I was born in Philadelphia and attended public school before moving to California in the early 70’s at the very beginning of Silicon Valley. I attended local schools and observed the city of Sunnyvale transform from an agricultural area to the tech megapolis it is today. While attending UC Santa Barbara, I worked for the City of Sunnyvale Parks and Recreation as a parks leader. My experiences working with kids in Sunnyvale became the catalyst for my career choice in education. I continued working at an after-school program at a local elementary school as I finished my degree in Mathematics/Economics.
I was initially hired as math teacher in the Santa Cruz Mountains, but I quickly transitioned into the role as a math teacher at a middle school. For the next 18 years, I worked as a math teacher, athletic coach, athletic director, math department chair, and lunchtime intramurals coordinator in a very tiny beach community.
In 1999, I was trained in data driven instruction, collaboration, and helped create and implement a master schedule that included small learning communities. Because of the work and success, I decided to pursue a Master’s Degree with an emphasis in Educational Leadership. While researching my thesis, I became fascinated with closing the significant achievement gap between our school’s 75% affluent/upper middle class White students and 25% lower income Latino students.
After the death of one of my favorite students in a drunk driving accident, I left the classroom to become an administrator at a Title 1 school. For the past 10 years, I have worked exclusively as an administrator transforming schools. From the front lines of No Child Left Behind Program Improvement in the rural farmlands of the Salinas Valley to the embattled neighborhoods of Oakland, California, I have used the ‘learning by doing’ philosophy to refine my professional practices in transformational leadership. I began my journey in the farming town of Watsonville, and moved on to the foothills of East San Jose receiving extensive training and first-hand experience in improving Title 1 schools. I led the transformation efforts of an elementary school and middle school in one of the first districts taken over by the state of California for academic reasons. The two-year school results in that district were some of the highest improvement numbers in all of Northern California. Most recently, my work led me to Oakland, and the mission of improving a low performing elementary school.
I attribute the school improvement success to the development and implementation of systems that address; efficacy, positive school culture, teacher retention, data driven instruction, collaboration, student and teacher engagement, aligned strategic intervention, academic acceleration, academic identity, personal empowerment, and resiliency.
In my almost 30 years of K-12 education experience, I have worked with all ends of ethnic, socioeconomic, and learning spectrum. It is from these diverse experiences that I have crafted a vision and philosophy of hope for today’s students that I wish to share in this site.
The content will vary from real success stories and best educational practices to personal narratives and authentic authorship.
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