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Restorative Practices: Building Connections to Change Behaviors, Repair Relationships and Improve Results

November 15, 2017 8:00 am until November 15, 2017 4:00 pm
At Locust Hill Country Club
      2000 Jefferson Road, Pittsford, NY 14534, USA
Categories: Conference
Tags: education
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Join us for the Starbridge 2017 Education Conference!

Challenging behaviors and discipline issues can get in the way of healthy, productive classrooms and schools. Research shows zero-tolerance discipline policies aren’t the solution. So what is the answer?

Restorative Practices build healthy relationships and communities by addressing conflict and wrongdoing in a way that works to repair harm through connection, understanding, and growth. A team of experts—both local and national—will present.

Join us for a full-day conference to learn more about Restorative Practices and how they can be implemented in your classroom and school!

Featured Presenters - jump to "About the Presenters" to read more

  • Leila Peterson, Project Coordinator of Restorative DC, and Executive Director of School Talk
  • Ruth Turner, Executive Director of Student Support Services at Rochester City School District,
  • Cordula Kennel, Teacher, Avon Central School District, and PiRI Trainer
  • Gwendolyn Olton, Senior Consultant, Training & Practice Transformation at Coordinated Care Services, Inc.
  • Jeff Dillon, Executive Director of PiRI (Partners in Restorative Initiatives)
  • Betty Reinhart, Peace Circle Trainer, PiRI

Conference Schedule:

 8:00-8:30am  Registration and breakfast


 Why Restorative Practices matter -

  • Focus on children - The importance of being trauma-informed
  • Focus on districts - Decreasing discipline incidents
  • Focus on classrooms - Building relationships through academic circles

 Overview of Restorative Practices
  including benefits to both general and special education environments

 11:45am-12:45pm       Lunch
 12:45-1:15pm  Restorative Practices (continued)
 1:15-3:30pm  Modeling Circle Experiences
 3:30-3:45pm  Closing


Registration Fee:


Registration fee includes light breakfast, lunch, snacks, and conference materials. 

Group Discount: If registering 3 or more faculty/staff from the same school district, receive 10% off! Registrations must be submitted at one time. You may register online, but please call to arrange payment.

To register and pay online, click Register button above.

To register by mail or fax, please print Conference brochure and send to:

Starbridge, Attn: Jean Sciacchitano
1650 South Avenue, Ste 200
Rochester, NY 14620

A limited number of scholarships are available for people who have disabilities, or their family members. Email events@starbridgeinc.org or call 585-224-7248 for more information.

Questions? Call 585-224-7248 or email events@starbridgeinc.org.

About the Presenters:

Leila Peterson

Leila PetersonLeila Peterson has served as Executive Director of SchoolTalk, Inc., a DC-based non-profit that prevents and resolves special education and disability-related conflicts, since 2008. She has provided conflict resolution, change management, and leadership development services to schools, government and private clients for more than nineteen years. Leila has worked extensively with the DC Department on Disability Services, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, and the Department of Employment Services to improve processes and services for DC students. Leila’s recent work has focused on the intersection of special education and restorative justice. She is the 2017 recipient of the Geraldine P. Waldorf Making A Difference Award from the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at Georgetown University.

Leila also teaches as an adjunct professor in the George Mason University Conflict Analysis and Resolution program. Leila received a Master of Science degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University in 1998 and a Bachelor of Arts in Politics from Earlham College in 1993.

She currently serves as the vice-chair of the National Youth Transition Center Leadership Council. She is an Associate Member of the Association for Conflict Resolution and the Mid-Atlantic ADA Leadership Network.


Ruth B. Turner, LCSW

Ruth B TurnerRuth B. Turner, LCSW, manifested a calling for the field of social work and education at an early age. In many respects it can be called her life’s work. Currently she serves as the Executive Director of Student Support Services with the Rochester City School District. Both in her work with the District and the greater Rochester community at large she is known as an advocate for the underprivileged, marginalized, and oppressed. As an agent of social justice and practitioner of Restorative Practices she tirelessly works to bring diverse communities together to facilitate growth and positive change in our region.

She has worked with the faith community, incarcerated populations, colleges, private institutions, as well as national and international agencies. Her efforts have been noted in her work as a social work trainer with the Center for Development of Human Service, as a professor with the College at Brockport and Nazareth College, and as Director of Foster Care and Adoption with the Urban League of Rochester. Mrs. Turner, an Eritrean by birth, came to the United States as a political refugee in the early 1980’s. She has called Rochester, NY home for the last two-and-a-half decades, where she resides with her husband William and three children John, Lydia, and Ava.


Cordula Kennel

cordula kennelCordula Kennell is a High School English and Creative Writing Teacher at Avon Central School. Born in Berlin, Germany and raised in Louisiana, Cordula Kennell is a product of a cross-cultural family who told stories to make connections. This is what drew her to Restorative Practices and the circle practice—the idea that everyone has a story to tell. She has taught English at Avon Central School since 1996 and uses "Academic Circles" to discuss literature and nonfiction, understand difficult concepts, develop ideas for writing, and build relationships in her classroom. Cordula lives in Geneseo with her English teacher husband and three young children.


Gwendolyn Olton

gwen editGwendolyn Olton is the Senior Consultant for the Training and Practice Transformation Team where she develops, implements and evaluates programs aimed at creating and supporting viable change initiatives. Gwen has developed workshops and consultation models on a variety of topics including trauma-informed care and restorative practices, self-care and compassion fatigue, the impact of technology on our brains, and many others. She is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) and has experience training organizations in this and other person-centered communication approaches. Gwen also works in a number of community organizations as a conflict and communication consultant, mediator, and restorative justice facilitator. She has experience implementing collaborative decision making and restorative processes as well as trained other facilitators in these roles. Gwen studied philosophy with a focus in ethics at the University of Rochester. She also received degrees in nursing from St. John Fisher College and a master’s in conflict resolution from Arcadia University.



Jeffrey P. Dillon

jeff dillonJeff Dillon began as PiRI’s Executive Director in July 2016. Jeff came to PiRI with almost 40 years’ experience in administration; both in education as well as with the YMCA.

Jeff began his career as a YMCA Youth Director in Albany, NY and worked as an Executive Director with the YMCA of Greater Rochester until changing careers to work in Educational Administration. Jeff started his educational career with Monroe 2 BOCES working with students at their alternative high school. He retired from Monroe #1 BOCES in July 2013 but continued to provide services to a number of school districts throughout Monroe County.

Jeff lives in Chili with his wife Kathleen and has two grown daughters, Mary Beth and Molly.


Betty Reinhart

betty reinhartBetty Reinhart is a certified Peace Circle Trainer and Facilitator and is starting her fourth year working for Partners In Restorative Initiatives as such. She began working for PiRI shortly after retiring from 38 years as a School Counselor at both the Middle and Elementary Levels where she used the circle process for many years. She also teaches Grounded Kids Yoga and Gentle Yoga for Adults and loves being involved with both these part-time opportunities, which she has a passion for, and continues to be amazed how Restorative Practices and Yoga can be used together. Betty's free time is spent with family and friends and/or hiking, walking, paddling, gardening or almost any activity outdoors.



Presented by Starbridge in partnership with PiRI - Partners in Restorative Initiatives

Thank you to our sponsors:


 Burke Group

 Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.


 HR Works, Inc.

 TouchStream Solutions


 Cardwell Construction Co.

 Medisked, LLC

 Mengel, Metzger, Barr & Co. LLP

 Morgan Communities

 Norman Howard School



 Usherwood Office Technology


















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