About Us

There is a growing need to support children of color,not only academically but emotionally and socially.

According to the article, “Promoting student behavior and learning through multi-tiered systems of support,” written by Barbara Bole Williams, Ph.D, a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) is critical for student learning. MTSS is an evidence-based framework that effectively integrates multiple systems and services. As a result, MTSS simultaneously addresses student academic achievement, behavior, and social-emotional well-being. According to the recent Achievement Gap Recommendations report, the Montclair Public School District have distinct unacceptable paths of learning. For this reason, a crescendo of inequality is present at the most critical moment of a young person’s life: high school graduation.

 

 

The South Orange-Maplewood School District is among one of the New Jersey school districts with the highest racial disparities in tracking and student discipline.

Montclair Public School District and South Orange-Maplewood School District are just two of the local districts that MAAC may and/or could serve. It is important to note that, unfortunately, these districts are not alone in regards to the Achievement Gap. Other local and national data mirrors similar trends and this simply is inexcusable and unacceptable.

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Our Staff

meet the team


Andrea Smith-Morgan

Founder and CEO of Mindful Awareness Academy for Children (MAAC), Andrea Smith-Morgan has an M.A. in curriculum and instruction from Columbia University and a B.A. from West Virginia University.  Her certifications include English, Special Educations, LDTC and K-8.  She has been a teacher in Montclair Public Schools for over 20 years and has fostered lasting relationships with teachers, students and educators.

SALLY HOWELL-REMBERT

Sally Howell-Rembert grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and Burlington Twp., NJ. She attended Rutgers University earning a BA English, followed by an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College, where she taught as an adjunct and earned her teaching credentials. She has been an educator for eighteen years, beginning her secondary teaching career at Landmark High School and ACORN High School for Social Justice in NYC. She has been an integral part of Montclair Public Schools since 2003, beginning as a volunteer, before managing the Writers Room Program. She joined the faculty of Montclair High School in 2006, where she has been teaching English and supporting students in their extracurricular efforts to create films and podcasts, to write poetry, essays, and fiction, and to bring literacy to the community through
service.

Two goals have always been paramount in her efforts as an educator – demonstrating how to build community and providing an opportunity for students to develop their writing and speaking voices. She believes that the relationships forged between parents, teachers, community groups, and businesses are the key to providing students at MHS with the kinds of opportunities that will help them to grow and succeed, not only academically and socially, but as citizens.

When not at school or out in the community, she is with her family, cooking, going to the movies, walking the dog, listening to music and singing along, or reading yet another great book.

DR. ELEANOR GIL-KASHIWABARA

Dr. Eleanor Gil-Kashiwabara earned her doctorate degree in clinical psychology from Pacific University and M.A. in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University. She completed her predoctoral internship and residency training at Oregon Health & Science University. She is licensed as a psychologist by the Oregon Board of Psychologists. Her training and professional experience focuses on children and families experiencing a variety of issues including, but not limited to trauma (including intergenerational trauma and historical loss), early-childhood attachment disruptions and maltreatment, neurodevelopmental disorders and mood disorders.

​As a bilingual Latina psychologist of Puerto Rican and Cuban descent, Eleanor has a passion and commitment to providing culturally responsive services to all clients, though much of her work has emphasized addressing service inequities and culturally-specific service provision in Latinx and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. Over the last 14 years, she served as Associate Professor at Portland State University School of Social Work, where she was a Principal Investigator on numerous children’s mental health grants using a Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) model with tribal and Latinx communities (both rural and urban). Currently, she is the Director of Culturally Responsive Care at Mindsights in Portland, Oregon where she integrates attention to the cultural context for all of the children receiving services in this mental health setting. In addition, she is a certified yoga instructor and is especially interested in the positive benefits of yoga on mental health functioning. Dr. Eleanor Gil-Kashiwabara is honored to serve as Board President of Mindful Awareness Academy for Children.

ADELE BASILE

Professor Adele Basile has been Assistant Registrar at Montclair State University for 16 years. She teaches the General Education 100 and 199 courses that serve to introduce freshman and returning students to the academic rigor of college. Professor Basile graduated magna cum laude from Wheaton College in 1989 with a BA in Sociology in 1989 and went on to graduate with a Masters in Higher Education from the Teacher’s College of Columbia University. Professor Basile has dedicated her career to preparing students of all ages and backgrounds for their life in higher education. She is taking her expertise and offering it to the students of the Mindful Awareness Academy in her specially designed “College Prep Seminar”.

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