Thought Leaders: More

Dr. Patsy Carter, Missouri Department of Mental Health

During the session, trainer Patsy Carter of the Missouri Department of Mental Health took a common example: a student who isn’t participating in class, and lashes out at a teacher who confronts her. What the teacher may not know, Carter said, is that the student is being abused at home. What seems like daydreaming could be a stress reaction to being beaten earlier that day. And a light tap on the shoulder from a teacher could be a trigger from her ongoing abuse.


“So her response is, absolutely, to defend herself. She viewed herself as defending herself, her teacher viewed that as her being assaulted,” Carter said.

Carter said that’s why it’s crucial for schools, the criminal justice system and other agencies to understand how trauma impacts a person’s behavior.


“If we want them to get better, we have to do something different than what we’re doing right now,” Carter said. “It’s punishing them for what their brains are telling them to do to keep themselves safe.”

Please click here to hear what she had to say. 

Erica Hoffman, Lindbergh Schools, Community Leader   @EricaFor96

Erica Hoffman received the Lindbergh Leader Award in 2017, in acknowledgement of her service to Lindbergh Schools and the greater community. She is currently a committee member for Fundraising and Curriculum at St. Lucas Preschool and was elected to serve as co-president for the Sperreng Middle School parent organization. She serves on the board of Crestwood-Sunset Hills Kiwanis Club, is Vice President of StepUp, a drug prevention coalition, and also helped organize the Upstanders Anti-Bullying Collaborative.  

A former high school Social Science teacher who taught AP History, coached

tennis and sponsored Political Club, she has been working in the Lindbergh community ever since to support her neighbors through volunteer service. Her leadership and hard work have raised over $100,000 for projects in our schools and community.


She graduated from Harrisonville High School in Missouri. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Lindenwood University, a Master of Arts in History from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville (Illinois), and has Education Certification from the University of Missouri, St. Louis.

Please visit our YouTube page to hear what they had to say.

Devin Del Palacio, Board Vice President, Tolleson Union High School District   @Devindelpalacio

Devin began work as a Community Organizer in 2012. In that year alone, he helped register over 34,000 new minority voters that were engaged throughout the 2012 election cycle. That success continued in 2013 as Devin served as a community organizer throughout South Phoenix & West Phoenix working to increase civic engagement in communities of color. In 2014, Devin ran for a seat on the Tolleson Union High School District Governing Board. In which Devin won his election and was voted Vice President by his fellow board members. In his first 120 days of being in office, Devin championed

President Obama’s My Brothers Keeper initiative which focused on changing the life outcomes for males of color. It was Devin’s leadership which led to the passage of the Males of Color Pledge; making Tolleson Union High School District to be the first school district in the state to adopt the pledge. The Males of Color Pledge works to increase graduation rates, reduce suspension rates, and decreases high school dropout rates among Latino and African American boys. In addition to serving as a school board member; Devin was also elected in 2015 to serve as the Regional Pacific Director for the National Black Council of school board members. As a Pacific Regional Director, overseeing 5 states; Devin works to increase academic achievement from ethnic and racial minority groups.

Please visit our YouTube page to hear what they had to say.

Christine Terry, Director, eMINTS

At the eMINTS National Center we do not expect schools to implement a scripted program. We work closely with your school to:

  • Identify Goals – From personalized learning to problem-based instruction, we help schools clarify their vision for digital age learning and the technology that will make it possible.

  • Create an Evaluation Plan – If it doesn’t work for kids, it isn’t worth your time. That’s why we believe its important to build meaningful measures into any program that help us make adjustments along the way and understand if we are on the right path.

  • Customize and Contextualize – One size does not fit all. Professional development should be closely aligned with your goals, well-planned, thought-provoking, and fun.

  • Create Lasting Change – We can train your staff to implement your vision for professional development and design new learning experiences.

Click here to listen to what she had to say.

Dr. Jennifer Tiller, Chief Academic Officer, EducationPlus  @EducPlus

Degrees and Certifications:
• Doctorate of Educational Leadership, St. Louis University
• Master’s degree in educational Administration, Lindenwood University
• Bachelor’s in Education, Central Missouri University

Click here to listen to what she had to say.

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