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Self-Reg Presenter Bios

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. Currently our presenters are all based in Canada, but we have a number of these presenters who are able to take part in international speaking requests.


Susan Hopkins, EdD (she/her)

Executive Director, The MEHRIT Centre

Dr. Susan Hopkins (EdD), Executive Director, The MEHRIT Centre. In the past two-plus decades Susan has worked in numerous educational contexts and roles: early years, K-12 and post-secondary, teacher, vice-principal, curriculum developer, and inclusion coordinator. Under her leadership, Dr. Stuart Shanker’s organization, The MEHRIT Centre, has evolved into a highly respected, accessible, and successful center for Shanker Self-Reg® learning, serving thousands of learners from Canada and around the world. Susan works with partners in various countries to support and amplify locally-led Self-Reg initiatives. Susan is the co-author of the Self-Reg Schools Handbook for Educators with Dr. Stuart Shanker (Pearson, 2019) and developed the online resources for the Principal’s edition.

Presenter Location: Peterborough, ON

Marilyn Barros, Retired PDW/OTA

Self-Reg Presenter

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, ON

Lisa Bayrami, PhD

Self-Reg Presenter

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.

Presenter Location: Toronto, ON

Casey Burgess, Ph.D., R.P., Registered Psychotherapist, DIRFLoortime Practitioner

Self-Reg Online Learning Facilitator & Presenter
Casey Burgess is a Registered Psychotherapist with a Masters degree in Education and a Ph.D. in Cognition and Learning. Casey has supported neurodiverse children and youth including those on the autism spectrum in British Columbia and Ontario as a psychotherapist and clinical supervisor for over 25 years. Casey currently operates a private psychotherapy practice supporting child, youth and adult mental wellness and learning in many contexts of health and development. Trained in DIRFloortime, Casey uses a relationship-based self-regulation approach to support the development of children and youth through connection, engagement, and play, as well as adult mental wellness through psychotherapy, psychoeducation, individualized professional development, and consultation (virtual and face to face). In addition to facilitating courses for The Mehrit Centre, she also teaches as an adjunct professor of psychology at Algoma University and Yorkville University. Casey’s favourite restorative strategies:  restorative and yin yoga, mindfulness, learning, adventures, and engagement in art and music.

Presenter Location: Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Crystal Carbino

Self-Reg Presenter

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, ON

Lisa Cranston, EdD

Self-Reg Online Learning Facilitator & Presenter

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, ON

Areas of Focus: Early Years, Elementary School & Mindfulness

Aviva Dunsiger

Blogger & Self-Reg Presenter

Aviva is no stranger to self-regulation, whether in the classroom or in her everyday life. When she’s not moderating blog conversations, 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, ON

Areas of Focus: Classroom, Early Years & Kindergarten

Leigh Anne Jacques

Self-Reg Presenter

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, ON

Rebecca Leslie, MEd, BEd, (she/her)

Self-Reg Online Learning Facilitator & Presenter

With 15 years of classroom teaching experience, Rebecca is a Self-Reg Consultant with The MEHRIT Centre (TMC), delivering dynamic and interactive Self-Reg workshops to educators, parents, and community groups in English/French. She is a Course Facilitator with the Self-Reg eSchool (web-based learning environment) and is a Research and Development Project Manager with the TMC team. Apart from her roles with TMC, Rebecca is a mother of two young boys and an educational consultant in the Toronto region.

Drawn to Self-Reg as a way to understand stress, both negative and positive, Rebecca is particularly interested in the brain-body connection and applying Dr. Shanker’s framework in classrooms, homes, 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, sensory systems, and exploring evidence-informed practices for enhancing teacher-student/parent-child relationships.

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

Sonia Mastrangelo

Self-Reg Presenter

Sonia Mastrangelo is an Associate Professor at Lakehead University Orillia in the Faculty of Education, Chief Editor of the International Journal of Holistic Early Learning and Development and former special education teacher with the Dufferin Peel CDSB. 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 educators about autism spectrum disorder, self-regulation, the importance of play and developmentally appropriate practice and provides direct consultative support to schools and clinics. She is the recipient of multiple federally funded research grants and is currently collaborating with the MEHRIT Center on a research study on self-regulation and literacy in Big Trout Lake, Ontario.  Further information about her teaching, research and publications can be found at:

Presenter Location: Bolton, ON

Areas of Focus: ASD, Inclusion, Early Years & Anxiety

Gail Molenaar

Self-Reg Presenter

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, ON

Arlene Robinson

Self-Reg Online Learning Facilitator & Presenter

Arlene is a retired elementary school principal with more than 30 years in education, wife and mother of two. She has been searching for more effective ways to support students and adults to their fullest potential in spite of what lies in their life path. “I came for students and left with so much more”. For Arlene, 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, ON

Areas of Focus: Transitions, School Leadership & Facilitating Learning

Angie Rosati, PhD

Self-Reg Presenter

Angie is a Professor of Early Childhood Education at Sheridan College and has earned her PhD 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, ON

Areas of Focus: Early Years, Parents & Reframing Behaviour

Kim Smith, MScEd, OCT, (she/her)

Self-Reg Online Learning Facilitator & Presenter

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, ON

Areas of Focus: Teachers, School Leaders & Educational Assistants

Brenda Smith-Chant

Self-Reg Presenter

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. 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, ON

British Columbia

Paula Jurczak, MA, RCC-ACS, RSW, DIR-ET  (she/her)

Dean of eLearning 
Paula Jurczak is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and Supervisor, Registered Social Worker, DIR Clinician and Training Leader and Self-Regulation Consultant in BC. She specializes in assessment and treatment of infants, children and adolescents with complex mental health issues, specialized medical conditions and special needs.
Paula holds a Master’s in Counselling Psychology and a Bachelor’s in Social Work.
She maintains a private practice using DIR and self-regulation models to support individuals experiencing attachment and regulatory challenges, behavioural and emotional difficulties, neurodivergent challenges and complex mental health issues. Paula uses a strength-based, family-centred multidisciplinary approach in her practice, and her work is informed by current research and evidence-based intervention. Additionally, Paula provides clinical supervision to organizations and counsellors seeking to enrich their own practices.
As the Dean of eLearning for The MEHRIT Centre (TMC), she works collaboratively to support self-regulation in schools, organizations, health and social service agencies across Canada. Paula 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, BC

Areas of Focus: Mental & Physical Health, Schools & Youth

Vicki Parnell, (she/her)

Self-Reg Presenter & 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

Kayla Zachary

Self-Reg Presenter

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: Victoria, BC


Karen Braun

Self-Reg Presenter

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, AB



Constance Herman

Self-Reg Presenter 

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, SK

Areas of Focus: Parents, Social Work & Early Years



Marie Edwards, BEd, BSpEd, MEd (she/her)

Self-Reg Online Learning Facilitator & Presenter

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, partner, friend, and human. It also inspired further Masters (2013) and PhD (current) research, focussing on Self-Reg. Marie is a TMC facilitator, presenter, and learner and has completed the Foundations, Facilitators, Leadership, and Reframed courses. Based in Nova Scotia and working at Acadia University with preservice teachers, Marie is in the final stages of writing her dissertation on her research titled, “Developing teachers’ self-regulation to support stress management.”

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

Areas of Focus: Schools, Universities & Pre-Service Teachers



Lisa Pinhorn, BA(CYS), MEd, ND, YTT

Self-Reg Online Learning Facilitator & Presenter

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, NL

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