The School to Peace Pipeline: School Climate, Collaboration, and Conflict Resolution Skills

October 24, 2015, Duke University, Durham, NC

This one-day conference is specifically designed for teachers, administrators, pre-service teachers and parents.  We know that students who attend schools with a positive environment, or school climate, are able to thrive socially, emotionally, and academically.  However, conflict is a natural occurrence in any school setting.  How do we support students when conflict arises?  When we are at our best, conflict can present an opportunity for positive growth and change.

This conference provides a dynamic opportunity to develop our practice as teachers and school leaders, as well as strengthen our partnerships across age level and school district.  By providing a balance of research from experts in the field as well as workshops led by experienced teachers, participants will leave empowered to proactively begin the 2015-2016 school year.

Keynote Speaker:  Dr. Arthur Romano

Arthur Romano, PhD, is an educational consultant, nonviolence trainer and Assistant Professor at the School of Conflict Resolution and Analysis at George Mason University. Arthur’s research and practice focuses primarily on peace and social justice education and he has designed experiential educational programs, trainings and workshops both in the US and internationally. He is currently focused largely on educational programs and movements that address issues of racial and economic injustice in the US.

Arthur’s research and practice includes long-term partnerships with community groups working to create sustainable educational initiatives in violence-affected communities. That work often centers on creating creative and critical spaces for minority youth impacted by racially disproportionate school discipline practices, mass incarceration and poverty to consider pathways for transformative action. In this role, Arthur co-develops with youth and their allies various strategic planning processes, curricular initiatives, training of trainers and is called on to assist with addressing conflicts that arise in the implementation of this work. Further he often serves as a network facilitator developing larger communities of practice within the field of peace education and social justice activism by connecting people with highly varied expertise to explore possibilities for collaboration.

Over the past decade, Arthur has worked with a wide array of groups including: The National Peace Academy, The Connecticut Center for Nonviolence, The Ella Bakers Women’s Center, The Sacrificial Poets and The Beat Lab. He co-founded the Diversity Matters Now workshop series, which explores issues related to social identity, race and class in colleges and universities across the US. Arthur has also worked closely with his mentor renowned civil rights educator and freedom rider, Dr. Bernard LaFayette in a wide range of settings ranging from the Niger Delta to Ferguson.

Professor Romano is currently teaching courses on identity and conflict resolution, peace education and applied conflict resolution theory and practice. Arthur’s PhD research utilized complexity theory to examine pedagogical innovation in the field of international peace education.

Workshop Sessions

  • Akido and Other Kinesthetic Mindfulness Practices
  • Building the Conflict Resolution Toolbox
  • Creating a Positive Classroom Environment
  • Discipline for Supporting Growth and Responsibility
  • Engaging Students to Become Active Participants in Their Communities
  • Peaceful Schools NC Case Study and Research: Central Park School for Children
  • Racial Equity and the Storytelling Curriculum
  • Rehearsal for Life: Using Theater to Activate Conflict Resolution
  • School Climate and Engaging the Whole School Community
  • Social Emotional Learning and the Learning Needs Child

Please check back often for full workshop descriptions, presenter bios, etc.  

Workshop Presenters:

Charlie Butchart Bio Picture (1)Charlie Butchart teaches sixth grade at Central Park School for Children in Durham, NC.  He brings 15 years of teaching and administrative experience in public and private schools in the triangle area.  Throughout his many years of teaching, Charlie has been particularly interested in mathematics, outdoor education, and an active social curriculum. Charlie has completed at Theater of the Oppressed Facilitators Training as part of Triangle Educators for Truth and Justice.  Charlie recently presented Rehearsal for Life at the Association for Middle Level Education in Nashville, TN.  He also shared has consulted and led professional development for administrators with CASSE, an affiliated Peaceful Schools program in Victoria, Australia.


Bio photo CGB

Christel Greiner Butchart is a Middle School teacher and Rotary Peace Fellow with a Masters of International Relations focused on Peace and Conflict Resolution. Christel has nine years experience teaching at Carolina Friends School in Durham, NC.  Christel has conducted research on the role of Peace Education in the United States.  Recently, Christel has worked with students and teachers in Myanmar (Burma) and Australia, teaching peace education and developing relevant conflict resolution curriculum. Christel has shared her work teaching Conflict Resolution and Rehearsal for Life at the North Carolina Association for Independent Schools and the Association for Middle Level Education.   Christel now serves as Chair of Peaceful Schools NC, working with school communities to create a safer learning environment.


Headshot Aileen

Aileen Clougherty has been teaching for 35 years with a variety of ages in different settings.  She has a master’s degree, certified in elementary education, art,  and special education.  Early years were spent working with middle and high school students with behavioral needs in a public school and then in a psychiatric setting.  Teaching art classes also began with this population.  Later years were spent with younger children teaching art and regular classes.  As her children grew up she taught younger ages.  She has a passion for teaching the whole child and promoting the peaceful education model in schools.  She spent over 12 years working at Carolina Friends School where this focus on peace in education grew.  She is presently involved in the Peaceful Schools of NC and is committed to encouraging peaceful models to be implemented in schools.  In her spare time she enjoys creating art, hiking, and spending time with her family and friends, especially her grandchild!

John HJohn Heffernan
 is the director of Central Park School for Children in Durham, NC.  John has 15 years experience as an elementary teacher at the Sierra School in the San Francisco Bay Area, NYC’s Bank Street School for Children, and Forest View Elementary School in Durham. John believes in supporting students to take risks and assume greater responsibility for their learning. John received a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies in philosophy, psychology and studio arts from Georgetown University and a master’s degree from Bank Street College of Education. He is also a National Board Certified Teacher and has held leadership roles on the governance team of Forest View Elementary, instructed UNC student teachers, and guided study groups for colleagues.


imgresPatricia Parker (Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin) is Associate Professor of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she is Chair of the Department of Communication. She is founder and executive director of The Ella Baker Women’s Center for Leadership and Community Activism, a venture supported by a Kauffman Faculty Fellowship for social entrepreneurship. Her research, teaching, and service explore questions about access, equity and participatory democracy at the intersections of race, gender, class and power in organization processes. Her forthcoming book, Ella’s Daughters, explores collective leadership emergence among people in vulnerable communities working toward social justice. Pat is the author of Race, Gender, and Leadership (Erlbaum, 2005), and sixteen articles and book chapters appearing in national and international journals and edited volumes.


Dr. Renee Prillaman has 39 years teaching experience and holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. For 16 years she taught in the CFS Lower and Middle Schools, and spent nine of them as head of the Middle School. In 2013 Renee became the School’s first Assistant Principal for Teaching and Learning. She has taught at UNC and Duke for 10 years, and continues to serve as Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Program in Education at Duke. Renee has taught for the Southern Association of Independent Schools New Teacher Institute and the North Carolina Association of Independent Schools New Teacher Institute and completed the Engaging Leadership Institute, a two-year program with the Friends Council on Education.


I_TrisoliniIda Trisolini has a long history with Quaker Education and with conflict resolution. She helped design the conflict resolution curriculum at CFS and has presented on creating a peaceful classroom and school culture at regional and national conferences.  Ida has twenty-six years teaching experience and has been teaching in Quaker schools for 20 years. Ida is a recent graduate of the Institute for Engaging Leadership, a two-year Quaker Education program. Ida is a published poet and an artist and believes that integrating art into her language arts curriculum contributes to the successful creation of a peaceful classroom.




Jason wJason Widener is in his sixth year teaching movement classes and peacemaking fundamentals at the Central Park School for Children (CPSC). Prior to his time at CPSC, Jason taught Physical Activity and Wellness through the arts of Tai Chi and Aikido for seven years at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW). During his tenure at UNCW, Jason was honored multiple times by students as being a professor who “made a difference” in their lives. Jason has also taught Aikido and Tai Chi at Duke University and he runs a local Tai Chi studio in Chapel Hill (W Tai Chi). He holds a BA from Duke University and is a certified Reiki Master. His current continuing education and practice is centered on Zen Buddhism. Additionally, Jason is a former #1 ranked national junior, ACC champion, All-American, professional, and college coach in golf; he continues to teach private lessons.


randall bio picRandall Williams teaches Humanities at Carolina Friends School. Since 2010, he has offered classes and workshops in the Middle and Upper Schools, focusing on civics, religion, advocacy, and literature. He is currently the primary teacher for the junior-year American Literature course. His primary areas of interest include Quakerism and progressive pedagogy, engaged Buddhism, action civics, and deliberative democratic practices in the classroom. A published poet and writer of nonfiction, Randall has taught creative writing and debate at a variety of local schools. He has also worked as a private tutor and curriculum consultant. Randall earned a B.A. in English and Philosophy from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Randall and his partner Lisa (a CFS Middle School teacher) run a farm in Northwest Orange County where they grow vegetables and tend goats, chickens, and bees. He tries his best to share his work at


Registration Fees

Early Bird (July 15-August 31)   $99

Full-price registration (September 1-October 24)   $135

Student Rate (includes volunteering as a TA in one session)  $70

CEU Credits will be Available