TESTIMONIALS & RESOURCES
What's being said and where to learn more
Dr. Harriet MacLean
District Administrator: Equity, Community Schools and Restorative Practices, San Rafael City Schools
I have worked closely with Karen Junker for nine years now. She is a treasure! Through our work together, I have gained enormous insight into human nature and the importance of creating a culture of caring, inclusion, justice, and equity. Karen Junker has a wide range of training and expertise in numerous restorative practices, and I have seen her use them all in a variety of settings.
Without fail, the outcomes of these interventions have been exemplary in terms of serving the best interests of all members of the community so as to avoid exclusion or ostracism and, instead, ensure that each community member feels cared for, honored, and respected. Creating a culture of trusting relationships is my top priority as a leader, and Karen Junker has proven to be the perfect person to do this work with me.
The Academy of Alameda
Karen Junker has been working with our middle school staff for the past two years to support our practices around using restorative language and community circles as a means of creating an effective classroom culture and restoring it if there are challenges.
I have a great deal of respect for her on both a personal and professional basis. She is funny, engaging and very good at what she does. It is rare for a person to come in from the outside and to quickly garner so much respect from a staff and immediately affect their practice. Karen has been able to do that because it is instantly apparent that she is very good at what she does. She is knowledgeable, witty, brings in real experiences as a practitioner, and most important, listens to our staff empathetically.
Our staff has high expectations around professional development and those who implement it, and has Karen has certainly met those expectations. I have high regards for Karen Junker and do not hesitate to strongly recommend her to school leaders who either are in the early stages of implementing restorative practices, need further development, or require a refresher. Please feel free to contact me with questions.
Lisa Angell Murphy Oates
Equity and Disproportionality Administrator, Mount Diablo Unified School District
Karen Junker and her personalized invitation to learning and thinking outside of the “traditional instruct box” using Restorative Practices has totally revitalized our classroom experiences in Mt. Diablo. Increased relationship building, increased class time and decreased office referrals are only a few of the benefits we’ve seen in implanting these practices.
Elementary and Secondary teachers are gladly joining the RP bandwagon, implementing the practices and find Karen not only to be an awesome trainer, but a supportive guide to assist us as we continue our restorative journey. Well done, Karen
Director, School and Family Support Services, Culver City USD
"School culture and climate is most affected by relationships within the school community; between students and staff, between teachers and administrators, between staff and each other, between students and each other, between staff and parents, etc. Relationships matter! The time apart during the pandemic strained our ability to connect and build community.
We partnered with Karen Junker to help us build, rebuild, and repair relationships through Restorative Practices. Her belief in fair process has allowed CCUSD to initiate and expand our restorative practices work organically and through word of mouth. Karen first provided an introduction to all staff from the Board to our security team and everyone one in between. This step was critical to understanding the WHY. Karen has trained most of our teachers, counselors and administrators in community building circles and has demonstrated how to use circles to solve problems and apply them to academics. Most recently, Karen has begun to train students in running community building circles for younger classes.
Karen brings her experience as a teacher, and an energy and passion to her work that is inspiring and infectious. Teachers sharing the positive impact of utilizing community building circles in their classrooms such as fewer behavior issues, higher engagement, empathy and trust within and among the class with their peers is the most powerful “buy in” tool.
We are so fortunate to be partnering with Karen Junker in Culver City USD and look forward to continuing to expand our work together.
Director, Multi-tiered System of Supports, Fontana USD
"Karen Junker is a vibrant, knowledgeable, and experienced trainer who engages all participants with personalized stories and a great sense of humor. Her trainings incorporate communication and collaboration within the group in a way that is so successful that lasting friendships have been forged throughout school districts. Here in Fontana, we’ve grown to prefer Karen as a trainer because she always understands and successfully delivers exactly what is needed in a particular situation.
Karen is an experienced classroom teacher who understands the dynamics between teachers and students and provides actual, useful tools for educators to take away with them to their own classrooms, enabling them to facilitate community building circles with confidence and understanding. Restorative practice is a relatively new idea, and at this stage it is vital that practitioners receive the highest-level training to ensure against the principles and methods becoming slipshod or misinterpreted.
Karen can be trusted to provide the most thorough, careful training in a way that makes participants feel confident and motivated, and she imparts it with a warmth and energy that is all her own.
Arcadia Unified School District
"In my thirty-one years in education from a teacher to superintendent, I have never experienced a professional training that significantly affected the personal and professional lives of each and every participant until now. Karen Junker's Restorative Practices training shifted the way people view relationships, community and their behaviors. In a time where I am personally accountable for every dollar spent, I can confidently look each taxpayer in the eye and describe the profound impact this training had on the safety and culture of our school family.
"After years of searching for a Restorative Practices trainer we found Karen! She is incredibly engaging and provides step by step instructions about how to implement each Restorative Practice that you need every day in schools. Her experience as a middle and high school teacher brings credibility for teachers and helps open people's hearts and minds. Without Karen our school district would not be implementing Restorative Justice as effectively or as deeply today."
Laura Mooiman, LCSW, Project Director Wellness Program, Positive Behavior
Interventions & Supports (PBIS)
It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Karen during this school year! She has incredible energy and a sense of humor that captivates both adults and students alike. With her many years of teaching experience, Karen clearly understands the joy and challenges that teachers and students face each day. It’s often hard to get teacher buy-in with new professional development for fear of it being “one more thing”. Karen has been a breath of fresh air, providing practical tools that educators can immediately incorporate into their daily practices with the result that we have had high teacher fidelity in the incorporation of circles and restorative practices in our classrooms. Karen has helped us train all of our staff and now select students in running community circles. Our “Circle Keepers” student group received a full day of training and practicum from Karen and now they lead community circles in all of our classrooms. Karen thinks innovatively about how to sustain these practices by getting all parties involved. She has even provided training for our parent community so that they can implement restorative practices at home. Karen is an asset to our school and any school would be remiss not to take advantage of her wealth of knowledge.
Janae Jeffery, Assistant Principal
Farragut Elementary School, Culver City USD
If you are looking to impact your school in the area of restorative practices, look no further. It is without hesitation, and with honor, that I recommend Karen Junker.
I have been associated with Karen since 2015 when I was a classroom teacher. The immediate impact of Karen's training was truly game-changing. The strategies are easy to implement and worth the reward of altering the way that we use the class community to promote healthy and fair responses to students' needs. Restorative practices training supported me to be the best classroom teacher for my students.
Now, in my role as a school administrator, we brought Karen in to train a group of 8th community building circle leaders and our teaching staff. The feedback we received from the students and our staff is extremely complimentary when it comes to Karen's energy, demeanor, and care for the group she is working with. Flat out, our people loved her.
Karen knows the Restorative Practice framework inside and out. She is knowledgeable, fun, and well-prepared to deliver a half or full-day training. Karen is one of the most engaging and relatable trainers I have ever worked with. I’ve participated in several trainings with Karen since 2015 and I always leave with valuable nuggets of information. Karen is and will always be my go-to trainer when it comes to restorative practices and I will bring her to any school I am a part of. She is truly one of my favorites.
Pete Loaiza, Assistant Principal
Jefferson Middle School, Torrance USD
Karen has been transformational in working with our staff in support of our students, especially our most vulnerable learners. Not only has she done whole staff trainings around restorative practices, needs and feelings inventories, and character strengths, she also spent time on our campus and in our classrooms looking at our school culture as we seek to improve our students' sense of belonging. To that end, she is an expert at brainstorming ways to connect all students to the school and can see areas of growth and areas of celebration.
As we work to create a collaborative and professional community of educators at our school, Karen has worked with us to building community among our staff and has worked with particular teams and adults in conflict mediation. Her conflict mediation work has led to adults repairing long standing harm so that they can move forward and work productively and professionally together. Whenever we have an acute interpersonal situation, I trust Karen to work compassionately with the staff members to resolve the problem in a positive way.
Danielle O'Brien, Principal
Hillview Middle School, Menlo Park CSD