WHO WE ARE AT CPI
ABOUT CPI MAINE
Our CPI team members were among the first practitioners in Maine to implement school-wide restorative practices, transforming the way teachers, students, and parents think about and respond to problematic behaviors. In 2003, the team assumed leadership of a regional alternative school/day treatment program for students with severe behavioral and mental health issues, and replaced reactive, punitive, 1-size-fits-all discipline (like detention, suspension, expulsion) with a restorative approach. Within that first school year, behavior referrals were reduced by 60%, days missed due to suspensions were reduced by more than 75% and expulsions were eliminated entirely. Throughout the following decade, the team continued to evaluate and refine their Restorative Learning Program with support from state and federal grants and private donations. Today, the school is recognized for its positive school culture and its capacity for engaging and supporting many of Maine’s most challenging students.
ABOUT OUR STAFF
Martin Mackey, MS Special Ed., FOUNDER
Martin has worked with at risk students for over 18 years both in public schools, and private wilderness therapy programs in the western U.S. He has been instrumental in the development and growth of multiple educational programs. Martin has provided professional development to a wide variety of educators, policy makers, and is always eager to collaborate with others to initiate positive change for Maine’s most fragile students. He is currently the President of the Maine Association of Alternative Education. In 2013, Martin organized a statewide Human Centered Design summit on alternative assessment practices in Maine.
Pender Makin, MS, Ed., FOUNDER
Pender has worked with highly at risk students for 20 years in public school settings, and has developed and implemented several innovative programs to support student success. In addition, she has written grants to support these programs, as they tend to exceed the scope of public school services. Pender has secured more than $3 Million in grant funding for programs serving students in Windham, Raymond, and Westbrook public schools. Pender is a dynamic public speaker and provides professional development to educators and organizational leaders at local, state, and national conferences. She also teaches graduate courses in the Students At Risk concentration at University of Maine. Pender holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Maine Department of Education certification as a Principal and as a Superintendent of Schools.
Page Nichols, FOUNDER
Page has been working with highly at risk kids for over ten years. As a Restorative Learning Specialist at The REAL School – a public school serving middle and high school students who have not been successful in traditional schools – Page helped to develop and implement restorative disciplinary practices and protocols using evidence-based, best practices and emerging adolescent brain development as a guide. She serves on the executive board of directors of Seeds of Independence, an organization serving at-risk children in Maine and has helped to design and implement alternatives to detention for youth in Maine facing incarceration for non-violent behavior. Page speaks at local and national conferences and provides professional development training for teachers, counselors and school leaders. Page is currently a member of the University of Southern Maine’s “Leadership for Tomorrow’s Schools Cohort” and plans to receive a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership as well as a Maine State Principal’s Certification.
Susan Burns-Chong, LCSW, FOUNDER
Susan has 20 years of extensive experience working with students and their families who are involved with multiple systems–juvenile justice, child welfare, and mental health. She is currently part of the treatment team at the REAL School, providing counseling and supportive services to middle and high school students. She has served as a teacher, community organizer, adventure leader, and group facilitator, and she has recently published a teen-focused book about innovation at school and work. Susan graduated from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, with her Master of Social Work.
Craig Haims, MAT, FOUNDER
Craig has been involved in program development in Alternative Learning for 20 years. Craig comes to public education leadership having worked in experiential and outdoor education with Outward Bound. In addition to program development and management Craig has written and managed a variety of grants to support innovative programming for at risk youth. Most recently Craig managed an AmeriCorps grant which enabled REAL School students to function as community problem solvers as they worked side-by-side with REAL School AmeriCorps members solving real problems in community-based settings. Today Craig has taken on the day-to-day operations of CPI and is enjoying helping schools and youth serving organizations build strong climates where all students can thrive.
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