2018 Training Facilitators

Resized952018013195205104954869Candy Adamczak is a trained circle keeper and conflict resolution facilitator  She has 20 years experience in restorative justice processes and restorative practices in workplace and school settings. She holds a bachelor degree in Business Management with a focus on Organizational Psychology and Development. Candy has over 30 years experience in a supervisory capacity working in the corporate, private, and public sectors. She is a certified Reiki Master/Teacher and a volunteer with the Carlton County Restorative Justice Program. She is passionate about supporting self-care for all facilitators, teachers, and administrators working in the field of restorative and transformative practices.

Candy is facilitating Restorative Reiki on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning


0Erica Backstrom is a Juris Doctor from Hamline University School of Law and is a qualified neutral under Rule 114. Previously, Erica served as Executive Director of the Volunteer Attorney Program (VAP), a non-profit organization that works with volunteer attorneys to provide quality pro bono civil legal services to low-income individuals and families in Northeastern Minnesota. Bringing over ten years of experience working with victims of trauma, abuse and at-risk youth, Erica is passionate about conflict resolution’s ability to empower participants through a process that honors each individual’s voice and recognizes the value of seeing other perspectives respectfully. Erica is an experienced Restorative Services practitioner, participating in circles to address youth truancy, community building and Restorative Justice with Woodland Hills and Men as Peacemakers.

Erica will co-facilitate School Mediation & Conflict Coaching with M.J. Bauer and Leslye Taylor and all day Tuesday and Wednesday



M.J. Bauer is the Executive Director of the Conflict Resolution Center in Minneapolis. Prior to this role she was on the Board of Directors for non-profit organizations including the Conflict Resolution Center, the Jostens Foundation and the Minnesota Childrens Museum and the Clark Lake Conservation Association. M.J. has over 25 years of experience in the Twin Cities business community. She was the Director of Marketing at Thomson Reuters, and Jostens, General Sales Manager at Dayton Hudson and manager of advertising and promotions at CVN TV. M.J. holds a BA from the University of Minnesota, with executive marketing certification from the University of Columbia.

M.J. will co-facilitate School Mediation & Conflict Coaching with Leslye Taylor and Erica Backstrom all day Tuesday and Wednesday


thumbnail_2017_CROWE_NIKKI_MARIE_09Nikki Crowe is an Anishinaabe from the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Nikki is the 13 Moons Tribal Extension Program Coordinator. She is a Circle Keeper and a Restorative Practices Volunteer. Her background is in Environmental Science and Social Work. Nikki realized her passion for native plants and how tribes use plants for food, medicine, and utility during her time at Haskell Indian Nations University. This passion now extends into the woodlands of Minnesota where she works for the Fond du Lac Band and Tribal College. Learning about plants has been an important part of her healing process. Nikki is a survivor of historical trauma, child abuse, and post-trauma stress.


Nikki is co-facilitating Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) and Historical Trauma: Building Self-Healing Communities with Donna Lekander on Thursday afternoon

Erin DeWitt is a Mindfulness and Well Being Educator, Circle Keeper, Reiki Master Teacher, Spiritual Guide, and Energy Medicine Practitioner offering clients energy balancing sessions supported by Reiki, Sound Healing, Reconnective Healing, Quantum-Touch, Meditation and Shamanism. She facilitates workshops on: Mindfulness; The Power of Thought, Language and Intention; Approaching Self-Care as a Radical Form of Activism; and Energy Medicine. She has been seeing clients and teaching for 11 years. Erin has co-facilitated Community Healing Circles and Women’s Circles since 2010. She believes everyone is a healer. Erin empowers clients to restore harmony within to support their navigating this life with ease and thriving sustainably in body, mind and spirit.

Erin is facilitating Mindfulness Inside and Out, Wednesday Morning and  Living Through the Heart, all day Friday


thumbnail_IMG_0409Peter Eng graduated from the University of Wisconsin Superior in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.  Following four years as a correctional officer, he returned to school at The College of St. Scholastica, earned a Minnesota teaching license in language arts, and secured his current position as a teacher at the Federal Prison Camp, Duluth.  He has also worked as a volunteer with the Carlton County Communities Restorative Justice Program since 2012.


Peter is co-facilitating Breaking the Pipeline to Prison with Chrissy on Tuesday morning



Chrissy Gamst
began her career with the  Department of Corrections in 2005.  She began as a Corrections Officer and later became a Support Staff in Due Process and the Office of Special Investigation, Corrections Teaching Assistant, Corrections Transitions Coordinator, and is currently a Corrections Case Manager.  She is a part of the Restorative Justice committee, Security Threat Group committee, on the Crisis Intervention Team, and has been a staff trainer at the facility. Reality Check, Parenting,  and Thinking for a Change are a few programs she facilitates for the offender population. Restorative Justice is her passion both in the institution and in the community.  Chrissy has been fostering partnerships between local community schools and MCF-Moose Lake in the  Reality Check program.

Chrissy is co-facilitating Breaking the Pipeline to Prison with Peter Eng on Tuesday morning



Connie Hyde
is the Principal of Cloquet Area Alternative Education Program (CAEEP). She has been a K-12 Principal in the Cloquet school district for 17 years. MA Curriculum and Instruction Certified: 1-6 Elementary; Art K-1 and Administration K-12.



Connie is co-facilitating with key staff on Restorative Practices at CAAEP and Whole School Design with Laraine Mickelson all day on Friday.



Ted Lewis (Duluth) is a Restorative Justice Trainer and consultant for the Center or Restorative Justice and Peacemaking (University of MN). With 20 years of experience as a restorative practitioner, his primary work is to help new and existing programs nationwide to combine high, best practice standards with deep heart-to-heart conversation.


Ted is facilitating Restorative Conferencing to Repair Harm all day Tuesday and Wednesday


IMG_6033Laraine Mickelson has an extensive background in workplace, family and community mediation. She has led several organizations through the design and implementation of Integrated Conflict Management Systems that include the development of internal conflict response/mediation programs with a primary goal of creating conflict competent workplace cultures. Laraine is a Rule 114 qualified neutral for the State of Minnesota and serves on the MN Department of Human Rights qualified mediator list. As a proponent of Restorative Justice, Laraine is a co-founder and  trainer for the Carlton County Communities Restorative Justice  Program serving people impacted by crime and criminal behavior. She has over seventeen years of experience practicing and teaching restorative concepts including the use of talking circles and conferencing for low and high level issues in schools, workplaces and community.  Current work includes bringing restorative practices into the schools through the design and implementation of an Integrated Restorative Practices School.  Active in the criminal justice system she designed and implemented multiple programs that offer transition services, conflict resolution, and dialogue opportunities for people who are impacted by crime and violence.

Laraine is co-facilitating Four Day Circle Training Tuesday-Thursday with Paul and Whole School Design with Cloquet Area Alternative Program staff all day Friday


BAE492FBCFF14DF0BDF4FC80C12E5A32Paul Mickelson consults to private, government, and non-profit organizations for workplace dispute issues, is an experienced employment and divorce mediator and has conducted trainings and workshops in the field of mediation and conflict systems design for over seventeen years. He has a strong background in the field of supervision, is trained as a workplace conference facilitator, circle keeper and mediator. Paul specializes in organizational culture change bringing restorative and transformative principles into the workplace. Paul is an advisor on multiple boards in the area of justice, dispute resolution, and legislation and policy.

Paul is co-facilitating Four Day Circle Training Tuesday-Friday with Laraine


donnaDonna Lekander, is the Director for Carlton County Community and Family Initiatives Department and Children’s Mental Health & Family Services Collaborative, has worked in the social service and education fields for 20 years. In that time she has worked both directly with youth as a teacher and indirectly with youth focused programs in many different capacities.  She has performed numerous types program and policy development, program evaluation, and systems level work; to include working with RJ/RP, TXT4Life and SHIP.  She has managed local, county, multi-county, and  regional programs and initiatives that include multiple school districts and tribal regions.  Her educational background includes a B.S. in Leadership in Educational Management and Non-Profit Management Certification from the University of WI, Superior.

Donna will co-facilitateUnderstanding Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) and Historical Trauma: Building Self-Healing Communities with Nikki Crowe on Thursday afternoon



Nancy Riestenberg has twenty-five years of experience in the fields of violence prevention education, child sexual abuse prevention and restorative measures in schools.  She has worked with school districts in Minnesota and 20 other states, from Cass Lake-Bena to the Chicago Public Schools, and speaks nationally on restorative measures at conferences and through trainings. Nancy is a Restorative Practices Specialist for the MN Department of Education.


Nancy will co-facilitate RP Foundation Training with Mary all day Monday


mary skillings

Mary Skillings, M.Ed., Owner/Manager of CRC Consulting Services

As a longtime advocate for healthy learning environments, Mary provides the kind of training to educators that brings them face-to-face with what it really takes to create a healthy, safe, thriving school culture where kids can learn and people can grow. Although Mary’s workshops and other services are fully grounded in the philosophy of Restorative Practices, Mary demonstrates how other effective programs such as those stemming from Social Emotional Learning (SEL), Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), Values Based Education (VbE), Mindfulness Programs and others are really all cut from the same cloth.

Though her primary focus is now on schools, Mary began her work in Restorative Practices in the Juvenile Justice System in the mid 1990’s. Deeply committed to making an actual difference and wanting to help people to change their behavior from the inside out, Mary designed and implemented a number of programs for juvenile offenders, as well as for victims of crime. As her focus began to shift to education and schools, so did the training programs that she developed. In 2007 she designed and taught Teaching from a Restorative Paradigm—a graduate level course for educators offered in collaboration through the University of Minnesota/Duluth. She taught this course for three years, and her current Professional Development Seminar is based on that original program. Mary has also provided Conflict Resolution services based on Restorative Justice principle to a number of community service organizations and schools.

Mary will facilitate Advanced Circle Keeper Training all day on Thursday and Friday and co-facilitate Restorative Practices Foundation Training with Nancy all day on Monday


thumbnail_Leslye Taylor photoLeslye Taylor was first introduced to Restorative Justice Practices 12 years ago by the recently departed Alice Lynch. She has been developing her practice over this time as a Qualified Neutral under Rule 114, a Conflict Coach and a Circle Keeper. Her background is in Special Education focused on Speech Therapy and Audiology.  She currently serves as the School Program Manager for Conflict Resolution Center in Minneapolis training volunteers and school staff in Mediation, Conflict Coaching and Circle Keeping offering schools a restorative platform from which to serve youth.

Leslye will co-facilitate School Mediation & Conflict Coaching with M.J. Bauer and Erica Backstrom all day Tuesday and Wednesday