Strategic Advisor & Co-Founder

After wearing many hats at BELONG Partners (co-founder, Director of Program, Executive Director), Jody McVittie (she/her) is currently the Director of Strategic Partnerships. In that role, she has the awesome opportunity to explore creative ways to bring this life-changing work to communities outside the Puget Sound Area. Watching educators in rural school districts regain their sense of why they went into education as they learn and practice new tools has been a privilege. Hearing their stories of success with students is why she chose to do this work in the first place.

Jody started her professional career as a family physician. Many of the concerns and illnesses that her patients brought to her were founded on a deep sense of dis-ease. It made her realize that our families and social networks (including schools) are critical to our sense of well-being and, ultimately, health. She recognized that supporting parents and helping educators build community in their classroom are crucial public health measures. She shifted her focus to prevention by offering parenting workshops and helping create healthier school systems, which eventually led to co-founding Sound Discipline, which is now BELONG Partners. All of the medical training has been an asset as BELONG Partners integrates brain science and trauma-informed practices into our work.

Dr. McVittie earned her medical degree from Case Western University Medical School and completed her family medicine residency and fellowship in Modesto, California. She has additional training in Adlerian psychology, trauma-informed practices, attachment theory, the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics and is a Positive Discipline Association Lead Trainer.

What is one thing you are proud of?

I don’t do proud very well, but I’m inspired when I look at the people on the BELONG Partners team.

What are people most surprised to learn about you?

I make an awesome loaf of sourdough bread.

Why are you passionate about working at BELONG Partners?

Many years ago, as a parent of school-age children, I got a front row seat to how children were dehumanized at school. The educators were all very well-intentioned, but their practices often shamed and humiliated kids. The work we do with schools invites the adults to connect to their own humanity so that they can do a better job of seeing and treating the young people they serve as whole human beings. It is life-giving work – both for the adults and the children. I believe it is the work we need to build an equitable democracy.