Tulare County Office of Education
California Hub | USA
I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My best memories growing up took place in my Lebanese grandmother’s multigenerational home. My family on my mother’s side, like so many in Pittsburgh, immigrated from Poland to work in the steel mills.
As the first person in my family to graduate from college, I was introduced to systems thinking in the 1980s at Carnegie Mellon University. Later, in my professional life, I found myself leaning into my early learning in systems awareness and organizational behavior. Professional books like The Fifth Discipline lined my shelves.
My first job after college was working as a research analyst with the Massachusetts Department of Education supporting early efforts at statewide accountability testing. Later, I moved to Washington, DC to work with a lobbyist and as the research and education director of an international labor union. While designing educational programs for adults and new immigrants, I found my passion as an educator. Eventually, I obtained a special education teaching credential and was asked to serve as an administrator. After serving as a principal and special education director, I came into my current position as an administrator with the Tulare County Office of Education (TCOE). Much of my work consists of helping district leadership implement state legislation and initiatives from the California Department of Education. I also serve as the lead for community schools and provide oversight and support for TCOE internal schools.
There is a growing group learning and integrating Compassionate Systems in TCOE. In my role as the community schools lead, I find that the work can only be done by building the human capacity for systems thinking. As the supervisor for the internal TCOE schools, I directly support leadership to incorporate elements of Compassionate Systems. It is our hope that as the internal TCOE schools more fully embrace Compassionate Systems, they will become models for learning in the rest of our county and state.
Personally, I have been married for over 28 years to the love of my life and have four wonderful children, each following their own unique path and finding their own ways to serve. I enjoy reading, music, martial arts, walking my dog, y estudiar espanol.
I am excited and humbled to be part of this cohort and looking forward to learning together.