Meet the PD Collaborative
Douglas Fisher, Ph.D., is Professor of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University and a teacher leader at Health Sciences High & Middle College. He is the recipient of IRA’s Celebrate Literacy Award, NCTE’s Farmer Award for Excellence in Writing, as well as a Christa McAuliffe Award for Excellence in Teacher Education. Doug is a credentialed English teacher and administrator in California.
Nancy Frey, Ph.D., is Professor of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University. The recipient of the 2008 Early Career Achievement Award from the Literacy Research Association, she is also a teacher leader at Health Sciences High & Middle College and a credentialed special educator, reading specialist, and administrator in California.
Aida Rotell Allen is a nationally recognized consultant whose primary aim is to engage all learners through reading and writing. She worked to create a bilingual program designed to build literacy skills in both Spanish and English, and often uses collaborative learning to build the social and academic language skills of her students. She is also an administrator at Health Science High and a lecturer in the teacher education department at San Diego State University.
Olivia Amador-Valerio, Ed. D. is currently a principal with the Chula Vista Elementary School District with thirteen years of experience. As a bilingual teacher, reading and language arts specialist, and earned doctorate in Educational Leadership, she has dedicated her career to improving student achievement for English Learners focused on collaborative conversations, designated and integrated English Language Development , and providing coaching and mentoring services for school staffs. Certified with the Visible Learning in Literacy model and the Gradual Release of Responsibility framework, she provides clients with a personalized professional development experience connected to high impact practices linked with the areas of concentration.
Heather Anderson currently teaches English and higher-level Spanish at Health Sciences High and Middle College in San Diego. She earned her MA in curriculum and instruction from San Diego State University and is BCLAD certified. Heather consults at individual school sites emphasizing the use of gradual release of responsibility, differentiated instruction, close reading, and collaborative grouping.
Debra Cale has been an educator for the last 28 years. During that time, she has taught at the middle school, high school, and college levels. Her array of work includes the design, development, implementation and evaluation of the professional development program for teachers and administrators, leading teachers through the process of designing, developing, implementing and evaluating literacy curriculum and assessment materials that were used in the classrooms and modeling, guiding and coaching teachers in using the Gradual Release of Responsibility instructional practices.
Lisa Cebelak is a national education consultant whom facilitates professional development onsite and provides follow up implementation visits in various areas such as curriculum, instruction, and assessments. In her former district, Lisa was an instructional coach specializing in secondary literacy coaching.
Kim Elliot Padgitt is a National Board Certified Science Teacher at Health Science High & Middle College. She earned a master’s degree with a focus on Reading and Language Arts from San Diego State University and is a Leading Edge Certified Teacher in online and blended learning. Kim has extensive experience making science content accessible to diverse student populations, including English Learners.
Carmen Emery, Ed D. is a practicing school principal with the Chula Vista Elementary School District. She runs a K-6, Dual Language Immersion (DLI), Title 1 school with approx. 620 students. She has ten years of classroom experience as a bilingual teacher and eleven years in school leadership. Her areas of expertise include; improving school climate & culture, English & Spanish language acquisition, the implementation of school-wide, high-impact instructional practices (Visible Learning), and starting, evaluating, & maintaining DLI programs. She has presented and / or facilitated sessions on DLI Leadership, Gradual Release of Responsibility, Visible Learning, and Professional Learning Cycles.
Toni Faddis, Ed. D. is currently a principal in the Chula Vista Elementary School District with twelve years of classroom experience and twelve years of experience as a school leader in diverse communities. Her background in bilingual education and as a Reading Recovery teacher assist her to establish relationships with teachers, administrators, and all types of learners. Toni also mentors and coaches current and aspiring school leaders in the Educational Leadership Department at San Diego State University.
Karen Flories is currently a Professional Learning Consultant for Corwin. Prior to this role, she was the Executive Director of 6-12 Educational Services for Valley View School District 365U, in Romeoville/Bolingbrook, Illinois that serves 18,000 students. Her focus was on helping guide leaders and teachers in adjusting their practices to address student needs related to the importance of teacher clarity, creating a sound assessment design system, and effective analysis of data to drive change. Those shifts had a positive impact on reading and math performance at the 6-12 level, with consistent growth seen for the past four years.
Lisa Forehand has worked in Santa Diego Unified School District for 23 years, where she has taught K-5 for the last 17 years. She has a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential with a CLAD, a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, a Reading Specialist Credential and an Administrative Credential-all from SDSU, where she studied with Dr. Doug Fisher, Dr. Nancy Frey & Dr. Diane Lapp.
Maria C. Grant is a professor in the credential program at California State University, Fullerton. Grant earned a doctorate of education and a master's degree in curriculum and instruction at University of San Diego/San Diego State University. She conducts professional development on the Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core- ELA, formative assessment, and disciplinary literacy.
Angela Hackman is a Noyce Master Teaching Fellow at SDSU in collaboration with the National Science Foundation and Qualcomm. Angie earned her Masters of Science in genetics at UC Davis before obtaining her biology and chemistry teaching credentials. Throughout her teaching, Angie makes content accessible and relevant to students of different learning styles and backgrounds.
Connie Hamilton, Ed.S. has over 20 years in education as a teacher, instructional coach, and administrator. A connected educator, she asks questions, makes connections, and develops systems to enhance professional learning and collaboration.
Diane Lapp is a Distinguished Professor of Education at San Diego State University, where her research and instruction focuses on issues related to struggling readers and writers, their families, and their teachers.
Teresa Rensch has been a principal of North Tahoe Middle School for 10 years where the school rallied behind the instruction of reading and writing; and the learning of reading and writing during a daily 30 minute literacy deployment. As a teacher-leader in Chicago Public Schools, she was known for raising her students reading scores an average of .7 per student each year with deliberate daily reading and writing both during the school day and in after school programs.
Dominique Smith focuses on creating a well-rounded school climate to allow the growth of all students to become the best student they can be. He believes students have the right to feel like they have a future and can be successful no matter any situation.
Marisol Thayre is a presenter and author whose special interests include Close Reading and Text-Dependent Questions; she currently conducts trainings on the Gradual Release of Responsibility, Differentiation, Collaboration, and Assessment.
Javier Vaca is a U.S. History teacher at Health Sciences High & Middle College, where he works daily alongside Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey. Javier went to undergraduate school in Florida and completed his teaching credential and graduate degree at San Diego State University. He’s also a published author, with works appearing in a range of professional journals including ILA’s Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy.
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