Mental & Behavioral Health

School Mental Health Leadership Institute: Defining System-Level Leadership

December 15, 2021 | 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Registration is closed

This webinar is free of charge for all Massachusetts educators.

Speakers: John Crocker, M.Ed., Director of School Mental Health & Behavioral Services, Methuen Public Schools, Founder and Director, MASMHC, Laura Dziorny, Deputy Director, Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy; Michelle Stanfield; Director of Programs, Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy

Workshop Description
In this session focused on School Mental Health Leadership, we will begin digging into how leaders can begin to understand and address system-level needs. After introducing a change management framework that will guide future sessions, we will zoom in on identifying a problem of practice by conducting a needs assessment and mapping existing resources. Participants will also have the chance to examine their own leadership style in order to better understand how they can most effectively support the work of building a comprehensive school mental health system.

About the Speakers
John Crocker, M.Ed., has worked in public education for a decade, primarily as the administrator for the Methuen Public Schools Guidance Department. He has overseen the planning and implementation of the “Mental Health Initiative,” which has focused on the establishment of a comprehensive school mental health system (CSMHS) in partnership with the National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH). He was recently appointed to the role of Director of School Mental Health & Behavioral Services, a position charged with overseeing the district-wide implementation and evaluation of Methuen’s comprehensive school mental health system (CSMHS) and positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS).

Laura Dziorney joined the Rennie Center with a background in education policy and on-the-ground experience at both the classroom and district levels. In her role as Deputy Director, she oversees a variety of internal and external responsibilities for the Rennie Center, from budgeting and human resources to board engagement and policy outreach. Prior to joining Rennie, Laura served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Boston Public Schools, where she worked closely with the School Committee to advance district policy-making and managed projects including a working group on measuring school quality. Laura is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, where she participated in the policy clinic of the Harrison Institute for Public Law and served as an intern in the education policy office of the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Before law school, she taught fourth grade at Ira J. Earl Elementary School in Las Vegas, Nevada and earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Michelle Stanfield is a career educator who is dedicated to making schools and organizations equitable learning environments that offer a culture of achievement, where students are able to discover their genius and have it nurtured. She deeply believes that all children deserve access to opportunities and to have teams of adults who are conspiring for their success with them. She joined the Rennie Center team in July of 2021 as the Director of Programs. In 2004, Michelle entered the K-12 education space with the primary objective of ensuring students in traditionally underserved settings were college and career ready. She joined the team at the Academy of the Pacific Rim Charter Public School in Boston, MA. While there, she designed programs for targeted populations and led the school’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. As the Director of Family Engagement and as a member of the leadership team, Michelle was involved in every aspect of school management and development. 2017 brought the launch of Michelle Stanfield Consulting. This venture pairs Michelle’s wealth of knowledge about education and entrepreneurship with her genuine desire to improve outcomes for kids. She has worked on projects for The Boston Foundation, Boston Public Schools,, and Roots and Wings facilitation. Most recently, she worked with MassRobotics to design and launch the first cohort of the Jumpstart Program—a program for Black and Latinx girls to explore STEM careers and robotics. In January 2018, Michelle joined the Lynch Leadership Academy team at Boston College. In this role, Michelle worked with principals and leaders from public, charter, and Catholic schools across Massachusetts to improve their schools by helping them view their work through the lens of equity, strategic management, and excellent instruction.

While this series is open to all Massachusetts educators, only attendees from districts who belong to MPY may apply for PDPs and/or CEUs.

Slides available here.

Membership Information
Most MPY webinars are available to ONLY current staff from member districts and organizations. Public school memberships include police and fire personnel. Former and retired employees and members of committees, including but not limited to, PTO/PTA, PAC, School Improvement Councils, Health Councils, Drug/Alcohol Councils, and school volunteers, are not considered MPY members.

PDPs and CEUs
MPY is an approved Professional Development Provider through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (F20180079 provider number). Professional Development Points (PDPs) are offered for all MPY professional development webinars. PDPs are issued for a minimum of 10 hours of training.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available for clinical staff from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the Massachusetts Mental Health Counselors Association, Inc. (MaMHCA). The NASW and the MaMHCA approves each event. Event participants may request CEUs by filling out the request form above. 

Requests for PDPs and CEUs must be submitted within 8 days of the webinar. PDPs and CEUs will only be issued to participants who have attended the webinar(s) and submitted the appropriate paperwork within 8 days of the webinar, with accurate accountability codes. 

PDP and CEU certificates will be emailed to attendees at the end of the school year.

Event Cancellation Policy
If you are unable to attend any MPY event after registering, you must cancel online at least 72 hours prior to event. For assistance email

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