Ed.D. in Educational Administration, 2011
School of Education
October 1, 2011
“I believe that teachers and the quality of instruction they offer are the primary determinants of student learning.”
I have been lucky enough to spend my entire professional career in the San Dieguito Union High School District (SDUHSD), which serves the coastal communities of northern San Diego County. After spending nine years as a high school English and speech & debate teacher and coach in the district, I spent six years as a middle school assistant principal, and then six great years as a middle and high school principal. Recently, I’ve been lucky enough to pursue my passion for teaching, learning, and school improvement through the role of Executive Director of Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment for the SDUHSD.
I earned my B.A. in English from CSU, Chico, my teaching credential from the University of San Diego (USD), and subsequently my Master’s in Educational Leadership and my Administrative Credential from USD. While it took me a decade to achieve, this past summer I completed my Ed.D. in the joint UCI/UCLA program. My dissertation study focused on assessing how participation in Lesson Study, a promising model of professional development, impacted the instructional practice of teachers. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Dr. Rossella Santagata of UC Irvine for her guidance and support through my dissertation study. The incredible learning about effective professional development and instructional improvement that I gained through my study informs and shapes my work on a daily basis. My experience in the Ed.D. program was exactly what I hoped it would be upon entering: deep intellectual learning that informs and impacts my practice as an educator and leader.
I believe that teachers and the quality of instruction they offer are the primary determinants of student learning and because of this, I focus my work on ensuring that we have the best teachers in our classrooms and that we have effective systems which promote and support collaborative, focused efforts that continually improve teaching and learning.
Now that I’ve finished my Ed.D., I look forward to filling my “spare time” with teaching graduate level education courses, pursuing my private pilot’s license, picking up my guitar again, lowering my golf handicap, and getting back to coaching high school debate in order to maintain a connection with kids.
At the age of twenty-two I chose to become a high school English teacher not because I was in love with literature or writing, but rather because I loved the youthful enthusiasm of teenagers and because I firmly believed in the power of public education to create a better future in our democratic society. These two core motivations continue to drive me today and will drive me for the next 20 years of my career regardless of the challenges public education may face and regardless of what position I may hold in the world of education. I continue to be grateful for and humbled by the opportunity to educate our students.