Christa Niven and her Journey Schools have made vast strides in creating a utopian template for learning, focusing as much on emotional intelligence as academic excellence. She began her career in education at the Institute of Child Development researching infancy, risk and resiliency in early childhood. She then directed a program supporting homeless teen parents and their children living in shelters. With a B.S. in Child Psychology and Masters in Education, Christa founded a school serving chemically dependent youth and their children, working in that space for ten years while also serving as a therapeutic foster parent. In 2005, Christa founded her first of several preschools based on Reggio-Emilia, Conscious Discipline, natural play, assessment and observation and natural foods. These schools were consistently voted the best in their areas and Christa was nominated Director of the Year in 2012 and 2016. In 2017, Christa created the Journey School Development Group and launched the first franchises in the Journey School brand in various US cities. She also relocated to Costa Rica, were she opened the Journey School of Costa Rica, the first birth-12 grade school in the Journey family of schools (Swan Dive host Stuart Sheldon's children are both students). Married for nearly 30 years, Christa and Jim are proud parents of five children and the frequent foster parent to 13-17-year-olds coming to them through foster care, private and therapeutic placements.
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