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Kathryn Lee

Project Director

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Kathryn Lee


Kathryn Lee is the Project Director of RULER for Families at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Active parental involvement is essential for accomplishing the Center’s mission of cultivating students’ skills of emotional intelligence, which positively influence attention, learning, decision-making, relationship quality, and mental health outcomes. Kathryn is responsible for developing RULER for Families’ two-pronged approach: developing pathways for RULER schools to actively partner with parents and their surrounding communities; and developing educational content for parents and families themselves.

Along with a practical understanding about how schools work and what it takes to integrate the skills of emotional intelligence into the whole system, Kathryn brings a special emphasis on child development, mindfulness practices, and the research on responsive, compassionate parenting and its positive impacts on children and society. The primary focus is on warm, loving, stable relationships between parents and children. Among the projects in development are a series of brief 10-minute workshops with specific skill-building practices, dynamic online resources for families (including a text messaging system); and a guide for schools to direct their family engagement efforts.

Kathryn is a longtime advocate of “real world education,” relevant to a rapidly changing world. She has taught preschool–middle school, served as a senior administrator of an independent school in the Bay Area of California, curated a TEDx event on Compassion and Education, designed nationally recognized service learning and environmental stewardship programs, and was selected by Ashoka as a Change Leader for catalyzing empathy into action. Kathryn holds a B.A. in human development from the University of the Pacific, and an M.A. in early childhood education from Mills College. She is also the mother of a great son.

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