Regional Impact • Cat Biddle, University of Maine

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Cat Biddle describes her career as historically being “in the space between schools and their communities.” She has worked at museums and historical societies and taught theater, after school programs in Boston, and English in a rural high school in Western India. Before beginning her position as Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Maine, she visited CCLC to learn about TREE and knew she wanted to be involved. “TREE was the kind of community-driven work to support young people that I would love to see in every community,” she said. Cat then became involved in TREE’s Research Practice Partnership Team.

When asked about how TREE has informed her work, Cat said, “TREE has changed so much about how I do research and how I myself teach. Through TREE, I’ve come to see the relationship between community stress and the healing potential of the school as a powerful intervention for rural communities, but I’ve also come to see the ways in which I can support healing in my own classroom through promoting psychological safety.”

Cat enthusiastically shared her thoughts about how TREE is having an impact beyond CCLC’s Trescott campus: “TREE is making waves in the trauma-informed school space with its asset-based approach and particularly its development of student-empowered social-emotional learning. The hope that is created when teachers see students as people with agency and the ability to make meaningful choices about their lives and learning is incredible.”