Champions of CRE

It really can make a difference when administrators can find others in similar circumstances who have successfully advocated for conflict resolution education. We want to profile administrators who have done so in this section.

Ms. Barbara Sugarman Grochal

The CRE Connection is pleased to present Barbara as a Champion of CRE

Barbara Sugarman Grochal is currently the Deputy Director of the School’s Conflict Resolution Education Programs at the Center for Dispute Resolution at the University of Maryland School of Law (CDRUM). Within the University of Maryland School of Law, the Center for Dispute Resolution (C-DRUM) works collaboratively with public and private institutions as well as individuals and groups to: promote, enhance and teach conflict resolution skills; research and develop conflict resolution systems and change the way conflicts are resolved throughout the state and beyond. Barbara is also a Life Coach, Trainer, Mediator and Restorative Justice Facilitator. Ms. Grochal completed a B.A. together with a Masters of Arts in Teaching in English and History at Cornell University. She later completed an MBA, in Management and Finance, at Loyola College in Maryland.

growth in school programs 2000-2007
At C-DRUM, Ms. Grochal directs the statewide grants program for public schools in Maryland, assisting schools in developing conflict resolution programs. In her support of the school programs, she develops training programs for teachers and staff, students, and parents, and builds networks to support conflict resolution education resources for schools on a state and national level. She has also served on past national Planning Committees for the International Summit on CRE. Summaries of past school grant projects funded can be found at under Initiatives, School Grants Program. Barbara has served on numerous Maryland committees to promote safer schools, including the Safe Schools Action Committee, the Model Anti-Bullying Workgroup that developed the Maryland Model Policy, the Planning Committee on Bullying Prevention, and the Maryland Peer Helper’s Conference. She also helped to establish a truancy mediation program administered by C-DRUM for Baltimore City Schools, BSMART (Baltimore Schools: Mediations About Reducing Truancy), and assists by conducting truancy mediations.

In Baltimore County, Barbara facilitates community conferences, a restorative justice tool used for resolving conflicts that occur in communities and sometimes in schools. This process provides an opportunity outside of the judicial system for the parties, their supporters, and key community members to reach agreements regarding offenders “repairing the harm” done. A trained and certified professional and life coach, Ms. Grochal also works with a variety of coaching clients privately, helping them achieve personal goals and address internal and external conflicts. In addition, Ms. Grochal conducts parenting workshops in Baltimore City schools, aimed at helping parents build stronger connections with their children. As a volunteer, she facilitates motivational values circles at a Baltimore women’s homeless shelter.

Ms. Grochal administers the C-DRUM CRE list serve designed to share CRE resources, opportunities and ideas. More information on how to join the list serve is available at: under Initiatives, School Grants Program.

Dr. Pamela Lane-Garon

The CRE Connection is pleased to highlight our first Champion of CRE – Dr. Pamela Lane-Garon

Dr. Lane-Garon is an Educational Psychologist with clinical and teaching experience in early childhood populations. Dr. Lane-Garon is also a mediator who trains teachers, administrators, counselors and other professionals in conflict resolution skills. She was the Associate Director of the Bonner Center for Character Education and project developer of the Advancing Professional Ethics in Teacher Education initiative prior to her retirement. At California State University Fresno’s Kremen School of Education and Human Development, Dr. Lane-Garon directed the Mediator Mentors Program with Karen DeVoogd, project coordinator. Mediator Mentors is a university-public school partnership in which future teachers, counselors, social workers and school psychologists help support the development of conflict resolution skills in school children. In addition, in the Kremen School, she is a Profressor helping to prepare and educate teachers, counselors and administrators.

Dr. Lane-Garon completed a Masters in Special Education and a Masters in Counseling at Arizona State University, and she went on to complete her Ph.D. in Educational psychology in 1997. Some of Dr. Lane-Garon’s most important accomplishments include assisting local schools to develop conflict resolution education and peer mediation programs. Over the past several years, her research has focused on the effects of conflict resolution practices on students, processes and settings. Pamela also serves as the President of the Central California Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution and is on the Board of the National Association for Conflict Resolution’s Education Section.

Dr. Lane-Garon’s research and scholarly writing interests have been focused on social-cognitive development of students and on programmatic ways in which perspective-taking (considering the thoughts and feelings of others) can be fostered. She has examined this developmental phenomenon in the context of peer mediation programs. The current application of her work to school-based violence prevention and school improvement programs has resulted in many consultation relationships with schools in the San Joaquin Valley.

One of the more notable events taking place at the Bonner Center for Character Education is the 26th Annual Conference on Character and Civic Education on April 9, 2010. For additional details on this event please visit the Center website link:

If you would like to have a Mediator Mentor Program developed at your school, you can receive assistance and information about the steps to follow by visiting the Mediator Mentors Program page website link: Mediator Mentors Contact Us.