Imagine being able to turn a student’s potential meltdown into a positive learning opportunity. It is possible using Conscious Discipline, a trauma-informed care approach that combines social and emotional development with discipline and guidance.

St. Mark Center uses this research-based practice in classrooms and hired a Behavior Interventionist in December 2018 as a deeper commitment to Conscious Discipline. The position is supported by a grant from the Health Forward Foundation and is part of an initiative to expand mental health services for students and families.

“I’m excited to help enrich the social and emotional support for our students and hope to provide effective behavior management strategies that both teachers and parents can use,” said Theresa Meyer, the new Behavior Interventionist at St. Mark Center.

Research shows that Conscious Discipline improves the social and emotional skills of students, increases student achievement, decreases aggression in preschool children, and betters the school climate.

Chief Programs and Operations Officer Nikki Crisman said St. Mark Center created the position to provide one-on-one educational interactions for our students, extra coaching for our teachers, and additional support for our families.

Meyer has 12 years of experience in early childhood programming and six years of experience working in the behavioral health field. Crisman said Meyer’s experience and customized approach is what makes her a good fit for this position.

“Theresa’s kind spirit and willingness to see people as individuals is going to be a huge benefit,” Crisman said. “She is going to be able to personalize interventions with the students and their families to successfully prepare them for kindergarten.”