Join us for this special interview. Learn about an internationally recognized model school for trauma-informed practices from Mathew Portell.
Mathew Portell has dedicated a decade and a half to education in his role as a teacher, instructional coach, teacher mentor, and school administrator. It is through the collaborative team approach and building positive relationships that Portell is leading his school into success. He is currently in his fifth year as principal of Fall-Hamilton Elementary, an internationally recognized innovative model school for trauma-informed practices in Metro Nashville Public Schools. The school’s work has been featured on National Public Radio, the local documentary Enough, PBS, and Edutopia, one of the world’s top educational practices website funded by the George Lucas Foundation which resulted in over 7,000,000 views. Principal Portell has had the honor of presenting Fall-Hamilton’s work to both the Tennessee State Legislative, Senate Education Committees, as well as the National Conference for State Legislators. He has also spoke to some the U.S. most influential educators who serve on the National Commission of Social Emotional and Academic
Development. In 2018, his work was featured in a monthly blog in Education Week tilted "Learning is Social and Emotional" where he documented the journey of sustaining a trauma-informed school. He is the founder of the Trauma Informed Educators Network Group on Facebook which has connected nearly 25,000 educators in over 100 different countries! In July 2019 he launched the first annual Trauma Informed Educators Network conference which was attended by 150 people from around the world! In September of 2019 he launched the Trauma Informed Educators Network Podcast. Through this podcast he is viewing educators and practitioners from around the globe in which they are sharing their own trauma-informed journeys.
Portell has presented at a variety of conferences internationally including Healthy Nashville Summit, Tennessee State Behavioral Conference, Conditions for Learning, LEAD Conference, National Music City SEL Conference, SCORE and many more. He was featured as the keynote speaker of the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents, New Teacher Academy, and multiple Leader in Me National Symposiums around the country. In January 2019, he was the keynote speaker at the Towards Trauma Informed Practices in Northampton, England and returned to England in October of 2019 as a featured speaker at the Hertfordshire Virtual School Conference. He provided a CAD Talk at the 2019 Tennessee Children's Advocacy day which inspired children advocates from around the state! He also recently served on an expert panel as a part of community event in Fort Worth, TX called Raising of Fort Worth, NOAH Resilience Screening, and various others. He has served as a facilitator of professional learning at David Lipscomb University, Murfreesboro City Schools, Coffee County Schools, Lawrence County Schools, Roane County Schools, Charvelvoix ISD in Michigan, Milton Hershey Public Schools in Pennsylvania amongst other organizations. He has participated in multiple webinars including Ukeru Systems, Trauma-Informed Positive Behavior Support, Love in a Big World, Tennessee Department of Children Services /Tennessee Commission Children and Youth, and Small Act Big Impact. The highlight of his speaking opportunities occurred in February 2020, where was a featured speaker at the National Education Foundation Association's Teacher Gala in Washington D.C. The gala is designed to honor and inspire the countries top educators. from each of the 50 states.
Mathew’s work extends past his educational experience. As a classroom teacher in 2008, he combined his passion for literacy and cycling and founded the double award winning national non-profit Ride for Reading.