Founder & Executive Director
Mother, educator, and co-founder of Safe and Sound Schools®, Michele Gay chose to take action after losing her daughter Josephine Grace on December 14, 2012 in the Sandy Hook School tragedy. Since that time, Michele has channeled her work as an advocate, improving safety and security in schools and communities across our country.
With a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Towson State University, Michele earned Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from McDaniel College. Prior to the Sandy Hook tragedy, she taught at the elementary level in the Maryland and Virginia public schools.
Now a nationally and internationally recognized public speaker and school safety advocate, Michele reaches audiences and consults with all levels of community institutions — schools; municipalities; houses of worship; educational and public safety leadership; state and federal governments; law enforcement agencies; and top news media sources. Through her work, and always with a goal of helping others increase the safety within their own communities, Michele shares her personal experiences and the lessons she has learned.
The recipient of numerous national awards, Michele is a regular contributor for print, radio, and television outlets. Visionary, author, and co-author of Safe and Sound’s programs and materials, Michele has served as a stakeholder voice in national legislative discussions. Through these works, Michele continues to build Safe and Sound Schools® as a national hub of school safety education, technical assistance, expert content, and best practices.
Michele’s impassioned position on school safety hinges on every community taking a comprehensive and sustainable approach to safety. She works diligently to unite stakeholders of all disciplines and perspectives. As and educator, mother, and survivor of tragedy, Michele is uniquely positioned to help others prepare for, prevent, respond to, and recover from tragedies of their own.
Michele remains inspired by Josephine, every day. She dedicates herself to honoring Josephine’s memory through this work to ensure that every school, every child, and every community is truly safe and sound.