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Dr. Lora Hodges

Dr. Lora Hodges, President & Chief Executive Officer

Lora began her career as a teacher. She has served as an administrator at all grade tiers, including principal of a middle college high school. It was through her experience as a middle college high school principal and Associate Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction that Lora came to understand the significant role social and emotional learning plays in helping students to be successful in and out of school. Prior to her tenure at CRS, Lora was Deputy Executive Director at the SERVE Center at UNC Greensboro, a university-based research, development, dissemination, evaluation and technical assistance center and home to the National Center for Homeless Education. She was also a Senior Consultant for CASEL, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, a trusted source for knowledge about high-quality, evidence-based social and emotional learning.


Dr. Tonia Bonner, Chief Administrative Officer

Tonia comes to Center for Responsive Schools with more than 20 years of experience in the education field, including as a classroom teacher, adjunct professor, online instructor, and school administrator. She also brings extensive experience in the nonprofit sector. Tonia earned her Doctorate of Education in Teaching and Learning from Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia.

Tonia Bonner


Michelle Benson

Michelle Benson, Chief Professional Learning Officer

Michelle Benson has a wide range of experience as a facilitator and developer of professional development for K-8 educators. Prior to becoming a director at the Center for Responsive Schools, she served as a Responsive Classroom professional development designer and full-time consultant working with educators and school districts throughout the United States and the international school community. She began her education career as a middle school English/language arts teacher and served as a secondary curriculum specialist for eight years in a rural school district in North Carolina. Her passion for education has been ensuring all students receive a high-quality education through excellent teaching and learning. Michelle aims to inspire, empower, and transform teachers to understand students’ power and balance of academic, social, and emotional learning. When she is not training educators on the Fly Five instructional program, she spends time with her husband and two children, relaxing on the beach, and traveling with friends.


Emily Hemingway, Editor in Chief

Before joining Center for Responsive Schools, Emily Hemingway was a teacher and administrator in independent schools for 14 years. Playing many different roles in schools, often at the same time, gave her opportunities to get to know and connect with students, teachers, and parents in a variety of ways. She eagerly continues the vital work of helping to build hopeful, joyful school communities in her role as Director of Publications.

Emily Hemingway

Karen Poplawski

Karen Poplawski, Chief Program Officer, Responsive Classroom

Prior to becoming a director at Center for Responsive Schools, Karen was a Responsive Classroom Curriculum & Instructional Designer, and Consulting Teacher, working with educators worldwide to transform their school communities. Before joining the staff at CRS, she spent ten years as a classroom teacher, and seven years as a principal—utilizing Responsive Classroom techniques and practices in the classroom and in the two schools for which she was the founding principal.


Jazmine Franklin, Chief Program Officer, Fly Five

Jazmine brings an extensive knowledge of program development, as well as classroom experience, to the Director of Fly Five Programs position. She first joined the Center for Responsive Schools as a consultant and program developer—playing a vital role in the development of Responsive Classroom programs. Prior to her time at CRS she spent six years as a second-grade teacher in Chicago Public Schools, and two years in Guilford County Schools, North Carolina. Jazmine is currently enrolled as a doctoral candidate in educational psychology at Walden University.

Jazmine Tavenner

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