top of page
Jen presenting Restorative Practices

My Journey

My Restorative Journey

Jen at a book signing with a client

Ever since I could babysit, I knew I wanted to work with kids. For summer jobs, I tried my hands in retail, yet always made my way back to nannying and working at a daycare. The day after my high school graduation, I set off to be a camp counselor. My summer was spent playing in the woods.

I became a resident assistant in college and interned with a school counselor in a neighboring school district. That's when I found my spark for school counseling. After graduation, I worked as a paraprofessional in a K-3 learning support classroom during the day while attending grad school at night. When I landed my first job as a school counselor, saying goodbye to the students I supported as a para professional was most difficult. They were such a special part of my journey. We had so much fun together - it didn't feel like a job.

During my first year as a counselor, I supported students, families and colleagues as well as a novice counselor could do. I relied on the theories and skills I studied in grad school. I had an opportunity to attend a Restorative Practices meet and greet at CSF Buxmont Academy. I had no idea that learning about Restorative Practices would change my life - I was immediately hooked. The next day, I implemented affective questions in my work. I began supporting others to own their stories. People were more open and cooperative to sharing and I became more of a partner with them.

I took courses at the International Institute for Restorative Practices and earned a master's degree with them. In addition, I became a trainer of RP and Restorative Justice Conferencing.  I work with IIRP as a contractor and implementation coach with schools across the US.

Being a counselor is challenging to say the least. Most days, my office was a revolving door. The concerns ranged from minor peer conflicts to suicidal ideation. Most of my time was spent supporting students and families in crisis.  Anyone who has any experience with a middle schooler knows that their issues are huge to them. I had a pivotal thought,  'What if students could support their classmates with the low level concepts?'

The administration supported my pursuit with restorative practices and helped turn my vision into a reality. I created a curriculum for a related arts class called, Mediation and Conflict Resolution. I soon found myself in front a classroom full of 7th graders from all different social groups in the school. Some had IEPs, some were natural leaders, some were frequent flyers in the counseling office, some had no idea how they got into the class.

Early on, I focused on giving students skills on how to resolve conflicts restoratively. The group was eager for more; they wanted to work directly with students. They named themselves, The Peacekeepers. It became completely student-driven. I was deeply impressed with how the students connected and helped move their peers through the healing process. 

The students shared their work with other restorative practitioners through presentations at conferences and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. People wanted to know how this all worked with kids! I published a manual so others can give students the same opportunities. It's time for me to step into a new world of possibilities.

I now travel the country supporting others with their restorative journeys. I would love to connect and help you with yours!

I support others with their restorative journeys.  Let's connect to get you on your way...

My Credentials

  • Over 20+ years experience in Education

  • MS in Counseling & Human Relations, Villanova University

  • MS in Restorative Practices, International Institute for Restorative Practices

  • BA in Psychology, Susquehanna University


  • Consults in elementary, middle and high schools across the United States

  • Trains educators and students in Restorative Practices and Restorative Justice Conferencing

  • Developed and authored an Educational program

  • Customizes programs to meet specific client needs

  • Facilitates Peer Ministry Leadership training for Faith-based youth programs

  • Provides Coaching to help systems implement Restorative Practices

  • President-Elect of the Pennsylvania Association for Middle Level Educators; President of the Southeast Region Board

bottom of page