Chattahoochee Elementary’s Principal Barbara Vella believes that school leaders must constantly re-assess and stay fiercely aligned with the vision of placing every child first.

“It is within the relationship between a teacher and a child that learning takes place.” In this short video, Barbara shares her viewpoint on why social emotional learning matters, why her school chose the 7 Mindsets, and the importance of structure in making a long-range implementation work.


This year, 7 Mindsets explores seven amazing schools from across the United States. With a professional film crew in tow, our intention is to capture each community’s unique journey, while finding best practices in common for social and emotional learning (SEL).

The first is Chattahoochee Elementary in Cumming, GA: a rural school with a unique recipe for cultural transformation. This school has seen considerable transition and growth in its student population, prompting cultural changes that were aligned with its SEL implementation.