Faculty, Goddard Education Program, Goddard Graduate Institute
Residency Site: Plainfield VT
As a passionate educator and political scientist, I taught in pre-school through university settings over the last thirty-five years. I served as a school administrator, non-profit founder and director, and social entrepreneur. I work to promote radicalism, activism, and authentic change facilitated in collaboration with individuals and communities seeking self-determination. I have two beautiful and intelligent children, four exceptionally lovely grandchildren, and one absolutely adorable dog.
PhD in Political Science and Education, Union Institute and University
MFA in Creative Writing, Goddard College
MA in Political Science, University of Colorado-Denver;
MA in Education with a Cognate in International Relations, Center for Teaching International Relations, University of Denver
BA in Counseling in Special Education and Social Services, University Without Walls Program, Regis University (formely Loretto Heights College)
Areas of Expertise
School Administration, Non-Profit/Organizational Development and Leadership, Social Entrepreneurialism, Participatory Action Research inclusive of Phenomenology and Portraiture, Creative Writing and Reflection in Teaching and Learning, Multiculturalism, Critical Issues in Urban Education, Experiential/Place-Based/Travel Learning, Counseling in Special Education and Social Services, Fine Arts Writing with a focus on Poetry.
Teaching is a radical act; as is the act of learning. Our systems of public schooling require authentic transformation not only for the purpose of increased student achievement, but to reconnect learners to what it means to be fully human. As with all radical transformations, history shows us that an activist stance is necessary.
Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk and spiritually-based political activist states that “In the end, it is the reality of personal relationships that saves everything . . .”
Community schools must integrate a radical curriculum that promotes the skills necessary to have meaningful and powerful personal relationships. It is the relationship to others that enables individuals to “save everything”. Reflective, skilled, and passionate teachers and leaders must implement a curriculum that does not focus solely on content; but rather, facilitate one that connects the learner with community and strengthens the process of relationship-building in a diverse society. This curriculum must offer rigor and challenge as it focuses on creative problem solving, compassionate and loving interactions, storytelling, and conflict resolution. Collaboration is critical among educators, parents, children, and all community members who all must begin to utilize teaching and learning as a conversations to change the world. This brand of education is an engaged democracy.
We are at a time in human history of great crisis. Our children must understand radical and activist thought as a means to support relationship to others and to themselves. They must do this in the way that constructs the kind of personal and meaningful relationships that courageously invites them to learn what they must in order to “save everything”.
My research agenda is grounded in critical theory and is represented through community-based work that will mobilize educators, school leaders, and stakeholders to create needed change in classrooms and schools. By modeling and supporting educator participatory action research projects, inclusive of phenomenology, portraiture, and cultural auto-ethnography, my intention is to contribute to the reform of educational climates and systems in order to increase equity and justice for youth, families, and communities. My most recent work is in teacher resistance and activism for the purpose of transformation of self and society.