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Creating Safe and Healthy Communities – A SLO Countywide Initiative

September 22, 2023

SpringHill Suites, Atascadero

About the Workshop

As community leaders we can sit and watch the dominos of community violence fall, or we can take advantage of the opportunities we have to prevent the next domino from falling… the one that may fall in our community.  Community leaders from throughout San Luis Obispo County are invited to come and work together.  Dr. Jeffrey Sprague and Kristin Souers will guide us through what the research says about Defining the Problem, Identifying Risk & Protective Factors, Implementing Prevention Strategies, and Evaluating the Outcomes and Impact of our Work.

Who Should Attend?  Leadership representatives from school districts, city/county government, local law enforcement, chambers of commerce, countywide support agencies, community-based organizations, and key community citizens.

Keynote Speakers

Jeffrey Sprague, Ph.D.

I am a Professor of Special Education and Director of the University of Oregon Institute on Violence and Destructive Behavior. I direct federal, state and local research and demonstration projects related to positive behavior interventions and supports, multi-tiered support systems (MTSS), alternative education, juvenile delinquency prevention and treatment, restorative practices, and school safety. My research activities encompass applied behavior analysis, positive behavior interventions and supports, behavioral response to intervention, functional behavioral assessment, implementation science, school safety, youth violence prevention, and juvenile delinquency prevention. I began my career as a teacher of students with low incidence cognitive disabilities, and my early career research was focused primarily in this content area. In 1990 and 1997, I coauthored the first guide to Functional Behavioral Assessment (O’Neill et al., 1997) now in its third edition (O’Neill et al., 2014). I was a contributor to “Early Warning, Timely Response,” and the 1998, 1999, and 2000 President’s Annual Reports on School Safety. I have written a book on Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design for school administrators (Schneider, Walker & Sprague, 2000) and a book on school safety with Hill Walker for Guilford Publications (Sprague & Walker, 2005), with a second edition in press Sprague & Walker, 2021) ( My book on School Wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports with Annemieke Golly (2005; 2013 was the first guide to PBIS implementation. In 2008 I published a book on Response to Intervention and Behavior Supports (, now referred to as Multi-Tiered Support Systems (MTSS), and a second edition is in preparation (Sprague & Swain-Bradway, 2021). I have published over 300 journal articles and book chapters. I conducted an R01 research project from the National Institute in Drug Abuse to conduct the first randomized control trial of the effects of Positive Behavior Supports in middle schools served as principal, or co-principal investigator on multiple Institute of Education Sciences Goal 2 development projects focusing on PBIS in schools, universal screening for behavior adjustment, classroom management, student self-management, the role of Native Language and Culture in academic achievement and behavior, and PBIS implementation in Juvenile Justice settings.

I am a native Oregonian, husband, and father of 2 girls, and I bicycle, run, fly fish, and play guitar.

Kristin Souers

For over two decades, Kristin Souers has dedicated herself to the improvement of people’s lives. As a licensed mental health counselor, she has provided counseling services to individuals, couples, and families. With a history of working in the fields of early learning, law enforcement, education, and mental health, she has been able to develop an extensive knowledge base. This, partnered with her expertise in complex trauma, the impact of violence, crisis management, counseling, and trauma-informed care, has allowed her to partner with professionals around the development of trauma-informed practices in a multitude of settings.

As an independent consultant and adjunct faculty member at the Gonzaga University Kristin now provides critical professional development, consultation, education, and training services to communities, local law enforcement, schools and organizations throughout the country. She has presented to hundreds of audiences, facilitated group learning, supervised internships, directed programs, and supported the learning and growth
of countless educators, caregiving professionals, and other individuals.

Kristin co-authored multiple books and authored many articles that have been published in journals. Kristin is an engaging speaker and will assist our communities as we move forward with the work of providing safe and healthy communities.

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