Welcome the 2021-22 Cohort of Linked Learning Fellows!
We are excited to announce the 2021-22 cohort of Linked Learning fellows! This group of accomplished education practitioners from across California will support communities across California and nationwide address educational and economic equity through Linked Learning.
The Linked Learning Fellows program builds on the Linked Learning field’s longstanding leadership in driving equity in local communities. The program engages highly experienced education practitioners who have brought learning to life by successfully transforming programs, systems, and policies to ignite students’ college and career ambitions. By joining the Linked Learning Fellows program, incredible practitioners will grow their networks and impact through collaboration. Fellows will also be provided a national platform to share knowledge and expertise with other education and community leaders from across the country.
We are excited to welcome the following new Fellows to the 2021-22 cohort:
- Ben Gertner, Principal, Roosevelt High School, Los Angeles USD
Since 2015, Ben Gertner has served as the Principal of Roosevelt High School in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. He is in his third year pursuing a doctorate in the Educational Leadership Program at UCLA.
- Terrance Holliday, Work-Based Learning Liaison, Oakland Technical High School, Oakland USD
As a strong, dedicated leader, speaker, mentor and community activist, Terrance possess the tools, experience, knowledge and personality necessary to build solid bonds and cooperative work relationships while maintaining professional boundaries. He approachs his work with a flexible and open mind that is always eager to learn new things and push my potential to the next level. Terrance am highly organized, a skilled negotiator and an honest team player at all times.
- Tiffany Holliday, Pathway Coach, Oakland High School, Oakland USD
Tiffany is a believer, leader, and practitioner of Linked Learning. The approach has never not been a part of her career in education. She began as a pathway teacher and lead for the Health Academy at Pinole Valley High School, and is now in her seventh year as a Pathway Coach at Oakland High School. There, she led the school’s transition from three independently run California Partnership Academies, to a wall-to-wall pathway school with six Linked Learning Certified pathways. Tiffany gets her energy and motivation from working with the most dedicated, passionate, and equity-driven teachers who are continually creating amazing experiences and opportunities for Oakland youth. Together they have worked to create the most equitably structured high school in Oakland while also steadily raising graduation rates by fifteen percent over the last five years. At home Tiffany has a toddler and an infant and loves seeing the world come to life through their eyes.
- Sue Hubbard, Program Specialist, Elk Grove USD
Sue Hubbard’s experience includes business marketing, entrepreneurship as well as secondary education. As a teacher in secondary education, Ms. Hubbard was an academy coordinator and Business teacher. She believes in developing the whole child, from rigorous academics to career exploration through community connected learning. Ms. Hubbard is currently working as a Program Specialist in the College and Career Connections department for Elk Grove Unified School District and has been working over the last seven years on supporting and developing high quality pathways through the implementation of Linked Learning.
- Mikle McBride, Assistant Director of Workforce Readiness, Long Beach Unified School District
Mikle McBride, Assistant Director of Workforce Readiness for Long Beach Unified School District, provides support to the district's high school pathways in the areas of work-based learning, grant management, and Project Lead The Way curriculum implementation. During his education career Mikle has served as a classroom teacher, pathway coordinator, and district administrator. Outside of his district duties, Mikle has served as an operational board member for the Los Angeles Regional Coalition for Linked Learning and the aLL-in regional collaborative as well as an adjunct professor in the Loyola Marymount University School of Education. A graduate of UCLA's Teacher Education Program and Principal Leadership Institute, Mikle is committed to improving outcomes for urban youth in the public education system.
We are also excited to welcome back the following Linked Learning Fellows from the 2020-21 cohort:
- Matin Abdel-Qawi, High School Network Superintendent, Oakland USD
Matin has been an equity centered educational leader in Oakland USD for over 20 years. As the OUSD High School Network Superintendent, Matin is responsible for supervising the schools supported by the high school network and the Linked Learning office. Matin started his career in education as a teacher at Claremont Middle School. It was there that he realized the need to bring Oakland’s legacy of social activism to the classroom. He advocated for all scholars, not just the scholars from the neighborhood, to have access to Algebra in the 8th grade. Matin is the founding principal of East Oakland School of the Arts (EOSA). On the Castlemont campus, Matin created a small autonomous school founded on the belief that all students will perform at high levels when given the love and support needed. After leading EOSA for seven years, Matin took his experience of advocating for African American male students and became the director of African American Male Achievement’s Manhood Development Program (MDP). In that role he designed and started several MDP programs at schools around the district. In 2013, Matin became the principal of Oakland High School where he created systems and programs that are rooted in equity, diversity, and access for all students.
- Cynthia “Cindy” Brown, Director of Student Pathways, Porterville USD
Across Cindy’s 35-year career in education, she has consistently advocated for student success in college and career preparation with her work extending into the public and private sectors, spanning from K-12 into postsecondary levels. She has been at the forefront of leading Porterville USD in their district-wide implementation of the Linked Learning Pathways Program. Securing over $62 million in public and private funding, she has reinvigorated education using the Linked Learning approach. She has led and developed a notable district-wide system of implementing college preparatory and career themed pathway academies that have received statewide, national, and international recognition. Cindy has also been instrumental in building multiple partnerships with workforce and professional industry experts to connect educational lessons with the real world. She is a member of numerous committees and has provided various consultancies to district educators across the nation. Her mentoring focus is on developing equitable school district systems and implementing innovative strategies to create meaningful work-based learning experiences that empower our future leaders.
- Kerin Coffey, Teacher and Academy Coordinator, Biomedical Sciences Academy, Eastside High School, Antelope Valley UHSD
Kerin Coffey is a veteran educator with over 20 years of classroom teaching experience. Kerin spent the early years of her career teaching seventh grade life science. When Project Lead the Way launched Principles of Biomedical Science, Kerin found herself reinvigorated with the opportunity to share her love of science through the lens of health-related careers with high school aged students. In fall of 2015, Kerin joined the Biomedical Sciences team at Eastside High School in Lancaster, California. In partnership with her dedicated colleagues, this learning pathway quickly grew into a flourishing Academy grounded in the Linked Learning approach. In 2019, Eastside High School’s Biomedical Sciences Academy was recognized as one of the first twelve Gold Certified Linked Learning pathways in the nation.
- Laura Gallardo, Principal/Coordinator of College and Career, Hemet USD
Before joining Hemet USD as a district leader for college and career readiness, Laura had 16 years of classroom experience including teaching CTE in the field of Agriculture and Energy Utilities, as well as biology in San Bernardino City USD. As a classroom teacher who successfully combined rigorous academics with CTE learning, Laura helped Linked Learning pathways across the district earn Linked Learning Gold Certification. As a part time professor at California State University, San Bernardino Laura works to help future CTE teachers earn their credential and start their journey into education from industry. Laura is a strong believer in the power of integrated learning and advocates for equitable access to high quality educational experiences for all students.
- Joy Soares, Director, College and Career, Tulare County Office of Education and Director, Tulare Kings College and Career Collaborative
Joy has been a member of the Tulare County Office of Education team since 2012. In her role as the Director of College and Career, she provides mentorship and support to leaders and districts in Tulare County and across the state with several collaborative networks. As the Director of the Tulare Kings College and Career Collaborative, she serves the two-county regional network to advance college and career readiness for all students working within the intricate and intentional workgroup and network system that vertically and horizontally aligns the K-12, postsecondary, and industry segments. Her approach to education is unique, stemming from 15 years in industry and a desire to ready students for college and their career beyond. Her 12-year teaching career was in high-poverty schools with high English Learner populations. She was in school site administration before joining the county office as the Project-Based Learning Staff Developer.
- David Trachtenberg, Teacher, STEM Academy of Hollywood, Los Angeles USD
David teaches biology at the STEM Academy of Hollywood where he also serves as chair of the Community Outreach Committee and Science Department. He has been instrumental in developing and sustaining strong industry partnerships to provide opportunities for meaningful work-based learning. He also led the charge to ensure student internships continued on a virtual basis as the pandemic persists. He passionately believes that syncing education with the skills required for success in college and career is vital in enabling our students to address the world’s problems and live meaningful, fulfilling lives. David is happily married and the proud father of a bright-eyed toddler whose favorite animal sound to make is an elephant.