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Educator Well-Being:
From Principles to Practice

This podcast is brought to you by Utah First Lady Abby Cox and Western Governors University Senior Vice President and Executive Dean of the School of Education Dr. Stacey Ludwig Johnson, facilitated by Marty Carpenter of Northbound Strategy. This limited series focuses on supporting teachers nationwide by providing strategies and resources to help educators thrive. It can be found on Spotify and Apple Podcasts, and video of each episode is available on WGU's YouTube channel.

This podcast is designed as a discussion forum with topics important to classroom teachers – as well as school district leaders and other community members who have a vested interest in the well-being of our nation’s educators. Hosts and guests will share practical advice, tips, and tools to support teachers and help them thrive. Also included in each episode are reflective questions to help expand educator expertise.

Dr. Stacey Ludwig Johnson

WGU Sr. Vice President and Executive Dean of the School of Education

Abby Cox

Utah First Lady

Marty Carpenter

Partner, Northbound Strategies

Episode 2

Thriving Teachers, Schools, and Communities

In this episode, the hosts are joined by Amelia Azul-Elgas, learning experience designer/online community engagement specialist on the Healthy Learning team in WGU’s School of Education. Together, they explore the traits and characteristics that can help create environments where teachers and students will thrive. Azul-Elgas talks about taking a research-based, character-focused approach that contributes not only to the well-being of the teacher, but also to the classroom, school, and the community it serves. They share empirical data and results from 500 worldwide studies with more than half a million students to understand what works in this holistic approach that begins with self-reflection and includes compassion, empathy, respect, critical thinking, and other key proven characteristics to positively impact teachers while also creating healthy thriving classrooms. The panel also shares personal and professional experiences that highlight the importance of teacher candidates having this training embedded in their curriculum to build resilience and reduce burnout.

About Amelia Azul-Elgas

Amelia Azul-Elgas is a former classroom teacher who worked with more than 3,000 pre-service teachers as faculty in the WGU School of Education during her first seven years at WGU. She currently serves as learning experience designer/online community engagement specialist on the Healthy Learning team in WGU’s School of Education. She is also the elected director of membership for the WGU Latinx Employee Resource Group. With over 25 years of experience in education, community, and government organizations, Amelia is passionate about advancing equity and thriving in education. She holds a master’s degree in Education from UC Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in Humanities and Community Development from New College. She also has a certification in trauma-informed Dynamic Mindfulness from Niroga Institute.

Amelia Azul-Elgas, Learning Experience Designer and Online Community Engagement Specialist


Episode 1

The Importance of Healthy Learning and Working Environments for Teachers

In this episode, the hosts are joined by Dr. Mamie L. Pack, WGU’s Manager of Healthy Learning. In a “Help the Helper” approach, Dr. Pack shares the six Healthy Learning Pillars at WGU that are being integrated into the curriculum for teacher preparation, and explains why helping teachers requires a holistic approach. The conversation goes deep into specific steps teachers can take to protect and grow their healthy learning and working environments through self-reflection, community, and advocacy,  all to increase educator wellness so teachers and students can thrive in today’s classrooms.

About Dr. Mamie L. Pack

Dr. Pack is the manager of healthy learning at WGU.  With over 20 years of experience, Dr. Pack is an innovative and transformational leader with a proven history of building safe spaces for faculty and students to thrive. As a thought leader promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, Dr. Pack is committed to amplifying diverse voices in education centering her work in restorative and trauma-informed practices to improve equitable outcomes for all learners. She is passionate about breaking barriers in education and creating inclusive environments for healthy learning. Dr. Pack holds a Ph.D. in Education and a M.Ed. in Divergent Learning.

Dr. Mamie Pack, WGU's Manager of Healthy Learning