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The “GPA Killer”

I brought my work with me as I find time here and there to work on my presentation, The Student Journey, A Modern Toolbox for Success™. I carefully chose the order of the slides as I prepare for The International Coalition for Girls’ Schools Annual Conference this June as a presenter for INSPIRE! Session 1 provides two 25-minute professional development learning opportunities for girls’ school leaders and teachers. I will present to share my insights with focusing tools for deep engagement and learning about the student journey for neurodiverse learners. While waiting for a colleague to meet me for lunch,...
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For Boys & Who They Become As Men

Each Tuesday, after I drop off my children at school, including my sweet son, who is turning 12 next month, I coach three young men from Austin, Seattle, to Charleston. As my Zoom greets them at where they are in life, the coaching sessions consist of the same doubts and worries that young people face as they learn to discover who they are and make plans for where they’re going. Parents share candidly about their teen and young adult, “...well, since the COVID-19 pandemic…” as it has heightened anxiety and increased life stressors for the individual and the whole family...
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Family Foundations: Cultivating Connection and Belonging

Like many adventurous spirits, I love to travel. As a mom and someone committed to supporting people on their learning journey, I use these experiences to make good memories while appreciating the intimate conversations that follow. These moments contribute to what cultivates our connection and belonging (a chapter in my book, a pillar in The Modern Toolbox for Success) as we continue to build and nurture our relationships, even with our children and adult children – at every stage in life. As families grow and face transitions together, so do the conversations with our emerging teenagers and young adults. What...
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Soul Support for Teens and Families

Accepting that each person has their own story and experiences that are traumatic to our inter-core, our souls, whether identified or unknown to us, may play a role in most of our lives at one time or another— even as children and teens. As an educator today, this is critical to understand, and fulfilling various needs of the student and family as we discuss health and wellness.  When consulting for college or coaching, the fundamentals of health and wellness are the same. It is the foundation of one’s toolbox, and without support and attention to the soul, mind, and gut,...
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Clinical Conversations

This summer, I participated in a webinar hosted by Unyte Health called Clinical Conversations: Exploring Polyvagal Theory, Interpersonal Neurobiology, and the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) with Dr. Stephen Porges and Dr. Tina Bryson. In this session, Dr. Porges, author of Polyvagal Theory and creator of the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP), was in conversation with Dr. Tina Payne Bryson, NY Times Bestselling Author, clinician, SSP Provider, and mom to three boys. Over the years as an educator, I have learned the importance of our behaviors honoring our nervous system. I became a Student Life Coach, focusing on the study...
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Coaching Life Skills

The parent of a 17 year old, was worried about their teen's money habits, lack of DMV permit, not doing their own laundry, and needing to learn how to cook meals instead of using DoorDash.  Over Zoom, the parent was clear in her concerns about the next steps of college readiness, “I need her to learn how to be efficient with time, goals, and life skills before she goes to college next year. I think you’re perfect for coaching her so that she can access life skills to reach her educational goals.” As families of rising seniors are having conversations...
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Senior Summer College Writing Workshop

A text from a senior in a summer college writing workshop at 11:30 am on a Thursday in June…  "I am in my writing workshop for school and having a tough time taking off on an essay topic. It was easier to talk to you.  I have been working on it for the last few days now. Ugh." Hang in there! Each June or August, a senior will text me for reassurance or in a panic that the writing for a college summer workshop or program is not going as they had expected. Yet, this is a beautiful opportunity to...
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Inspiring New Beginnings: A Decade of Graduations and Neurodiverse Achievements

I have savored the time to hear the inspiring graduation speeches for reflection, purpose, and a moment of gratitude to celebrate these milestones from many different student experiences.  Graduation ceremonies this year were extra extraordinary. I celebrated my 10th and final year as a school learning specialist and cheered clients at their graduations and parties, a hallmark of their accomplishments and reflection for gratitude. Lastly, my household was marked by two graduations, 8th-grade Recognition, and 5th-grade Commencement ceremonies. The parents, blended families, and friends come to celebrate the growth of each child; a sense of personal and academic completion with...
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Summer Life Skills for College-bound Students

Over a Zoom session with a college-bound senior looking fresh into summer, they were in disbelief at how quickly, with tutoring, camp, and work, summer would pass them by. As they filled in the Google Calendar to work on scheduling and planning, they realized that their senior year and last summer in high school were going to look a lot different than the nostalgic summer breaks they once had.  Before heading off with their family for a summer vacation, it was clear that summer was seemingly shorter and had more responsibilities than open-ended days of bliss. July camps, events, and...
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Supporting Neurodiverse Students Navigating School Life Together

Seniors celebrate over the next few weeks as graduation is in the air, from awards, to speeches, the prom and ending with graduation; Another May has arrived. This is a celebratory time for the student experience and us parents. Our journey is a hallmark of witnessing our children grow from childhood into emerging adulthood. Chapters end and new ones brightly begin for college-bound enrolled, seniors from Disneyland to Magic Mountain, a beach day, or the park; from friends' homes to family pot-lucks, the events continue. To celebrate that we accomplished this together is why I love this time of the...
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