Mary Skillings, M.Ed.
Owner / Manager of CRC Consulting Services
Mary provides the kind of training to educators that brings them face to face with what it really takes to create a healthy, safe, thriving school culture where kids can learn and people can grow. Although her workshops and other services are fully grounded in the philosophy of Restorative Justice in Education, Mary demonstrates how other effective programs such as those stemming from Social Emotional Learning (SEL), Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), Trauma Informed Practices (TIP), Values Based Education (VbE), and Mindfulness Programs share a common denominator.
“It’s about getting our priorities straight. How we treat one another matters. Feeling that we belong, feeling safe, feeling respected, without this our brain is not capable of relaxing into a true learning state. Relationships and a physically and emotionally safe environment come first. After that comes the learning, the academics.”
Though her primary focus is now on schools, Mary began her work in Restorative Justice in the juvenile justice system in the mid 1990’s. Deeply committed to making an actual difference and wanting to help people to change their behavior from the inside out, she designed and implemented programs for juvenile offenders, as well as victims of crime.
In 2005 Mary began working for the organization Men as Peacemakers in Duluth, Minnesota as their Restorative Practice Program Coordinator. While still providing services to the juvenile justice system, she began to do more work with schools. In 2007 she designed and taught Teaching from a Restorative Paradigm—a graduate level course for educators offered in collaboration through the University of Minnesota/Duluth.
Mary has presented at several conferences including the Minnesota Association for Alternative Programs and the Safe and Healthy Learners Conference. She has also taught workshops at the Minnesota Department of Education’s annual June Seminar on Restorative Practices in Schools.
A native Minnesotan, Mary currently lives in her favorite area of the state—the North Shore of Lake Superior.
“Schools are where we train ourselves and our future citizens. It’s where we can establish expectations for what we want out of life. If a young person enters adulthood having only known a testing driven, score driven, competitive school environment, well, that’s all they’ve known so what can we expect them to create in terms of their own communities, their own relationships, their own places of business? If they’ve known something else then they’ll strive to create something else. It’s important that they know what beauty is and what love is – while they’re kids!”