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 consultants of Plushy Feely Corp. Traveling to your location is an option. 🙂

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

Education Director and
Curriculum Author

Katie Schmidt Raher, PhD.

Eileen Cristobal-Rodriguez, M.A.

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

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

Onsite Training for PreK-K

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.

Katie has been working with children, families, and teachers in schools for 14 years, as a school psychologist, professional development facilitator, teacher, parent educator, researcher, and consultant. She received her graduate level and clinical training from U.C. Berkeley, completing her Ph.D. in 2010. Her dissertation was an investigation of the intersection of academic and social-emotional teaching practices in preschools and their impact on children’s development. She received the UC Berkeley Center for Child and Youth Policy Dissertation Award and was the invited Doctoral Speaker at her commencement.

From 2009-2016, Dr. Raher served the Child Development program in Vallejo City Unified School District as the Early Childhood School Psychologist and provided numerous psychological services, including mental health consultation, individual and group counseling, intervention development and monitoring, teacher and parent trainings, and collateral work with community agencies. She also led the program-wide implementation of the Early Childhood Kimochis curriculum as a universal intervention and utilized Kimochis clinical tools to facilitate more intensive mental health support to children with more challenging social and emotional needs.

During her time in Vallejo, Dr. Raher also coordinated the Early Childhood Behavioral Wellness Team, created a new Student Success Team model for the preschool program, and revised the district-wide Section 504 model of implementation. Given her history as an elementary school teacher and her passion for prevention-focused work at all levels of childhood, Dr. Raher also consulted with the school-age Child Development staff and the elementary school team of School Psychologists as needed to support optimal transitions and implementation of the Kimochis curriculum on a broader scale.

In addition to dedicating her career to the well-being of all children and families, Dr. Raher is particularly passionate about working to develop systems which better support populations that are marginalized and affected by poverty and societal inequities.

Dr. Raher is also the proud mother of two: a daughter and son; and her very different children give her daily practice in using Kimochis to foster emotional intelligence.

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.

“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


“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

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

Amy Jolley, M.A.

Brittney Jackson, CFSS

Genevieve Thomas, M.A., NCSP

Available for Onsite Training for Prek-K

Amy has worked with children, families and teachers for the past 15 years as a Child & Family Therapist Intern, Behavioral Health Specialist, Behavioral Consultant, Group Facilitator and Yoga Teacher. She has a passion for connecting, learning and helping others through mindfulness, yoga and social emotional learning.

She has a Master of Arts in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies.

Amy is also a registered Yoga Teacher from Shiva Tree Yoga School and a certified Women’s Gathering Facilitator from The Path of the Sacred She.

Amy was a huge asset to our Preschool, and she taught us the effectiveness of social emotional techniques. 

 Amy displayed an impressive ability to teach my entire staff and our parents goal development, and social emotional training using Kimochis. By doing this, my staff was able to confidently plan short-term and long-term goals for children ages 0-5.

It has been my privilege to work with Amy and learn how to effectively manage social emotional behaviors. Kimochis have become a permanent tool in our preschool and with our new families.

Nevetra "Vee " Whorline

Center Director, Kamaaina Kids Kaneohe

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.

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.