2019-2020 Seasonal Retreat Series

In a time when stress and pressure on teachers and administrators continues to rise because of internal and external demands, Courage to Teach® provides educators with an opportunity for rest, renewal and re-engagement with their identity and integrity as teachers.

The 2019-2020 Courage to Teach Seasonal Retreat Series will be held at the lovely Santa Sabina Center adjacent to the Dominican campus in San Rafael, California. In this contemplative setting, 20-25 Participants gather for a series of five weekend retreats, spaced throughout the year. Because inner work takes time, participants are asked to commit to faithful attendance at all five retreats.

Retreat Dates

February 15-17, 2019
March 29-31, 2019
July 5-7, 2019
September 27-29, 2019
February 14-20, 2020


For each retreat, participants may check into their rooms beginning at 4:00 p.m. Friday afternoon. We begin our first session before dinner on Friday and conclude with lunch on Sunday.

Upon registration and deposit, participants will receive an email with detailed information, including directions and preparatory materials.

Meet Your Facilitators

Rona Zollinger, Ph.D grew up under the snow capped Rocky Mountains and later at the shores of the Pacific Ocean. It was place and community that inspired her toward a career as an educational entrepreneur. For 20 years, she has integrated transformative learning, place-based education, career exploration and outdoor play into the lives of young people as a high school teacher, mentor, industry partnership developer, program director, and agent of change. Alongside her daily work in public education, Zollinger is also the co-founder of New Leaf Collaborative (a non-profit) where she directs and facilitates all 3 options in the Empowering Educators program.

Celeste Hoffpauir, M.Ed. teaches Academic Leadership and Ethnic Studies at Leadership Public School, in Hayward, CA. Concerned by the teacher attrition rates all around her, she is committed to exploring professional and personal ways to sustain and revitalize the work of an urban educator. She lives in Oakland, California with her husband, Jay and daughter, Aurora.

Teri O'Donnell has taught high school Biology for the past 26 years in Santa Rosa, California, where she lives with her husband Mike and her son Sean, when he is home from college. Teri has been has a regular participant in Circles of Trust® for years at Santa Sabina and just completed her first year as a Courage to Teach facilitator. Concerned with the disconnectedness she sees as a growing epidemic in schools, Teri uses techniques learned in the Circle of Trust®, along with her her nature photography and love of the planet to help students and teachers reconnect with themselves, with others in community, and with the natural world.

Registration and Details

Fees: $3000 for the 5 retreat series (deposit of $750 due at registration). Participants must commit to attendance at all five retreats. The cost includes single occupancy lodging, meals, and materials. Some partial scholarships may be available. Email ronazollinger@gmail.com for more information.

Payment and Registration: Click Here

Deadline: Please register no later than January 11, 2019.

Scholarships: Some partial scholarships may be available. Find out more by emailing ronazollinger@gmail.com.

Continuing Education Units are available through Dominican University of California. To apply, download this form: CEU Registration Form (PDF) and follow the instructions.

Questions about Courage to Teach?

Contact Rona Zollinger, ronazollinger@gmail.com, 415-407-8555