Kristi Cheyney-Collante

Conscious Discipline Certified Instructor

Gainesville, Florida

Kristi Cheyney-Collante, an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education, makes her home in North Central Florida. She is also a wife, mother and counts her big blended family (a husband, five children/step-children, three dogs, and a cat) as both her greatest joy and her own personal laboratory for daily learning how to be more conscious.

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Kristi earned her PhD in Special Education with a minor in Research and Evaluation Methodology at the University of Florida. Kristi’s research focuses on the early care and educational experiences of young children living in poverty and how optimizing high quality interactions during these formative years can result in better outcomes for children in school and throughout their lives. Kristi first became familiar with Conscious Discipline in 2004 as a classroom mentor for teachers working in high-poverty childcare centers in Miami.

Conscious Discipline allowed Kristi to learn the personal powers and related skills needed to better serve her mentees and to live her best life as a mother, wife, teacher and teacher of teachers. She is a frequent and sought-after speaker at local, regional, and national conferences, and the author of several publications, book chapters, and photo essays.



    Kristi has over 20 years of experience working with young children and their families as a teacher, mentor, researcher, and Professor of Early Childhood Education at Santa Fe College.


    Kristi specializes in early intervention for children with special needs and children placed at-risk; Attachment; Baby Doll Circle Time; teacher education and preparation.


    Kristi is a Conscious Discipline Certified Instructor and a certified assessor for the “CLASS (Classroom Assessment and Scoring System) – Pre-Kindergarten” assessment tool.


    Kristi earned a PhD in Special Education from the University of Florida, with a Minor in Research Evaluation and Methodology and a specialization in early language and literacy intervention.