinhorn
Lisa PinhornSelf-Reg Online Learning Facilitator
Lisa is a holistic family interventionist with Feeding Futures, a private practice she co-founded with her sister. Feeding Futures supports families and professionals to improve the day-to-day lives of children with Autism, anxiety, ADHD, OCD, and developmental trauma. She has over 25 years of non-profit community work, public speaking, and is an advocate for children and their families. Lisa holds a Bachelor of Child Studies specializing in Developmental Disabilities from Mount Saint Vincent University, and a Masters of Education from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador, in Adult Education.
Lisa is a firm believer that empowered parents, holistic care, and empathic relationships are powerful, and often missing pieces of pediatric interventions and care. She knows firsthand the challenges of parenting a child on the autism spectrum.

Presenter Location: St. John’s


Karen Braun
Karen BraunSelf-Reg Consultant & Online Learning Facilitator
Karen is a wife, mother of five and grandmother of four. She has been an educator for 30 years in Southern Alberta. Her last twenty years have been in the area of behaviour support. Shanker Self-Reg has transformed her professional and personal life. Karen believes strongly in “see a child differently, you see a different child” and her goal is to help everyone to look at each other with soft eyes. Karen is currently working with her school board to change the outlook and to embrace the understandings and science of Self-Reg.

Presenter Location: Calgary

Julie Smith
Julie SmithSelf-Reg Consultant
Julie retired after a 35 year teaching career in elementary education. She spent her last six years as an associate principal and counsellor in a K-6 school in Barrhead, Alberta. During those six years, she was able to complete a masters’ degree in technology in education and then went on to complete both Self-Reg foundations courses through the MEHRIT Centre. Her Self-Reg learning transformed the way she supported an increasing number of anxious and dysregulated students. Above all, it changed the way she understood her personal self-regulation.
Currently, she works part-time as an educational assistant in order to directly support young children through a Self-Reg approach. She is also excited to be a Shanker Self-Reg Learning Facilitator and share her many experiences with others interested in starting this life-changing journey.
She and her husband have now semi-retired from their farming operation but spend a lot of time enjoying their river property together with their three adult children.

Presenter Location: Westlock

Nova Scotia

Marie Edwards
Marie EdwardsSelf-Reg Consultant & Online Learning Facilitator
With more than 30 years of experience as an educator, Marie has worked in Canada and Australia across a diversity of teaching and leadership roles. Her interest in and practice of Self-Reg ignited in 2010 after hearing a keynote address by Dr. Shanker. This sparked a transformational shift in her work as a principal/teacher in British Columbia and personal growth as a parent. It also inspired further research through a Masters of Educational Leadership, investigating the impact of learning environments on students’ self-regulation. Marie continues to learn through the MEHRIT Centre Self-Reg courses having completed Foundations, Facilitators, Leadership and Masters units courses. Now residing in Nova Scotia, Marie is a full-time Ph.D. candidate through the University of Tasmania, Australia. Her research seeks to understand how teachers in a regional low socioeconomic school context develop and apply self-regulation knowledge and skills to support the management of stress.

What helps Marie stay calm and alert: Being active in the outdoors, local produce cooking, playing the piano, painting, knitting, quilting, and enjoying loving and fun times with her family.

Presenter Location: Nova Scotia


Louise Lamont
Louise LamontSelf-Reg Online Learning Facilitator
Louise leads an organisation that provides counselling for children and adults dealing with complex trauma as a result of child sexual abuse. Initially working as a counsellor, Louise was later appointed to senior positions with State and Federal Government and in the Not for-Profit sector and was a member of State and National committees addressing a range of social issues. As Convenor of a State peak body. Louise advocated for social justice reform and was a key advisor for the ‘Freedom From Fear’ media campaign targeting perpetrators of Domestic Violence. Louise has provided training and education for the judiciary and human service workers and written Best Practice Guides for various services. Louise assisted with establishing Family Relationship Centres and had a key role supporting 10 National and 16 State committees working collaboratively in the area of family law. Louise developed a clinical supervision, case note audit and clinical observation program for 300 staff located across 11 sites. Louise has acquired a range of tertiary qualifications including a Master of Arts in Human Services, Grad Dip in Counselling, Public Sector Management, Workplace Training and Assessment. Louise first met Dr Shanker in 2007 and is inspired by his vision for promoting self-regulation.

Presenter Location: Perth

Melissa Raine
Melissa RaineSelf-Reg Consultant
Melissa’s research background is in medieval English literature. After becoming an Associate Investigator with the Centre for the History of Emotions in Australia for a project on children’s voices in medieval narratives, she became aware that the key questions she was asking – When do children have voices? What are they permitted/expected to say? What do their voices tell us about the culture they inhabit and how it understands childhood? – were as relevant for living children as for the imaginary children of the texts she was researching. As a result, she expanded her project into a symposium in 2016, “Children’s Voices in Contemporary Australia”. This coincided with her learning at The MEHRIT Centre, which informed the shape and questions that were considered on the day. Melissa continues to work on both projects as well as being a mother to 2 sons.

Presenter Location: Melbourne