Vision and Mission

SEL Chicago envisions a world ...

Where communities of citizens are supported to be:

  • responsible
  • resilient
  • resourceful
  • respectful of self and others
  • solution-focused

We know this can not happen without intention.

To make that world possible ...

SEL Chicago provides coaching, courses and consulting  to support relationships that build connection and accountability.

  • Adults and children learn social and emotional skills
  • Families, schools and communities are connected with knowledge of human development
  • Mutually respectful relationships are created through skill building and intention



Kristin Hovious, Founder

Kristin combines a career of teaching and serving with her passion for creating mutually respectful environments for families, children, classrooms and schools. 

In her collaboration with teachers, administrations and families, this Sandy Hook, CT native's goal is to help facilitate opportunities for adults and students to become compassionate leaders, with the hope that doing so will help build more peaceful community in Chicago and the world.

Kristin is a committed educator with over a decade of experience in vocational, adult education, using these democratic tools of connection serving Chicago’s Cortiva Institute as both Education Director (2007-2008) and Adjunct Faculty Member (2006-2017.)  She employed the Positive Discipline Approach to lead her classroom of up to 54 students, with the majority of her students aged 18-25 recent Chicago Public School graduates.  

Her training as a massage therapist and yoga teacher provides a foundation and love for anatomy and science of human development. Kristin has served on the Positive Discipline Association Board of Directors both as a Director and Consultant from 2016-18.

Kristin received her undergraduate training at Mount Holyoke College and Williams College.  A life long learner, she is pursuing her Masters of Science in Psychology at Indiana Institute of Technology (Indiana Tech) with expected matericulation in 2019.

Dr. Jay Colker

Dr. Jay Colker’s interest in Adlerian philosophy spans over 43 years. Jay earned his MA in Counseling Psychology at the Alfred Adler Institute in Chicago. Jay led Adler School’s Family Education Center for four years offering monthly open forum demonstrations to groups of over 200 attendees. He was an Adjunct Faculty Member at the Adler School of Professional Psychology, now Adler University for 7 years. Jay retired as the Director of the Center for Adlerian Practice and Scholarship at Adler University and as an associate professor the end of August 2017. He currently in an instructor teaching online.  

Jay has had two distinct phases of his career: 20 years of clinical work and managing clinical facilities and 21 years of organizational development work as a consultant and as a senior human resources executive in a multi-billion-dollar corporation. In addition to his Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology, Jay also obtained an MBA and a Doctor of Management Degree in Organizational Leadership. As a management consultant for seven years in the 1990’s, Jay worked with Fortune 500 corporations including ComEd and McDonalds, and smaller for-profit and not-for-profit concerns. He adapted the open forum model to work with managers to enhance coaching and leadership skills. For 11 years, Jay was the Chief Learning Officer for ShoreBank, the largest and oldest community development bank in the U.S. Jay was responsible for employee training, leadership development, and enhancing performance within all lines of business. Jay has also consulted internationally and was instrumental in introducing customer service skills to institutions in the Republic of Georgia and Azerbaijan, and has also consulted in Mongolia, Armenia, Israel, and India. Presently Jay maintains a management coaching and consulting practice using Adlerian principles, among others. He is the founder of Crowdsourced Coaching which engages leaders in collaborative discussions to enhance performance and development.     


Peter Paetsch

Peter joined SEL Chicago as a business advisor in 2017. He is a certified Positive Discipline parent trainer and directs SEL Chicago’s business operations by aligning the sales, marketing and delivery functions to promote maximum efficacy and repeatability.

Mr. Paetsch is a leader at Blue Health Intelligence, a healthcare analytics company. At BHI he has led the analytic consulting function, developed products and is currently heading data management services. During his tenure, he has helped usher the business from an internal Blue Cross Blue Shield project team of five to a $55M company.

Peter started his career as an auditor, management consultant and systems engineer at Arthur Andersen, Andersen Consulting and EDS. He has re-engineered operations at Sprint/Centel and sold and delivered enterprise-wide data warehouses and IT solutions with Platinum Technology.

Peter has degrees in Accounting and Management Information Systems from the University of Wisconsin. He has developed and led charity events for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Peter is conversant in Spanish and worked as a chef in Chicago after training in Spain.

We would love to hear from you!