Who I Coach:
- Oakland SOL
- Melrose Leadership Academy
Yale University: BA- Psychology
Brown University: MA- Teaching
High Tech High Graduate School of Education: Master of Education- School leadership
As a student, one of my most formative experiences was the first day of seventh grade creative writing camp. Five minutes after class was supposed to begin, the door slammed open, and a roll of toilet paper came hurtling through the air, nearly smacking me in the head. A tall woman ran into the room, tore her sandal off her foot, banged it against the chalkboard, and said, “Write down everything that you just saw.” We discovered that there are infinite ways to capture the same event in writing––that the same facts can take on fresh significance when reported by a different voice. This lesson altered the way I looked at writing, and it got me excited about the struggle of finding my own unique words to make sense of the world.
I chose a career in education because I am fascinated with learning experiences like this one, experiences that piqued my curiosity and made me eager to learn more. I am intrigued by the process whereby people come to see learning as a natural part of their lives, challenging themselves without having to be challenged by outside pressures. I am intensely curious about how to provide students with experiences that will lead them to become self-motivated lifelong learners.
Rob Riordan, one of the founders of High Tech High, influenced my views on education. He taught me the importance of leveraging students’ experiences as our texts, and of creating a shared sense of purpose among the learners in a community. He taught me to examine power dynamics in a classroom and to decipher ways of shifting control to heighten student ownership and honor student thinking. Now, whenever I walk into a classroom, the lenses I use to examine what’s happening are: Purpose, Engagement, Voice & Choice, and Who’s in the Game?
I strive to see the best in the people I work with, shining a light on strengths we can build on, and brainstorming together to create powerful, transformative experiences for kids. I also believe my life’s work is about creating joyful communities of collaboration where individuals feel a deep sense of belonging, and where they are inspired to stretch and grow. It’s an honor to work with so many creative, resilient, and dedicated people who are dreaming big and who share a passionate pursuit of equity.