The Catalyst Approach

The Catalyst Approach is a comprehensive professional development and implementation model developed by creative partners Nancy Burns and Jacki Brickman, and is based on their observations in more than 50,000 classrooms and school-wide common spaces. It includes a suite of courses, coaching components, leadership development, and systems support that accelerates deep implementation of skills that lead to the creation of improved classroom and school leadership, relationships, and culture.


Empowering leaders to strengthen relationships and create cultures where people propel each other to learn and grow while embracing who they are.


Every student is surrounded by leaders who understand, nurture, inspire and support them.

Core Values

  • Opportunities to lead are everywhere
  • Make connections
  • Be a champion of equity
  • Speak up
  • Persevere and problem solve
  • Serve and inspire
  • Set the bar high for quality services and meet it – every single time


A full suite of engaging workshops that accelerate strong school leadership, positive relationships, and cohesive cultures


  • Whole Group Classroom Leadership
  • Keeping Them in the Room
  • Trauma Informed T.L.C.
  • Equitable T.L.C.
  • Para Educator Training
  • Co-Teaching Strategies Synchronized Teaching
  • A Healthy Classroom
  • Strategies for Managing Guided Groups
  • Strategies for Small Group Instruction- Maximizing Right Here
  • Techology Secrets
  • Field Trip


  • Feedback that Empowers Growth
  • Presentation Skills that Make an Impact
  • Successful Communication with Different Styles
  • Group Dynamics & Healthy School Culture
  • Site Visit Training
  • Leadership Development
  • Coaches Lab Week
  • Evaluator Lab Week
  • Presenter Lab Week
  • Presentation Skills that Make an Impact

Families and Guardians

  • Parenting Success
  • Family and School Conferences

Special Situations in the Classroom

  • Students on the Run
  • Comprehensive Special Ed. Settings
  • Interventions: Small Steps in the Right Direction

Beyond the Classroom

  • Belief Based School-Wide Behavior Plans
  • Creating & Sustaining Effective Systems
  • Office Staff
  • Get them There: Safe & Happy Bus Rides
  • Buildings & Grounds
  • Food Service
  • Intervention Rooms
    – Reflection Room
    – Calm Room
  • Intervention Programs, Alternative to Suspension

Common Spaces

  • Good Hello, Good Goodbye
  • S.A.F.E. Playgrounds
  • S.A.F.E. Cafeterias
  • S.A.F.E. Elementary Hallways
  • S.A.F.E. Secondary Hallways

School Spaces

  • Creating Learning Environments Where Children Thrive
  • Tips and Tricks for School Design: Architecture and Design Through Educators Lens

Our appreciation

We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. Here are some who deserve our gratitude:

Michael Grinder for his development of the Classroom Management Trilogy, as well as his support and mentorship.

Terry Abel, Jenna Beaverson, Brianna Canfield, Julie Danielowski, Alissa Geisenhoff, Leslie Hanson, Carrie Kinkel, Jenny Kraft, Dawn Lundeen, Jon Mares, Jackie O’ Connell, Jamie Tam, and Niki Wodash for letting us work alongside them to establish the initial criteria for Demonstration Teacher Certification (sometimes without even knowing they were doing so) and for continually working towards meeting the changing requirements to maintain highest level of implementation as a Demonstration Teacher.