Bailey Choi-Vanos, Ed.D.
Assistant Director, Carlsbad Country Day School
Visiting Scholar, University of California, San Diego
Dr. Bailey Choi-Vanos is a school administrator at an early childhood education center in North San Diego County who works with teachers, students, and the school community to develop an enriched, developmentally appropriate early childhood program that aims to build school readiness for all children. As a former preschool teacher and elementary school teacher, Bailey believes that a child’s earliest years of schooling is the most opportune time to influence a child’s learning. She also believes that an integrated Preschool-Third Grade (P-3) approach to learning results in positive student outcomes.
She is particularly interested in early childhood STEM education and its important role in P-3 education. In addition to school administration, she also works as a visiting scholar at the University of California, San Diego where she participates in research projects that examine data use in schools.
Bailey has earned her Doctorate in Teaching and Learning from the University of California, San Diego. Her dissertation research focused on the early science learning beliefs and practices of parents and teachers of low-income Latino preschool age children. Prior to her doctoral work, she received both her Masters of Education degree and Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Education Studies from UC San Diego.
Amanda Datnow, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Education Studies, UC San Diego
Associate Dean, Division of Social Sciences, UC San Diego
Amanda Datnow is a Professor in the Department of Education Studies and Associate Dean of the Division of Social Sciences at the University of California, San Diego. Her research focuses primarily on K-12 educational reform and policy, particularly with regard to issues of equity and the professional lives of educators. She is currently engaged in two major research projects on the use of data to inform teaching and learning. These studies are aimed at uncovering best practices in data use and building educators’ capacity to use data effectively. Datnow has also conducted research on the pathways to postsecondary education for low-income students. Across her studies, she uses qualitative research methods in order to provide a detailed examination of school practices and of educators’ and students’ experiences with educational change. She is author or editor of seven books and over 60 articles and book chapters. Her most recent book is Data Driven Leadership(Jossey Bass, 2014). Datnow is on the editorial boards of several journals and consults for numerous professional organizations and government agencies.
Kristy Drake, Ed.D.
Teacher, San Diego Unified School District
Adjunct Lecturer, University of California, San Diego
Dr. Kristy Drake is a lead teacher in San Diego Unified School District who works with teachers, students, and parents in developing a cohesive and rigorous Spanish immersion program. Kristy believes in equitable access to education through language acquisition programs that celebrate and promote biliteracy. She is also passionate about immigrant and refugee issues in San Diego and wrote her dissertation on educational policy for refugee students. She has experience with diverse immigrant populations in elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to her bilingual teaching credential, Kristy has earned a Math Specialist certification from San Diego State University, a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction in Bilingual Education from University of San Diego and an Ed.D from UCSD’s Department of Education Studies.
Elisabeth Frausto, M. Ed.
Elisabeth graduated UCSD with a California Multiple Subject Credential and a Master of Education. She then taught kindergarten for eight years at a low-income school in San Diego, welcoming student teachers, PAL students, and those exploring careers in education into her classroom. She also co-founded the school’s foundation to bolster community spirit and school fundraising, and served on the School Site Council as a teacher representative to further the mission of the school.
Elisabeth moved to Prague with her family, where she became very involved at an international school serving preschool-Grade 12 students and families from over 70 countries. She joined the school’s parent community board, planning activities for parents to orient them to life in a foreign country, find friends and learn more about their new host country and communities.
Since returning to San Diego, Elisabeth has found the TLC a perfect place to reenergize her passion for educating children. She believes strongly that there is a lot of good in the world, and that by deepening connections with profoundly different people, that which is good will continue to grow by leaps and bounds.
Kate Gallagher, Economic Development Manager, San Diego Regional EDC
Kate Gallagher is a San Diego native with a BA in economics from University of California, Santa Cruz. She currently works in economic development as a program manager for the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC). In this capacity, Kate leads EDC’s talent initiatives that aim to build a stronger pipeline of talent from San Diego’s underserved communities into the jobs of tomorrow. She does this by working with businesses, nonprofits, and higher education to bridge gaps between industry and academia, developing programs to elevate company profiles in the community and increase employer access to qualified talent. Kate also supports EDC’s inclusive growth effort to address San Diego’s persistent economic inequities related to small business success and affordability. Kate is experienced in communications, marketing, market research, community engagement, strategic partnerships, and grant writing. She is committed to projects that protect and strengthen the social, cultural, and economic standing of San Diego and its residents. Outside of work, Kate is an avid yogi, runner, and die-hard supporter of the New Orleans Saints.
Caren Holtzman, M.A.
Lecturer, Director of Partners At Learning (PAL) Program
UCSD Department of Education Studies
Caren Holtzman is an educator who works with undergraduates, pre-service and in-service teachers to support their understanding of equitable education practices, particularly in the areas of math and arts. Caren believes learning is a social, co-constructed endeavor that builds on meaningful, problem-solving experiences. Caren has written several teacher resource books and two children’s books. Prior to coming to UCSD she worked as a classroom teacher for ten years. Caren has won numerous awards and grants including the UCSD Paul Saltman Teaching Excellence Award.
Jamelle Jones, M.Ed.
Teacher, North County San Diego
Jamelle Jones is a passionate educator who fosters children’s natural curiosities about the world around them. She believes that a rich educational experience allows children to become independent and self-guided learners while developing academic skill in STEAM, Literacy, and Social Emotional Intelligence. As an educator and teacher leader, Jamelle values community inspired, project based curriculum and seeks to include families and community members in childhood education. In addition to her Positive Discipline certification, Jamelle has earned a Masters Degree in Teaching and Learning at the University of California, San Diego and a second Masters Degree in Educational Leadership at the High Tech High Graduate School of Education.
Kathrina Mendez, M. Ed.
Teacher, National School District
Kathrina is a 4th grade teacher in National School District. She is devoted to serving marginalized communities and is determined to provide equitable opportunities for all children. Kathrina feels at home in her classroom and is energized by her daily personal interactions with her students. She is passionate about fostering emotional resilience in effort to help students achieve long term health and success. She also believes that technology can level the playing field for students coming from diverse backgrounds, locations, and economic statuses. As a result, she utilizes various digital platforms where students collaborate, curate, and connect with others online to maximize learning beyond the walls of her classroom. Kathrina is also a teacher leader for the California Reading and Literature project. She attends and facilitates professional development institutes focused on research based literacy instruction and supporting English Learners. Kathrina received her Bachelor’s of Arts degree, teaching credential, and Masters in Education from UCSD. She is currently pursuing her National Board Certification.
Mimi Tran, M.Ed.
Teacher, San Diego
Mimi Tran is an educator who works with students, parents, and teachers to create a positive learning environment. She studied at the University of California, San Diego, where she got her M.Ed. in multiple subject education and her Elementary Mathematics Emphasis Certification. She was nominated as Teacher of the Year in 2017-18 for her work with promoting Social Emotional Learning and advocating for an equitable language program at her school. Mimi believes that education should be a meaningful and empowering learning experience for students, in which their languages, cultures, backgrounds, and experiences are valued and celebrated. She believes in working with parents and the community to build strong supports for students.