Christine (Chris) Beyer

Marilyn Peplau


Professional Expertise

Marilyn Peplau is an educator, consultant, and trainer with expertise in the following areas:

  • Resilience and positive youth development
  • Social movement initiatives for healthy communities
  • Healthy families and positive parenting
  • Youth as resources within schools and communities
  • Building relationships and creating positively productive environments
Contributions to Positive Youth Development

As a contract trainer for Bolster Collaborative, Peplau serves as a speaker, trainer, and training program designer for organizations and communities interested in positive youth development, starting a community-wide youth-focused initiative, or creating community change on behalf of youth.

Marilyn assisted in developing the following trainings at Search Institute: Building Developmental Assets in School Communities, Sharing the Asset Message with Educators, Building Assets Reducing Risks, and Improving School Climate: The Student Factor. She was a contributor to the following Search Institute resources: Great Places to Learn, You Have to Live It, Pass It On, What Young Children Need to Succeed, and Get Things Going. Your Classroom: Using Simple Wisdom to Create a Positive Climate is her first venture as a solo author.

Major Workshops and Training Programs
  • Trainer for schools, community, and state and national youth conferences (more than 700 training events).
  • Trainer for Building Developmental Assets in School Communities (over 400 workshops)
  • Presenter for What’s Up With Our Kids and Me and My World Survey Interpretations
Awards and Honors
  • Wisconsin Secondary School Counselor of the Year
  • Wisconsin Home Economics Association “New Achiever” Award
  • Wisconsin Home Economics Association Teacher of the Year
  • Vision Training Associate Outstanding Relationship Building Award
  • The Mentoring Collaborative of Montgomery County Pioneer Award
Professional History

In addition to her work within the field of positive youth development during the past decade, Peplau served for eight years as a Teaching and Learning Facilitator at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Master of Education in Teaching and Learning program where she:

  • Proactively guided teachers pursuing a master’s degree in education as they identified, investigated, and transformed their beliefs and practices about teaching and learning
  • Used the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards as primary content for the incorporation of best practices and theory as part of individual and community-wide learning experiences
  • Worked collaboratively and cooperatively to develop training and authentic assessments
Former positions include:
  • 13 years as a contract trainer with Vision Training Associates for Search Institute
  • 8 years as Teaching & Learning Facilitator of professional learning communities (Saint Mary’s University)
  • 26+ years as a high school classroom teacher and guidance counselor in New Richmond, Wisconsin
    • Guidance Counselor for New Richmond High School, New Richmond, Wisconsin
    • Family/Consumer Education Teacher, New Richmond, Wisconsin
  • (She also values her middle school coaching experience and one day as a second grade teacher!)
Professional Activities
  • Member of CESA #11 Assessment Development Team
  • Charter Member, School Improvement Management Team
  • Member, National Center for Research in Vocational Education and
    University of Minnesota “New Design for Comprehensive High Schools”
Community Activities
  • Leader, New Richmond Healthy Communities, Healthy Youth team
  • Liaison and columnist for weekly newspaper column on positive youth development
  • Member, St. Croix County’s American Cancer Society “Relay for Life”
  • Board Member, United Way Board and New Richmond Area Community Foundation
  • Board Member, The Centre of New Richmond, Wisconsin
  • WI Certification in Guidance and Counseling, Grades 6-12, University of WI—River Falls, WI
  • M.S. Home Economics Education, University of Wisconsin—Stout, Menomonie, Wisconsin
  • B.S. Home Economics Education, University of Wisconsin—Stout, Menomonie, Wisconsin

Marilyn Peplau (pronounced PEP low) has over 34 years of experience in education permeated by helping young people thrive. She served for 26+ years as a high school classroom teacher and guidance counselor in New Richmond, Wisconsin, and 8 years as a professional learning community facilitator for Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Pep also values her middle school coaching experience and one day as a second grade teacher! While being recognized as Wisconsin’s Secondary School Counselor of the Year and Teacher of the Year were special events, Pep’s greatest achievement has been the positive way that she has assisted in transforming schools into caring communities. Discovering research related to positive youth development was so useful in her personal and professional growth that she is eager to share that with others! Due to her commitment to develop healthy, competent, caring and responsible youth, Pep has also contributed to numerous positive youth development publications and training designs. Pep believes in the power of one person to make a difference in the life of a young person—and the power of many!

Developing relationships is the heart of helping youth succeed. Marilyn brings that relational focus to all of her workshops by modeling elements that create safer and productive learning environments. The merging of identity and integrity fosters personal and professional growth for youth and adults which is solidly anchored in research.

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