President + CEO
Jai Luster is the President and CEO of the Luster Learning Institute, NFP. His background in mindfulness, yoga and decades of experience in organizational leadership led him and his wife, Joy Luster, to develop the Luster Learning Institute and its Calm Classroom program in 2007. Their intention was to share the many psychological, physiological and social benefits that can be derived from a daily practice of mindfulness with the public school students and teachers of the United States. In his previous career, Jai was the Co-Founder of Mesirow Advanced Strategies Inc. and Executive Vice President of its parent, Mesirow Financial Holdings Inc. in Chicago, IL. Jai received a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Colorado. He has been publicly teaching mindfulness and yoga programming since 1976.
Joy Luster Co-Founded Luster Learning Institute, NFP with her husband, Jai in 2007. Joy is an expert in the area of health and wellness. She owns a fitness franchise and holds certifications in Yoga and Massage Therapy. Joy has a personal interest in self-awareness and has been thrilled to share this understanding with thousands of adults and children since Calm Classroom's inception.
Director of Training & Partner Success
Maura discovered mindfulness as an anxious teen searching for a way to calm her body and mind. Since then, mindfulness has played an integral role in her personal growth and overall well-being. While running an after-school arts program as a student at UW - Madison, Maura began integrating mindfulness and yoga into her work with youth. She has now been sharing mindfulness with kids and adults of all ages for nearly a decade, and is a 300-hr Certified Mindfulness Facilitator. As a member of the Calm Classroom team since 2015, Maura brings curiosity, passion and an open heart to her work serving educators and community leaders. Maura is dedicated to exploring the intersection between mindfulness and social change, and envisions a world where everyone has access to mental health resources from a young age.
Director of Education Partnerships
Prior to joining Calm Classroom, Matt Bragman served as Director of Strategic Accounts for Project Lead The Way, a non-profit that provides transformative STEM learning experiences for PreK-12 students and teachers across the nation. Matt began his career in education teaching in Los Angeles as a Teach for America Corps Member. After teaching 6th grade at Gompers Middle School in Watts, Matt moved into administrative roles serving as Principal at Extera Public School in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles and at Scholarship Prep in Santa Ana, California. Mindfulness and a focus on creating a safe and welcoming school culture through social emotional learning have been a key part of the success Matt has had working with schools throughout his career. Matt received his Master of Arts in Education from Loyola Marymount University, as well as a B.A. in History and Religious Studies from Southern Methodist University. In his free time, Matt loves to enjoy the outdoors at the beach or in the mountains with his wife Melissa, daughter Molly, and their dog Teddy.
Director of Operations
Courtney joined the Calm Classroom team with twelve years of educational experience in the Chicagoland area. She served as a school administrator in Orland Park School District #135 for six years (four years as the principal at Center School, two years as the assistant principal at Liberty School). Prior to that, Courtney taught high school English at the Air Force Academy High School in Chicago, IL. During her time as an educator, she learned how impactful it is to empower students and staff with the knowledge and resources to build mindful practices that will support their overall wellbeing. Courtney received her Ed.D. from National Louis University, her M.Ed. from Northeastern Illinois University, her M.Ed. from University of Illinois at Chicago, as well as a B.A. in English and Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Courtney has a great enthusiasm for life and focuses on being present in every adventure she encounters.
Program Trainer & School Staff Mentor
Ronna Pritikin Berk taught language arts at King Arts School for 34 years in Evanston, Illinois. She believes supporting social emotional growth in students is equally important as helping students to become academically successful. Ronna has implemented numerous teacher workshops on topics such as literacy, poetry and creating a culture of community within a classroom. Ronna takes pride in the fact that she has taught three generations of Evanston families. A history of fulfilling experiences fuels her passion to continue to expand and enrich the lives of young people by joining the Calm Classroom team. Ronna loves connecting with people and laughing. She is dedicated to creating an emotionally secure and healthy world for all.
Calm Hospital Program Director
Miriam Tamara Derman is a licensed RN, Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Chinese Medicine and Chinese Herbology. Her BSN in Nursing is from University of Illinois. She holds masters degrees in Oriental Medicine from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and an MA from Columbia College in Dance Movement Therapy. She is a trained Shiatsu practitioner and has practiced bodywork for 20 years. Experienced in inpatient Psych Nursing, she has always addressed mental and physical health issues as interrelated. When it comes to good health, she values the practices of mindfulness to improve outcomes of all interventions related to the body-mind. She has studied the Heart Center with the late Brugh Joy, MD and is delighted to practice a heart centered approach to healing.
Director of Fundraising Partnerships
Jori Griffith began her journey with Luster Learning Institute, NFP in 2009. She holds a double major in Sociology and Communications from Augustana College. In 2014 she graduated from Northwestern University where she received a Master of Science in Communication. Previously, as Director of Operations, Jori oversaw local and national operations and helped to grow Calm Classroom's reach through developing and maintaining relationships with foundations, corporations and school districts. Currently, she serves as Director of Fundraising Partnerships, helping the organization to grow while also nurturing her two young daughters. Jori is grateful and humbled for the opportunity to share this beautiful work with the world. She has personally benefitted deeply from integrating awareness-building techniques into her life over the last 11+ years.