Tom Brunzell

Tom Brunzell

Senior Advisor Education

Bachelor of Arts
Masters of Teaching
Masters of School Leadership
PhD Candidate

Tom Brunzell began his career in education as a Teach for America (TFA) corps member at NYC P.S. #28 in the Bronx. Tom co-founded KIPP Infinity Charter School as Dean of Students and literacy teacher. He worked with students and their families; supervised teachers through classroom observation and curriculum feedback; supervised KIPP's guidance staff of social workers and counselors--eventually serving as chair for all KIPP NYC's social worker development group. Additionally, he was team leader in the University of Pennsylvania/KIPP/Riverdale Country School three-year partnership to develop character education and the Character Report Card with Dr Martin Seligman and Dr Angela Duckworth.

He now serves as Senior Advisor, Teaching and Learning, for Berry Street Childhood Institute, working with school leaders, teachers, and their regions in the areas of school culture and curriculum development.

He received his bachelor degree (B.A.) from Yale University, then a teaching masters degree (M.S.T.) from Pace University and a school leadership masters degree (Ed.M.) from the Bank Street School of Education. Tom presents internationally on topics of transforming school cultures, high expectations for differentiated instruction, trauma-informed practice, wellbeing and the application of positive psychology, and effective school leadership. He is also a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne Graduate School of Education, Centre for Positive Psychology and Youth Research Centre, studying trauma-informed pedagogy, positive psychology, and their impacts on workplace meaning.


  • Brunzell, T., Stokes, H., & Waters, L. (2015). Trauma-Informed Positive Education: Using positive psychology to strengthen vulnerable students. Contemporary School Psychology, 1-23.

  • Brunzell, T., & Abbott, L. (2015). Pre-emptive and pro-active practice: Trauma-informed teaching and learning. Actual, 6, 11-12.

  • Brunzell, T., Waters, L., & Stokes, H. (2015). Teaching with strengths in trauma-affected students: A new approach to healing and growth in the classroom. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 85,1, 3-9.

Read an interview with Tom Brunzell about the Berry Street Education Model

Berry Street was first established on the lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respect to their Elders, past and present, and to all the traditional custodians of land throughout Australia.