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Our Purpose

The mission of Thinking Collaborative is to provide individuals, teams, and organizations with the identity, capabilities, concepts, and skills to establish and sustain systems that result in increased performance and resourcefulness.

Our Vision

Our vision is to be a leading organization in global settings providing cutting-edge consulting and training resulting in adaptive systems, self-directed learners, and collaborative cultures focused on excellence.

continuous learning







Our Co-Directors

Lisa Joseph


Lisa Joseph began her professional career managing businesses and people in Colorado after graduating from the University of Northern Colorado in 1984 with a degree in Education (Early Childhood Education). Originally from Illinois, she attended Eastern Illinois University before transferring to UNC and has never looked back. She prides herself on managing and connecting people and personalities. Managing people, managing situations and yes, sometimes managing what are seen as problems. She enjoys problem solving and prefers “let’s see” to “no” as she navigates the day.

Her journey with Thinking Collaborative, LLC began with being hired as the Office Manager for the Center for Cognitive Coaching. She then was hired to assist Art Costa and his business and finally was offered the position of Office Manager for the Center for Adaptive Schools.

Married to Sterling for over 30 years, they have raised two daughters (Sierra and Peyton) in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Lisa found herself managing her daughters’ teams and schedules throughout the years and has found herself watching more soccer matches than anyone should ever watch. She is most happy to be a gramma to two fabulous little boys (Blaise and Hendryx) who are the most important people in her circle.

Sitting on her desk is a framed favorite quote: Everyone knew her tale. No one knew her story. Oh so very true.

Doreen Miori-Merola



Now a co director for Thinking Collaborative and a private consultant with M2 Coaching & Consulting, Doreen was an English teacher for over 38 years, and she taught everything from academic intervention to advanced placement. She has a B.S. from State University of New York at Oswego in English/secondary education, did graduate work in diagnostic and prescriptive reading, and received an M.S. in English Education Advanced Study from Syracuse University. As the English Language Arts Content Specialist for the Solvay Union Free School District – a teacher leadership role – she was in charge of curriculum, assessment, data analysis, professional development, facilitation, mentoring, and AIS for grades 4 through 12. Doreen is a Training Associate for Cognitive Coaching℠, Adaptive Schools, and Habits of Mind. She has presented workshops on six continents. Doreen considers herself to be extremely fortunate to be mentored by Art Costa, Bena Kallick, Bob Garmston and Michael Dolcemascolo. Doreen holds memberships in ASCD, NCTE, Learning Forward and other professional organizations.

Carol Brooks Simoneau



Carol Brooks Simoneau, EdD, graduated from the University of Nebraska with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in elementary education. She earned a Master of Science Degree with a Reading Specialist endorsement and an Educational Administration and Leadership endorsement from Kansas State University. Carol earned a Doctorate in Educational Administration and Leadership from Kansas State University.

Carol has over 20 years experience as a teacher and reading specialist with students of all ages. As a reading specialist, she modeled instructional strategies in the classroom and worked with students in intervention programs created to prevent reading failure. She has also chaired or served as a member on school improvement and accreditation teams designed to develop school community and facilitate achievement. Carol has received the Kansas State Department of Education Distinguished Educator Award. She has also served on the Board of Directors for the Kansas Staff Development Council.

Carol provides Cognitive CoachingSM and Adaptive Schools training. She is the author of A Facilitator’s Guide to On-line Professional Development: Establishing Communities of Learning and Cultures of Thinking.



Arthur L. Costa


Arthur L. Costa is a Professor of Education, Emeritus, from California State University, Sacramento, where he taught graduate courses to teachers and administrators in curriculum, supervision, and the improvement of instruction.

He edited the book, Developing Minds: A Resource Book for Teaching Thinking; is the author of The Enabling Behaviors, Teaching for Intelligent Behaviors and Supervision for Intelligent Teaching; and is co-author of Cognitive Coaching and Techniques for Teaching Thinking. He has also written numerous other articles and publications on supervision, teaching strategies and thinking skills.

Dr. Costa has made presentations and conducted workshops for educators throughout the United States and in Canada, Mexico, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the South Pacific. He taught in the Bellflower School District, worked as a curriculum consultant in the Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools Office, and served as Director of Educational Programs for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for the Western States, and was Assistant Superintendent of the Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools office.

Active in many professional organizations, Dr. Costa has served as president of the California Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and as president of the national A.S.C.D. from 1988 to 1989.

Robert J. Garmston


Bob is Professor Emeritus, School of Education, at California State University, Sacramento and director of Facilitation Associates, an educational consulting firm specializing in leadership, learning, and organizational development. He is co-developer of Cognitive CoachingSM and co-founder of the Institute for Intelligent Behavior with Dr. Art Costa. He is co-author and co-developer of the Adaptive Schools materials with Bruce Wellman, an initiative developing collaborative groups within schools intent on strengthening student achievement.

Bob Garmston is an award-winning author of books and articles dealing with educational leadership, learning, coaching, and staff development. Formerly a teacher, principal, superintendent and curriculum director, he now consults with schools throughout North America and in Africa, South-East Asia, Eastern Europe, South America, and the Middle East. He lives near Sacramento, California, close to his five children and five (bright and cute) grandchildren.

Bruce Wellman



Bruce is Co-Director of MiraVia LLC, a publishing, training, and consulting firm. He works with school systems, professional groups and organizations throughout the United States and Canada, presenting workshops and courses for teachers and administrators on learning-focused classroom patterns and practices, teacher mentoring, learning-focused supervision, presentation skills and facilitating collaborative groups.

Mr. Wellman is an award winning author and co-author of numerous publications related to organization and professional development, quality teaching and improving science curriculum and instruction materials and methods. He is a co-author of The Adaptive School: A Sourcebook for Developing Collaborative Groups with Dr. Robert Garmston.



Michael Dolcemascolo

Thinking Collaborative Co-Founder

Michael Dolcemascolo is the former Executive Co-Director of Thinking Collaborative, the home of the Adaptive Schools Seminars and the Cognitive Coaching Seminars®. An independent consultant, Michael regularly presents workshops to educators on Cognitive CoachingSM, Adaptive Schools, as well as presentation and facilitation skills to national and international audiences.

Michael is co-author with Robert Garmston of the Storytelling Study Companion (Corwin, 2019), Study Group Facilitation Guide for The Presenter’s Fieldbook (Rowman Littlefield, 2018), The Focusing Four: A Consensus Seeking Activity DVD Viewers Guide and Dialogue DVD Viewers Guide (Center for Adaptive Schools, 2009). With Carolyn McKanders, Michael has co-authored the Developing Collaborative Groups Study Guide, and co-edited the Adaptive Schools Foundation Workshop Learning Guide (Thinking Collaborative, 2017). A former English teacher, Michael taught at all levels from Kindergarten through grade 12, and became a professional development specialist for 20 years. He served as Assistant Director of Staff Development at the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison Board of Cooperative Educational Services, providing professional training to the 23 school districts surrounding the city of Syracuse in Central New York.

Michael holds BA degrees in Religious Studies and in English from Montclair State University, an MA in Cultural Symbol Systems from Syracuse University’s Department of Religion and a CAS in Educational Administration from the State University of New York, Cortland.

Jane Ellison

Thinking Collaborative Co-Founder

Jane Ellison has been an integral part of the Cognitive Coaching community since 1989. Entrusted with the leadership and perpetuation of the work by Art Costa and Bob Garmston, she has served as the Executive Co-Director of Thinking Collaborative with Michael Dolcemascolo and the Co-Director of the Center for Cognitive Coaching with Carolee Hayes. She provides training and consultation in the areas of Cognitive Coaching℠, Adaptive Schools, change and transition, quality professional and organizational development, curriculum development, effective instruction, supervision, and facilitation.

Jane has experience as a teacher at the elementary and graduate school levels, as a principal and a director of elementary education. She holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and Social Sciences from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, an M.Ed. in Elementary Supervision from the University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, and an Ed.D. in Administration from VPI&SU, Blacksburg, Virginia. She is licensed as a teacher and supervisor in Texas and as an administrator in Colorado and Illinois. Jane’s experiences include teaching graduate classes in South America, attending the Principals’ Institutes at Columbia Teachers’ College and Harvard University, and chairing the Board of Directors of the Principal’s Center at the University of Colorado, Denver. She is also a certified teacher and Principal Perceiver Specialist. She is the co-author of Cognitive Coaching: Weaving Threads of Learning and Change into the Culture of an Organization and Effective School Leadership: Developing Principals with Cognitive Coaching.

Carolee Hayes

Thinking Collaborative Co-Founder


Carolee Hayes is a founding director and owner for Thinking Collaborative. She retired as director in 2019, but still conducts seminars in her home state of Colorado. She is the also the former Co-Director of the Center for Cognitive Coaching.

Her career includes 9 years as Director of Professional Development for Douglas County School District Re.1, in Colorado, where she developed and directed one of the first building-based instructional coaching programs in the US. She taught middle and high school in Jefferson County, Colorado and worked in professional development in that district.

Carolyn McKanders

Thinking Collaborative Co-Founder

Carolyn McKanders is the former Co-Director for Thinking Collaborative, the home of the Adaptive Schools Seminars and the Cognitive Coaching Seminars®. She is the former Co-Director of the Center for Adaptive Schools. As an educational consultant, Carolyn specializes in individual, group and organization development. Her passion is promoting quality human relationships through communication, collaboration and leadership skills development.

Carolyn’s background includes 28 years of experience in Detroit Public Schools as a teacher, counselor and staff development specialist. Presently, she presents seminars internationally on developing Adaptive Schools and organizations, Cognitive Coaching℠, enhancing presentation effectiveness, and facilitation skills. She also provides polarity management training, which supports organizations in identifying and managing competing tensions inherent in social systems.

Carolyn has extensive experience in group facilitation. She has successfully helped groups to clarify vision and work collaboratively to achieve professional community and desired results.

In addition to her work in educational settings, she is a family and women’s counselor. From her counseling experience she brings to her work a deep belief in the unlimited capacity and resilience of the human spirit.

Carolyn holds a BS degree in Child Development and Education from Michigan State University, an MA degree in Counseling and Education from the University of Michigan, and an MSW degree in Family and Children Services from Eastern Michigan University.



Jenny Edwards, PhD

Research & Development

Jenny Edwards has taught at the elementary and middle school levels. She has also worked in Staff Development in the Jefferson County Schools in Denver, Colorado. She currently teaches in the doctoral program for Educational Leadership and Change at Fielding Graduate University. She has focused her research agenda on Cognitive Coaching℠ and has done numerous studies. In addition to her seminars in the United States, she has taught Cognitive Coaching℠ in Italy, Mexico, and the Philippines. She has also taught Adaptive Schools in Italy and Mexico.

Michele De Bellis

Institute of Habits of Mind Affiliate Director (for Professional Learning)

Michele De Bellis strives to support the transformation of systems by prioritizing professional development. Central to all of her work is a commitment to support self-directedness. Michele is a certified Training Associate for Thinking Collaborative—providing professional development in Cognitive CoachingSM and Adaptive Schools Seminars. Michele also designs and leads professional development for the Institute for Habits of Mind as the North American Affiliate and Director of Professional Development. She has been a special education teacher, district administrator and most recently Director of a K-16 partnership at the University of Texas at El Paso in literacy, mathematics and science focused on issues of equity and school reform through professional development. These experiences and opportunities reflect Michele’s passion and belief that systems can transform into cohesive and intentional organizations that not only effect students’ self-directedness and critical thinking processes, but also the delivery by and sustainability of these attributes through well trained and supported adults.