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Who is Betti?

Elizabeth (Betti) Souther has worked in the field of education for more than 30 years at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. She began her career in education at Farmington Schools as a technology specialist and member of a district team created to integrate technology into education. Betti is certified in multiple business and education models and worked in many capacities at Farmington Schools from classroom to central office. In 2012 Betti left Farmington Schools to direct a grant at San Juan College that established a Center for Working Families.

Betti began consulting for aha! Process in 2004 and has worked with schools, organizations, and communities on long- and short-term initiatives in both rural and urban settings. She is the author of The R Rules, a curriculum designed for youth to identify and build resources for school, work, college and career readiness, and life skills. The R Rules offers a school and a community model and is currently being used in communities across the U.S., in Australia, and in Canada.

Work history

Farmington Municipal Schools:

  • Technology Specialist – systems, curriculum, instruction, staff development
  • Grant Development, Management, and Assessment
  • Staff Development, Curriculum Development
  • Instructional Models, Comprehensive School Reform, School Improvement, Data Analysis
  • Alternative School, Special Education, Career and College Readiness, Grade Court, Community Partnerships

San Juan College:

  • Director, GEARUP Partnership Grant (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs)
  • Director, Kellogg Planning Grant, Center for Working Families

Living Word Church:

  • Director, Children’s Ministry

Souther Manufacturing and Research:

  • Business Owner

Books published

  • The R Rules, aha! Process, 2008; revised edition, 2015
  • Facilitator Notes for The R Rules, aha! Process, 2008; revised edition, 2015

Betti’s aha! moment

As part of a Comprehensive School Reform grant, Dr. Ruby Payne presented A Framework for Understanding Poverty to staff from several schools. After the training, staff shared how valuable the information was to them both personally and as educators. My aha! moment occurred as I explored how the information was being used with students. Realizing there was a need, I began developing materials and using the information with youth in our community. After extensive field work, several pilots, and positive data that included increases in academic achievement, graduation rates, and student engagement, The R Rules was published. I am very grateful for the information and insights Ruby and others at aha! Process shared.

Betti’s passions?

I am passionate about learning and about sharing information that inspires hope, can be used to build resources to support current and future pictures, have a voice, and contribute to make a difference.

Betti’s best training moment

One of my greatest moments was learning that Menominee Indian School District (MISD) Superintendent Wendell Waukau was being recognized by the White House as a “Champion of Change.” This district has developed a comprehensive approach to student success and school reform that draws on multiple aha! Process concepts and models, including The R Rules. Students, staff, and community are all engaged in the successful implementation of this model.

It has been particularly gratifying to learn about communities working together across multiple sectors: faith, health, and community-based organizations; business and industry; and educational institutions, social services, and the judicial system all facilitate The R Rules with the youth in their communities.

What does Betti do for fun?

Fun is any time spent with family and friends and exploring the beauty of the Four Corners where I live—the landscape, history, people, art, cultures, and the many traditions and celebrations.