Please click on the faculty member’s picture below for their bio.
Educational Consultant, Coach
Vivian Elliott, Educational Consultant/Coach
Vivian Elliott is a Senior Consultant with Learning Forward and with Elliott Service Systems, Inc. She provides professional development and leadership coaching to teachers, school administrators, and managers in organizations throughout the United States. Dr. Elliott earned her Ph.D. at the University of Colorado, Boulder studying organizational change, equity, and leadership. For more than thirty years, she has conducted educational research, designed and facilitated workshops, and published educational writings to promote cultural responsiveness and bias elimination. Her recent publication, The Principal Story Guide, commissioned by The Wallace Foundation and Learning Forward, is widely used in conjunction with the documentary, The Principal Story. Vivian Elliott is known in school districts, universities, and non-profit organizations for skillful facilitation, excellent team leadership, and quality project management. Dr. Elliott co-created the Colorado Coalition for Equity in Education, and served in leadership roles for the National Coalition for Equity in Education and the Colorado Partnership for Educational Renewal.
Barb Catbagan, Professor/Mediator
Barbara Catbagan is a retired Associate Professor of Education and current Senior Faculty for PassageWorks Institute. She has spent decades dedicated to bringing transformative and culturally responsive teaching and learning to individuals and organizations throughout the U.S. She was Chair of the Contemplative Education Department at Naropa University, and is an Associate Professor. Barbara’s commitment to transformational leadership is grounded in her K-12 teaching background and her association with the National Coalition for Equity in Education through which she works with institutions of higher education on issues and initiatives of equity, social justice, and personal and professional development. Through her past work as the Director of the Human Rights Resource and Education Office for the City of Fort Collins, she facilitated professional development and community educational opportunities on topics of civility, communication and human rights, and investigated and mediated allegations of discrimination. As a certified mediator, she has worked with individuals and groups on workplace mediation and to settle disputes of discrimination. She consults with businesses, organizations and educational institutions, and has presented locally and nationally on topics germane to diversity and social justice. She has a B.A. in English and a M.Ed. from Colorado State University.
Scott VanLoo, Assistant Principal
Scott VanLoo is an Assistant Principal at a dual language elementary school in the mountains of Colorado. He has over 24 years of experience in education including elementary and high school teaching and central and building-level administration with a background in Special Education, English Language Learners, Homeless Education, Equity and Diversity training and parent programs. Scott is the former Director of the César Chavez Cultural Center at the University of Northern Colorado where he helped recruit, retain and support hundreds of Latino(a) students and helped raise over $60,000 for endowed student scholarships. He has been a facilitator with the National Coalition for Equity in Education, Respecting Ethnic and Cultural Heritage Center, the Anti-Defamation League and the Generating Expectations for Student Achievement program. As a consultant, Scott is passionate about creating transformational experiences that promote and challenge participants’ thinking and professional growth. He has worked with colleges, universities, and school districts across the mid-West. Scott has volunteered with the U.S. Armed Forces Entertainment Unit, traveling overseas for three tours and entertaining hundreds of service men and women and he currently plays in a Denver-based salsa band. He has a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies: Music and Business, an M.A. in Special Education, and post graduate work in Educational Leadership including a Principal’s license and doctoral course work. Scott is an extremely proud father of two boys.
Mark Wilding, Leadership Faculty Co-Director
Mark Wilding is the Executive Director of PassageWorks Institute and a member of the core faculty at the Institute. In addition to his duties as a director, Mark teaches courses and workshops, facilitates conferences and dialogues, and presents keynotes and lectures. Mark works closely with Institute faculty to develop and deliver programs that support educators to develop the intra-personal and inter-personal capacities necessary to: sustain an authentic teaching practice, engage students, support social, emotional and academic learning outcomes, and collaborate effectively with colleagues. Mark is the former director of Naropa University’s center for business and economics, and helped launch a graduate degree program at Naropa in 1995. Mark continues to teach graduate courses in authentic leadership and systems thinking at Naropa. Mark has held leadership roles in government, business, non-profit, and academic organizations. In 1985, he helped found a public computer software company, and served on the board and in several roles until he left as President in 1993. Mark has a B.S. in Biology and an M.A. in Environmental Leadership.
Rona Wilensky, Leadership Faculty Co-Director
Rona Wilensky was principal and founder of New Vista High School in Boulder, Colorado from 1992-2009. Previously, she worked as an education policy analyst for the Governor of Colorado, the Education Commission of the States, and various education reform initiatives in Colorado. During the 2009-10 academic year, Rona was a Resident Fellow at the Spencer Foundation in Chicago. A contributor to state and national conversations on high school reform, her essays have appeared in Education Week, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Phi Delta Kappan and Education News Colorado.
Recent projects have included work with the Leadership Project of Passageworks Institute, with the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education and with the Language, Literacy and Culture Division of the Colorado Department of Education. She collaborates with Peter Senge to bring systems thinking strategies to educators and policy makers in Colorado.
Rona began her personal meditation practice in 2005 and received her certificate as a Mindfulness Instructor from Naropa University in 2012. She is a member of the Leadership Council of the Garrison Institute’s Initiative on Contemplative Teaching and Learning.
Rona holds a B.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University and taught that subject at Williams College and the University of Denver in the early 1980’s.
Andra Brill, Educational Consultant/Researcher
Andra Brill has over 20 years of experience as a professional educator, classroom teacher and coach. She has supervised mentor teachers, consulted with school principals, and advised district administrators. For several years she directed the Boettcher Teachers Program, a Masters level residency based teacher preparation program for new teachers serving urban schools. Andra has been creating reflective learning environments for students in K-12 classrooms since 1992. For more than a decade, she has worked with novice teachers enrolled in graduate education programs at both the University of Denver and the University of Colorado. Inspired by her many years of meditation, Andra brings a passion for supporting compassionate, holistic school communities to her work. Andra has published several articles, including a chapter in the book Teaching as a Moral Practice (Harvard Education Press, 2010). She obtained a Masters degree in Language, Learning and Culture and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Innovation from the University of Colorado at Denver. She conducts research and writes about culturally responsive pedagogy, theories of change, and how to create more compassionate, reflective classrooms.