Michele Rivers Murphy
Michele M. Rivers Murphy, EdD, is the associate director of heart centered learning at the Center for Educational Improvement (CEI) and an independent educational consultant for KIDS FIRST. Dr. Rivers Murphy has served as a transformational change agent in some of the highest-needs and neighborhood districts through cultivating a heart centered, community education, and shared responsibility approach. Based on organizational research and the neurobiology of trauma and stress and through strong networking, positive relationship building, collective vision and action, she helps school communities maximize their capacity within, creating sustainable, well-balanced social-emotional health with higher academic outcomes and facilitating positive, compassionate school culture transformation.
Dr. Rivers Murphy’s work is based on the most current neuroscience and organizational research. She specifically addresses the challenges associated with childhood trauma and stress that compromise learning and teaching. Through building compassionate, supportive school environments, educators learn to find balance between social-emotional health and well-being and academic achievement.
Dr. Rivers Murphy has served as an educational leader at all grade levels. As an administrator, she created an innovative disciplinary approach as an alternative to in-school and out-of-school suspension, completely eliminating in-school suspension and decreasing out-of-school suspension by 75 percent. In addition, she expanded high-needs programming to a mainstream setting, with a focus on real-life practice, service, and connection to community. Dr. Rivers Murphy also created a 21st century school community model, which she presented to the Massachusetts secretary of education.
Dr. Rivers Murphy obtained a doctoral degree in educational leadership (K–12) from Northeastern University. She also holds multiple certifications in both regular and special education.