Coaching  for Educators

The Center for Peace through Culture (CPC) empowers individuals and communities to live more creative, fulfilling, and powerful lives. As part of this mission, CPC offers LifeSchool for Educators—a coaching program that provides educators self-care techniques, tools to develop mental and emotional resilience, and skills to expand compassion and creativity—designed to advance the academic and emotional well-being of the children they support. In the wake of over two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, this vital program fills a gap in addressing ongoing trauma experienced by both educators and students.

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. The LifeSchool program’s intensive, personalized approach, conducted over an extended period, has longer-term effectiveness than a single wellness session for professional development.

LifeSchool 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 between 30–60 minutes and take place on a bi-weekly schedule over three months.​


Group Coaching Availability

While most of our services are one-on-one, group coaching of 4–6 individuals can be arranged.


Virtual or In-Person Sessions

Virtual and/or In-Person sessions are available to best support your needs.


Develop peaceful, creative, productive environments


Learn about the physiological and psychological effects of stress


Learn mind-body skills to mitigate symptoms and promote relaxation


Learn to engage people with new perspectives and new lifestyle skills


Enhance physical and emotional resilience


Group support provides an opportunity to explore meaning and purpose in life

Start your LifeSchool experience now.

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

LifeSchool Coaches

Cindy Connors, CPC, ELI


Cindy Connors is an ICF certified coach and an Emmy Award winning television producer. Cindy specializes in helping people move towards the life they have always imagined. Her practice centers on mindfulness, positive psychology, and partnering with people to find their purpose. She connects deeply with her clients and coaches with an open heart, focusing on deep listening and being present. “Often it boils down to something very simple, the most important conversation you have is the one you have with yourself. Watching people step into their power and purpose is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever experienced.” 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. She’s spent 25+ years telling people’s stories, now Cindy is helping them realize 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, CPCC & ACC


Steph Dodd is a tremendously creative, empathetic and reliable Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) through the Co-Active Training Institute and an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) through the International Coaching Federation with 20+ years of professional experience in Corporate Operations and the Performing Arts. She provides one-on-one coaching to support clients as they transform into masters of communication, presentation, relationship, organization and leadership skills. 

Her training in the Co-Active coaching model supports clients to explore those thoughts, emotions, and beliefs that limit their choices, especially in stressful situations. Clients are empowered to determine their priorities, outline a vision for their own transformation and act in ways that enhance agency, peace, balance and fulfillment in their approach to work, relationships with colleagues and in their personal life. 

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.  

As Executive Director, Dr. Lord oversees administration, programs, and operations of CPC. She 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 Lyn, PhD

Leadership Coach

Amy draws on her background in transformational learning and social emotional development in her work as a coach. Her extensive experience in K-12 education supports her in compassionately understanding the challenges teachers and school leaders grapple with on a daily basis. She uses nonviolent communication strategies to listen deeply and convey a sense of being seen, heard, and valued. Amy is trained in the DISC assessment model and is a certified coach through the John Maxwell Team. She holds a PhD in Adult Learning and Leadership, and is a witness to the transformative benefits of Meditation.

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