Director, Welcoming Schools | Cheryl Greene has spent her career in education and is passionate about bully prevention methods and helping to create classrooms where all children can thrive. Under her leadership, the Welcoming Schools program trains and equips outstanding facilitators across the country to provide professional development, support and resources aimed at making elementary schools welcoming for all students and families.
Cheryl was a classroom teacher, school leader and basketball coach for over two decades before joining Welcoming Schools. During that time, it became clear to her that until students feel safe, respected and valued, very little learning occurs.
Cheryl is married to an amazing woman and together they have four wonderful children.
Associate Director, Welcoming Schools | Michele Hatchell has been a public school art, literacy, tech and social studies teacher for over twenty years in Chicago, IL and Madison, WI. During the last 4 years, she has authored curriculum and professional development trainings for the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Welcoming Schools program and other national organizations.
In addition, she has provided guidance and expertise throughout the US to schools, universities, non-profits and hospitals on best practices to create affirming and safe spaces for people of all sexual identities, gender identities and expressions. She is also a professional artist and has created several public art pieces with people of all ages in communities, schools, museums and college campuses.
Coordinator, Welcoming Schools | Bre has spent the past 5 years in the nonprofit sector, focusing on educational equity and eating disorders. Prior to joining the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, Bre worked at an online education marketplace in New York City whose mission is to serve teachers and students by providing materials to classrooms in need. As the daughter of an educator, Bre is passionate about ensuring classrooms are spaces where all students can thrive.
As the coordinator for Welcoming Schools, Bre supports aspects of the program by communicating with schools and facilitators during the contract and invoicing process, leading the Seal of Excellence program, maintaining and leveraging training data and databases, and reviewing Welcoming Schools publications and resources.
Welcoming Schools Consultant | Kathy Pillsbury was one of the founders of Welcoming Schools and continues to be an active consultant for the project. When her children, who are now 28 and 22, first started school, Kathy became active in her children’s school community. At the same time, she began actively researching materials to help her children’s teachers understand their family and help her children thrive and feel safe at school. Kathy served on the Board of GLSEN Boston for many years before the development of Welcoming Schools.
Prior to her work with HRC Welcoming Schools, Kathy was a financial director and project manager for non-profit organizations. She oversaw budget and cash flow management, direct-mail and telemarketing campaigns, strategic research projects and produced educational campaign materials including the Academy Award winning film, Deadly Deception: General Electric, Nuclear Weapons and Our Environment. Kathy earned her B.A. from Goddard College and her MBA from the Yale School of Management.
Welcoming Schools Expert Trainer | Toni Smith is a retired 32-year veteran public school educator. In addition to her practice, for 23 years she has been a professional development facilitator who has trained groups, locally, nationally and internationally. Toni is passionate about making schools safe and inclusive for all students, including LGBTQ students and students on the autism spectrum.
In addition to her work with Welcoming Schools, Toni is a member of the National Education Association’s Safety, Bias, and LGBTQ Issues training cadre and their Cultural Competence and Social Justice training cohorts. Toni is a board member and lead trainer for the Georgia Safe Schools Coalition, which provides training for K-16 educational institutions and community groups on making schools and organizations safe and inclusive for LGBTQ students and community members.
Toni is a wife, mother of two amazing children and is "GoGo" to 6 perfect grandchildren.
Our facilitators are highly skilled, dynamic leaders with extensive experience working in K-12 education. The strength of our professional development program is attributed to these amazing facilitators from around the United States and Mexico.