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Jennifer L. Bashant, Ph.D., LMSW, MA, founder of Building Better Futures LLC, is an Educational Consultant and Trainer, with the mission to provide educators with evidence-based strategies to reduce challenging behavior in the classroom, and therefore, have a positive impact on learning. She is extremely passionate about her work, which is evident in her high-energy, engaging trainings and in her ability to connect with educators in a compassionate and authentic way.

Jennifer provides training and embedded coaching to educators regarding the most behaviorally challenging students. Her approach is trauma-sensitive and strengths-based, and she seeks to foster collaborative relationships between educators and students as they work together as partners in learning. Jennifer has been trained in Collaborative Problem Solving and the Mindful Schools curriculum for students ages kindergarten through grade 12. As a certified DiSC Leadership and Work Style Trainer, and a certified EQ-i 2.0 trainer, Jennifer also trains administrative teams, building leadership teams and teachers about emotional intelligence and how to communicate more effectively with others.

Jennifer has been an invited speaker at various conferences, including the New York State Families Together Annual Conference. The College of Saint Rose's School of Education Fall Conference on Cross-Disciplinary Approaches to Maximize Student Engagement, The Dawn Hochsprung Center for the Prevention of School Violence Annual Conference at The Sage Colleges, Russell Sage's Annual Capital Zone Conference and the New York State Education Department Center for School Improvement. Dr. Bashant has previously served as a Research Scientist for the NYS Office of Mental Health, at Researcher at the Center for Human Services a the University of Albany, and an adjunct professor in the School of Social Welfare at the University of Albany.


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Tonya Maxstadt is a trainer with Building Better Futures, and she specializes in parent education and mindfulness. Tonya has taught elementary school for 18 years, the last eight of which have been at Donald P. Sutherland Elementary School in the East Greenbush school district. She is a seasoned presenter who shares her knowledge in an organized, concise manner and easily connects with her audiences. Tonya is a Mindfulness Teacher Educator who received her training through Mindful Schools, and she successfully uses mindfulness in her classroom on a daily basis. She is also trained in Collaborative Problem Solving and trauma-informed teaching practices.

Tonya was one of the first teachers in New York State to utilize the teacher advisor website for teachers, and as a result, was asked to present at the New York State School Board Association (NYSSBA) conference to share her insights. At DPS Elementary School, she serves as a member of the PTO, she facilitates the Summer Reading Program Committee, and has served on the committee to complete the curriculum maps for English Language Arts.

In her free time, Tonya enjoys being a wife and the mom of two teenage daughters, one of whom just began her freshman year of college. She enjoys reading, being outdoors, practicing yoga and spending time with family and friends.