About

About Mindful SEAD

​Building a community to inspire all learners.

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We Inspire...

Mindful SEAD inspires innovative teaching and learning by supporting mindful practices of the adults at the school. By providing the tools and strategies administrators and teachers need to develop their mindful practice and own self-awareness they can then foster a positive school community, personalized learning, and embracing each individual’s unique genius.

​We are a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to teach youth and adults to become mindful as they manage their emotions, gain perspective and have an understanding of those around them.

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SEAD Team

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Debb Oliver, Ed.D. - Co-Founder and CEO

Debb Oliver is the Co-founder and CEO of Mindful SEAD. Her motivation is to support educators with their own self-care and to transform school culture through mindfulness, positive psychology and SEL/SEAD. Debb’s work has given her opportunities to build lasting relationships as she consulted with public and private organizations throughout the United States and abroad regarding change management, mindful leadership development, board governance and innovative learning scenarios. She has provided relevant learning opportunities for thousands of teachers and administrators as they transition to effective practices to enhanced student-centered learning. Debb is the author of two books about her work. She has co-edited and co-authored Leading Schools With Social Emotional Academic Development and authored The Learning Transformation: A Guide to Blended Learning for Administrators.

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Michele Robinson, Ed.D., - Director of Partnerships

Dr. Michele Robinson has been a school superintendent for 13 years successfully leading districts in Nevada, Massachusetts and New Jersey. She has extensive experience in engaging community partnerships, improving educational outcomes for students, and providing for student and adult social emotional foundations. Michele has engaged community partners to develop employee wellness programs that support the social emotional development of students and the wellbeing of staff caring for children and schools.

Dr. Robinson presents a versatile background that encompasses both the traditional public-school environment and forward-thinking approaches to learning which include the integration of technology and 21st Century learning skills into instructional practices. She developed and founded a successful private K-6 school in Las Vegas, Nevada as well as Odyssey Charter High School, an innovative blended learning charter school. She co-founded the Charter School Association of Nevada, a non-profit organization designed to support new and aspiring charter schools in the state. She was appointed by Nevada’s Governor to the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force. She was appointed to serve on the Nevada Department of Education Common Core Standards (CCA) Steering Committee and acted as co-chair for the CCA Communications Committee. Having participated in numerous legislative roundtables and presentations, Michele worked extensively with state and federal legislators advocating for innovation and educational reform in the state. She co-founded the Bergen County Women in Educational Leadership and Bergen County School Support Network designed to provide support, networking, and professional development in social emotional learning for school districts in New Jersey. Michele has spoken nationally and internationally on topics related to educational innovation and reform, and leadership and wellbeing.

​Michele earned her Ed.D from Nova Southeastern University in the area of Educational Leadership in which she gained an expertise in providing quality professional development and onboarding programming to educational professionals and leaders. She holds an M.ED. in Curriculum and Instruction from Lesley University, and a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

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Roxy Laramee - Director of Operations

Roxy Laramee, HHP is the Director of Operations at Mindful SEAD. She has a positive outlook on life that affects every person she comes in contact with. She is dedicated to and passionate about personal and professional development. Roxy excels at building strong relationships with clients and colleagues and leads MIndful SEAD's overall business operations. She works closely with both our coaches and clients to ensure our coaching and leadership development programs are designed and delivered at the highest level of quality and with the greatest impact.

She is a certified Holistic Health Practitioner and graphic designer. Her interest goes deep into learning how to connect on the individual level to bring about positive change.

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Jessie Koltz - Director Research

Dr. Jessie Koltz is the Director of the Professional School Counseling master's degree (MEd) program at Utah State University. She is a Nationally Certified Counselor, Nationally Certified School Counselor, and Licensed School Counselor. Jessie is also the director of social emotional academic development (SEAD) champions for Mindful SEAD through the Nevada Department of Education and is the president and CEO of the non-profit Mindful Health Initiative.

She has been a school counselor for the past 8 years in various settings. Her research interests include mindful social emotional academic development and learning, supporting at-risk and minority youth populations with adventure-based counseling and involvement in sports with a focus on mental health support, technology-based interventions and access for youth education and learning with mental health support, and stigma as a barrier to change for at-risk, minority, and student-athlete youth populations.

She loves the outdoors and has supported adventure-based counseling experiences with her nonprofit, Mindful Health Initiative, in the greater Reno area over the past 3 years. Jessie recently earned my PhD from the University of Nevada, Reno in Counselor Education and Supervision, graduated from Penn State with an M.Ed. in Counselor Education and Supervision in 2013, and earned her undergraduate degree from SUNY Buffalo in Psychology and Early Childhood Education in 2011 while competing as a D1 swimmer.

​She is co-author of the Mindful Social Emotional Learning (MSEL) Coaching Handbook.

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Michelle Bellard - MSEL Master Coach

Michelle Wise Bellard's love of science, collaboration, and inspiring success through education is evident throughout her unique career. After she earned a Bachelor in Science from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, she started teaching Early Childhood Education in Oklahoma and Texas schools, where she learned mindful techniques to create a positive community. She worked closely with her administrators to facilitate an after-school mentoring program and is in contact with her mentees today, twenty years later. She also volunteered at the Johnson Space Center Educational Resources Center, leading to her appointment as a JPL Solar System Ambassador Master Teacher in 2010. Upon moving to Nevada, she created Mind Builders, LLC to provide science enrichment while focusing on the needs of the whole child through project-based learning and social and emotional learning standards. She holds a Master in Science from Mississippi State University, culminating in presenting research at the 2014 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting. Working as a consultant to a local charter elementary school, she constructed a school-wide social and emotional curriculum throughout the school's culture. Currently, as a Mindful SEAD MSEL Master coach, she brings her unique experience and passion to enriching those around her.

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Elena Petsas - MSEL Coach

Elena Petsas is a Las Vegas native and has worked in education for over 16 years as a licensed teacher, behavior strategist, and school counselor. During her time working in schools, she has become well versed in MTSS and PBIS, having presented professional development to staff and leadership teams. Additionally, she has been instrumental in creating and implementing school-wide policies and procedures based on social-emotional learning (SEL) best practices.

Elena is also a licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Nevada, and is a National Board Certified Counselor and School Counselor through the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). She sees clients of all ages but specializes in working with children, adolescents, and families. She focuses on assisting individual clients with their individualized mental health and wellness needs by utilizing individualized treatment plans, goals, and advanced therapeutic interventions.

She is an avid world traveler and has traveled to countries in Central and South America, and Europe. When she is not working, Elena enjoys spending time with her two daughters and loving husband.

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Dr. JoAnn Cason - MSEL Coach

Dr. Cason is a lifelong career in education teacher at the elementary and middle school level, assistant principal, principal, director, Head of School, and dean of students. With this wide range of experience, she uses her depth of knowledge to help transform school environments with highly positive relationships and high academic achievement. Dr. Jo’s doctorate is in Urban Leadership with an emphasis in transforming urban schools. Dr. Jo recently co-authored a chapter in the social-emotional- learning textbook, “Leading Schools with Social Emotional Academic Development”.

Mindful SEAD Champions

Meet the Mindful SEAD Champions - incredible educators from across Nevada making an impact on their students, classrooms, and schools by advocating and demonstrating Social Emotional practices.

  • Michelle Beecher

    Michelle Beecher

  • Jennifer Black

    Jennifer Black

  • Aja Debruyn

    Aja Debruyn

  • Jennifer Keller

    Jennifer Keller

  • Janelle O'Rourke

    Janelle O'Rourke

  • Colleen Vosicky

    Colleen Vosicky

  • Christie Zarpas

    Christie Zarpas

  • Michelle Beecher
  • Jennifer Black
  • Aja Debruyn
  • Jennifer Keller
  • Janelle O'Rourke
  • Colleen Vosicky
  • Christie Zarpas
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Michelle Beecher

Michelle is a full-time ELAD instructor at Great Basin College in Southern NV. She loves being outdoors, and loves cooking for my family & friends!

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Jennifer Black

Jennifer is the proud principal of Lincoln Elementary School in North Las Vegas, Nevada. She loves learning and growing so that she can share with others. She loves to go camping with her husband and two dogs, enjoys traveling to new places, and loves going to the Vegas Golden Knight hockey games. Jennifer is excited to be a SEAD Champion because she feels that we all must learn to take care of ourselves and there is no better way than through mindfulness.

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Aja Debruyn

Aja's background is in early childhood education. She has master's degrees in both Montessori Education as well as Montessori Educational Leadership and owned and operated my own Montessori Pre K-3rd grade private school here in Las Vegas for 14 years. Currently, she is on staff at Mater Academy in the early childhood department where she teaches CTE students who are interested in becoming teachers by modeling for them with our early childhood students. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and has a vacation home in Italy where she spends her summers with her family. Aja is excited to be a SEAD Champion to help her students understand the importance of living with balance and to share her love of SEL educational practices.

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Jennifer Keller

Jennifer has been an educator for over 25 years, spending the past 15 years as a school counselor in all levels K-12. Her passion is teaching and utilizing SEL strategies and giving students a foundation for internalizing their own self-management system. Even before becoming a SEAD coach, Jennifer had been utilizing every classroom lesson with a social-emotional strategy. Jennifer has presented social and emotional strategies at the school, district and state levels, including the NvSCA and NASA conferences. Jennifer lives by the quote from the Dalai Lama "If every child in the world would be taught meditation, we would eliminate violence from the world within one generation."

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Janelle O'Rourke

Janelle has been in Education and has been teaching since the fall of 2002. She started in Elementary and moved to Middle School Math, and absolutely loves it! She is still teaching 1 section of 8th-grade Algebra 1, but is now an Instructional Coach at Monaco Middle School! Janelle loves to travel and can't wait to do more of it once her 3 and 6-year-olds are a little older! She is very excited to be a SEAD Champion because she is passionate about its mission! She believes it will help everyone the program touches!

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Colleen Vosicky

Colleen has taught at both comprehensive and magnet schools within CCSD, and is currently the high-school English teacher at the Juvenile Detention Center. She is so excited to be able to share social-emotional strategies with our youth who are struggling personally and in society. Colleen is also the mom of a freshman in college and a middle schooler. Her children have also benefited from the SEAD strategies that she shares with them regularly.

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Christie Zarpas

Christie is a second-grade teacher and literacy specialist in the Clark County School District. Christie holds a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from National University and is currently obtaining a doctorate in education with a specialization in SEL from North Central University. She is also actively involved with the SEAD center, holding a role as a SEAD Champion. Christie believes that the development of social-emotional skills in an educational setting is crucial to the future of our youth. She is working closely with her peers and colleagues to spread the implementation of SEL skills throughout the nation. For fun, Christie enjoys hiking, weight lifting and painting.

Interested in joining the team? Let us know...

Advisory Counsel

Are you seeking an opportunity to support the academic and personal success of students through the development of social and emotional mindful practices. Do you have experiences that we can draw upon to promote the growth of the organization? Then, Mindful SEAD is looking for you. Please contact us if you would like to be a member of the Mindful SEAD team as a member of the Advisory Council.

Governance & Policy Documents