Conference Speakers 2021

By Educators for Educators: Opening talk with Linda Ryden and Panel of Educators on Adapting Peace of Mind Now

Linda Ryden

Linda Ryden is the creator of the Peace of Mind Program, a cutting-edge combination of mindfulness, conflict resolution, and social-emotional learning. Linda is the author of the Peace of Mind Curriculum Series and Storybook Series and is the full-time Peace Teacher at Lafayette Elementary School, a public school in Washington, DC, where she teaches Peace of Mind Class to more than 700 children every week.  She founded the nonprofit Peace of Mind Inc. to support educators nationwide in teaching mindfulness-based brain science, conflict resolution and social justice.

Marquita McBride

Hello, My name is Marquita McBride. I’m a teacher assistant at Lafayette Elementary School. I’ve been in education for 19 years but working for DCPS for 4 years. I love being creative and shaping little minds in a meaningful way. Teaching PEACE has been an amazing experience for the children and myself. It makes my heart smile that they are so eager to learn meaningful ways to be kind, keep their bodies calm, and deal with their emotions. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to be a part of this platform.

Tracie Rezzelle

Tracie Rezzelle is an educator (Resiliency Specialist) with Synergy Services in Kansas City MO. She is a certified teacher with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from the University of Maryland and her teaching credential from San Francisco State. She received her Master of Science in Reading Education, K-12 from Northwest Missouri State University. During her time as a teacher, Tracie worked hard to build a community within in her classroom, where her students felt safe and loved. In her current role as a Resiliency Specialist, Tracie continues to build a community where students practice mindfulness and self-regulation. Tracie uses Peace of Mind with students K-5. She believes that mindfulness practice is imperative for students’ well-being, healing, and resiliency.

Constanza Rosas

Ms. Constanza Rosas is the Director of Teaching and Learning at Elsie Whitlow Stokes Public Charter School, a Peace of Mind School in Washington DC.  Constanza believes all children should have access to quality education. She instills in students a desire to learn and achieve. She believes students will learn if they have teachers that care about them, love them and work hard to help them succeed. Constanza works with her team at Stokes to create a safe and supporting environment for students and their families.  In 2001 Constanza started working in the education field as a 4 and 5th grade teacher. In 2012, Constanza won The Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award. Constanza worked as an instructional coach and then became the Director of Teaching and Learning at Stokes. Previously she worked as an Architect in Colombia and in Washington D.C. Constanza was born in Bogota, Colombia.

Caira Temple

Caira Temple is the school counselor at Elsie Whitlow Stokes Public Charter, a Peace of Mind School in Washington DC.  She graduated from the Florida A&M University School of Journalism with a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations. Shortly after she found her passion working with children and earned a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Trinity Washington University, focusing on children and families that have experienced trauma. Her goal is to create environments that empower and support healthy partnerships among students, parents, and the community.

Megan Vroman

I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to serve the Ida B. Wells Middle School community as its founding principal. Throughout my experience as a teacher, coach, and leader, I have deeply believed that our role as educators is not only to prepare our scholars for the academic rigor of college and beyond but also to develop citizenship and leadership skills that empower our scholars to be agents of change for their community and our world. As we prepared to open our doors in Fall 2019, I knew we needed a strong SEL curriculum to help our scholars develop self-management skills, mindfulness and empathy. We were fortunate to partner with Peace of Mind to bring a middle school curriculum to Wells in our inaugural year! Even in our virtual reality, Peace of Mind continues to be a core part of our SEL program.

Mindfulness and Social Justice

We are pleased to welcome Lynn Turner and Kirsten Ivey-Colson, founders of the AntiRacist Table, to this year’s conference to talk about applying mindfulness to social justice.  We are excited to be partnering with ART to bring their forthcoming AntiRacist Family Challenge to Peace of Mind Schools.

The AntiRacist Table is a multidimensional platform that helps people bring antiracism into life as a daily practice, in large part through a curated free 30 Day Challenge. The AntiRacist Table has hosted presentations and workshops for The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, DCPS Parent University, Children’s National Hospital, Politics & Prose, and others. Numerous experts and thought leaders have joined The AntiRacist Table’s Conversations Around the Table to discuss race, racism, and antiracism. The AntiRacist Table has been featured on the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, Mindful, and WUSA9. To find out more please visit

Kirsten Ivey-Colson

Kirsten Ivey-Colson, co-founder of The AntiRacist Table,  is an attorney and a student of nonviolence communication (NVC), right speech, conflict resolution, and meditation. Her undergraduate degree is in African American Studies and English, and in addition to her JD, she holds an LLM in Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Lynn Turner

Lynn Turner, co-founder of The AntiRacist Table, is an educator who is passionate about teaching young children and supporting families, work that she has done for over ten years. In addition to her Undergraduate degree in Fine Arts she has her MAT in Early Childhood Education and a Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher Training Certification.

Mindfulness and Support for Educators

We are pleased to welcome Jelena Popovic and Dave Trachtenberg, co-facilitators of Peace of Mind’s Virtual Community Circles, back to this year’s conference.

Jelena Popovic

Jelena is a school psychologist by training, a wanderer by choice and peace-builder by heart. She finds humility and mindfulness practices to be foundational building blocks in peace co-creation. Her passion is facilitating dialogs that are grounded in mindful awareness and empathy thus she spends most of her time in the circle with educators, parents, and students.  Jelena Popovic is the co-creator and co-facilitator of Peace of Mind’s Virtual Community Circles for educators.

Dave Trachtenberg

Dave is a certified mindfulness teacher, circle-facilitator, and restorative justice educator who has dedicated his life to creating communities where people can authentically share, learn, and grow together. With 20 years of experience with mindfulness and mind-body practices, Dave is an outspoken champion for racial justice, gender equality, and LGBTQ & immigrant rights. Dave is the co-creator and co-facilitator of Peace of Mind’s Virtual Community Circles for educators, and a Peace of Mind Advisor.