Coaching  for Educators

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, The Center for Peace Through Culture is offering a free coaching program to support PreK-12 teachers, staff and administrators in Berkshire County schools during this unprecedented time of stress and uncertainty.

Our certified coaches help educators develop Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Emotional Intelligence skills—including self-awareness, self-expression, and self-regulation—relevant to, leading more mindful, purposeful, and rewarding lives. 

Program Details


Free sessions are available

Berkshire County PreK-12 teachers, staff, and administrators are eligible for a free series of 6 individual or group coaching sessions.


Session Schedule

Coaching sessions last approximately 45 minutes and take place on a bi-weekly schedule over three months.​


Virtual Sessions

All sessions are virtual via Zoom, Skype, or by phone.


After the 6 complimentary sessions, there will be an option to continue coaching at a sliding scale fee.


An important goal is to inspire and empower people to make lifestyle changes, learning to manage stress through mindful living practices.


Develop professional skills to enhance your presence and teaching in the classroom.


The ultimate goal is to live a more peaceful, resilient and loving life.


Set your own personal and/or professional goals and get the support you need to reach them—from building resilience to stress to developing leadership skills.

Start your coaching experience now.

Get in touch with us to arrange a free consultation to determine what works best for you.


Cindy Connors, ACC,CPC ELI-MP


Cindy Connors is an ICF-certified coach who specializes in transitions and helping people live their life with greater clarity, purpose, and passion. She believes when people walk through a passage consciously, they have the opportunity to shed old beliefs and mindsets that are no longer in alignment with who they are becoming.  

As one client succinctly put it, “Cindy has been like a midwife for my spirit.”   

After 25+ years as a television producer in 2017, Cindy decided to embrace her interest in mindfulness, positive psychology, and meditation and shift her creative talents to coaching. Clients discover Cindy’s intuition and observations inspire insight, which often clears the way for one’s inner voice to emerge. She helps clients set realistic, attainable goals and partners with them to stay on track. Cindy has teamed up with CPC because she believes in the power of creative self-inquiry along with the importance of connection to a community. Cindy inspires the client to look at things differently and realize there are many ways to tell a story, but more importantly, the client discovers they have the power to create their own. 

Jill Sasso Curtis, MBA

Leadership Coach

Jill Sasso Curtis is a CPC leadership coach for superintendents, principals, and senior staff. She is a co-founder of CPC’s LifeSchool program and serves on the Advisory Board. The daughter of two public school educators, Jill draws on 25+ years of experience in education and business leadership to support leaders to realize their full potential and create productive change in their lives and work. Her coaching is focused on the development of the whole person.

Jill has held leadership positions in several institutions of higher education, including Tufts University and Babson College. In recent years, she has served on the executive team of two educational institutions, the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health and Berkshire Community College, as well as a number of non-profit boards. In addition to her senior leadership roles and strategic consulting work in higher education, Jill developed curriculum and taught undergraduates in Tufts’ Entrepreneurial Leadership Program for several years.

Over the past year, Jill created an innovative, online leadership development program from scratch for The Fletcher School at Tufts. She is currently teaching the leadership curriculum she developed to working professionals in Fletcher’s Master of Global Business Administration program.

A lifelong learner, Jill is currently pursuing leadership coaching certification with the Hudson Institute of Coaching. Jill holds a BA in Spanish Literature and International Business from Ohio Wesleyan University and an MBA in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. She is a certified yoga teacher, social entrepreneur, systems thinker, local-food enthusiast, sea kayaker, and mom of two college-age sons.

Steph Dodd, PCC & CPCC


Steph Dodd draws upon 20+ years of professional experience in the Performing Arts and Corporate Operations. She holds advanced coaching certifications from the Co-Active Training Institute and the International Coaching Federation. Her passion is engaging in coaching collaborations with artists, educators and entrepreneurs to maximize their creativity and honor the nourishment their work brings to our community. Her clients master their schedules, set inspired boundaries and reorganize their priorities to make room for their greatest creative expressions to come into the world.
 More info at

Julie Haagenson


Julie has worked as an educator, counselor, consultant, and coach. She has been working with adolescents, parents, and educators focusing on creativity, self-awareness, emotional growth, and wellness for over 20 years. She has trained with Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching, and the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, and is a member of the Positive Intelligence Advanced Coaching Program. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and an MEd in Integrative Learning.  

Susan Lord, MD


With an extensive background in curriculum development and teaching, Dr. Lord specializes in drawing on the intersection of Western science and Eastern philosophy to develop new models of education and public health.

Dr. Lord  is the co-creator of CPC’s signature program, LifeSchool, which was initially developed to address the overwhelming stress experienced by public school teachers, and has since been expanded to support individuals and organizations across sectors.

From January 2008 to November 2014, Dr. Lord worked at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, where she created integrative health curricula, lectured extensively, provided personalized health consultations and facilitated intensive, residential retreats: Transforming Stress and Women and Food.

From 1997-2007, Dr. Lord worked for the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, in Washington DC, as Associate Director of Medical Education. She participated as senior faculty in the cutting-edge, evidence-based, professional training programs, Mind-Body-Spirit Medicine, and Food As Medicine, which she developed and directed.

Her trauma experience includes working with the Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Kosovo, delivering professional, ground-breaking mental health training programs addressing the trauma of war. Dr. Lord also worked in NYC post-9/11, and in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Dr. Lord has a consultative medical practice in holistic lifestyle medicine and psychospiritual counseling to inspire and empower people to live healthy, meaningful lives.

Dr. Lord is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. She received her BA from Smith College where she majored in religious studies.

She resides in Housatonic, MA with her teenage daughter, inspired by the creative arts and the beauty of the Berkshires.

Amy E. Lyn, PhD, ACC


Amy’s clients experience greater self-efficacy and fulfillment through her empathic coaching process. By getting clear about your purpose and engaging in balanced living, you can thrive! Amy has an extensive background in emotional intelligence and social-emotional learning. She also draws on her knowledge of neuroscience and well-being to encourage personal and professional expansion. Amy trained as a leadership coach through Emory University and is ICF certified. During the past 2+ decades, Amy held a range of positions in PK-12 education including Teacher, Responsive Classroom Trainer, Principal, and District Director of Curriculum, Instruction, & Professional Development. She earned her PhD in adult learning and leadership from Lesley University and currently works as a Curriculum Director for the Sanford College of Education at National University.  

Trudy Manion, M.Ed


Trudy received her M.Ed in Arts, Community and Education – Integrated Arts/MultiCultural Education from Leslie University. She develops art-based curricula and community art programs that focus on self-development through creative expression. Trudy spearheads the “Arts 4 Us: Activating Cultural Networks” project, developing deep and meaningful relationships between the arts and cultural organizations in the Berkshires and underserved year round residents of Berkshire County.

In her role as a life coach, Trudy offers extensive experience in health and wellness.  She is certified in Positive Psychology (CIPP) from the Wholebeing Institute, IPEC’s Core Energy Coaching, and has multiple certifications in yoga, meditation and mindfulness (CYT-500) from Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, where she has taught and mentored for many years in the Kripalu School of Yoga teacher trainings.

In her prior work as a television producer and independent video producer, Trudy worked with a variety of clients, from network television outlets to non-profits to live comedy festivals, including PBS, ABC, HGTV, The Goldie Hawn Foundation, The Travis Manion Foundation, and Acting Without Boundaries.

Colleen Simo, MM, PHR, CPC, RYT


After Colleen put her three children through college, she was able to go back to school to finish her degree, completed a masters degree in management while holding a full-time job as the manager of the human resources department at Kripalu.

Since leaving Kripalu, she has earned two yoga teacher certifications, a level one certification in Kundalini yoga, and a 200-hour Ashtanga based yoga teachers certification at Sruti with Beryl Bender Birch. She completed a coaching certification in 2011 at Coaching for Transformation at the NY Open Center. In 2016, she added TM to her toolbox and restorative yoga.

Colleen works full-time as the Director of Human Resources for the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York. In her current role, she has shared restorative yoga and meditation practices with the staff.

Her board service includes the Egremont Arts Lottery Council, School Board for the Southern Berkshire Regional School District, Select-person and Chair for the Town of Egremont Select-board, Egremont Garden Club, and the Berkshire Children’s Chorus.


I have learned how to recognize overt and covert signs of stress in myself and coworkers. I feel that I have the skills to practice for success. I truly felt heard, encouraged, and validated. My coach was amazing in her ability to model and encourage healing skills.”

Elementary School Nurse

I started school feeling overwhelmed and burning out, but working with a coach has really encouraged me to refill myself and prioritize my health and well-being. I am more present for my students.”

Director of Education

I never thought I would use a life coach before. I was somewhat of a skeptic. These sessions were invaluable to my life. My coach helped me find and set goals that completely shifted my life.”

Elementary School Teacher

Coaching has been a real game changer for me. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day challenges and not take the time to reflect and mindfully consider options. Thank you for providing this amazing opportunity.’

School Nurse

Made possible by:

Southern Berkshire Rural Health Network