Though not “officially” born until 2015, MindfullyU has been functioning in many different iterations for the past 25 years. As a teacher in a high performing high school I noticed so many of these amazing kids were “stressed out”. For fun, we implemented time, at the beginning of class, to decompress and relax. I noticed, and so did the students, that this quiet time helped them refocus and reset before settling in to academics. Over the years, these “Mastro’s Minutes” evolved and I became fascinated with their effect on the brain, our physiology and our emotional control. These minutes were implemented in my parenting and have helped me raise 4 amazing and self-aware kids! In 2014, I met an amazing woman who was studying the effects of mindfulness in the classroom. Her success with this brought tears to my eyes and I knew I needed to share this with all people. I’ll forever be grateful to Anne Marie for defining mindfulness for me and pointing me in the direction to further my studies and combine my studies and the work I’d already been doing for 20 years. Through her encouragement, MindfullyU was born! Our team is made up of teachers, leaders, administrators, researchers, parents and advocates. Though we come from different backgrounds, we all share the same passion; empowering those around to create peace within themselves and their communities. Years later, MindfullyU has blossomed into an organization that supports schools, communities and individuals in finding wellness at all levels and we continue to help everyone cultivate their inner peace.
As the owner of MindfullyU, I love that my husband of 25 years, and I, share the same passion for creating a more peaceful world, from the inside out! Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to have lived and taught overseas and experience and been influenced by the amazing cultures around the world. I’ve seen how in each country, they approach mindfulness in a unique way. Mindfulness for me looks like many different things; stopping to observe my 4 children as they grow and learn, catching myself in a negative thought and learning to pivot, practicing my guided breathing, and practicing living life in the “now”. I am proud to have shared mindfulness and the brain science behind mindset with thousands of students over my 20 years in education. It has filled my heart to see students shift from negative thoughts, retrain their brains to see success and give them tools for stress reduction. I am grateful that MindfullyU gives me the platform to share with even more students and adults and I feel fortunate to be able to continue teaching, learning and practicing more each day.
My entire career has been dedicated to mathematics education and finding ways to create meaningful learning experiences for students. With over 25 years experience, I have had the opportunity to view math from multiple perspectives; as a teacher, researcher, professor, and curriculum developer.
Earlier on in my career it was very apparent to me that students’ negative attitudes and anxiety was blocking their success.On top of that, the standard curriculum was not meeting the needs of creative students that saw math concepts differently. I created Mindset Math Camp as a way to take the boredom and scariness out of math by combining collaborative math tasks with team-building activities and mindfulness for stress reduction. This unique combination prepares students to think about mathematics and problem solve and at the same time, relax their thoughts and feel confident.
As Chief Development Officer, I specialize in making Mindset Math Camp come to life for each school district by developing the customized curriculum lessons for math camp, as well as
directing, training, consulting,running professional development, creating teacher videos, teacher manuals and more. My passion is to make Mindset Math Camp an evolving program that gives students a new lens for which to see math.
I also stay dedicated to education as a full-time faculty at California State University Northridge where I support new math teachers as they embark on their teaching careers. In all areas I strive to make mathematics education a success.
Throughout my 14 years of teaching high school math and a decade of teaching leadership, I have learned it is not always about what we are learning, but how we approach it. I truly believe mindfulness, growth mindset, character development, and holistic health embody the root of successful learning. Helping others learn to take care of their minds and bodies brings me immense joy and its ripple effect is the icing on the cake.
Driven by a personal mission to Connect, Create, Inspire & Serve, Mindfulness has been a part of my life for the past 15 years. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to learn and grow in my practice and infuse pieces of mindfulness into my leadership roles. I am so passionate about the positive effects of mindfulness that I am currently studying for my doctorate degree in “Transformational Leadership” I enjoy how mindfulness allows me to be playful and reminds me to be present to the moment. Working as a teacher and administrator in schools and the nonprofit sector, as well as a professor in teacher preparation programs has afforded me the opportunity to light lamps and to encourage others to see and find their own greatness waiting to be unlocked within themselves.