The Mindfulness Director Initiative (MDI) was founded in 2019 by Doug Worthen and Marc Waxman to realize their shared vision of positively impacting a generation of children through the integration of mindfulness into school communities.
Marc Waxman, Co-founder/Executive Director
Marc Waxman has 25 years of professional experience in education, including becoming a National Board-Certified Teacher, and over 20 years of experience in non-profit development and management. He has been practicing mindfulness for many years. Marc co-founded and co-led several progressive urban charter schools in New York City and Denver, where, in addition to his teaching and administrative responsibilities, Marc was accountable for board development, fundraising, business plan development, fiscal oversight, program design, and project management. As a school leader, Marc promoted opportunities for teachers to explore the power of mindfulness for themselves and their students. Additionally, Marc is a Certifed ChiRunning Instructor and regularly supports runners in enhancing their running experience through mindfulness.
Doug Worthen, Co-founder
Doug Worthen is the Founder and Director of Mindfulness Programs at the Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts. Since 2010 he has been supporting and educating the Middlesex School community (students, staff, parents, and alumni) in mindfulness. Doug began practicing mindfulness meditation in 1999 as a member of the University of Virginia national championship lacrosse team and has been a dedicated practitioner ever since. Living through two bouts of lymphoma, including a bone marrow transplant in 2007, Doug has also experienced how supportive mindfulness can be when living with illness. Doug has attended many week- and month-long mindfulness retreats, led and attended a variety of teacher trainings, and is dedicated to supporting other schools in creating full-time staff positions in mindfulness.
Miguel G. Marshall
Miguel Marshall is a K-12 school health and wellness consultant, author, subject matter expert, and life-long learner and educator. He specializes in reviewing and auditing school health curricula, policy, procedure, climate, student services, student experience, and he provides strategic advisement across various areas related to the overall health and well-being of a school’s community. Miguel has also served in the roles of teacher, administrator, coach, counselor, executive director, and full-time father. Miguel helped co-lead the development of two of the first independent school mindfulness conferences. He is also a certified volunteer EMT and avid gym climber. In his work with MDI, Miguel not only hopes to leverage his experience in partnering and collaborating with school communities, he also looks forward to deepening his own mindfulness practice. Miguel earned his M.A. and Ed.D. degrees from Columbia University.
Erika Mills is the Director of Financial Aid and Associate Director of Admissions at Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts, where she also serves as an English teacher, head of house, and varsity rowing coach. She co-teaches a class on Mindfulness in Literature with Doug Worthen, with whom Erika has been practicing mindfulness since 2010. Erika has been coaching, teaching, and working with teenagers since she graduated from Connecticut College in 2003. Prior to Middlesex, Erika worked at Choate Rosemary Hall and Harvard Business School, where she co-authored a number of business cases and later earned her M.B.A. She serves on the board of Cirtronics Corporation in New Hampshire, volunteers with Concord Prison Outreach, and lives in Concord with her family.
Ben Painter is an Investor Relations Associate at New Profit, a venture philanthropy organization that partners with social entrepreneurs to break down barriers to opportunity in America. Ben was one of Doug Worthen’s first students at Middlesex. Ever since attending his first mindfulness classes with Doug, Ben has viewed meditation as a way to foster personal growth and develop meaningful friendships. Before attending Bowdoin College, Ben took a gap year with his best friend where he studied meditation in Nepal. At Bowdoin, Ben led an effort to foster a mindfulness community on campus. He co-founded a mindfulness club and partnered with a top-selling mindfulness app, 10% Happier, in order to provide all Bowdoin students access to online and in-person meditation classes. With MDI, Ben looks forward to continuing the important work of making high-quality mindfulness teachings available to young people, and to continue fostering relationships with meditation nerds like himself! Prior to serving in his current position at New Profit, Ben interned for Inward Bound Mindfulness Education, People in Need (Nepal), and Axium Education (South Africa). In his free time, Ben loves good food and spending time outside with his friends.