SRSS 2019 Presenters

SRSS 2019 Presenters 2019-07-07T07:43:35+00:00

Our Self-Reg Presenters for SRSS 2019

Dr. Stuart Shanker
Dr. Stuart Shanker
Dr. Stuart Shanker (D.Phil) is a Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Psychology, the CEO of The MEHRIT Centre, Ltd., and founder and Science Director of the Self-Regulation Institute. One of his many books, “Calm, Alert and Learning: Classroom Strategies for Self-Regulation (2012)”, is a top selling educational publication in Canada. His latest book, Self-Reg: How to Help Your Child (and You) Break the Stress Cycle and Successfully Engage With Life (2016), has garnered enthusiastic reviews and media attention throughout North America and has also been published in the UK, the US, Poland, Germany, South Korea, The Netherlands, and The Czech Republic, with further translations and foreign editions in the works.

In 2012 Dr. Shanker founded The MEHRIT Centre as a Self-Reg learning and information centre. Dr. Shanker commits considerable time to bringing the research and science of Self-Reg to parents, early childhood educators, teachers, educational leaders, health practitioners and communities through presentations, master classes, online courses, webinars, publications, social media and a blog entitled, “The Self-Reg View”.

Dr. Susan Hopkins
Dr. Susan Hopkins
A passionate advocate for children, families, schools and communities, Dr. Susan Hopkins has been leading Dr. Stuart Shanker’s organization, The MEHRIT Centre (TMC) as Executive Director, since 2014. 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 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 culture-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. Under Susan’s leadership, The MEHRIT Centre has grown and developed into a highly respected, accessible, and successful centre of teaching and learning. In addition, Susan 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.
Dr. Jean Clinton
Dr. Jean Clinton
Jean M Clinton BMus MD FRCP(C)
Clinical Professor McMaster University
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences

Dr. Jean Clinton is a Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural
Neurosciences at McMaster, division of Child Psychiatry. She is on staff at McMaster
Children’s Hospital with cross appointments in Pediatrics and Family Medicine, and an Associate in the Department of Child Psychiatry, University of Toronto and Sick Children’s Hospital. She is also a senior scientist at the INCH (INfant Child Health) Lab at McMaster University. In addition, she is a Fellow of the Child Trauma Academy, as well as a Zero to Three Academy Fellow since 2013. She has been a consultant to children and youth mental health programs, child welfare, and primary care for over 30 years. Dr. Clinton was appointed as an education advisor to the Premier of Ontario and the Minister of Education 2014 – 2018. Dr. Clinton is renowned nationally and internationally as an advocate for children’s issues. Her special interest lies in brain development, and the crucial role relationships and connectedness play therein. Jean champions the development of a national, comprehensive child well-being strategy including a system of early learning and care for all young children and their families. She is equally committed to ensuring that children’s and youths’ needs and voices are heard and respected.

Dr. Gerard Costa
Dr. Gerard Costa
Dr. Gerard Costa is a licensed developmental psychologist and founding director of the Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health and Professor of Early Childhood, Elementary and Literacy Education at Montclair State University. He holds certificates in the Brazelton Touchpoints model, DIR-C®, and Infant Mental Health. He was appointed by two governors to the New Jersey Council for Young Children. He teaches in the Infant and Early Childhood Development (IECD) doctoral program at Fielding University, served on the Advisory Board of the Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning (ICDL) under Dr. Stanley Greenspan and is currently President of the ICDL Board of Trustees. He has presented on autism, infant mental health, professional and human development throughout the United States and world, and has published papers and book chapters in these areas.
Dr. Heather Yang
Dr. Heather Yang
She is the Chief of Paediatrics and Medical Lead of the Paediatric School Outreach, partnered with the Model School Paediatric Health Initiative and the Toronto District School Board. She has received numerous Paediatric teaching awards. She holds a Physiotherapy degree from Dalhousie University, a medical degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland, and completed Paediatric Residency training at McMaster University. She has extensive clinical experience in community practice throughout Ontario. Her interests include health promotion and injury prevention for children and families, wellness and resilience, and clinical education through simulation.
Cathy Lethbridge
Cathy Lethbridge
Cathy has been an elementary educator for 32 years with the Simcoe County DSB, the past 13 years as principal. She actively applies Shanker Self-Reg in both her personal and professional life and believes in the power of Self-Reg to change trajectories no matter a person’s age or stage in life. Inspired by Dr. Shanker’s work, Cathy is leading her current school toward being a Self-Reg Haven and works with other schools to help them achieve school-wide improvement through Self-Reg.
Paula Jurczak
Paula Jurczak
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.
Linda Warren
Linda Warren
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-proft mental health agency for children, youth and their families.
Dr. Lisa Bayrami
Dr. Lisa Bayrami
Dr. Lisa Bayrami is the former Executive Director of the Self-Regulation Institute (SRI). Lisa is passionate about fostering wellbeing among children, youth, families, and communities. As former Director of Research at Roots of Empathy, a large non-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 has 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.
Casey Burgess
Casey Burgess
Casey has worked for over 20 years as an autism therapist/consultant and clinical supervisor on multidisciplinary teams in British Columbia and Ontario. Currently in Sault Ste Marie, she is a Registered Psychotherapist (CRPO) and an adjunct faculty member at Algoma University (Psychology) and Sault College (Social Sciences). She is also a PhD candidate studying self-regulation, a parent of two teenage girls, and the partner of a very understanding man.

What helps Casey stay calm and alert: Yoga, meditation, mindfulness, forest trails, hearty laughs amongst good friends, the beach, a variety of musical instruments and interests, reading, and her amazing family.

Sarah Cassidy
Sarah Cassidy
Sarah Cassidy is a Special Assignment Teacher with the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board and mother of 2 amazing children. Sarah uses Self Reg in all areas of her work to support the board’s vision for the Early Years, Equity and Inclusive Education and the board’s Social Justice priorities.
Marie Edwards
Marie Edwards
Currently living in Tasmania, Australia, Marie is a full time PhD candidate. Her research seeks to understand how teachers in a regional low socioeconomic school context develop and apply self-regulation knowledge and skills to manage stress. Leading up to this, she has enjoyed 27 years in education across a diversity of roles. This has included being the classroom teacher of Kindergarten to Grade 7 learners, specialist teacher of Music and PE, school counsellor, Vice Principal and Principal. Her interest in self-regulation was ignited in 2010 after hearing Dr Shanker’s keynote speech at a conference in Victoria, British Columbia. Since this time she has furthered her curiosity and understanding of self-regulation through her educational practice, completing a Masters of Educational Leadership investigating self-regulation and the learning environment, as well as completing various self-regulation courses.
Susie Ellis
Susie Ellis
Susie is a wife, mom of 3 and currently working as an Instructional Coach with the Peel District School Board. She has taught every grade from Kindergarten to grade 6, but has a strong interest in the Early Years and promoting inclusion. She has developed an interest in understanding behaviour and how it impacts the learning process for children. She currently works with educators to help them understand how to be more stress aware and fnd their calm. What helps Susie stay calm and alert: playing her ukulele, running with a friend, being outside and spending time with family and friends.
Shelley Elmhurst
Shelley Elmhurst
Shelley is a Registered Early Childhood Educator who has worked in the childcare sector for over 20 years. She is currently working at Five Counties Children’s Centre as a Resource Consultant supporting children and childcare educators in Northumberland County. Shelley is also a practicing Triple P Parenting practitioner and has also worked as a Communicative Disorders Assistant. Shelley started on her Self-Reg journey by attending the Self-Reg Summer Symposium in 2018. She has since completed the Early Childhood Development Course and is currently working her way through the Foundations Course and actively applies all of this knowledge towards her work with childcare educators, children and families. She frmly believes that when you “see a child diferently, you see a diferent child”.
Tiffany Goulet
Tiffany Goulet
Tiffany Goulet is a passionately curious kindergarten educator who identified a great need within her school and the education system to support children with their development, awareness and understanding of self-regulation.

As a graduate of the 120hr Foundations program, 500 hr certified yoga teacher and full time educator, Tiffany has drawn on many different aspects to help bring awareness and education to her students, staff, parent community and school board as a whole.

In 3 years she has brought mindfulness and Self-Reg from the ground up in her classroom to practices that are being implemented and supported board wide. She recently completed a $30000 Teacher Learning and Leadership Project to study and share mindfulness and Self-Reg with her school and school board. The work she has done has transformed the workings in the school in everything from the design of spaces, to language being used to the redesigning of the kindergarten transition plan.

Her work has been published in the International Journal of Holistic Early Learning and Development and she was recently in invited to speak on Stephen Hurley’s podcast – Self-Reg Science that Resonates.

As a mother and teacher, Tiffany firmly believes in helping all children to reach their inner potential. She sees the impacts that excessive stress and dysregulation can have on this growth process and is committed to changing this in whatever capacity possible.

What keeps Tiffany calm and alert is practicing yoga, writing, travelling, spending time with her family and being near the lake.

Constance Herman
Constance Herman
Constance is passionate about supporting parents, families, and communities. In her role as the Provincial Coordinator for the Nobody’s Perfect Parent Program in Saskatchewan, she provides training, resource development, and support to service providers and organizations working with parents and families. As a Parent Program Coordinator, Parent Coach, and mom to a 4 year old girl and 10 year old boy, Constance recognizes that parenting is one of the most rewarding, most important, and also the most challenging jobs there is.

A deep desire to better understand herself and others, led to degrees in psychology, sociology, and social work. Of all her studies and experience, Self-Reg has created the greatest personal and professional impact. Constance believes that adopting a deeper awareness of Self-Reg, in all aspects of society, is pivotal to creating positive, meaningful, and lasting changes for future generations.

John Hoffman
John Hoffman
John has had three distinct careers that have blended together at times: roots musician, stay-at-home father and freelance writer. A former long-time columnist and feature writer for Today’s Parent, John now specializes in knowledge translation, blogging and writing for not-proft organizations like The MEHRIT Centre, The Psychology Foundation of Canada and Dad Central Ontario.
Heather Jackson
Heather Jackson
Heather has been an RECE working in the childcare feld for over 35 years. Heather’s career has been infuenced by the work being done in the Preschools of Reggio Emilia Italy for over 20 years. She has been fortunate enough to travel to Reggio Emilia on 2 study tours. Heather’s career has included Executive Director of Milton Community Resource Centre and now she is founder and owner of The Sunfower School in Orangeville, Ontario. The Sunfower School is celebrating 10 years of providing exceptional early childhood education in the Town of Orangeville.
Erin Jipner
Erin Jipner
Erin Jipner is a full time Ph.D Candidate at Fielding Graduate University and a Behaviorist currently working with adults with comorbid mental health and intellectual disabilities. Erin’s early professional experience and continued education focus on working with infants, young children, and their families. She is a Champion of Self- Reg and her current research looks at developing a refective protocol that educators in preschools can use to help reframe their perceptions of misbehavior and become more efective co-regulators. Currently, Erin is part of a team of researchers in a collaboration between Fielding and Early Years in Northern Ireland. The group is working on a peace building measure in areas afected by armed confict. In March, a pilot study began in a rural community in N. Ireland that uses resilience building interactions between children and care givers and refective practice to increase regulatory capacities in young children. Indoor rock climbing with her husband, hiking and walking with Woody (the ever- faithful Golden Retriever), and watching her two girls grow keeps Erin regulated and able to focus on her many academic and professional endeavors.
Dr. Sonia Mastrangelo
Dr. Sonia Mastrangelo
Sonia is a certifed Miller Method therapist for children on the autism spectrum. She teaches primarily in the areas of educational psychology, child development, early childhood education, teaching exceptional learners, early intervention, special education and mental health with a focus on self-regulation. Dr. Mastrangelo has provided autism and self-regulation consultation to parents, teachers and children worldwide. She is the recipient of multiple Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grants and more recently is working in partnership with the Self-Regulation Institute and the Kwayaciiwin Education Resource Centre in Sioux Lookout to bring self-regulation to Indigenous communities in Northern Ontario with the support of a 3-year SSHRC Partnership Development Grant. She has published widely in the area of play, autism spectrum disorder, videoconferencing, family quality of life and self-regulation. Sonia serves as a consultant to the MEHRIT Center and is editor of the International Journal of Holistic Early Learning and Development (https://ijheld.lakeheadu.ca/index). More information about her research can be found here: https://www.lakeheadu.ca/users/M/smastran
Claudio Moschella
Claudio Moschella
Claudio is currently an elementary school administrator in the Peel District School Board. He has always had a keen interest in understanding behaviour specifically that of elementary school aged children. Since he has come in contact with Shanker Self-Reg he has been a strong advocate in bringing to light a growth mindset in understanding stress behaviour versus misbehaviour. Self-Regulation has given him the tools to support the most challenging of behaviours and he also recognizes the positive personal impact this learning has had on him as a husband, father, friend and school leader.

What helps Claudio stay calm and alert: Meditation, organizing and cleaning something, time with family and friends, and yard work, to name a few.

Christine Mumford
Christine Mumford
Christine is a Registered Early Childhood Educator who has worked in the childcare sector for over 30 years in various capacities including program supervisor and licensing for the Ministry. Christine currently holds the title of Early Learning Community Quality Assurance Advisor for Northumberland County. Christine started her Self-Reg journey at last years Self-Reg Summer Symposium and hasn’t looked back. She is truly inspired to bring the knowledge of Shanker Self-Reg to her community through her work. Christine has completed the Early Childhood Development Course, the Foundations Course and is currently working to obtain her Facilitators certifcation through the MEHRIT Centre.
Lisa Pinhorn
Lisa Pinhorn
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.

What helps Lisa stay calm and alert: Her daily gratitude practice, meditation next to her favourite river, singing lessons, audiobooks, podcasts, volunteering, laughing with her kids, cooking Indian food, and tea (lots and lots of tea).

Melissa Pinnell
Melissa Pinnell
Melissa has been working as a teacher with exceptional students for 12 years. She has worked with kids ranging in age from 5 months to 20 years old in both school and home settings. She has specialists in Special Education, Reading, and Deaf Education. Melissa continues to be amazed by the variety of situations in which Self-Reg can play a critical role both in and out of the school. She believe that Self-Reg can be the missing piece to help us combine scientific research and the ongoing question of why and why now. Since first attending SRSS 2017 Melissa has completed Self-Reg Foundations, Facilitators and Early Childhood Development courses.

What helps Melissa stay calm and alert: hiking, Pilates, baking for others, singing along with the radio and time with family and friends.

Arlene Robinson
Arlene Robinson
Arlene is an elementary school principal with more that 25 years in education, wife and mother of two. She has been searching for more efective 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 fnding the learning journey to be benefcial both personally and professionally, and believes everyone can beneft from this learning.
Liz Shepherd
Liz Shepherd
Prior to completing her MSc in Psychology at Trent University, Liz was deeply involved in voluntary work both in the USA and the UK. Her voluntary experience ranged from working at an animal shelter to acquiring resources and funds to support local youth. Her passion for volunteering, helping and understanding others led her to pursue a career in psychology and makes her a natural Self-Regger. After several years with The MEHRIT Centre, Liz has been lucky enough to have dipped her toes into all aspects of Self-Reg as well as the how tos of helping run a business. Liz has also worked as a research assistant for the Self-Reg Institute.
Anne Showalter
Anne Showalter
Anne is a trained and experienced educator, an academic, a writer, a mum to three amazing young humans, and a massive over thinker! After several years managing research and partnerships at SRI Self Regulation Institute, Anne is thrilled to continue her relationship with the Self-Reg community that she has come to admire and be inspired by. Anne passionate about Shanker Self-Reg® because the framework provides us key understandings and opportunities to care for ourselves and each other so that we can all a thrive in our beautiful diverse ways. What drives – and stresses – Anne more than anything else is the need and struggle for social justice for all.
Kim Smith
Kim Smith
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.

What helps Kim stay calm and alert: Spending time with her family and friends, reading a good book, yoga and crossfit.

Dr. Brenda Smith-Chant
Dr. Brenda Smith-Chant
Brenda began her career as a research expert by examining how kids learn to count. This important research lead to work with Peel Public Health on the transition to parenthood, publishing research findings on early numeracy and literacy, and work with multiple community-action research projects, such as the CARA Project (Community Aboriginal Recreation Activators) and Best Start community pilot projects. For Brenda, self-regulation is directly connected to her research in cognitive development as it lead her to look at the social, educational, cultural, language, and parenting influences on children’s thinking development. In addition to her research, Brenda was a foster parent. She began to see the damaging effects of trauma, stress, and anxiety on her foster children, and how feelings of safety allowed them to blossom. These two areas, research into early learning and foster parenting, have combined under Dr. Shanker’s guidance to inform Brenda’s self-regulation work.

Brenda also serves as a member of the board of directors of SRI. For Brenda’s complete bio, please visit our board of directors page.

Lisa Taylor
Lisa Taylor
Lisa has over 20 years in the Early Childhood Education feld. She has worked as an educator in Child Care, a Resource Worker in an EarlyOn Centre, an Early Literacy Specialist, Child Fee Subsidy Worker and currently Lisa is the Quality Assurance Coordinator and Pedagogist for The County of Duferin – Children Services. Her work has been highly infuenced by Italy’s Reggio Emilia philosophies and practices. Lisa has been extremely inspired by Dr. Stuart’s Shanker’s organization, The MEHRIT Centre (TMC) and all who embrace the Self-Reg lens. Lisa dreams of living in a society that embraces Self-Reg where all children can be viewed through a Self-Reg lens. She envisions a world where we all learn to look at each other with “soft eyes” as we learn to read the signs of stress behavior. What would education look like if it was a universal Self-Reg Haven? What helps Lisa stay calm and alert: Long lingering days at the end of a dock accompanied by her family and complimented with a great book, her hands and feet in the garden, and perhaps a cup of coffee.
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