Dara is an educator, speaker, author, coach and consultant whose lifelong goal is to transform schools, and the systems that support them, into environments that are committed to social justice, nurture a love of learning, and create conditions for the overall well-being of staff, students and families. She is the author of The Heart of Education: Bringing Joy, Meaning and Purpose Back to Teaching and Learning.
Dara is the CEO (Chief Enthusiast Officer) of Virtues Matter, a 501(c)(3), which empowers people and organizations around the world to bring joy, meaning and purpose to life by focusing on the Five Strategies of The Virtues Project. She facilitates highly experiential workshops that support personal, professional and organizational transformation, equipping educators, community members and leaders with the skills, tools and strategies to apply in all aspects of their lives. Dara is an ASCD Whole Child Faculty Member focusing on SEL, trauma responses/healing centered engagement and restorative practices. She is also a Shepherd University Adjunct Professor and a SchoolTalk/RestorativeDC coach and consultant.
Dara learned of restorative practices in 2005, which opened her eyes to the restorative framework of The Virtues Project. She was introduced to the IIRP In 2014 and has since become an instructor and continues to teach, learn and grow in the social science.
Dara received a Bachelor in Elementary Education from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Master in Education, Media, Design and Technology from Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. She earned her National Board Certification in Early Childhood from the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, a Certificate as a Success Principles Trainer from Jack Canfield and a Certificate in Restorative Practices from the IIRP.
Dara is happily married and has two grown compassionate and service-minded children. She is grateful to find a sense of coherence in her life through working, learning, growing and serving in circles.