Known as ‘The Connection Coach,’ Tara believes strongly that kids are committed to people – not programs – and that a key to reaching youth is through the power of positive connections. As an award-winning educator, author and speaker, Tara understands connecting with diverse populations, building relationships and getting the most out of any youth organization. She is recognized as a leading expert in helping adults better understand how to build powerful connections with today’s youth.
Tara’s 25+ year journey as a teacher and coach has taken her from rural Florida, to gang territory in North Long Beach, CA, and to one of the largest high schools in Tennessee with students representing over 36 countries. Her international engagements include Dubai and Beirut.
In the early 90's, Tara worked with Cities in Schools, the leading nonprofit dropout prevention organization in the nation and established a successful program at Lindbergh Middle School in Long Beach, CA. She worked closely with at risk teens, many of whom were entrenched in the gang lifestyle. By empowering them with leadership and life skills, Tara helped them reshape their view of the future.
In 2005, Tara played a key role in piloting a Leadership Development program at Antioch High School targeting non-traditional leaders. The success of this program led to its district wide expansion and earned Tara the ‘Pioneer Award’ and ‘Teacher of the Year’ award in 2006. She also holds a master’s degree in Administration and Supervision.
Since founding Learner’s Edge Consulting in 2007, Tara has been speaking throughout the country and internationally to educators, administrators and youth organizations. In 2009 she was one of two trainers invited to lead The Shadowing Project in Beirut, Lebanon, a program designed to help teens explore their passions, strengths and career goals.
Whether in the U.S. or abroad, Tara’s passion and humor continue to drive her work to better equip adults with the ability to connect with youth in order to unleash their true potential. She is committed to strengthening organizations ‘One Connection at a Time.’
Read Tara's article in Middle Ground: The Magazine for Middle Level Education about The Power of Positive Relationships.