Who We Are > Our Impact > Teacher Reactions

What People Are Saying about DEF

Testimonials from Educators

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“DEF is like a breath of fresh air.”  2022

Joe Robusto 

New Fairfield High School, Connecticut

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"We invited Chris to speak to our entire faculty and staff- 170 strong-- to share DEF's years of phenomenal research and experience with how young folks can make good decisions. We wanted to develop a process beyond just our own intuition and personal experience. He provided an amazing morning session, taking us through declaring decisions, spotting potential decision traps, envisioning decision trees, and then working through a six link chain where we could clearly identify strongest and weakest links. He provided a process with a vocabulary that will allow us to be consistent as we talk with our students about any kind of challenge they face, from peer relationships, to college choice, to life paths. Chris masterfully engaged our faculty, using small group discussions, simple demonstration games, personal but always relevant stories, and quieter reflection time. I am convinced that as a school, we are in a better position to speak into the lives of our students, helping them work through specific issues they may raise, but more importantly helping them develop a decision process they will use for the rest of their lives."

Sumner McCallie

McCallie School, Chattanooga, TN

“I delivered the StrongStart program this past summer and it was an all-around great experience. DEF prepared me with content training, easy-to-follow curriculum, and activity materials. The students all started their school year with more confidence in themselves and the beginnings of friendships that have endured into the first semester. I highly recommend this program to other teachers and schools.”

Krin Hunt

Elmira High School, Oregon

Based on our prior DEF experiences, I was confident using decision skills to organize our 9th grade success class would work well. That the teachers had such positive responses, especially about the value of strengthened relationships with the students, was a welcome surprise.

Liz Henderson

Junction City High School, Oregon

"This semester, we implemented a decision making process into our economics course utilizing the Decision Education Foundation's decision chain. Students were eager to go through the process as they considered their life after high school and the big decisions they were facing. The DEF's resources made this implementation smooth and the relevance of each link clear. We were able to take the respective steps of the chain in turn and make them relevant for the individual and their personal decision. Rating each of the links and focusing upon the weakest for improvement allowed students to strengthen the quality of their decision. The resources were very applicable to this course which we like to call "Adulting 101." I look forward to using these resources in the future and more fully integrating into with economics curriculum." 

-Lianna Scholz 

Lakewood High School, Colorado

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“An instructor shared how one student made a life-changing decision following a DEF workshop. After twice not revealing to Social Services what was going on at home, the student told the difficult truth. When the instructor asked the student what had changed, she responded that she knew she needed to act differently if she wanted a different outcome. Something clicked."

Rancho Cielo Youth Camp, California

“Eye-opening and motivating for me, not to try to ‘fix’ students’ problems, but provide support and framework to help ‘arm’ them with tools to decide themselves.”

Kelly Mousel
Sigourney Community School District
Sigourney, Iowa

“This course was empowering for me in that it helped me evaluate my own skills and also gave me tools for empowering students.”

Tracy Spann
East Palo Alto, California


“... this workshop was one of the best sessions that I attended at the Educating for Careers Conference! ”

Jillian Johnson-Sharp
Administrator, County Department of Education
Orange County, California

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“All the resources available on your website are extraordinary and very useful. Thanks for sharing them freely.”



“DEF provides foundational training for life, learning, and leadership—something needed and quickly appreciated.”

Thomas Pindur
Thurston High School
Eugene, Oregon

Here’s more of what overview course participants have said...

  • “Teaching proper decision-making skills to students is as important as any of the traditional subjects taught in high school…decision education helps people choose the paths which best suit their wishes and values.”

  • “I have learned more of immediate value than in any other workshop experience. I will work better as a teacher and as a committed humanitarian.”

  • “The course is going to enrich you personally and professionally.”


"As Education Director of AtentaMente Consultores I had the immense task to design the syllabus and lessons for a program on Social and Emotional Learning Skills that is being implemented national wide in High Schools in Mexico. The "decision chain model" and all the materials of the Decision Education Foundation were extremely useful for developing these lessons. The resources are clear, age appropriate and very practical. I am deeply grateful with the DEF team for they incredible work and for sharing it openly with others. I am sure it will benefit many young people."

Emiliana Rodriguez

Education Director, AtentaMente Consultores


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We so appreciate the opportunity to use your information to help train interns in processes for planning and decision making as a team effort.

We are a Christian NGO organization and do humanitarian work all over the world teaching English as a second language, holding family festivals at night, bringing cultural exchange presentations to schools and other community venues, and providing water filters where disease is prevalent and related to water pollution.  Our training centered around decision making and planning for an outreach in a developing nation.


We had a 4 ½ hour session.  The first part was devoted to teaching on principles and processes for decision making and planning.  The second part was collaborative.  We divided the interns into 2 teams and they had 2 ½ hours to collaborate and design a 3 week calendar of events for a team traveling to a third world county to provide humanitarian aid and then report on it.  It was quite successful.  The students felt more than a little challenged and gained a perspective on the integrity of effective planning and decision making and the difference it can make in goal outcomes and affecting the lives of others positively.


Thank you so much for entrusting us with your materials and the opportunity to equip people in life and career skills.  We really appreciate it!

Helen English

Global Ventures, Oklahoma