Lara is an experienced educator and consultant who speaks nationally on implementing trauma-informed practices in schools and building holistic, trauma-responsive systems. Lara brings over two decades of experience at the local, state and national level, including developing programs for integrating trauma-informed practices into community schools in Los Angeles. She worked for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction as the state homeless coordinator, and practiced her first love, teaching 'at-risk' youth in Washington state. Lara has a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MPA from The Evergreen State College. As an example of her understanding of the micro and the macro, Lara’s experience ranges from supporting individual teachers to designing a trauma-informed schools pilot implemented in 20 schools across the country. Lara has worked both as a teacher and administrator putting the science of building resilience into practice. Born in the Midwest, she lived for over a decade in the Pacific Northwest, and is now a transplant to Southern California, where she lives with her husband and two boys. The beach is her happy place.