I am a National Board Certified English Teacher, on the staff of Palo Alto High School’s English Department since 2002 and currently teaching 11th and 12th graders. I helped launch, and for several years co-directed a teacher leadership network called Accomplished California Teachers (ACT). That experience gave me opportunities to learn about and work with teachers from all over California. Having worked with a variety of other networks and organizations, and having built relationships with individuals and groups throughout California, I spent the 2014-15 school year traveling around the state to gather materials for a book about excellence in California public education, titled Capturing the Spark: Inspired Teaching, Thriving Schools. I also do some free-lance consulting work, and currently publish blog posts at multiple sites: here on my own webpage, at Capturing the Spark for EdWeek Teacher, at The Standard for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).
My teaching career began in 1993, and the 2016-17 school year is my 17th year of teaching in California public high schools. I’ve also taught middle school grades in two independent schools. I completed a B.A. in English at U.C. Berkeley (’91) with Phi Beta Kappa honors, and earned a Master’s degree in Education through the Stanford Teacher Education Program (’95). After achieving National Board Certification in 2004 (renewed 2014), I served for two years as a support provider for National Board candidates and Stanford’s National Board Resource Center. When the NBRC became the sponsoring organization for ACT, I was one of the founding members, and helped author the group’s two policy reports. In my role as the Associate Director of ACT, my main responsibilities were in communications and membership, supporting our mission to promote teacher leadership and amplify teacher voice throughout the state. Our activities included teacher leadership trainings, panel discussions and film screenings, visiting legislative offices, organizing a policy forum in Sacramento, and publishing a group blog. I am also active in other educational leadership efforts including CTA’s Institute for Teaching, the California Teacher Union Reform Network (CalTURN), and the Collaboratory at the Center for Teaching Quality.
I’ve authored over 225 blog posts at InterACT, and more than 50 for EdWeek Teacher. Many of these blog posts have been reposted by the National Education Policy Center, along with others at The Washington Post’s Answer Sheet blog, the Shanker Blog, and Larry Cuban’s blog, and quoted in the Los Angeles Times online. Guest blog posts have appeared in EdSource Today, Thoughts on Public Education, and the Shanker Blog. In addition to blogging, my articles on teaching have appeared in Teacher Magazine and EdWeek Teacher, England’s TES Magazine, and Brazil’s Profissão Mestre. Additionally, I have authored or co-authored opinion pieces for the Sacramento Bee , the San Francisco Chronicle, and the San Diego Union Tribune. In the past five years, I’ve presented at multiple state and national education conferences, spoken in public forums, and facilitated workshops on teacher leadership and education blogging. See my Media, Speaking page for additional information.
My consulting and advisory experience includes formal arrangements with NBPTS, CalTURN, the Riverside County Office of Education, and leadership roles in my school district and local teachers association. I’ve also worked more informally with CTA’s Institute for Teaching, and Facing History and Ourselves, and I’ve advised local school board members and other elected officials on various education issues.