Image of Kellie Caroll & Marie Unger Emergenetics International is thrilled to have Marie Unger, President of STEP (Student/Teacher Emergenetics Program) and Kellie Carroll, Director of Education at STEP, as part of our great speaker lineup for the 2017 Brain Summit in Vancouver, Canada.

Let’s get to know Marie and Kellie better in advance of the 2017 Emergenetics Brain Summit.

Q: How did you get introduced to STEP/Emergenetics?


M – In 2007, I was given the opportunity to be the Principal that opened a new elementary school (Stone Mountain Elementary) in the state of Colorado. The District Superintendent asked me to attend an Emergenetics Certification in hopes that we might use the information from Emergenetics to model teacher collaboration and effectiveness. Following the certification, we used Emergenetics theory with our teachers, as well as fully integrated the tool in our work with students, specifically those aged 10-12.

K – I was a sixth grade teacher on staff at a brand new elementary school, Stone Mountain Elementary in Colorado. We were introduced to the tool when our then Principal, Marie Unger, and our Building Resource Teacher, Theresa Riege, conducted the Meeting of the Minds at our very first staff meeting. From there, I was one of the few classrooms to use the tool comprehensively not only with my teammates, but also with my sixth grade students.

Q: How does the Student/Teacher Emergenetics Program (STEP) differentiate itself from Emergenetics International?

A: We focus entirely on the application of Emergenetics theory in education. We offer a comprehensive program for integrating the tool in classrooms, schools, youth groups and youth athletic programs. Furthermore, we provide yearly personalized coaching to ensure the tool is sustained throughout the school year and the integrity of the tool stays intact. Perhaps our biggest difference is the utilization of the Emergenetics Youth Report, the sensitivity to the needs of developing youth and the specific requirements of credentialed educators in order to work with the Youth Reports in schools.

Q: You have facilitated numerous workshops and certifications for STEP since you joined in 2013 and 2015, respectively. Has this given you any interesting STEP or Emergenetics “a-ha” moments that you could tell us about?

A: One of the things we like most about STEP is the opportunity to truly shift a teacher’s perspective on teaching, instruction and students as well as the opportunity to empower students of all abilities with the skills and knowledge to self-regulate and self-advocate. Many times we complete a teacher-focused certification and hear, “I came in thinking this was going to be just another training. I am leaving thinking that it should be a requirement for ANY/ALL teachers to use this information as they plan instruction and work with students.”

Q: Do you have a favorite STEP/Emergenetics activity or exercise?

A: A favorite activity we do is called “Song of the Week.” Basically, we incorporate all of the seven Attributes (ten if you include both ends of the Behavior Spectrums) into a week’s worth of curriculum connections through a variety of songs. These songs can be from different genres, artists, movies or even decades of popularity. Kids and teachers alike love the Song of the Week and it is fun for us to see engagement skyrocket.

Q: Children say the funniest things and they are often much wiser than their years.  What have you learned working with children and do you have a favorite quote from one of them?

A: The best part about working with children is how quickly and comprehensively they embrace all of the Attributes and honor others for their Preferences. A story we love to tell is from a classroom where a student had just finished presenting in front of the class. The class exploded into a standing ovation upon completion of the presentation. When asked if the standing ovation was for the quality of the presentation, one of the students responded, “No. His presentation was fine, but we are just super proud of him because he is 1/3 Expressive and that took a lot of energy to do that presentation.”

Q: You both love sports, whether it’s playing on a volleyball team, coaching a high school basketball team, cheering on the Denver Broncos, or waving a checkered flag at the NASCAR races. What parallels do you see between sports and real life? How does knowing Emergenetics and your personal profiles help you become a better athlete or a more sportsmanlike fan?

A: We use the tool to leverage perseverance. Knowing our Thinking and Behavioral Preferences, has helped us manage our energy in ways we never understood before. Now we approach games, competitions and events as participants with a totally different mindset. Furthermore, we even approach spectating with the spirit of “sending good energy.” (In fact, we are confident that the Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50 because we sent our beloved Broncos only the most positive energy and positive mindset).

Q: How would you describe the term Emergineering? What is an Emergineer?

A: Emergineering is when a school or company completely operates as a unit embracing the unique ways people think and behave, as well as when an organization incorporates “energy drivers” into work functionality so that all Attributes are honored while at work.  An Emergineer is a champion for the theory…committed to ensuring that Emergineering occurs. They are a living example and role model for the honoring of all Attributes.