It is my pleasure to introduce the new administrative team for the three CITY Center for Collaborative Learning schools. Our new leaders are an extraordinary group of educators who are committed to the mission and vision of our schools and our organization and will also use their experience and wisdom to push our thinking and enrich our programs.
Our leadership team will be prioritizing student and staff safety this year as we figure out the best ways to create authentic and engaging learning during an ongoing pandemic. We will also be furthering and improving all of our diversity, equity, and inclusion policies and procedures; our competency-based learning; our social-emotional supports; and our project-based learning. Our schools will also be continuing to develop culturally-sustaining pedagogies to address racial inequalities and systemic racism, and to create more authentic and engaging learning for all of our students
Lin Lucas is starting as Co-Principal of Paulo Freire Freedom School – University. Lin graduated with a degree in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education from Western Washington University. Lin has taught Humanities at PFFSU since 2018 and quickly established himself as a teacher-leader at that school. Lin completed the Race and Equity Facilitation Training from the Seattle Race and Social Justice Initiative. Lin is a long-time educator who has put his scholarship, skills, and commitment to equity to work in a variety of educational and arts organizations. In addition to being a passionate educator, Lin is a visual artist, dancer, and choreographer.
Carman Ryken is also starting as the Co-Principal of Paulo Freire Freedom School -University. Carman earned a degree in French and Math from Mills College. Carman began teaching math at PFFSU in 2012 and has been a leader in project-based learning and competency-based learning during her tenure. Carman is a skilled facilitator who has served as a Critical Friends Group coach and leader of the math department. Carman has presented on social justice in math and project-based learning in math at academic conferences. She is passionate about math and is committed to the success of all learners.
JoAnn Groh is returning to the role of Principal of Paulo Freire Freedom School – Downtown after a year of leading the professional learning outreach center. JoAnn is a founder of Paulo Freire Freedom Schools and has been a leader of our organization since its inception. JoAnn is an expert in project-based learning who conducts trainings across the country as a facilitator for PBLWorks. She is a nationally recognized educational thinker and innovator who has served as a facilitator for SRI’s Critical Friendship model for professional learning communities.
Daniel J. Morales II is the new principal of City High School. Daniel received his M. Ed from the U of A and is currently completing his U of A Ph D. He has previously served as Principal of Chicanos Por La Causa – Envision High School, Vice Principal at Desert Sky Community School Elementary, and as Data Instruction Coach and Lead English Language Arts Teacher at Chicanos Por La Causa- Toltecalli High School. Daniel, his wife Diana, and their two children are moving back to Tucson after a year in New York City.
Marisol Badilla is the new Dean of Students at City High School. Marisol received a Masters of Science in Mexican American Studies from the U of A in 2009 and will begin working toward her Ph D in Education there this fall. She has been a social studies, reading, and Spanish teacher at City High where she also developed and directed the Restorative Practices program. Marisol has integrated her social justice and antiracist pedagogies in all of her teaching and community building. Marisol has been a coach of the Critical Friends Group, the co-chair of the family association, and a school board member. Marisol is an award-winning scholar, a highly-qualified teacher, curriculum developer, and animal lover.
Misa Gonzales is starting the Principal Apprenticeship pilot program at PFFSD. Misa received a degree in Secondary Education Extended English from the U of A. Misa has been teaching English and Language Arts at Paulo Freire Freedom School – Downtown since 2017. She is the 2013 winner of the ConnectED Champion of Change award. Misa has served on the Teaching and Learning Committee, as a Critical Friends Group coach, and as a CBL and Empower specialist. Misa embodies what it means to be a teacher leader in our organization, and she is excited to take on this new level of leadership.
Patrick Kelly is also starting the Principal Apprenticeship pilot program at PFFSD. Patrick has been teaching English and Language Arts at PFFSD since 2016. Patrick is an expert in project-based learning and has designed and implemented multiple gold-standard interdisciplinary projects. Patrick has been head basketball coach for City High, and he has also been a Critical Friends Group coach, drama teacher, and member of the competency-based learning development team. Patrick has forged powerful relationships in the community which have increased student engagement and success, earning him the 2020 Ray Davies Educator of the Year award at the Jewish History Museum and Holocaust Memorial Center.