Braxton Citizens' News, Schools

Local principal invited to speak at national summits

By Shirley Shuman

Dr. Grace Wine, principal of Burnsville Elementary School, has recently been invited to speak at two different summits this summer. The first presentation will be at the Mental Health First Aid Summit in Howard County, Maryland. At the Innovative Schools Summit, a national conference for educators to be held in San Antonio, Texas, she will be a breakout session presenter.  Wine has the background—both professional and personal, to manage both engagements effectively.

Her credentials for leading at the Mental Health First Aid Summit are clear. Wine is a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid trainer and an Adverse Childhood Experiences trainer. She is also a Trauma Informed coach and a trainer in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills. Always eager to provide information about mental health, Dr. Wine  explained how she qualifies personally. “My passion was born out of necessity. With a lot of research and determination to help my own child succeed after sustaining trauma, I discovered research-based principles to help young people reclaim their life and learn again,” she said.

At the statewide Mental  Health First Aid Summit, Dr. Wine  will host a breakout session specifically connecting Youth Mentor First Aid to education. During that session, she plans to use aspects of her original presentation, “ Boots on the Ground: Trauma Informed Classroom Strategies,”  as it relates to ways Mental Health First Aid instructors can support teachers, administrators, students, and families within their local schools.

Regarding her upcoming opportunities, Dr. Wine commented, “I feel completely humbled and excited to speak at these events. When the difficult reality of our family’s situation was revealed, we were devasted. As my husband and I navigated uncharted territory to make the best decisions possible with limited information and fewer resources, I vowed that I would not hide in the shadows of shame that are often associated with mental health issues and trauma.”

“The fact that the knowledge gained through trials has transformed into opportunities to help others is simply amazing. We once feared we were broken beyond repair, but we are living proof that trauma does not have to be the end of your story.  Shattered pieces can be transformed into a thing of beauty and purpose. Eight years ago, I would have never imagined that our heartaches and intense struggles would have become a means to positively impact the lives of others on this level,” Dr. Wine said.

Prior to obtaining her PhD in Higher Education Leadership, Dr. Wine completed  a master’s degree in Adolescent Literacy and Technology, and she has  several years of teaching English and Broadcasting at the secondary level. She also worked as an adjunct professor at Glenville State College. Her personal experience, she said, “transformed my teaching practices to benefit all students.”  She also noted that she has “provided a variety of seminars at GSU for several years to better prepare pre-service teachers for the realities of the classroom.”    Dr. Wine feels eager and confident about presenting at the Innovative Schools Summit.