PATHS® Affiliate Trainers

We have a diverse team of professional trainers in the US and throughout the world.  All trainers also have advanced degrees in education, psychology, human development or a related field, with direct experience in prevention, classroom management, social and emotional learning in schools and communities.   To find out more about PATHS® Training and Consultation, click here.

The PATHS® affiliate trainers have been accredited by PATHS® Education Worldwide.  They are highly experienced, high quality trainers who are fully competent to provide training in the PATHS® curriculum and PreK/K curriculum to their local educational/mental health entity.  PATHS® affiliate trainers continue to work with PATHS® Master Trainers.  



Donese teaches Guidance for Grades 9-12 at Collinwood High School in CMSD.  In the past, Donese has taught grades 5-8 in her 17 years with CMSD.  She reflects that she became a PATHS® Trainers  because “I believe that the students benefit from explicitly taught SEL skills. After being trained as a PATHS® Coach, I was able to witness the effectiveness of the program with our students. My positive experiences as a Coach gave me the desire to continue to promote this program.” Donese notes that,  “Working with PATHS® has provided me with a greater understanding of why SEL is important. PATHS® is a reminder to me to use the skills that I teach! Her goal us to continually promote the skills that PATHS® teaches - even in the high schools.


Megan is a master teacher at the Warner Girls Leadership Academy in Cleveland where she teaches 5th and 6th grades.  She has taught at CMSD for 16 years in grades 1-8, with a specialization in Language Arts.  Megan, notes, “I chose to become a PATHS trainer because I have experienced first hand how incorporating PATHS® into the classroom eliminates negative behaviors in most students.  I also see a drastic increase in students using the strategies in PATHS to problem solve.” She reflects that “PATHS® encourages my students to treat each other with respect.  It allows them to express their feelings and respect the feelings of others.”   As an Affiliate Trainer, Megan wishes to share my enthusiasm and of the PATHS® program with my fellow teachers and other professionals in the teaching field.  Megan has three children and she enjoys gardening and reading.


Lindsay Mc Sparron is one of three Programme Co-ordinators/Coaches of PATHS® for the West of Northern Ireland with Barnardo’s NI in supporting schools with effective implementation of PATHS®.  Lindsay is a qualified primary school teacher with a BEd(Hons) degree with Science and before joining the Barnardo’s NI Paths® Team, in August 2014, she taught for 8 years in schools across the West of Northern Ireland.  Throughout her teaching career, Lindsay looked to the individual needs of her pupils and recognised that the first step in academic success was often through first addressing the individual’s social and emotional needs.  Lindsay views working with the young people of our society as much more than a career but  as a vocation and feels privilege in being able to equip our next generation with the strategies and skills needed to be able to reach their full potential with confidence. 


 MONICA GRAYSMonica teaches 1st grade at Orchard STEM School in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.  She has taught in CMSD for 17 years in a variety of elementary grades. Monica was particularly interested in becoming a PATHS® trainer because of her experience with teaching all boys. For 6 years, she was committed to learning about the academic and social development of boys.  She notes that, “through the use of PATHS®, I noticed my students’ behavior improved, and they were able to solve problems peacefully.  Being a trainer provided an avenue for me to share my experiences with other educators.” She reflects that “PATHS® provides me with the tools to address my students’ social and emotional needs in a developmental appropriate way.  It helps eliminate the number of disruptions through-out the day and my students are actively engaged in learning.  As an affiliated trainer for PATHS, I am excited to share the success stories Cleveland students have through the use of the PATHS® program.  Monica is from Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and has 5 children, one of whom attends one of the CMSD innovative schools.  She has a background in dance and enjoy art projects, and is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.


Raquel is a National Board Certified master teacher at Hannah Gibbons STEM school where she has taught 1st and 2nd grades. She has been teaching at CMSD for 14 years and during that time has taught numerous grades and served as a Reading Intervention Specialist. Raquel reflects that she wanted to become a PATHS® trainer  in order to facilitate the social and emotional learning in students.  I also wanted the opportunity to work firsthand with individuals who recognize that social emotional development is as important as academic development.”  She notes that “PATHS® encourages my students to reflect on their actions and enables them to find solutions to their problems. Additionally, the PATHS® curriculum provides them with the skill set necessary to become empathetic towards their peers.”  Raquel’s hope is “that PATHS® will provide them the necessary skills to address their social and emotional learning so that they will in turn become successful academically and ultimately productive members of society.”  Raquel is married with 3 children- Amber, Desmond and Hillary, and she loves to travel.


Tim Souster is a PATHS® coach and trainer in London.  He works with schools across the capital, training teachers and supporting schools to deliver PATHS® effectively.  Before becoming involved with the PATHS® programme, Tim worked as a primary school teacher in South London for almost 10 years.  He has also taught English as a foreign language in Barcelona, Bratislava and Nepal.  Tim has a Masters in Children’s Literature and is especially interested in how hearing and telling stories can help develop empathy.




Vanessa is a teacher in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and is now an Affiliate PATHS® Trainer.  She currently teaches at Jane Addams School where she has taught Grades 9-12. She has taught at various grade levels and schools in her 17 years with CMSD.  Vanessa reports, “I enjoy working with a great team of people promoting SEL. I use PATHS® everyday.”  She looks forward to work in the position of a PATHS® Coach/Trainer. Vanessa’s goal is to increase the use of PATHS® in CMSD, As she notes, “It is our responsibility to help each other develop the SEL skills needed for interacting in our daily lives.”



After working as a School Counselor at a PK-5th Chicago Public School (CPS) for 4+ years, Nilufar Rezai was promoted in October 2016 to the role of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) specialist over a cohort of nine CPS schools piloting “Personalized Learning” within the district. Since college, she has worked as a K-12 educator, teacher trainer, mental health professional, and curriculum designer, and presented at local, state, and international conferences. Most recently, she was certified as a PATHS® Education Worldwide affiliate trainer. She is currently serving as a member of a Council of Distinguished Educators to advise the Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development. 

Nilufar is an advocate for social justice, youth empowerment, and the social-emotional and spiritual education of children and adolescents. She is a member of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) and the IL School Counselor Association (ISCA). She has a Professional Educator License in School Counseling from DePaul University, and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Chicago-SSA.


Cheryl Shinkaruk is the Coordinator of Programs and Projects for Edmonton Catholic Schools in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  As a teacher and PATHS® trainer working with teachers and students from Kindergarten to Grade 12, she has been able to support the implementation of the PATHS®resource over the past five years.  Over time, PATHS® started in 1 school and has grown to 65 elementary schools in her district. Holding her Master’s in Education from the University of Alberta, with a specialization in Curriculum Development, she has been working to support the wellness of students through a comprehensive approach. Currently, she is a member of the Expert Working Group to develop the Provincial Curriculum for Wellness for the Province, which she hopes will have a strong focus on SEL.  She has contributed to the writing and development of various resources to support student wellness in Alberta. Cheryl believes that each student who has a smile on their face is one step closer to fulfilling their dreams!


Alice is part of the Norfolk PATHS team based in Norwich, UK.  Alice taught in schools across England for 10 years, as a senior leader in a rural primary and then spent two years delivering a programme which aimed to raise attainment and self-esteem through sport.  She became a PATHS coach and trainer in 2011 and since then the team have supported over 100 school in delivering PATHS.  Until January 2017 she was also a Healthy Schools Advisor, specialising in supporting educational settings to deliver high quality PSHE with a focus on emotional health and wellbeing.  Alice believes that the PATHS training and programme enables schools to make social and emotional learning a priority and gives them the tools to make it an effective whole school approach.  The inclusive nature of PATHS has led her to develop resources to support family learning in the form of PATHS reading cafes and which aim promote diversity.



Elaine Britton is the Senior PATHS® Programme Co-ordinator for Barnardo’s. Based in South Wales, she joined the PATHS® family in April 2013 and has played a part indeveloping PATHS® in schools across the UK.

Elaine has a BA Honours degree in Primary Education with Qualified Teacher status and is also a qualified Learning Coach. Before joining the PATHS® Team at Barnardo’s she worked as a Primary School teacher and has experience across the full age range from Nursery to Year 6. Alongside her teaching experience, Elaine has much experience of working with older pupils in her role as Leaning Coach. During her time working in a number of secondary schools, Elaine supported pupils who had disengaged with school and also pupils who were displaying difficulties in regards to social and emotional skills. It was whilst working with these pupils that Elaine truly recognised the importance of early intervention and delivery of effective social emotional learning programmes that provide children with the fundamental life skills required to cope with everyday issues and maximise learning.

Elaine achieved her PATHS® Affiliate Trainer status in June 2017 and delivers training to teachers throughout the UK. She is a reflective practitioner who is always looking to gain further experience and develop her training skills to ensure she gives the best experience to any future PATHS® teachers.

Elaine has two daughters who love the characters introduced in PATHS® and she often uses PATHS® strategies at home to support the development of her own children.

Jennie Hine has worked within the Education sector for 16 years, as a teacher and Inclusion Manager within Primary schools; an assistant within the Educational Psychology Service and a PATHS® trainer and coach. Alongside whole class teaching, Jennie is currently developing a part-time alternative provision for Primary aged pupils who have been excluded from Primary school as well as leading on a project to promote inclusion during school playtimes. Jennie is also mum to 3 young children – she  feels that PATHS® feeds into every aspect of her life both as a mum and in the different roles she takes within education.



Marina works at PRIDE Bermuda, initially as a Program Facilitator with the LifeSkills program and the PATHS® program, and currently as the Program Evaluator.  Her love of numbers and statistics makes this very easy.  She has been immersed in PATHS® since 2009, first as a facilitator at lower elementary level and now as a coach.  When students and teachers get the lightbulb moment, it has made her job all the more rewarding.  PATHS® empowers students, and gives them confidence to speak up for themselves and make choices about how they are going to behave.  This is indeed powerful.  Marina also enjoys researching information about SEL, Executive Functioning and Adverse Childhood Experiences and how they are all connected.  As an Affiliate Trainer, Marina envisions that all elementary schools in Bermuda enjoy a PATHS® culture at their school, so that our island and eventually the world will be a greater place for our children.  Marina enjoys cooking, gardening, dance mom-ing and spending quality time with her family.