Kellie A. McClain, PsyD, is a practicing school psychologist for the River Edge School District and a Senior Consulting and Field Expert at the Social-Emotional and Character Development (SECD) Lab at Rutgers University. She earned her doctoral and master’s degrees in School Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a Bachelor’s degree with a dual major in Psychology and Criminal Justice from Rutgers University. It was through these years of study that Dr. McClain developed a passion for helping at-risk youth through preventive measures. This passion is what led her to become a curriculum writer and consultant for the MOSAIC program, a social-emotional learning (SEL) program that helped bring Morning Classroom Conversations to life. Over a three-year span, Dr. McClain worked closely with students and teachers in multiple MOSAIC pilot schools and consulted around what is now known as Morning Classroom Conversations.
Dr. McClain’s experience working with students and teachers in urban areas has further deepened her passion to provide children with the tools they need to succeed both within and beyond the classroom. Dr. McClain actively incorporates several SEL and SE CD strategies in her current daily work as a school psychologist, with children ages 5 to 21. She specializes in professional development training with middle school teachers and administrators who are looking to incorporate SEL into their students’ learning in a cohesive, systematic way.
Dr. McClain’s research on the effects that student–teacher relationships have on SEL and academic achievement was published recently in the journal Research in Middle Level Education. Dr. McClain is committed to using her knowledge and experience to continue to help educators prepare students to tap into their full potential and live successful and purposeful lives.