Anna’s Bio

anna-work-photoAnna is an enthusiastic educator who has a passion for working with youth of all ages as well as educators, caregivers and mental health professionals. Anna creates and delivers presentations, as well as coaches groups and individuals in the areas of emotional resiliency, stress management, trauma informed care, social/interpersonal neurobiology and mindfulness based strategies to regulate the nervous system.  Anna has honed her skills and developed an authentic and heart-felt way of imparting this valuable information.

Anna received her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in urban education as well as a Certificate in Trauma Informed Counseling from the University of Wisconsin. Her research and educational trainings focus on “risk factors” for urban students, and how the lack of understanding about social and emotional competencies, trauma, teacher education, and school climate affect students’ performance. Anna’s passion is education for the whole child, and ensuring that the adults who interact each day with children are protective resources for children’s social, emotional, educational and physical growth.

From 2011-2017 Anna was the Director of Curriculum and Research at Growing Minds and continues to teach the curriculum and provide professional development for Growing Minds. Prior to her work with Growing Minds, Anna taught for nine years as an Assistant Professor at National-Louis University, where her research, expertise and fervor for supporting educators extended to social/emotional competency for teachers and schools, trauma informed care, teacher action research, authentic assessment and instruction, curriculum development, educational foundations and urban issues, and teacher mentorship.  Anna’s professional experience in education began in 1993 as a high school social studies teacher, before and after school program director, and summer camp director in the Boulder Valley.  While obtaining her Master’s degree, she participated in building a school-within-a-school for “at risk” students which emphasized the importance of social and emotional wellness as a precursor for academic success.

Anna has also completed several post-doctoral certifications in Trauma Informed Care for Professionals Working with Youth, and Building Authentic Relationship with Teens (through the Center for Adolescent Studies taught by Dr. Sam Himmelstein), Mindfulness Based Interventions for Children and Teens, (taught by Dr. Christopher Willard) . She has also attended the University of California-San Diego’s Center for Mindfulness Teacher Training’s in MBSR and MSC (taught. by Dr. Steve Hickman, Dr. Kristen Neff, and Dr. Christopher Germer). Anna was the primary author of the Growing Minds curriculum; and is certified in the Mindfulness in Schools Program (.b) curriculum. She has also been trained in Mindful Life, Learning to BREATHE, Stressed Teens, Nirogra’s Transformative Life Skills, and Mindful Schools curricula. For a complete list of trainings, presentations, and workshops, please contact Anna for her curriculum vitae.