Instructional Coach for Proficiency-Based Learning
I live in Fletcher, Vermont, with my spouse Ignacio López and our orange cat Punkin. I’m happy to brag to you about my nieces any time, just ask. Or don’t ask and just wait for me to show you pictures.
Education and Professional Experiences
I attended public schools in West Springfield, MA, went on to study English at Amherst College, and earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from St. Michael’s College. I started teaching in 1999 and came to Winooski in 2009. Here I’ve taught English, held a year-long fellowship to study student-centered learning, and co-founded the iLab. In 2016, I became an instructional coach for proficiency-based learning.
What has been your greatest learning experience? (in or out of school)
As a college freshman, I was hired to work at a canoeing camp here in Vermont. The only problem was that I had never paddled a canoe before. During new staff week, I was last in the class when it came to paddling a straight line. But I loved the feeling of being out on a lake, liberated, low near the water. So, during my free time and any time a camper asked, I’d head for the boats. Eventually, I became a very solid paddler, able to steer a canoe without switching sides with the paddle, which it turns out most people don’t know how to do. Though I started out very slowly, my desire to learn gave me a life-long love that still feels exhilarating every time I get out on the water.
Who do you admire and why?
I admire Bayard Rustin, whose work in the US Civil Right movement demonstrated that making change is complex and requires careful organization and systems of support to succeed. Rustin faced terrible discrimination for being both black and gay; nonetheless, he was a leader who helped discover Martin Luther King and promote him to national prominence. Rustin was the organizational genius who orchestrated the 1963 March on Washington, where King most famously spoke the words, “I have a dream.” Bayard Rustin’s life work shows that real change becomes possible when vision unites with deliberate strategy, deep organization, and undaunted effort.
What do you love about your current WSD position and the WSD community?
At Winooski, you are welcome just as you are, and we are small enough to know who each person really is. I love that I get to help teachers and students design learning experiences that honor our particular community’s needs and hopes. And despite now having a desk job, I love that I have the world’s most hilarious advisory and still have the privilege of getting to know and appreciate the students all around me.