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Meet The Facilitators

Maine Facilitators

In addition to Doug Babkirk, a member of the UMaine Extension faculty, the other Maine facilitators prepared by the Center for Courage & Renewal include Richard Ackerman, Laina Clugston, and Shirley Hager. Individually and collectively, they work as independent consultants in partnership with Doug leading retreats to “reconnect who we are with what we do” for those in the teaching and serving professions.

Doug BabkirkDoug is Extension Professor with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension with thirty-five years experience in personal and community leadership and organizational development in higher education outreach and engagement. Since 2006 he has worked to lay the foundation for expanded Courage & Renewal initiatives in Maine for K-16 educators and across other diverse professions. He lives in Portland with his wife, Barbara. Contact:, (207) 781-6099.
Shirley HagerShirley is an Associate Extension Professor Emerita, having focused on youth and family education and administration with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension for fifteen years. She has incorporated courage and renewal principles into her faculty, administrative and private consulting roles since 2001, and has co-led retreats with Doug, Richard and Laina throughout Maine.  Shirley is a former sixth grade teacher, and lives in Chesterville. Contact:, (207) 491-0982.
Richard H. Ackerman with goatsRichard, a former school teacher and school head, is currently Professor of Education at the University of Maine College of Education and Human Development. Richard is the co-author of Uncovering Teacher Leadership (Corwin Press, 2008) with Sarah Mackenzie as well as The Wounded Leader: How Real Leadership Emerges in Times of Crisis (Jossey-Bass, 2004) with Pat Maslin-Ostrowski and Making Sense as a School Leader (Jossey-Bass, 1996) with Gordon Donaldson and Becky van der Bogert. Richard has played an active role in professional development for school leaders, nationally and internationally. He was co-founder of the International Network of Principals’ Centers, a collaboration of professional associations, universities and education agencies working actively to strengthen leadership at the school level through professional development for leaders. For the past fifteen years, he has served as a facilitator for the Center for Courage & Renewal, leading retreats for teachers and principals. Richard’s interests and research focus on the inner landscapes of leadership formation. He lives in Brooksville, Maine where he and his wife, Bobbi, and their daughter, Hannah Rose, enjoying coastal community living keeping up with their eight goats, assorted other animals and one another. Contact:
Laina ClugstonLaina is a Waldorf educator and counselor focused on working with parent education and children from birth to three. She is formerly from the Washington DC area, where she was active in school administration, consensus facilitation, and classroom teaching for twenty years at Acorn Hill Waldorf Nursery and Kindergarten. Currently she is offering programs in association with the Center for Courage & Renewal in her work with parents and Waldorf educators. Contact: