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CITY Center for Collaborative Learning Launches PD Center

From CITY Center’s  Executive Director – Carrie Brennan:

“CITY Center for Collaborative Learning is launching a professional development center, headed up by Santo Nicotera, the co-founder of the Paulo Freire Freedom Schools. Nicotera brings decades of experience as a teacher, principal, and facilitator to the position. The center offers educators hands-on learning experiences that allow for real-time observation of practices, such as project-based learning, arts integration, and student-led conferences. Nicotera also leads intensive trainings in implementing professional learning communities (PLCs) in schools.” read complete 6/28/16 announcement

Santo Nicotera

Santo Nicotera

As I take on my new role as director of the professional development work at CITY Center for Collaborative Learning, I want to thank the Paulo Freire community for your love and for your support these past eleven years.  It has been my great joy to give birth to and manage the Paulo Freire middle schools with JoAnn Groh.  I will really miss working closely with PFFS-University, but know this – you are in good hands with Chad Blair.


Chad Blair leading Morning Meeting on the first day of school 2015-2016.

Although my stepping down as PFFS-U principal may have seemed abrupt and possibly connected to my heart attack in April – we had actually been planning for this since last summer when we brought on Chad Blair as ‘principal in training’ in 2015-2016.  Throughout the year and especially during the last two months of school when he was the acting principal, Chad showed himself to be the absolutely perfect person to lead the Paulo Freire learning community going forward .

CITY Center’s Professional Development Center

The three small schools, operated by CITY Center for Collaborative Learning as ‘demonstration learning environments’ (City High School, Paulo Freire Freedom School – University and Paulo Freire Freedom School – Downtown), were founded by public school, ‘teacher leaders’ stepping up and creating together powerful, innovative learning communities.

With teacher leadership as our foundation:

CITY Center is positioned to radically change how teacher professional development is experienced in Tucson, in the southwest, and throughout the United States.

Collaborative/reflective practice, teachers equipped & empowered, SRI critical friendship* – these are the components of our professional development work.

*SRI Critical Friendship has been at the core of our work for two decades and remains the underlying theory practice at CITY Center for Collaborative Learning.

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