Professional Experience: Writing
1996-Present: Newspaper and Magazine Writing
- Published in the Sacramento Business Journal, California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Outdoor California, Dandelion, The Sacramento Bee, Cal State San Bernardino Magazine, Phi Delta Kappan, The Los Angeles Times, Boys’ Life, The Press-Enterprise, Outdoor California and Tracks. Wrote text for Cal State San Bernardino Foundation’s 2002-03 annual report.
- Co-winner of 2007 California State Information Officers Council gold award for writing (freelance work for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife).
- Assisted the state Department of Fish and Wildlife in researching and writing a special publication on the salmon crisis in California.
2000-Present: Grant Writing
Education Grant Writer
- Smucker’s Get Out and Grow grant, 2018, Elk Grove Unified School District
- Raley’s Extra Credit grant, funded after-school classes, and materials, 2020, Elk Grove USD
- California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom/Raley’s Taste and Teach grant, 2018, Elk Grove Unified School District
- California Fertilizer Foundation grant, 2014, Elk Grove Unified School District
- River Valley Garden Club grant, 2014 and 2015, Elk Grove Unified School District
- Literacy for Life Grant, California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom and the Oreggia Family Foundation, 2013, Elk Grove Unified School District
- Kerr Middle School, Lowe’s grant for upgrading science classrooms, 2011-12, Elk Grove Unified School District
- Wrote several successful grants to fund the school gardening and nutrition programs at Alessandro (continuation) High School, Hemet Unified School District, including a 4-H grant to purchase and plant shade trees and mental health grant that funded murals.
- Co-wrote a successful grant to create a technical and applied science charter high school (HAAAT) for the Hemet Unified School District.
- Wrote and implemented WorkAbility I grant for Hemet Unified School District to train special education students for the workforce.
- Grant Writing Certificate: California State University, San Bernardino Extension, completed 2001.
2008-present: Fiction Writing
Children’s Fiction Writer
- In the editing process of a historical novel set in one of California’s first reform schools during the early 1900s. Written for teenagers with low reading skills.
- Awarded Zoe Barnum Fellowship to attend Vermont Studio Center for fiction writing. Attended in June 2010 in Johnson, Vermont.
- Member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
1997: Political Writing
- Press secretary for Riverside County Supervisor Jim Venable’s successful campaign for office. Wrote speeches and press releases, coordinated media calls and interviews, and advised candidates on issues.
1984-1996: Daily Newspaper Reporting, California
- Worked for The (Fairfield) Daily Republic, The Antioch Ledger, The Sacramento Union, and The (Riverside) Press-Enterprise covering a variety of beats. Won numerous awards, including the Inland Empire Society of Professional Journalists first-place sweepstakes award, reporting, and writing, in 1996.
Professional Experience: Teaching and Education
June 2017-present: Elk Grove Unified School District – Elk Grove, California
Intervention English Teacher, Student Equity Council Adviser, and FHS Garden Project Advisor, Franklin High School
- Adviser of Franklin High Student Equity Council, 2019-2021. Led student creation of a microaggression education campaign in response to a hate crime on another campus and piloted a program for the district. The campaign was written into the school district’s equity plan.
- Teaching general education English to intervention students, including intensive reading intervention and repeater classes. Students include IEPs, 504s, EL, homeless, and foster care. Lead release days during the semester to identify freshmen needing ELA interventions and, in the spring, identify placement for incoming freshmen. Completed Equity Institute 2017-18 and co-wrote a training plan for Franklin High. Wrote wellness grant to add intramural sports and after-school classes, e.g., cooking, choir, and dance. Assisted in hiring the teachers. Tutored EL students after school 2017-18. Member Franklin High school site council and district Assessment Steering Committee. Co-chair WASC Assessment Focus Group, 2018-19. Past member of Franklin High school-wide PLC Committee. Past member of Franklin High advisory committee.
Aug. 2009-May 2017: Elk Grove Unified School District – Elk Grove, California
Special Education Teacher and FHS Garden Project Adviser, Franklin High School
- Taught remedial English courses to students with disabilities. Wrote individualized educational programs and led meetings, including some of the school’s more complex cases. Piloted secondary ELA and reading intervention curriculum for the district. Completed special education leadership program. Assistive technology liaison for the school. Trainer of trainers on the Special Education Information System (SEIS). Member Franklin High site advisory council. Conducted school-wide evaluation of strategies lab. Mentored new special education teachers. Past adviser for special education club to raise money for field trips. Coordinating FHS Garden Project, a campus-wide collaborative effort across academic and career technical disciplines. Organized training in autism for general education teachers, 2014. Organized training in electronic portfolios for high school special education teachers district-wide, 2014.
July 2008-August 2009: California Department of Education – Sacramento, California
Visiting Educator, Hemet Unified School District
- Worked in Special Education Division, focused monitoring and technical assistance unit. From July 2008 through May 2009 worked as a Visiting Educator. Hired by CDE as Consultant in June 2009. Provided guidance to school districts within El Dorado, Shasta, and Butte counties. Participated in special education verification reviews at Santa Clara and Sacramento county juvenile court schools and several school districts. Co-led review in Butte County. Assisted with state WorkAbility I Program. Reviewed 21st Century After-School Program and NCLB-mandated tutoring program applications statewide for funding. Assisted in court-mandated corrective actions at an East Palo Alto school district.
2007-08: Hemet Unified School District – Hemet, California
- Oversaw state verification review for the school district’s Special Education Department. Cleared majority of the district’s non-compliance issues. Coordinated individualized education program corrections, worked with district department heads and legal counsel to write special education procedures, compiled district procedural handbook, worked with the district technology department to rewrite Student Support Services website, and made presentations at leadership meetings.
2007: River Springs Charter School – Indio, California
Charter School Teacher
- Re-organized high school English department, taught high school exit exam intervention to juniors and seniors, and launched three new student publications (newspaper, yearbook, and literary magazine) at a charter school. Student population is mostly English learners with low academic skills.
1998-2007: Hemet Unified School District – Hemet, California
Alternative Education Teacher
- Taught freshman English, junior literature, special education, career education, basic skills, and intervention classes in the alternative education setting. Ran special education programs for students in continuation and adult school classes. Advised independent study teachers on special education issues as they arose. Attended all IEPs for comprehensive high school students considering alternative education placement, and acted as the district’s alternative education specialist at these IEPs. Oversaw 21st Century-funded online credit recovery program for alternative education students after regular school hours. Collaborated with the California Department of Rehabilitation, California Employment Development Department, and Workforce Investment Act-funded community programs to teach job skills and match students with employers. Created an interagency school garden program, organized the painting of two school murals, and implemented a school nutrition education program at the continuation school. Assisted parents in home-schooling their children with curriculum materials and lesson plans through the district’s home-school program. Assisted continuation school counselor with intake assessments and orientations, using adult school testing materials.
Preschool and Elementary Education
- William Land Elementary School, Sacramento, Southside Park area: Volunteer tutor for sixth-graders through Westminster Presbyterian Church program. Volunteered one hour weekly in math and ELA during the 2009-2010 school year.
- Served as education coordinator for Riverside County Farm Bureau. Assisted Hemet and San Jacinto unified school district classroom teachers in acquiring resources to educate students about nutrition and agriculture. Coordinator of the first Riverside County Ag Day in May 2008 at the California Citrus State Historic Park in Riverside.
- Former member of the San Jacinto Unified School District strategic plan committee and the Record Elementary School site advisory council (San Jacinto USD).
- Former president, Record Elementary School (San Jacinto) charter PTA.
- Former president and board member, bylaws and fundraising committees, VIP Tots Early Intervention Program, Hemet, CA
- Member Elk Grove USD’s Equity Coalition; EGUSD member of the National Equity Project’s Leading for Equity in Redesign Network to create an equitable public school system for African American and Black students; on the LERN sub-committee for hiring/retention/promotion of people of color.
- Named Outstanding Educator for the State of California by the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom, 2013-14. Speaker at California Farm Bureau annual meeting. California representative at national Agriculture in the Classroom Conference, Hershey, Pennsylvania. Presented a workshop to educators at the state CFAITC conference in Santa Cruz, 2014.
- Coordinator of Franklin High School Garden Project (Elk Grove USD): Oversee school garden and greenhouse; lead steering committee comprised of teachers, administrators, custodial, students, and community members; write grants to support program. Partnerships include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, University of California Master Gardeners, and the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom. The California Department of Food and Agriculture and Sacramento State University videotaped and interviewed students in 2014 for inclusion in a video on agricultural literacy.
- Worked with Educational Testing Service and California Department of Education to assist in establishing scoring benchmarks for the 11th grade English-Language Arts-California Modified Assessment examinations, 2011.
- Member of Franklin and Elk Grove high school site councils, Elk Grove Unified School District.
- Participated in pilot Financial Literacy program for teachers at CalSTRS during Thanksgiving break, 2010. The project from the program is a transition guide for parents and students with disabilities; worked with Independent Living Skills program and math resource teacher at Franklin High School to complete the guide.
- Riverside County Free Library Advisory Committee: Past member representing six county libraries. Brought Hemet and San Jacinto school districts together with the county to form the first two joint school-community libraries in the county, now located at Hamilton and San Jacinto high schools. Was appointed by county supervisor.
- City of Elk Grove Disability Advisory Committee: Member, 2019-present – Review and advise the city on planning and issues affecting people with disabilities.
- Riverside County Free Library Advisory Committee: Past member representing six county libraries. Brought Hemet and San Jacinto school districts together with the county to form the first two joint school-community libraries in the county, now located at Hamilton and San Jacinto high schools. Was appointed by county supervisor
- Autism Spectrum Disorders Authorization, University of California, Davis Extension, 2014.
- Certificate of Eligibility for the Preliminary Administrative Credential, California State University, Sacramento, 2011.
- Education Specialist Instruction Credential (Special Education, Mild-Moderate, Second Level): California State University, San Bernardino, 2002.
- Clear Basic Teaching Credential, Secondary English: UC Riverside Extension, 1999.
- Preliminary Basic Teaching Credential, Secondary English with photography authorization: University of Redlands, 1997.
- Cross-cultural, Language, and Academic Development (CLAD) certification to teach English learners University of San Diego, 2005.
2010-2011: Sacramento State University Sacramento, California
Administrative Credential Program
- 4.0 GPA
- Completed in December 2011. Chosen as a participant in the Elk Grove Unified School District Cohort program.
1999-2002: California State University San Bernardino, California
Master’s Degree, Special Education
- 3.8 GPA
- Master’s thesis was “Reducing California’s Special Education Costs by Improving Access to Early Childhood Intervention: A Policy Review,” dealing with the effect of HMOs and managed care in California on early childhood intervention for ages 0-3. Presented thesis at the CSUSB College of Education Research Symposium, May 2002.
1990: Sacramento City College Sacramento, California
Associate’s Degree, Photography
1984: University of Montana Missoula, Montana
Bachelor’s Degree, Journalism with a minor in French