Mini Course Presenters

Jessalyn Aaland Program Associate, Teacher Engagement and Resources at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Prior to her position as Program Associate at SFMOMA, for five years, Jessalyn was an English and ELD teacher at Balboa High School in San Francisco. While at Balboa, she piloted the school’s inclusion program as part of the PULSE pathway (Peers United for Leadership, Service, and Equity) for 11th and 12th grade students, which includes general education, honors, Special Ed, and English learner students. She is also a visual artist who works primarily in collage and installation.

Carl Anthony Co-Founder, Breakthrough Communities
Carl is an architect, author and a regional design strategist. He is currently the co-founder of Breakthrough Communities, building multiracial leadership for sustainable communities in metropolitan regions and a founder of the 6 Wins coalition. At the Ford Foundation, Carl served as the Acting Director of the Community and Resource Development Unit, specifically Environment and Community Development. Carl also has spent 10 years as Ford’s Director of the Sustainable Metropolitan Communities Initiative (SMCI) and the Regional Equity Demonstration. He holds a degree in architecture from Columbia University, and has taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture and Planning and the UC Berkeley Colleges of Environmental Design and Natural Resources. His forthcoming book is entitled The Earth, the City, and the Hidden Narrative of Race: Discovering New Foundations for the Great Work of Our Time.

Rick Ayers Assistant Professor in Teacher Education, University of San Francisco
Rick is an assistant professor of education at the University of San Francisco in the Urban Education and Social Justice cohort. He taught in the Communication Arts and Sciences small school at Berkeley High School, where he pioneered innovative and effective strategies for academic and social success for a diverse range of students. He is the co-author, with his brother William Ayers, of Teaching the Taboo: Courage and Imagination in the Classroom, and the author of Great Books for High School Kids, A Teacher’s Guide to Studs Terkel’s Working, and An Empty Seat in Class: Teaching and Learning after the Death of a Student. He is also a regular blogger on education for the Huffington Post.

Daniel Barash Director, The Shadow Puppet Workshop
Since founding his arts-in-education organization, Daniel has conducted hundreds of assembly programs, workshops, and residencies at local schools, museums, and libraries. He holds a Masters Degree in Elementary Education from New York University, and has pioneered the use of shadow puppetry, an ancient Asian art form, in diverse formal and informal educational settings. As a John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Teaching Artist, Daniel regularly travels throughout the county conducting shadow puppetry arts integration trainings for educators.

Shakti Butler, Ph.D. President and Founder, Social Impact through Film & Dialogue
Shakti is a racial justice educator whose work is rooted in love and justice. She is a multiracial African-American woman (African, Arawak Indian, and Russian-Jewish) and her work as a creative and visionary bridge builder has challenged and inspired learning for over two decades. Using film and dialogue, she invites people to grapple with both the intellectual and emotional complexities of social justice issues. Dr. Butler is the producer and director of groundbreaking Word Trust documentaries including The Way Home: Talk About Race in America and Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible, and her film Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity. Dr. Butler is also the Founder and Creative Director of World Trust Educational Services, a nonprofit based in Oakland, CA.

Julie Charles Associate Curator for School Initiatives, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Julie is SFMOMA’s Associate Curator of Education and oversees staff, designing and leading programs related to docent tours, families, youth/teens, teachers and the Museum’s dynamic, drop-in, educational facility — the Koret Visitor Education Center. She also leads tours of the museum’s exhibitions for audiences of all ages. Prior to this post, Julie served as SFMOMA’s Manager of Docent Programs for nearly ten years. Julie has taught art history, specializing in 19th, 20th and 21st century art, at Bay Area museums. This includes the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the San Jose Museum of Art as well as local universities, UC Berkeley Extension and the Academy of Art University, San Francisco, where she has been a part-time instructor since 1999. She earned both her B.A. (University of California, Los Angeles) and her M.A. (American University, Washington, D.C.) in Art History.

Sarah Crowell Artistic Director, Destiny Arts Center
Sarah has taught dance, theater and violence prevention to youth and teachers for over 25 years. She is currently the artistic director at Destiny Arts Center  where she has served in different capacities since 1990, including executive director from 2002–2007. She has been the artistic director of the acclaimed teen dance/theater company, the Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company, since 1993. Sarah has authored a curriculum guidebook about her work with teens, and her work with the youth company has been the subject of two documentary films. Sarah has facilitated arts integration, violence prevention, cultural competency and team building professional development sessions since 2000 both locally and nationally. Sarah is the recipient of the 2013 Bay Area Dance Week award, the 2011 KQED Women’s History Local Hero award, the 2007 KPFA Peace award and the 2006 Purple Moon DreamSpeakers award.

Eric Engdahl Chair, Teacher Education, California State University, East Bay
Eric is currently Chair and VAPA Curriculum Specialist of the Department of Teacher Education at CSU East Bay. He has been working in Arts Education for the last 25 years. He has been a professional actor, artistic director, and circus ringmaster. He credits his time as a ringmaster as the best pre-teaching experience anyone has ever had — if you can deal with elephants, trained dogs, clowns, Percherons, and the Flying Wallendas, a classroom of students isn’t too intimidating after all.

Derek Fenner Program Manager, ACOE
Derek is an artist, educator, and researcher living in Oakland, California. He earned his MFA in writing and poetics from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University. He also has an MA in educational leadership from Mills College. After a decade of experience as an art educator and administrator in the Massachusetts juvenile justice system, he is completing his Doctorate in education at Mills College. His research interests include, youth participatory action research as pedagogy, juvenile justice education, decolonizing methodologies, and arts based research. He is co-founder of Bootstrap Press, a literary collective that began in 2000.

Michele Hamilton Co–Owner and Thought Partner, Pear Tree Preschool
Michele has a graduate degree in Education, with an emphasis on curriculum development. She is a former teacher with OUSD and Associate Professor at Holy Names University, where she taught student teaching. Michelle has worked in Education Reform for many years in a variety of areas and is dedicated to creating a unique space for children to love, learn, and grow.

Shirley Brice Heath Professor, Emerita, English, Linguistics, and Dramatic Literature, Stanford University
Shirley is a linguistic anthropologist at Stanford University and studies learners across the life span in non-formal environments of learning. She gives primary focus on the ways in which speakers, young and old, learn the structures and uses of language as well as the attitudes, gestures, and interactional ways called for in learning environments of all types. In community arts organizations, she has examined the learning outcomes that result when youth, living in under-resourced communities, participate in planning, creating, producing, and critiquing products and performances. She is the author of Words at Work and Play: Three Decades in Family and Community Life (2012) and the classic, Ways with Words: Language, Life and Work in Communities and Classrooms (Cambridge University Press, 1983/1996).

Michelle Holdt Founding Executive Director, Arts Ed Matters
Michelle is an arts integration specialist and theater educator with a strong commitment to leading an arts-rich life and making the arts available for all children. For 20+ years, she has been a drama teacher, professional development leader, and arts administrator in a wide variety of educational settings. Michelle is also faculty in the Integrated Learning Specialist Program and a parent of three students in SFUSD schools. Michelle is the San Francisco Local Advocacy Network Co-Leader for the California Alliance for Arts Education, and on both the Executive Committee for the Arts Providers Alliance of San Francisco and the SFUSD Arts Education Master Plan Advisory Committee. She has been exploring the world of life coaching for the past 5 years and has made dramatic changes in her personal and professional life through that learning.

Mary Hurley Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Coordinator, OUSD
Mary is OUSD’s Coordinator of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and Leadership where she focuses on SEL integration within core instruction, implementation of SEL curricula, and providing professional learning for teachers, leaders and staff. Mary has served as a preschool teacher and administrator, an elementary and middle school teacher, a district writing specialist, and a leadership coach. She presents workshops regionally and nationally with the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL). Mary is a Carnegie Fellow, on the board of Mills Teacher Scholars and an enthusiastic member of the Bay Area Cajun Zydeco dance community.

Sonny Kim Social and Emotional Learning and Leadership Team, OUSD
As a Program Manager in the OUSD’s Social and Emotional Learning and Leadership office in the Family, Schools and Community Partnerships department, Sonny coordinates both the design and implementation of the OUSD SEL Standards and assists in the implementation, leadership, professional development, and integration of social emotional learning throughout the district. Previously, he was an OUSD upper-grade classroom teacher for 19 years. In addition to teaching full-time, he has actively participated in site-based leadership, focusing on professional development in literacy and mathematics. At the district level, Sonny helped design and develop OUSD’s 5th grade process writing assessment, as well as design and implement district-wide professional development courses on teaching writing for 5th grade Oakland teachers. Sonny is a former OUSD Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment Coach. Sonny is a graduate of Mills College Educational Leadership Program.

Ken Klieman Middle school teacher, Foster City
Over the past twenty years, Ken has worked with students and communities representing every economic, ethnic and learning need from early elementary to the university level. He has demonstrated leadership skills in the following categories: student discipline, founding Solution Teams, which utilizes the restorative justice model to develop emotional intelligence; community outreach, co-founding the first middle school Interact Service Learning Club in the Bay Area as well as identifying and organizing enrichment activities that connect students with their community through school-wide field trips; instruction, serving as lead curriculum designer and teacher for Peninsula Bridge as well as a contributor to the Smarter Balanced Digital Library; teacher mentorship, through his work with student teachers and serving as department head.

Daniela Mantilla Associate Director, Mills Teacher Scholars of Mills College School of Education
Daniela oversees the school-site scholars’ work for Mills Teacher Scholars (MTS). She is an MTS facilitator and coordinates the MTS blog as well as the online Teacher Scholar Workspace. Daniela is a former Mills supervisor and cooperating teacher. She is also a former Title I Coach at Washington Elementary in San Leandro Unified and has worked as a bilingual elementary school teacher in the district for many years. Daniela previously participated in the MTS program. She received a B.A. at Swarthmore in Psychology and an M.A. at Mills College in Education.

Andrew Nance Mindfulness Teacher
Andrew has been teaching mindfulness to children in transitional kindergarten through eighth grade for the past year. In his 30-minute presentation, he will share his own experiences working youth as well as lead a guided lesson for participants to experience what it is like to use mindfulness with their students. Information on how to start learning mindfulness will also be provided. For 18 years, Andrew was the Conservatory Director of San Francisco’s New Conservatory Theater Center and is currently on the board of NCTC, Arts Ed Matters, and The Mindful Life Project.

Nga Nguyen Teacher at Wood Middle School, Alameda
Nga is a veteran teacher of seventeen years. He started his teaching career as a Vietnamese bilingual elementary school teacher in Oakland. On his teaching journey, Nga has developed and taught multiple innovative classes, such as Japanese language and culture and Integrated Science through technology. For three years he assisted in the creation of the K-12 charter school Nea Community Learning Center in Alameda. He is currently teaching math, science and engineering at Wood Middle School. With the help of co-teacher, Mercedes Thorne, they created a maker space called the Tech Shop. The two instructors developed curriculum for a pair of hands-on engineering Technology and Design (TAD) classes, from the ground up in 13 weeks.

M. Paloma Pavel, Ph.D., M.Div. Co-Founder, Breakthrough Communities
Paloma is an educator, eco-psychologist and author of Breakthrough Communities, Sustainability and Justice in the Next American Metropolis and co-editor of the MIT Press Sustainable Metropolitan Communities books series. Her graduate work includes Harvard University and the London School of Economics. She was the first North American faculty to circle the earth on the Peace Boat, providing humanitarian assistance to global hot spots and worked with leaders in Cambodia, Japan, South Africa and Costa Rica. Paloma is currently president of Earth House, a multicultural media and learning center for environmental and social justice, and the co-founder with Carl Anthony, of Breakthrough Communities. She is a commissioner for Environmental Quality for the City of El Cerrito and a graduate of the 2015 cohort of Emerge California. Paloma is launching a community resilience project with the 20th anniversary edition of Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty featuring artist Mayumi Oda and a new foreword by Desmond Tutu.

Gaia Pine Instructional Coach, San Leandro Unified School District
Gaia is currently a TK–12 Instructional Coach in San Leandro in all instructional areas with a focus on science and the arts. There she designs and delivers professional development and supports educators in growing and deepening their practice for the well being of the hearts, minds, and futures of young people and the world we inhabit. Prior to coaching, she taught science and math for 16 years in San Leandro, Oakland, San Francisco and Philadelphia. She has also designed and delivered teacher training for other organizations and guest lectures at the UC Berkeley teacher credentialing program. Gaia holds a BS in Natural Resources and Appropriate Technology, a teaching credential from Mills College, and a M.Ed. in Integrated Teaching Through the Arts from Lesley University.

Eugene Rodriguez Executive Director, Los Cenzontles
Eugene received a Master’s degree in Classical Guitar performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He is an US Artist Oliver Fellow. He formed the youth group Los Cenzontles in 1989 through an Artist Residency from the California Arts Council. He incorporated Los Cenzontles Mexican Arts Center Arts Center in 1994. In 1995 he was nominated for a Grammy for Best Musical Album for Children for his production of Papa’s Dream, a bilingual recording with Los Lobos and Lalo Guerrero. Eugene has played a pioneering role in the revival of Mexican folk music in California and has innovated adaptations of traditional pedagogy to suit contemporary urban contexts.

Lucina Rodriguez Dance Instructor/External Education Programming Coordinator, Los Cenzontles
Lucina began her relationship with the Los Cenzontles Academy as a student. At 15, recently arrived from Mexico, she began taking music and dance classes and soon after started teaching popular banda dancing as well. Lucina is a core artistic faculty member at LC Cultural Arts Academy and singer songwriting musician with the Los Cenzontles Touring Group. As External Program Manager and consultant, she has led groundbreaking short and long-term consultations to Bay Area arts and social service organizations.

Carlee Scheinfeld, M.A. Consultant, OUSD
Carlee is a long time teacher and youth advocate. After working for over a decade as a public school teacher and teacher-leader in the Oakland public schools, she began to compile her experiences and learning about trauma-informed practice into coaching teachers, supporting professional learning communities and working individually with teachers and students to resolve trauma and work towards their dreams. Carlee is a trained Waldorf teacher and with training received at the Trauma Institute, became a certified somatic therapist, working with individuals suffering from PTSD, CTSD, and other symptoms of trauma. She has also devoted herself to building on her training and apprenticeship with National Equity Project coaches, embedding an equity focus in all of her work — in classrooms, with teachers, and with organizations outside the school system.

Meena Srinivasan Social and Emotional Learning and Leadership Team, OUSD
Meena is a SEL Program Manager with OUSD and a middle school teacher and author of Teach, Breathe, Learn: Mindfulness in and out of the classroom.

Mercedes Thorne Teacher, Wood Middle School, Alameda
Mercedes is new to teaching this year. She graduated last year from both high school and college, earning her first degree in Arts and Humanities. In addition to working at Wood Middle School as the MakerSpace Facilitator, she is attending college online, pursuing two additional degrees in Robotics and Physics. Over the last four years, she has worked hard to bring a more-hands on approach to learning in Alameda, starting with captaining a FIRST FRC Robotics team throughout most of high school, as well as teaching LEGO robotics and computer maintenance/repair after school at Wood. Working with Nga Nguyen, the duo has built a space and curriculum for engineering classes at Wood, bringing new, fun, and most importantly, useful skills to the table. Students in the two engineering classes get to experiment with robotics, programming, aerodynamics, 3D design and modeling, as well as 3D printing.

Kenneth Wesson Neuroscience Education Consultant
Kenneth is a keynote speaker and education consultant for preschool through university level institutions and organizations. He speaks throughout the world on the neuroscience of learning and methods for creating classrooms and learning environments that are “brain-compatible.” Formerly an education consultant with Stanford Research Institute he also lectures on the subjects of early brain development, emotional intelligence, diversity in learning, design, and engineering, and curriculum development.

Carrie Wilson Mills Teacher Scholars of Mills College School of Education
Carrie oversees all aspects of development for Mills Teacher Scholars (MTS) and facilitates district-wide initiatives. Her graduate research, which focused on supporting an inquiry stance in post-observation conversations with novice teachers, is the foundation of the MTS small group learning work. She has presented her work on fostering adult conversations that promote learning at several local and national conferences. Carrie is a former Mills supervisor and cooperating teacher. She taught English and English Language Development at San Leandro High for six years and has been a literacy instructor at both the elementary and junior high levels. As a high school teacher, Carrie participated in the MTS program. She has a B.A. from Emory University in English, and an M.A. from Mills College in Education.