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
Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services, San Marino USD
"Karen Junker has been a transformative force in our district. She showcases unparalleled expertise and leadership in restorative practices as she provides practical vocational professional development. Because Karen’s work is to grow our capacities, and have each practitioner equipped to use the strategies and tools in their contexts, restorative practices are leaving an indelible mark on our district as school staff work together to foster an atmosphere of inclusivity, dignity and positive change for their community.
The impact of Karen's leadership extends far beyond the implementation of restorative practices. She has catalyzed a cultural shift within our district, fostering a sense of belonging, unity, and shared responsibility. Teachers and administrators alike have enthusiastically embraced Karen as a leader, recognizing the immense value of restorative practices in cultivating a positive and supportive learning environment.
We are so very fortunate to have Karen as our restorative practices partner!
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)
From the initial training session with Karen, it became evident that both she, and the impactful work she engages, in are truly exceptional. Karen's unique approach combines compassion with a no-nonsense attitude, creating an environment where everyone feels safe, heard, and valued. Her ability to infuse humor into the process not only lightens the atmosphere but also facilitates open and honest communication. I have watched teachers adopt this approach after working with Karen with great success. She has instilled confidence in our staff that they can navigate complex relationships with grace through boundary setting and community building .
Karen is dedicated to making lasting and meaningful change. Through her guidance, our school has witnessed a significant improvement in the relationships built between students, staff, and families. Her restorative practices methods have become an integral part of our school's fabric, providing a foundation for conflict resolution, empathy, and mutual respect.
We are truly grateful for Karen's dedication to creating a harmonious and supportive environment. Her work goes beyond mere practices; it's a testament to her passion for fostering meaningful connections and building a community where everyone feels a sense of belonging. If you're looking for someone who can make a lasting impact on relationships within your organization, Karen Junker is the person to turn to.
Sophie Dougadir, School COunselor
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