Meet Our Master Mentor Evaluators

Get to know our awesome team of Master Mentor Evaluators for our Level 2 Training!

Julie Pate

Unit Instructor for: First Steps of the Advanced Training Program and Preparing for Transformations

Julie Pate fell in love with yoga over 20 years ago. She is a YogaKids Trainer. She holds a degrees in Physical Education and is Certified in adult yoga, YogaKids, Pilates and personal training. Julie has been teaching fitness, yoga and Pilates for over 25 years. She is an ERYT 500, with over 1000 hours of study in many styles of yoga. When not teaching yoga, Pilates or fitness classes, Julie also loves to write about her passions, and is a regular contributor to the YogaKids blog and webinars. YogaKids creator Marsha Wenig inspired Julie to teach yoga to children in 2006. She lives in the western suburbs of Chicago with her husband and two young sons. Email her at: Julie.pate@sbcglobal.net.

Tamara Semple

Unit Instructor for: Module 1

Tamara (Tammy) is a RYT-200, CYKT and Certified Girlvana Teacher. She began teaching in 2002 and has been teaching children exclusively since 2014. Her work takes her to numerous schools within 2 school districts, community centers and private classes in her area where she shares yoga, self-regulation techniques and mindfulness practices. Her students range from Kindergarten to twelfth grade and she believes one day her own children will jump on the yoga train too! Tamara is a mother of two kick-butt kids and one adorable pug. The three of them, along with her husband, are her motivating force to practice being a mindful yogi in all she does and with all those she encounters. As a mentor for YogaKids, Tamara is excited to give back to the community that has inspired her to be a positive presence in the lives of kids. Yoga and mindfulness make Tamara’s world go round and she is honored to live a life that allows her to teach, mentor and share it with her people. Email her at: tammy@soleworkreflexology.com.

Amy Cohen

Unit Instructor for: Module 2

Amy has been a practicing Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist for over 20 years and has treated a lot of children in Early Intervention, Preschool and School Ages on Long Island, NY. After completing her YogaKids certification (because she needed more yoga!), Amy became a 200 hour Yoga Alliance certified Teacher and has recently completed her 500 hour Yoga Alliance certification. She is continuing in her yoga education to become a Yoga Therapist with Cora Wen of Yoga Bloom and wants to take this education to continue working with the Special Needs population. In addition to her speech practice, she currently teaches Yoga Kids classes, Special Needs classes and classes for Teens and Adults. Email her at: talkingyoga@yahoo.com.

Maria Markos

Unit Instructor: Module 3

Maria served victims of crime for twenty-three years; as the director of the Crime Victim Rights Unit of the local county Prosecutor’s Office, as the Coordinator of a Child Advocacy Center, and as a Community Educator for the local rape crisis center. Curious about the lack of self-care among criminal justice professionals (including herself!), Maria learned the fine art of pivoting within the field she loved and now spends her time passionately teaching others how to embrace the beauty of slowing down, honoring the wisdom of the body, and finding nuggets of joy in the chaos of everyday life. Maria also enjoys teaching yoga to the younger generation (especially pre-teens!) because witnessing their transformative moment on the mat is one of the coolest things ever, serving as a volunteer soccer coach to 4 and 5 year old girls, and most importantly, being the proud mom of three pretty awesome kids. Maria holds an Applied Science (Paralegal) degree from Kellogg Community College, a Bachelor of Arts in Family Life Education from Spring Arbor University, and is a Registered Yoga Teacher, a Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher, and an Eating Psychology Coach certified by The Institute for the Psychology of Eating. Email her at: maria@littlesproutsyoga.com.

Cynthia Margolis

Unit Instructor for: Module 4

Cindy, Owner and Lead Instructor of Kids Yoga & Mindful Movement, is a Certified YogaKids Teacher and has an RYT-200 Power Yoga certification.  She has been teaching kids yoga classes since 2010.  She also has a MA degree in Early Childhood Special Education from University of St. Thomas and has been teaching at Wayzata Community Church Nursery School since 2004. Cindy has been an avid yoga practitioner since 2003 and in her spare time, plays golf and spends time with family and friends. Email her at: cindym1122@gmail.com.

Jen Durie-O’Brien

Unit Instructor for: Module 4 (Special Needs Assignments)

In addition to being a Certified YogaKids Teacher, Jen is also an Occupational Therapist practicing since 1998, with a focus in pediatrics and sensory integration since 2001. She is passionate and believes in supporting one child at a time through the integration of yoga and occupational therapy principles, while empowering balance in our children and our own lives!Email her at: jendurie@gmail.com.