Susan Fleming

Faculty on Leave of Absence, Education Program
Residency Site: Seattle WA



EdD in Teaching, Curriculum, and Learning Environments, Harvard University
MA in Counseling Psychology, Santa Clara University
MA in Educational Administration, San Jose State College
BA in Mathematics, Bucknell University

Personal Statement

Education, both formal and informal, is at the center of most of our lives. Some of us choose to place it at the center of our work as well, and that is the case in my life. My motivation comes from believing that education creates opportunities to contribute to the larger community.

My journey as a public school educator began as a math teacher in the eastside of San Jose, California and ended as the Superintendent of Schools in the small winter community of Provincetown, Massachusetts. Between these two positions, I served as academic math teacher, school counselor, school improvement director, curriculum coordinator, assistant headmaster, and middle and high school principal.

Of all my professional experiences, the highlights have been my work with colleagues in creating school-within-school options in the following large urban high schools: The Community School in San Jose and the Fenway Program and Multicultural Program in Boston. We built these learning communities on authentic relationships and engaged learning – learning that took place both inside the school walls and in the community. Many of us were called upon to push the boundaries of public school practice as we came to realize that educational acts are never neutral and that one’s active involvement determines whether education is a practice of freedom for all, or not.

It was an honor for me to join the Goddard College Education Program in 2002. The structure of the program and the College aligned with my core values; education is most meaningful when it is responsive to the individual student, creates supportive learning communities, and explores how education is a means for a more just and humane society. In 2003, I became Program Director after serving as Faculty Advisor and Licensure Coordinator. The EDU faculty advisors are a remarkable group of colleagues with strong academic backgrounds and a diverse range of educational experience. Some, like me, ground their knowledge in practice, while others are rooted more in theory. However, we all honor the powerful and dynamic interplay among inquiry, action and reflection. Authentic relationship between faculty and student is at the heart of our experience together.

The EDU program created a second site in Seattle, Washington, furthering our program’s actualization of our vision to support racially, linguistically, and culturally diverse learning communities. At both the Vermont and Seattle sites, we embrace and learn from our differences and connect through our shared humanity. As you read about who we are, I hope that you will consider joining us, adding your unique talents and voice to our learning community.