The Role of Leadership in Supporting Social-Emotional Learning

Webinar Overview

At this moment in time, we face a contradiction. Just as our nation is experiencing and giving voice to the increased rates of young people in mental health crisis, one of the fundamental supports we have in our toolbox for promoting youth well-being is under attack. Social-emotional learning programs have become the latest target in education culture wars, yet the science of learning and development makes it clear that all learning is social and emotional.

Students need foundational relationships, a sense of safety and belonging, and more for their brains to be primed to actively engage in learning. And likewise, adults need the opportunity to practice and develop their own social and emotional skills to most effectively support their students and maintain their own focus and well-being. In this webinar, we’ll explore the importance of language and framing in building social-emotional learning programs and how this attention leads us to a more inclusive approach – engaging all adults in a school building and exploring the power and potential of partnerships.

In this webinar participants will:

  • Learn about the foundational science of learning and development and how our language and terminology can help or hinder the framing of our social-emotional learning programs
  • Increase understanding of the importance of developing social and emotional skills and competencies in all adults in the school building and identify concrete strategies for building adult-focused social-emotional practices
  • Identify concrete ways to partner, align, and coordinate with community-based organizations to support social-emotional learning programs


Katherine Plog Martinez Headshot
Katherine Plog Martinez

Managing Partner, KP Catalysts

Katherine currently serves as the Managing Partner for Knowledge to Power Catalysts, a small boutique consulting firm that increases the rate at which leaders transform Knowledge into Power to change the odds that all children and youth will thrive. In this role she oversees business operations of the firm and serves as the Executive Producer of Changing the Odds Remix. Katherine’s portfolio of clients includes The Forum for Youth Investment, where she works with the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality serving as a thought partner for the Wallace Foundation’s Partnership for Social Emotional Learning Initiative.

Prior to building her consulting business, Katherine spent eight and a half years at Denver Public Schools (DPS) serving in roles including the Director of Extended Learning and Community Schools and Executive Director of Whole Child Supports. In her time with DPS, Katherine led the creation and implementation of a multi-year strategic plan that resulted in the strengthening of out-of-school-time programming in terms of quality, breadth, and depth. She also served as a co-founder of the Denver Afterschool Alliance – Denver’s out-of-school-time intermediary – and in that capacity helped launch the district’s first partnership and data sharing system. Katherine also had the great privilege of serving as the lead facilitator for the district’s Whole Child Task Force and helped define and set the direction of the district’s Whole Child Initiative. 

Prior to DPS Katherine was the Director of Training & Community Services for Assets for Colorado Youth (ACY). Katherine and the ACY team provided training, coaching, and community mobilization grounded in positive youth development. 

Katherine holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Trinity University and a master’s degree in Family Studies & Human Services – Youth Development from Kansas State University. Katherine is the proud mom of three kiddos who regularly test all of her youth development theory and practices!

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