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Executive Director


Executive Director



Cheryl Watkins is executive director and founder of Student Assistance Training International, a non-profit organization dedicated to the development and training of school & personnel in Student Assistance Programs. Cheryl was the creator and district coordinator of the first Student Assistance Program in Arizona for a period of 10 years. Under her guidance the program became a state and national model recognized by school districts throughout the United States. In addition, Cheryl has been instrumental in spearheading national and state school substance abuse legislation and has trained schools in 50 United States and 30 foreign countries. Her program was recommended to the Welsh Assembly Government as “Best Practice” in Managing Challenging Pupil Behavior and asaNational Resource on Student Assistance Programs by SAMHSA in “Help is Down the Hall, A Handbook on Student Assistance.”

Ms. Watkins honors include the United States Student Assistance Program Professional of the Year, National Rural Institute on Addiction “Harold Hughes” Exceptional Rural Professional of the Year, Phoenix Woman of the Year, National Federation of Parents for Drug-Free Youth Recognition Award, National Council on Alcoholism Bronze Key Award, and the 2013 National Association of Children of Alcoholics Claudia Black/Robert Ackerman Life Time Service Award.

Cheryl has served on the following boards:  The National Association of Leadership for Student Assistance Programs (founding board member); National Prevention Task Force (co-founder/past president), consultant and trainer to the National Organization of Student Assistance Programs and Professionals, National Association of Children of Alcoholics, National Association of Prevention Professionals and Advocates, the National Council on Alcoholism and founding board member of Students Assistance Training United Kingdom.



Articles written and published by Cheryl Watkins M.A. Executive Director

Student Assistance Training International

n      The Adolescent Counselor Oct/Nov 1989.  Student Support Groups, Help and Healing Through the Educational System.”

n      Changes.  National Journal of Children of Alcoholics. Sept/Oct 1986.  The Cry That Was Heard, Help and Healing Through the Educational System.”

n      International School Journal for ECIS. European Council of International Schools.” Spring 1994.  Student Support Groups, Help and Healing Through the Educational System.”

n      Help is Down the Hall – A Handbook on Student Assistance, “Assessing Educational Student Support Groups”, by Cheryl Watkins. Student Assistance Training International – Selected National Resource on Student Assistance. SAMHS (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2008

Articles Written on Students Assistance Programme, Cheryl Watkins Director & Founder

n      Effective Practice in Health, Social Care and Criminal Justice. Dec/2008. University Text Book by Ros Carnwell and Julian Buchanan, Glyndwr University, Wrexham.UK. Chapter 11.  Tackling behavioural problems in the classroom using a student assistance programme. (Watkins, 2008.)

n      Estyn. Behaviour in Wales, Good Practice in Managing Challenging Behaviour.  Student Assistance, successful strategies and initiatives. (Watkins, 2006.)

n      SEN.  The Journal for Special Needs (UK).  Jan/Feb 2007.  Transition and SEN:  Every SEBD child matters. Use of support groups a feature of the SAP approach (Watkins, 1999)

n      Evaluation Tools for Student Assistance Programs.  National Organization of Student Assistance Programs and Professionals. “Exemplary Student Assistance Progras.” Phoenix Union High School District, Cheryl Watkins Dir.

n      Pastoral Support:  “The key to student retention in Higher Education.  The use of Student Assistance Programmes.”  Taylor, Suzan.  Sport & Exercise Sciences, NEWI, University of Wales.

n      Student Assistance Programmes-Higher Educations Holy Grail?  Dr. Sue Taylor.  Sport & Exercise Sciences, NEWI, University off Wales.

n      Prevention Quarterly.  Bureau of Indian Affairs. Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention.  Student Assistance Program Training. Washington DC.

 UK RESEARCH on Students Assistance Programs, Cheryl Watkins M.A., Director

n      The Centre for Forensic Psychology, University of Portsmouth, North Hampshire Anger Management Project.  Training  provided by Student Assistance Training International, Cheryl Watkins Director

n      North East Wales Institute of Higher Education.  “A project to Evaluate the Student Assistance Programme for Wrexham LEA. Sept 2005.  Professor Ros Carnwell and Sally-Ann Baker.

n      South Wales Student Assistance Programme reseach sponsored by the Welsh Assembly and Cardiff Institute of Society & Health. Researcher, Rhiannon Evans. Completed June 2013





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