In this episode, Shantay McKinily, MS, talks about her personal journey as a Baltimore City educator and principal, experiences that led to her current position as director of the Positive Schools Center (PSC), a program aligned with the University of Maryland School of Social Work’s (UMSSW) Social Work Community Outreach Service.
McKinily and her team train and support principals, leadership teams, and school district staff to create nurturing, holistic, and racially equitable learning environments by using restorative approaches rather than punitive disciplinary actions. The goal is to develop and retain better-equipped and more committed teachers, address and cut down on teacher burnout, and empower students to lead with empathy and compassion. This has led to a decrease in the high rates of student suspension and expulsion. McKinily also takes time to discuss the differences and synergy between PSC and UMSSW’s Promise Heights initiative.