Meet Our Team of Kimochis® Certified Trainers

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Kimochis® – Plushy Feely Corp. is a Continuing Professional Development Provider
(PCE #5175 / PDP #291). 
Trainers are independent consultants of Plushy Feely Corp. Traveling to your location is an option. :)

Eileen Cristobal-Rodriguez, M.A.

Onsite Training for PreK-K

Eileen received her master’s degree and teaching credential in early childhood special education and has a deep-rooted passion in early intervention and teaching effective social communication skills at an early age.

For the past 15 years, she has focused on early intervention and preschool, working with students who have mild to moderate disabilities. She taught at one of the preschool sites to pilot the Early Childhood Kimochis® Curriculum and is living proof of the efficacy of Kimochis® in the classroom setting and in the home.

Eileen feels it is important to embrace discussion that centers on managing “hard to have feelings” so that our children do not externalize or internalize those feelings in maladaptive ways.

Eileen is passionate, clear and knowledgeable on the topic and super realistic and honest.  It’s easy to connect to the situations she shared. I loved [the Kimochis® training]!  Almost more important than all academic professional developments I’ve been in.”

Teacher, New Haven Unified School District

Katie Schmidt Raher, PhD., PPS

Onsite Training for PreK-K, Grades 1-5, Schoolwide PreK-5 and Mental Health

Katie Schmidt Raher, PhD, PPS, is the Founder of Constant Love and Learning and is dedicated to bringing more positive feelings to children, classrooms, and schools through educator well-being, social and emotional learning, and effective, prevention-focused educational practices and systems. She has been working with children, families, and teachers in schools for nearly 20 years in her roles as a School Psychologist, education consultant, teacher, teacher educator, parent educator, and researcher. Dr. Raher tried several Social and Emotional Learning programs throughout her career, and then in 2012, became an ambassador for Kimochis® after seeing its unique effectiveness with children and adults alike. Since this powerful discovery, she has supported numerous schools and programs with implementation of the Kimochis® curriculum as part of multi-tiered systems of support to foster children’s social-emotional, behavioral, and academic success. In 2016, she became a Kimochis® Certified Trainer and has now had the honor of sharing the power of Kimochis® with hundreds of educators and mental health clinicians in person, and is even offering online courses through her organization now.

During her career, Dr. Raher also coordinated an Early Childhood Behavioral Wellness Team, created an early childhood Student Success Team model, revised a district-wide Section 504 model of implementation, chaired a Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) committee, supported large-scale and federally-funded research projects, and taught college courses, presented, and published in areas related to development and instruction. She received her graduate level and clinical training from U.C. Berkeley, completing her Ph.D. and School Psychology Pupil Personnel Services Credential in 2010.  Dr. Raher received the UC Berkeley Center for Child and Youth Policy Dissertation Award for her investigation of the intersection of academic and social-emotional teaching practices in preschools and their impact on children’s development. She was also the invited Doctoral Speaker at her commencement, a Spencer Fellow, and voted Teacher of the Year at the elementary school where she taught.

Last but certainly not least, she is the mother of two beautiful, sensitive children, whose unique personalities and needs have taught her more about herself and how to best serve children and families than any other training she has had, and who give her daily practice in using her Kimochis® tools. Overall, Dr. Raher is particularly passionate about supporting populations that are marginalized and affected by poverty and societal inequities, and she believes that focusing on the well-being of children AND educators is at the core of any potential change and more equitable outcomes. If you would like ideas to support your work with children, and especially insights into nurturing your own well-being so you are more capable of meeting the demands of this work and creating impact, Dr. Raher would love for you to sign up for her newsletter or follow her blog at

“A must see and go! I loved learning how to use tools with all students and how to adapt. And I loved how Katie tied it in with academic gains. I want to invite my own daughter’s principal and counselor to the next training!”

Elementary Principal

Brittney Jackson, CFSS

Available for Onsite Training for PreK-K

Brittney has worked in child-serving systems for 12 years and believes, wholeheartedly, in System of Care principles and values. She loves sharing playful and tangible ways to help children and families learn how to identify and express feelings, solve problems, and communicate effectively. She will graduate with her Master’s Degree in Social Work at the University of Tennessee in Spring 2020 with a focus on trauma. She is a Certified Family Support Specialist with the state of Tennessee.

She found Kimochis® while working with small children who were struggling emotionally and behaviorally. She fell in love with Kimochis® while helping Cloud and a 3-yr-old little girl with their ever-changing feelings, coining the term “feeling helpers.”

Brittney is passionate about helping children and families live the Kimochis® Way, understanding each other and themselves.

“This is the best training I’ve been to. Brittney is bright, cheerful, and passionate about Kimochis®, and I learned so many new ways to teach children and families about communication and emotions.”

School Social Worker

Noelle Cannon

Available for Onsite and online Training for PreK-K, Grades 1-5 and Mental Health

Noelle has over 20 years of experience in training and coaching professionals from the fields of child welfare, behavioral health, education, and early childhood.  Her workshops focus on meeting the needs of children and families.  Her approach is learner led, allowing attendees the opportunity to take control of their own learning through the sharing of ideas and collaboration with others.

Social Emotional Learning and Trauma Informed Care principles are the areas Noelle is most passionate about.  Through work with children in foster care and alternative education programs she has learned that negative behaviors are simply an expression of unmet needs.  This understanding shapes her drive to provide quality learning experiences which help professionals uncover ways of meeting these needs. 

A lifelong learner, Noelle is currently seeking her Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership where her research is focused on Social and Emotional Learning.  She is a member of several professional organizations including the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Association for Infant Mental Health in Tennessee (AIMHiTN).  She serves on the board of the Two Rivers Association for Children’s Early Education (TRACEE) and the Mid-Cumberland Community Action Agency (MCCAA) in Tennessee.

Noelle sees Kimochis® as a communication tool that people of all ages can use to improve and enrich their relationships and experiences with others.

For more social and emotional/trauma informed resources, visit Noelle’s website:

Genevieve Thomas, M.A., NCSP

Available for Onsite Training for PreK-K

Genevieve began her career in education as a Teach for America corps member and special education teacher in South Los Angeles in 2004. Since that time, she has served as a literacy specialist, school psychologist, and special education administrator.

Over the course of her career, she has developed a passion for supporting schools, teachers, and families in ensuring that ALL students have access to an excellent education.

Genevieve approaches her work with a strong social justice lens, and believes that effective implementation of social emotional learning practices is critical to ensuring access and success for  all students.

Ellen Pritchard Dodge, M.Ed., CCC-SLP

Emeritus Education Director and Curriculum Author

For over 35 years, Ellen, a pioneering speech-language pathologist, was getting out of her office and teaching communication skills to more than just the children on her caseload. She knew that feelings fuel behaviors. And, she saw first-hand that teaching basic communication skills helped children express challenging feelings which, as a result, eliminated a lot of negative behaviors—throughout entire schools.

She is an internationally recognized leader in program development and training in the areas of speech-language pathology, character education, and parent education. She has published numerous books and articles about the importance of teaching social-emotional learning to children.

Ellen believes the key to happiness, wellness, and life success lies in one’s ability to effectively and kindly communicate ideas and feelings. Ellen was awarded a National Charter Education award for her 35-year contribution to communication curriculum and extensive work in public schools throughout the country. Ellen presents globally on communication skills/development and infuses her public speaking appearances with her passion for raising children’s social and emotional intelligence. She applies her interactive workshop style, personal and professional experience and effective communication strategies to educate children and adults alike. People leave her presentations knowing that you can have fun with and manage feelings, even the hard ones. Her mantra is ‘Everyone makes mistakes with communication so you can use your brave and take a re-do.’

She has been the Education Director, Curriculum Author and Master Trainer for Kimochis® (Plushy Feely Corp.) since 2008. She is also the Master Trainer on a 5-year Kimochis® contract for the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) awarded in 2014; a program that provides training and support materials to Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS).

In 2013, Ellen served on Parenting magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board. Ellen has also created academically and socially engaging classrooms for boys through the Supporting Our Sons organization. This work was done in collaboration with Dr. William Pollack, author of Real Boys.

And in 2018, the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association bestowed its highest honor on Ellen, the Honors of the Association, for her significant contribution to the field of speech and language pathology and to the CSHA itself.

“Ellen Dodge is a blend of both a nurturing and empowering trainer. As she hands you the tools to Kimochis®, she guides you every step of the way by modeling, storytelling, having you practice with peers and then encouraging you to make it your own!”

Adrianna Carrillo


James Lenigas

Available for Onsite Training for PreK-K

James is experienced in the Coordination of innovative Wellbeing programs with a demonstrated history of working in schools and the non-profit organization industry.

He is also skilled in working with an array of stakeholders to bring about positive community change. Strong presentation and teaching skills in Adult and Child focused learning environments with a Masters of Education (Teaching) and having spoken at various national and state confrences.

Michael Edgecomb

Available for Onsite Training for PreK-K

Michael is a very passionate person; whose strengths lie in working with people. He is especially passionate about children and young people and helping them reach their full potential in life. He sees each individual as uniquely and wonderfully made.

From 2010-2018, Michael led the development of the community services arm of Schools Ministry Group. He was responsible for pioneering and developing sustainable new models, to enable schools and communities to best support their children and young people. He was the lead developer of The Wellbeing Classroom framework for developing community-based wellbeing in classrooms, which was assessed as a promising program by Child Family Community Australia through the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

He loves working with and coaching people in Kimochis®. Michael believes that many of the biggest challenges we face as human beings are made easier if we know we have feelings, that they come in many shapes and sizes, and if we have a toolbox to help us identify, manage and communicate them. This is what Kimochis® is all about. Michael is a freelance consultant and facilitator with Doing Life Together.