Project Manager / Research & Writing
Elie was born and raised in Jerusalem to an American father and Swiss mother. Her childhood was rich in its exposure to “otherness,” most especially since she herself is neither Jewish nor Palestinian. Though she went to Israeli schools, she and her family lived in an Arab neighbourhood, a dichotomy that created in her a sense of curiosity and respect for other narratives as well as a passion for reconciliation. As a result, after graduating from university, she went on to complete two MAs, one in Conflict and Reconciliation and the other in Creative Writing. It took Elie three years (full-time) to write the Peace Heroes Curriculum, and the experience has made her passionate about sharing these life-stories (and the values they espouse) with people all over the world.
Educational Consultant / Curriculum Development
Susan’s parent, both Syrian immigrants, came to the US when she was a baby. She grew up listening to fascinating stories of people who had the courage to leave their country, their home, job, friends and sometimes family to escape conflict zones. The concept of “Peace Begins With Me” was a seed that was planted early in her life and she believed she could sprinkle more of those seeds through education. Susan has an MA in education with 22+ years of teaching experience in public schools and teacher training. Spurred by a belief that if we do not teach peace, someone will teach violence, the “Peace Heroes Curriculum” was the open door she was looking for to use her teaching and curriculum development skills. Susan left behind friends and family in Chicago, to work as an educator at a K-12 school in Jerusalem. Her passionate beliefs are now a part of the development, teacher training, and strategic planning of the Peace Heroes Curriculum.
Editor and Contributor
Kirsten is a Canadian writer and teacher living in Nairobi, Kenya. She is convinced that building peace and understanding across divisions is the most important work of our time, and as a mother, longs for her own children to have heroes who work to defend human dignity. She is thrilled to bring her experience as an editor and educator to the development of this curriculum, so that children around the world can find new role models, encounter the “other” in meaningful ways, and become heroes of peace and justice in their own classrooms and communities.
Kristen is a Californian-born educator who knows the benefits of having a well-rounded education and how it can open doors students believed ceased to exist. She and her husband have 6 wonderful children, and build their family on virtues such as loving the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, strength, and minds, and loving their neighbors as themselves. She has discovered that this is where Peace starts, and will affect every region of the world if taught to the children, first. Kristen's passion and desire to see high levels of education, spiritual and emotional development, and academic integrity has fuelled her interest and dedication to this curriculum--she understands it as a means to spread humility and peace to the world.