These are testimonials I gathered from parents, colleagues, mentors, administration and lifelong friends. I wanted you to have a better idea of who I am and what I can bring to work.- Michele Lilyanna
Michele Lilyanna has taught our eight-year-old daughter Aliya for two years at our local Elementary School, and is one of the main reasons Aliya loves school. We will ask Aliya how her day was, and if she answers “Great! We did weaving, and yoga, and art, and ..” we know it was a Ms. Lilyanna day. Michele instills a love of learning and creativity in her students, and creates a positive, loving classroom environment. Aliya loves her because she makes learning enjoyable, and we love her because she provides a creative, inspiring learning environment for our daughter.
T and J Plotkin
“Every time Michele talks about her work as a teacher, one thought springs into my mind:
‘How can I revert to childhood so I can have this deeply compassionate, caring, joyful, open and authentic woman as a teacher myself?’
And on the heels of that thought:
‘What would the world be like, if every child had a teacher like Michele?’
I urge teachers, parents, and anyone that works with, lives with and cares about children to jump at the chance to learn from Michele. Her skills in compassionate communication and brain science – and her ability to translate them into practical lessons and teacher-friendly curriculum – are profound.
But fair warning: You may find yourself changing the world as a result.
Jasmine Pittenger, Compassionate Communication Trainer and Humanitarian Communication Specialist for UNICEF.”
As a close family friend I have observed, with great respect, Michele raise her two children. Her sons have grown to become responsible, communicative, thoughtful and kind young men, able to make healthy choices and take positive actions.
I see this in large part due to the way in which Michele consistently interacted with them. She addressed all issues in a timely, sensitive manner, with clear communication and heartfelt feedback and listening skills. She taught by example and created fun, meaningful activities that nurtured all aspects of her children’s development. (As a result they can come to their Mother and talk to her about anything and are able to express their love and appreciation for her.)
Recounting this to my sister we would often weep knowing these children were being raised so differently then our own, often painful, experiences.
Michele is one of those enthusiastic, intelligent, motivated people that shed inspiration and healing wherever she goes. Please welcome her into your heart and mind.
Sincerely, Sara Jane Apple,
Registered Massage Therapist of 25 years.
Michele Lilyanna is an outstanding teacher on my staff . Currently, she teaches grade 3 and grade 6. I have been invited into Michele’s classroom on many occasions and each time I enter her classroom I am struck by the engagement, vibrancy and sense of calmness and focus in her students. For example, I have witnessed and participated in gratitude circles where Michele has created such a safe and honouring environment that the result was profound. The depth of comments students made to one another was thoughtful, specific and highly authentic. Students are learning and growing on a solid foundation of socio-emotional awareness and wellbeing. They are learning about themselves and others in meaningful ways, practicing skills, developing strategies and as a result, self-regulation flows naturally. Michele is an inspiring and caring educator who continues to teach and inspire other professionals and parents through her work with children.
Testimonial For Michele Lilyanna
I most definitely see you as a stimulus for joy, gratitude and learning. You EXUDE it!!! I’ve consistently watched you dedicate yourself to practices that cultivate joy, gratitude, happiness — you continually put yourself in new situations where you will learn and grown — classes you attend, workshops you take, and then you enthusiastically share what you’ve learned with others. And, you not only share what your head knows, you share what your heart knows, the knowing that comes from living your beliefs.
Center for Living Compassion
I have known Michele Lilyanna for approximately 5 years. When I first met her professionally I noticed that she had a very clear way of communicating. I was especially impressed by her ability to express her feelings and needs from a rational place, without being needy, manipulative or “woowoo”. I asked her how she had learned
this and she introduced me to NVC (Non-violent Communication). The coaching that she provided about NVC as well as a workshop she sponsored were very useful in incorporating these valuable techniques into my life.
Over these years I have witnessed her fascination with the brain, emotions and mindfulness. She is constantly engaging in continuing research and attending workshops with authorities in these fields. I have seen her passion and boundless energy for applying the results of her studies to the innovative programs she institutes in
the classroom with the children she teaches.
A great testimony to her abilities in these fields of communication and mindfulness is that she has also raised two exceptionally conscious, well-balanced and authentic teenage sons.
Michele has a magnetic personality and joyfulness that lights up any room she is in. Combined with her vast background knowledge, continuing research, organizational abilities, dedication and communication skills, this makes Michele a valuable trainer and
teacher that everyone wants to be with or work with.
founder and facilitator
Inner Moves Wellness Center
I have known Michele Lilyanna for about seven years. Throughout those seven years she has participated in a program I offer focusing on living compassionately. What I appreciate about Michele is her great dedication to her life, her work with children, and her family. I am confident that Michele would provide great value in her contribution in the area of education, especially in her work with children. I see Michele’s commitment to the quality of children’s lives to truly support them in bringing out the wholeness inherently within them. Michele has the skills and dedication to provide a relationship with children to help them live and communicate with compassion.
Robert Gonzales, PHD
Robert is past President of the board of directors for the Center for Nonviolent Communication. He is a certified trainer for the Center for Nonviolent Communication and a trainer at many NVC Intensive International Trainings. He is a former assessor in North America for certifying NVC Trainers. -Center for Living Compassion
On behalf of the Roberts Creek Community School Society board, I write this letter to recommend Michele Lilyanna.
Michele has worked with our organization since 2003 and brought her considerable skills and commitment
to her role as educator and mentor. Michele was responsible for the development, promotion and implementation of social emotional learning programs for children in the middle year’s age group.
In 2005 when Mindfulness Education and Non Violent Communication opportunities first began to emerge in our school district Michele was the first to see the transformative potential of this work. She quickly moved to incorporate core social emotional learning practices into her life and her classroom.
Michele is a team player with strong interpersonal skill, and the ability to build a community of practice. She is a caring and patient life coach and as the leader of innovative school programs she models highly developed social and emotional competencies in understanding and relating to children and youth
Michele demonstrates a high level of personal commitment to her work and has considerable skill and resourcefulness to encourage and enable others to participative in transformative programs for children and youth.
Executive Director,Roberts Creek Community School Society
I have known Michele for over 10 years and have deepened my relationship with her as a parent of one of her students.
Michele has brought such a value of life and the present moment to both my 8 year old son and I. I personally believe that the most valued piece we can attain from school is the things we will continue to use in our everyday lives. This is what Michele brings to a classroom: tools for how to be present, ways of extending kindness, a presence that invites students to find joy and happiness in themselves and in one another.
Every day in the classroom, Michele brings wonder, excitement, connection. She is present and brings presence and all of these qualities to the students so that their learning is at its peak.
Michele doesn’t just talk about kindness, she and the students practice acts of kindness in the classroom, in the school, in the community, and extend it to far-away communities.
With the students, Michele does exercises to wake up and stimulate the brain, to stretch their bodies and minds, to clear their minds of negative thoughts, to focus on what is important.
Students are given an understanding of the meaning and power behind her instruction and activities so that they have a knowledge and awareness of their bodies and its capabilities.
In the long run, I know my son has got life-long tools that will give him the confidence to breathe when he needs to, the skills to stimulate his brain, the presence of mind to be compassionate. He is more confident in who he is and will always have the gift of these tools to draw from.
Michele and I are both teachers and I have experienced her ability to collaborate with others and make things happen. She is a do-er and walks her talk when she intends an action. Michele is thoughtful, present and heartful and, combined with her organization and goal-setting skills, she would be a fantastic trainer for both adults and children.
Mother of 2, 8 and 12 years old
Teacher at the Alternative School
Michele is a bright spot on the planet. It has been a gift to know her for many years and to work with her on my school staff for six of those years. She is a creative and compassionate soul who is comfortable working with groups or individuals of all ages. Her varied life experience and eclectic skill set along with her outstanding communication skills make her an excellent teacher/trainer. She engages the minds and spirits of her students, colleagues and friends. Her passion goes beyond learning – it extends to transformation of the soul.
I have known Michele Lilyanna for 8 years. We participated in a 3 year program based on Living Compassion and have continued with regular retreats over the past 5 years. I had the privilege to work with her, share growth and profound learning.
Michele is a teacher. She is dedicated to her students and teaches from the heart. She wants to create opportunity for the children under her care to know themselves and become life learners. She provides the space for them to be vulnerable and authentic, to become responsible for their life experiences.
Michele brings herself fully into whatever it is she does. She is willing to share what is real for her, to listen to others with a compassionate heart and to offer ways to touch the humanity that we all share. She is creative and strives to develop ways to reach those with whom she works from where they are. Her ability to accept and honour the people around her is a tribute to her willingness to be present and open in her interactions.
Michele Lilyanna taught my daughter grade 3, and it was an amazing experience not only for my 8 year old, but also for our whole family. Throughout the year Michele enthusiastically encouraged my child to express herself emotionally and artistically, and gave her the tools to do so. My daughter brought home relaxation techniques which she taught to us all, including visualizations, yoga and “tapping”. Michele inspired my child every day to experience life in the most positive way, and this attitude has carried on well after my daughter left Michelle’s classroom. I can’t say enough positive things about Michele as an enthusiastic and compassionate teacher. She says,“Yes!” to life and encourages her students to do the same. I wish every child could have the “Lilyanna” experience!
– A. Kennelly
Michele has been an inspiration to my children and I since I first met her 10 years ago when my eldest daughter attended her girl group (an afterschool group aimed at empowering girls) at age 12. She has taught all 4 of my children at Roberts Creek Elementary and I have witnessed how she has positively affected their lives. Not only is Michele as a caring and wonderful teacher, she consistently brings to class more than just the regular curriculum. She has shown them how they can be good stewards to this planet, how they can affect positive change in this world with compassion, caring, kindness and given them opportunities to actually accomplish this and see the results of their efforts. I am grateful that my children have had the opportunity to spend time with Michele. We need more people in this world like her.
– A. Aleong, mother of 4
I have had the double joy of witnessing Michele as my daughter’s teacher and working with Michele as a colleague. She makes the classroom a calm, warm, caring space where being aware & connected to your emotions matters and emotional health & growth is encouraged. Our school FEELS healthier by the day when I see intermediate students “mindfully moving” on the basketball court, or our courtyard transform into a ‘human forest’ full of 8 year olds starting their morning with a ‘tree pose.’ Michele also encourages professionals to follow their hearts in working with their students and to create space for students to build their mental wellness. Michele doesn’t just give “lip service” to mental health ~ she makes it “a life skill” and puts the prefrontal cortex of those around her through “daily paces!”
I have known Michele for almost 20 years and she still remains my favorite teacher or all time! She taught me originally in grade 3 and in art throughout elementary school in Roberts Creek. I always looked up to her and was inspired by her spirit. Michele has such a positive presence and really is a joy to be around. I feel as though she easily recognizes each student’s individual strengths and naturally works that into her teachings. She just has a way of bringing out the best in others and I think this is just one of the qualities that makes her such an amazing educator. It is a pleasure to know Michele and to have been her student!
S. Rumba – former student
I have been a colleague of Michele’s for the last 8 years, and she has become a dear friend to me, and to my family. Michele has a rare gift for connecting with the young, delighting and encouraging them in their natural curiosity and joy. She has a true love of learning and a passion for sharing what she learns about wholeness, compassion and healing to the most vulnerable and receptive in our community–our children. The words that come to mind when I think of Michele: radiant, vibrant, passionate, joyful, creative and generous. She inspires all whose lives she touches to use their gifts and ability to impact the world for the better with greater clarity and playfulness. Her presence, passion and generous love are a gift in my life.
A. McKnight, LCSW, MSW, ACSW
psychotherapist, private practice
Holland, Michigan, USA
I’ve know Michele since 2006 when we met at a Nonviolent Communications workshop. I was immediately drawn to her openness, creativity and her amazing zest for life and learning. We quickly became friends and in doing so over the years she has shared with me her hopes and fears about teaching both personally and about the profession itself. As I listened I found myself wishing that I had had a teacher like her! Michele is one of those rare people who listen and see from the heart. She embodies the qualities of compassion and love and she brings them into the classroom because it is who she is. I love knowing that Michele is teaching by these qualities that I so value in the world and I imagine that her students will be greatly impacted by them and will pass them on to others!
I have known Michele Lilyanna for 15 years and have not only had the pleasure of having a personal but also a professional relationship with her. As a friend, Michele has stayed true to her beliefs of self-awareness, empathy and truthfulness! She carries this with her every step of her life. She constantly looks for ways to enhance not only her own awareness but with others who enter her life. Her spirituality shines inside and out!
On a professional level, Michele Lilyanna brings her passions to her students in ways that they understand and can embrace. This is not something that she just talks about but demonstrates through every fibre of her being. Whether it’s yoga, mindfulness training, non-violent communication skills or Qigong she encourages even the most reluctant student to reach an awareness that they can participate in. She truly has a gift with children!
Michele continually increases her professional development by attending workshops and conferences on these topics. She brings back to her staff many of the scientific research behind some of these topics and readily shares her vast knowledge in the area of brain science with her collegues. She has facilitated many workshops including expression through art and art techniques, Mind-Up curriculum, and child advocacy.
Michele has a natural talent and passion for topics of empowerment in its many forms. She would be an amazing addition to any workshop! She shines as a facilitator because she makes connections that are meaningful and relevant!
“I have been enriched by knowing Michele Lilyanna for 20 years as a friend, a colleague, and as my own child’s elementary school teacher. I have heard former students proclaim, “She was my favorite teacher!” Descriptors for Michele burst forth readily. She is intentional, bold, clear, heartful, creative, caring, compassionate, honest, brave, professional, honouring, centered, and healthy. She both exudes love and upholds expectations. Michele provides students with a clear plan and criteria for their work. She is well planned and organized. She is a confident and commanding presenter. She draws in, encourages and inspires! Just this month I saw Michele leading her class in Mind Up activities outside in the courtyard when our school district personnel visited. Before he knew it our Superintendent of Schools was part of a circle of Grade 3 students breathing. Michele creates opportunities for children to create works of art. She believes in the potential of her students and they feel that and live into it! Last week Michele led 75 elementary school children in crafting and sewing sock monkeys. The sight of Grade 6 boys proudly clutching their self-crafted sock monkeys as they walked down the school hallway was remarkable. Whether it is digging in the earth in the school garden, doing Qi Gong in the basketball court or taking a class of intermediate students to “Me to We Day” Michele approaches her teaching by role modeling passion for life and living into life. She both reaches out and lifts up and stays centered and takes care of her own health. Michele radiates energy ~ just like her beloved sunshine!”
~ Valerie, Elementary School Teacher
“Ms. L is firm but not strict. She expects great things from us. She makes sure we really get down to work and then because we get our work done we have time to do other creative things like working in the school garden. She sprays pineapple scent over our desks and we do Mind Up! She plays music and we stretch. She is a very relaxing teacher to have and she makes us feel excited to work hard. She is just an awesome teacher.” Kalla , Grade six