I am first and foremost an educator, whether as a mother to my two sons, in a classroom with students, facilitating workshops, writing/blogging or working to shape policy.
I am a first-generation American who began school as an English language learner and ended up being the first in my family to complete college and graduate school. I attended public schools but had parents and teachers who encouraged me to pursue my own interests and questions from an early age. These interests took me — both metaphorically and literally — around the world, imagining into the stories of our past and the possibilities of our future. Learning and school were disconnected, a gift I didn’t fully appreciate until much later when I taught third grade in Newark, NJ – right as American policy was doubling down on fairly limited and limiting ideas of what it means to improve education.
I was fortunate to spend two years as a Program Fellow at the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation in New Jersey, working with thoughtful educational transformers like Ted Sizer and Sir Ken Robinson who were committed to expanding our collective understanding of what learning and success look like.
I have spent the two decades since then researching, advocating and working to move our education system and the players within it in the direction of being human-centered: meeting the developmental needs of young people, reflecting what we know about how learning happens, and honoring the need each person has to find, develop and live out their unique sense of purpose.
My work includes non-profit planning, program design, evaluation and improvement, adult/teacher preparation and school-based improvement strategies, always with an eye towards incorporating cutting-edge research on human development, the learning sciences, and best practices in networked organizational change management. My newer offerings are focused on helping adults develop the skills they need to relate more confidently and bravely to conversations about race, identity, equity and belonging – all foundational aspects of the schools and educational experiences our children deserve.