About Ashley

Ashley is dedicated to raising awareness and being an advocate for positive change. She stresses and is living proof of the importance of making human connections along life’s journey. Her motivation to always look at the good in others and promote kindness no matter what the situation is has made her into the success story she is today.

Ashley teaches the life lessons that encompass trials and tribulations in her daily routine as a teacher. She is consistently looking for new ways to have others think of the precious gift called life and that it is crucial to be yourself and not take things for granted. Her strong desire to provide others with the tools and knowledge that they can overcome anything by never giving up, using resources around them, looking up to positive role models and realizing that they are in the drivers seat to create the life they want is only one of her many messages.

Navigating Through Quicksand

After teaching for nearly 10 years Ashley decided it was time to spread her message to larger audiences. Moving forward, she started the company Navigating Through Quicksand, LLC. Navigating Through Quicksand is what life is about, often times we feel stuck whether in a relationship, friendship, in our own mind, spot in time, career, etc. One thing to always remember is we can get ourselves both into and out of situations. In fact, sometimes the only thing we need is our internal compass and remembering that having both ourselves and others consistently polish the diamond we have inside it will in turn shine on the world and make a positive difference.

Inspirational Speaker Ashley Gustafson


Augustana University (SD)

Plus 60 Credits, Education

Augustana College (SD)

Plus 30 Credits, Education

Worcester State University

Master of Education (M.Ed.), Concentration Health

Worcester State University

Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Health Education

Quinsigamond Community College

Associate of Arts (A.A.), General Studies

Honors & Awards

Toastmasters District 31

2021 Division E
International Speech Contest
First Place

MIAA Wellness Coordinator of The Year

Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association
Oct 2013

ACE Award

Shepherd Hill Varsity Girls Volleyball Team

Who's Who Among American Universities and Colleges



SADD Advisor

Sep 2017 – 2019

Game Change Advisor

Patriots Anti-Violence Partnership
Sep 2016 – 2019

Wellness Coordinator

Dudley-Charlton Region School District
Sep 2008 – 2019


Dudley-Charlton Region School District
Sep 2007 – 2020

Department Coordinator PE/Health/FCS

Dudley-Charlton Region School District
Jul 2012 – Jun 2015

Challenge Course Manager

Dudley-Charlton Region School District
Jul 2012 – Jun 2015

JV Soccer Coach

Shepherd Hill Regional High School
2009 – 2014, 2018

Navigating through quicksand logo