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Toxic Stress and the School Influence Factors: Lessons from Cambodia

In this one-hour interactive workshop, Dr. Jennifer McMahon, Director of Learning for Livonia Central School District in NY State and Founder of the Teacher Leader Academy in Cambodia, will discuss the research-supported ways that educators can mitigate the impact of toxic stress on students. Drawing from work with teachers in Cambodian schools and connecting to the CASEL framework, Dr. McMahon will share some of the strategies that help students develop connections, build agency, and restore hope. Come learn about all of the ways educators can make a difference and how the school influence factor can be transformative. Dr. McMahon will be joined by her colleague, Mr. Va Thorn, from the New Generation Pedagogical Research Center in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

About Dr. Jennifer McMahon:

Dr. Jennifer McMahon is the Director of Learning for Livonia Central School District in NY State and the founder of the Teacher Leader Academy, a program to help empower Cambodian teachers. An educator with a deep belief in empowering others through education, Dr. McMahon has worked as a school district administrator, professional development specialist, assistant principal, and was a National Board Certified Literacy Specialist. With over 20 years of experience that ranges from teaching pre-K through adult learners, Dr. McMahon is committed to using her background and education to make a difference in the world. Dr. McMahon has presented internationally and nationally on a variety of topics, but the goal is always the same: empowerment of others through education. Dr. McMahon is the author of "In These Shoes" a toxic stress simulation experience for educators designed to help people move from empathy to action. Her research interests include literacy best practices, play by design, comparative education, and school/educator practices that can make a difference for all students.

About Va Thorn:

Mr. Va Thorn is a graduate student at the New Generation Pedagogical Research Center in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He is currently studying SEL within the Cambodian context. Social-Emotional Learning within the school setting is not part of most Cambodian schools, so Mr. Thorn's work will open the door for deeper conversations around the importance of equipping students with these skills, Mr. Thorn is a primary school teacher, mentor, certified tour guide, and advisor for the Teacher Leader Academy. Born in the Cambodian jungle while his country was still at war and then given the opportunity to attend school as long as he was willing to walk through literal minefields, Mr. Thorn knows the power of education. He believes it is the key to a sustainable future for his country and for making a difference in the world.