May 13 and May 20, 2021
May is always, even pre-pandemic, a season of big change. As school leaders, we prepare to transition our students to their next chapter. This May, we’ll be marking one year since the murder of George Floyd and experiencing the end of a school year under conditions we never could have imagined.
It is a month that invites us to unpack how we have and how we will commemorate crises we’ve gone through, and how we memorialize school community members (administration, students) who have died.
Join us for a two part learning experience to surface the challenges, complexities, and experiences of commemorating and memorializing crisis, trauma, death, as well as joy, recovery, and growth in and with our school communities.
Part 1: Discourse
May 13, 2021 • 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. PT, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. ET (view your time zone)
A panel of educators (teacher educators, teachers, administrators, and clinicians) sharing the challenges, celebrations, and experiences creating and holding space in schools after loss (e.g. student death, natural disaster, school shooting).
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Part 2: Dialogue
May 20, 2021 • 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. PT, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. ET (view your time zone)
Join our program’s faculty for interactive, peer-connecting sessions to reflect on the previous session’s discourse, and to share with one another to source our own experiences, questions, and ideas for holding and creating space.
Faculty and moderators for both sessions
Alex Shevrin Venet, educator, author, and professional development facilitator
Alex Shevrin Venet is an educator, author, and professional development facilitator based in Vermont. She teaches at the Community College of Vermont, Antioch University New England, and Castleton University. Previously, she was a teacher and leader at an alternative therapeutic school. Her first book, Equity-Centered Trauma-Informed Education, will be released from W.W. Norton on May 25. Alex wrote this powerful post “Navigating the anniversary of collective trauma” to help us think about commemorating the one year mark of COVID and “Role-Clarity and Boundaries for Trauma-Informed Teachers” that is always relevant.
Beth Silbergeld, educator, school leader, equity consultant
Beth is an experienced principal with a demonstrated impact of working in the primary/secondary educational spaces. Skilled in lesson planning, restorative practices, equity-centered professional development, and youth Development, Beth has been a teacher, assistant principal, and principal at Leadership High School in San Francisco, CA for almost 19 years. As a leader in a small school community for nearly two decades, Beth has created many joyful spaces and has held space to grieve youth and colleagues who were like family.
Dr. Christina “V” Villareal, Faculty Director of Teacher Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Christina Villarreal spent nearly a decade teaching and learning with the youth of East Oakland, CA where she taught middle school social studies and served as an assistant principal. Currently, Villarreal serves as the faculty director of the Teacher Education Program and continues to teach the Ethnic Studies and Education course at HGSE. She also serves as a radical healing trainer with Flourish Agenda, and as a consultant with Acosta Educational Partnership. She holds a B.A. in ethnic studies from UC Berkeley, an Ed.M. from Harvard University, an M.A. in ethnic studies from SF State, an M.Phil. in education from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in social studies education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research explores enactments of humanizing pedagogies, racial literacy, and radical healing in secondary social studies classrooms through portraiture.
shea martin, writer, educator, and co-founder of Liberate and Chill *Collective
shea wesley martin is a fat, Black, queer, non-binary writer based in the mountains of Vermont. they write about the joy, pain, and triumph of being Black, queer, and not-quite-woman in and beyond this world. a freelance educator, they also research, consult, and write about creating and sustaining liberatory learning spaces. shea is the co-founder of the Liberate and Chill* Collective, serves as co-facilitator of Love and LiteraTea for LGBTQ+ Youth, and runs the Anonymous Teacher Speaks Project.
Tiffani Marie, educator and researcher
Tiffani is the daughter of Sheryll Marie, granddaughter of Dorothy Wilson and Annette Williams, and the great-granddaughter of Artelia Green and Olivia Williams. She comes from a long line of Arkansas educators. She is passionate about learning with and from youth, sewing, music production, and connecting to the natural world. Tiffany is the Instructional Reform Facilitator & Induction Coach at Leadership High School in San Francisco, CA.
Yesmina Luchsinger, MS, educator, advocate, and mental health professional
Prior to joining CARS as the NTTAC School Based Services Co-Lead, Yesmina served as the Director of School Safety and Social Wellness at the Arizona Department of Education during the expansion of their nationally recognized School Safety Program to include counselors and social workers for the first time. Yesmina’s team also led the development and release of Arizona’s Model School Safety Plan, coordinated the implementation of a statewide suicide prevention initiative, and participated in developing the Arizona Model Mental Health Referral Policy for schools. She was recognized by the National Center for School Mental Health in 2019 as the Youth and Family Partner of the Year for her work to elevate and empower the leadership of the communities she serves. An Arab-American and daughter of an immigrant, Yesmina works to improve collaboration within care networks such as health, education, and child welfare.
Dr. Leora Wolf-Prusan, SCRR Project Director
Oriana Ides, SCRR Field Coach
For Leora and Oriana’s bios, visit: https://schoolcrisishealing.org/about-us/meet-our-team/
Priming Resources and Resources for this Conversation
- School Mental Health Crisis Leadership Lessons: Voices of Experience from Leaders in the Pacific Southwest Region | Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) Network
- Bereavement and ambiguous loss (page 10)
- Remembrance and Mourning (page 34)
- Create Structural Witnessing (page 41)
- Commemoration and Memorialization (page 52)
- Navigating the anniversary of collective trauma (Venet, 2021)
- Addressing Grief: Tips for Teachers and Administrators (NASP, n.d.)
- Experiencing the Loss of a Student or Teacher: Responding to Crisis (2020)
- Resilient Together: Coping with Loss at School (Kognito)
- Commemoration and Memorialization (www.Grievingstudents.org)
- Virtual Memorials During the COVID-19 Pandemic (www.schoolcrisiscenter.org)
- Memorials After a Suicide: Guidelines for Schools and Families (Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide)
- Lesson: Analyzing and Creating Memorials | Facing History
- For Educators Who Died on the Job, Small Town Offers Big Commemoration
- 5 years after Sandy Hook shooting, plans for a permanent memorial take shape
- View of Teaching in Grief: Critical Reflections, Redefining Justice, and a Reorientation to Teaching
- An Empty Seat in Class: Teaching and Learning After the Death of a Student
- Humanizing Grief in Higher Education: Narratives of Allyship and Hope
- Pedagogies of Wholeness: Cultivating Critical Healing Literacies with Students of Color in an Embodied English Classroom
- Responding to COVID-19 | Grief, Loss, and Bereavement | Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) Network
- Traumatic Grief | The National Child Traumatic Stress Network