Watch this presentation about this retreat 

Sam Shapiro has been teaching and administrating in both public and independent schools, nationally and internationally, for the last 20 years. At the Athenian School he currently teaches in the humanities department and serves as 9th Grade Dean of Instruction  and Assistant Director of Admission. Trained in mindfulness meditation through a Jon Kabat-Zinn inspired Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program, he has also participated in extended silent meditation retreats. While at Harvard University, in addition to earning his teaching credential, Sam received a master’s degree in religious studies, with a focus on Buddhist philosophy and psychology. He has taught mindfulness practices to students and adults, as well as the principles and strategies of non-violent communication. Before his career in schools, Sam worked with incarcerated youth and in the field of youth H.I.V./AIDS prevention in Indonesia.

Retreat Instructors

About The Retreat

Located on the wooded, rolling hills of the 70-acre Athenian School campus at the base of Mount Diablo, (about 45 minutes east of San Francisco,) the End of the School Year Retreat will give you the chance to unwind, reflect, rejuvenate, connect, and learn. Ours is an adaptation of traditional residential meditation retreats. Our days together will unfold with periods of morning yoga, silence, guided and silent mindfulness meditation, walking meditation, compassion meditation practices, times of generative reflection and discussion, and lovely and nourishing meals designed and prepared by Spirit Rock chef Max Swanger. Our first full day together allows you to go mostly inward, while our final day invites you to slowly open outwardly, considering not just your experiences with the school year, but also generating warmth and good-heartedness for those whose lives intersect with your work.  At different points you will have the chance to develop strategies for bringing mindfulness and courageous kindness into your work in schools. The retreat’s finale is a celebratory and delicious dinner, sending you off into your summer re-energized, strikingly present, and with hearts wide open.

End of School Year
 Mindfulness, Compassion, and Regeneration Retreat
June 20 - June 22, 2014

Teachers, administrators and staff know that come graduation, our reserves and abilities to be energized, generous, present and sincerely engaged and enjoying our day-to-day endeavors are often depleted and taxed. To do our vital work well, we need to give ourselves the time and support to reignite, recharge, and continue to develop the capacities of our hearts and minds to be caring and present with students, colleagues, parents, our families, ourselves, and our lives. The rapidly growing body of research is striking and compelling: mindfulness meditation practices offer powerful antidotes to school-related stressors, and rich opportunities to grow markedly in our abilities to manage stress and to focus, engage, and relate compassionately with ourselves and with those whose lives we impact.

Cost of Retreat

The registrations costs cover all expenses, including housing and food, and we will not request additional donations.

Standard Registration Fees (after April 1)

*  $400 for standard double occupancy Room

*  $450 for single room

*  $350 for commuter 

Cancellation Policy: 50% refund before June 1st. No refund after June 1st. 

**While the retreat officially ends at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, for an additional $30 accommodations are available for Sunday. June 22, which includes a continental breakfast on Monday, June 23. 

We encourage you to apply for professional development funds through your school. Limited scholarships
available. Please contact us at  for more information.



Participants will stay in simple, clean dormitory rooms (two per room, single-gender rooms,) on the beautiful Athenian campus. A few single rooms are available. A limited number of spots held for commuting, non-residential participants. Please contact us for more information at

"Give to yourself as generously as you've given to others all year."


     Registration is filling up fast. Please email us to reserve your space. Include the following information:

     1. Your full name

     2. Prefered email address for communication

​     3. If you are interested in a single room, double, or if you prefer to commute.

    We do expect to sell out early! Reserve your spot today

Retreat Schedule 

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Kate Janke is the founder of The Heart-Mind Education Project, a mindfulness based education consulting business lending support and resources to students and the adults in their lives. She has taught mindfulness to over 1500 students in the San Francisco Bay Area and has trained over 2000 educators, therapists, and parents across the US, Europe, and Australia.

Kate has been a mindfulness meditation practitioner since 2004 and has spent a significant amount of time in silent retreat in the US and Thailand. Kate is a teacher in training under Buddhist Meditation teachers Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein. She is being mentored to teach short and long retreats in there respective communities.