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Tina Raspanti

Tina is lifelong learner and has 27 years in the education field. She started her teaching career in Virginia, where she earned an M.Ed. from the College of William and Mary in Inclusion, Teaming, and Collaboration. Moving home to Pittsburgh, she joined the Mt. Lebanon School district where she teaches psychology. She earned a Certificate in Positive Psychology from the Flourishing Center, has engaged in coursework, and holds several certifications related to mindfulness, compassion, and social emotional learning programming for both students and teachers.  Tina is a catalyst for connection and collaboration; she hopes to work side by side with others interested in building inclusive, empathetic and compassionate learning communities.

The Team


Leah Northrop is a certified yoga teacher and holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology. She has been teaching yoga and mindfulness at Falk Laboratory School at the University of Pittsburgh since 2011, and created a therapeutic yoga program at Falk for students with a variety of challenges in the social, emotional, behavioral, and learning realms. Leah is co-director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Mindfulness and Consciousness Studies, and collaborates extensively with faculty in the University’s School of Education.


Learning Instigator. Love Activist. Transformer.


Michelle King is a learner first and foremost and as well as an instigator of learning. Professionally, she is a middle school teacher aka a professional hostage. She is constantly seeking to create dynamic learning experiences and opportunities that inspire wonder, discovery, contradictions, frustrations, and joy. Her current interests are in game-based learning, design, restorative justice, equity, social justice, and teacher empowerment.  Through her partnerships with the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project, Green Building Alliance, SocialVR, Carnegie Science Center FAB Lab, Hear Me, the Remake Learning ecosystem, ThinkZone Games and other provocateurs; Michelle is helping to create equitable, empathetic, learning experiences for all Pittburghers.


Stephanie Confer has been part of the mindfulness and SEL community for several years, working with and learning from individuals across the United States and in the U.K.


She enjoys hearing about the experiences others in the community have had and supporting individuals and discussing how to grow these practices to bring about change.


Lisa Simon, Ph.D., is an educator, writer, artist and activist.  For 15+ years she has focused her energies on helping learners, families, and under resourced educational organizations increase access to high quality, engaging literacy and learning experiences. Lisa has a Ph.D in Literacy Education from New York University and was an Associate Professor of Transformative Literacy for the City College of New York. In her writing and research, Lisa works to challenge biases particularly in relation to ethnicity, language, gender, gender orientation, health, and age. Currently, Lisa works in gardens and after school programs with children and youth in Wilkinsburg.

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