Professional Learning Plan 2022-2023
The College and Career Collaborative aims to increase post-secondary access and attainment for students in Santa Cruz County. Through partnerships with K-12 districts, Cabrillo College, UCSC, and CSUMB, the Collaborative provides early college experiences for students, professional development for educators and counselors, and monitors K-16 data to help districts track their progress. Additionally, Dr. Chopra champions other initiatives in the county that affect equity such as grading practices and Ethnic Studies courses. She strives to assist districts to think of their students’ futures beyond high school graduation and bridge the divide between K-12 and postsecondary institutions.
Suzanne began her career in education in 1988, as an elementary school teacher. She taught in the classroom for 30 years, and has been a curriculum leader in Social Emotional Learning (SEL), mindfulness, and Readers and Writers Workshop. For the past few years she focused on supporting district-wide implementation and integration of SEL practices.
In his role as Math Coordinator for the County Office of Education, Kevin strives to support educators across the community to develop high quality, student-centered teaching and learning opportunities, where all students can acquire a healthy mindset and excel at grade-level math content and practices. He works with educators to create socially and emotionally safer spaces for students to engage with math content and with each other. He helps to network local universities and organizations with educators, and works with district leads to implement math-focused state-level policies in ways that support their communities.
For the past ten years, Melissa has been part of the Santa Cruz/Silicon Valley New Teacher Project (SC/SVNTP) working with new teachers, mentors, and instructional coaches. In the spring of 2020, after reviewing program data, reflecting on our core value of equity, and given the socio-political context, the SC/SVNTP set forward a goal to "achieve educational equity by developing antiracist educators who focus on student outcomes." A year into this laser focus, Melissa is now in a split role as the Senior Director for SC/SVNPT and Equity for the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. As the Senior Director of Equity, Melissa supports the Santa Cruz COE's internal equity work and partners with districts to explore and expand their development as educational leaders for equity.
Her 25+ year career in education has focused on equitable access to environmental education, inquiry-based science programs and integration of school and community-based education programs. Amity has served as regional coordinator for the California Department of Education’s California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC) Network; director of BioSITE (Students Investigating Their Environment), a nationally recognized watershed monitoring and cross-age teaching program serving youth underrepresented in STEM fields; and program coordinator for the Pitzer College Experience in Nepal Program. Amity currently serves on the California Environmental Education Initiative’s Leadership Council and on the board of the California Environmental Education Foundation.
In her role as Multilingual Coordinator, Sofia supports districts and schools to strengthen programs and services for students to develop proficiency in multiple languages. She serves as the county’s representative at the statewide Bilingual Coordinators Network and is responsible for disseminating information on state policy for English learners. She facilitates the Instructional Coach Network and Communities of Practice to support EL RISE for Elementary ELD, Dual Language Programs, and Secondary ELD. She also started and coordinates the county’s Language Ambassadors student recognition program to promote and celebrate multilingualism as an asset for all students. She is passionate about students developing their abilities to advocate for themselves and their communities. She appreciates opportunities to partner with schools and districts to develop ongoing professional learning opportunities for teachers in pursuit of this goal. She provides training in Designated ELD, dual language programs, Spanish language arts and collaborates with her content area colleagues to provide Integrated ELD training.
Her life as an educator changed when she attended her first CUE Conference in the Spring of 2014. She has always been passionate about utilizing EdTech and innovative teaching practices to support her students, but it was at this conference that she realized there was a bigger world of like minded educators. She implemented Genius Hour in her third grade classroom at Bonny Doon Elementary School right away and never looked back. At the Santa Cruz County Office of Education she is realizing her dream of building networks within her community to foster that same excitement for what school could be. Stephanie works with both the Educational Services and Tech+ Teams to help bridge curriculum and technology as an EdTech and Innovation Coach. She aims to support, empower and inspire teachers and administrators.
Heather's passion for equitable science instruction and learning, and goal to engage traditionally underrepresented groups in STEM fields is focused on the full implementation of NGSS. In her role as the science coordinator, she supports science instruction that is aligned with the NGSS by supporting districts and teachers with the equitable implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards. As the NGSS person, she is also the director of the Santa Cruz County Science and Engineering Fair which serves all students in the county in investigating phenomena and solving problems that are of interest to them.
Executive Assistant, Ed Services
Administrative Assistant, S5C
Gina started working in the educational field at the Career Center while attending Watsonville High School. This experience led her to a position with Granite Construction Company which gave her extensive knowledge of working in the capacity of an Administrative Assistant. In 2001, She started working at the County Office of Education in the Human Resources Department. Gina has assisted in many roles in the COE including work with multiple departments such as Alternative Education, CDRC, Spelling Bee/Mock Trial, and the New Teacher Project. Having worked in various capacities within the county office of education has given her a greater understanding of how the SCCOE supports all 10 of our districts. In 2017 Gina began working as an Administrative Assistant in the Educational Services Division with the Santa Cruz County College and Career Collaborative (S5C). In this role, she provides multiple supports for the S5C collaborative in both fiscal and event management. Through this work Gina aids in promoting college and career readiness by assisting in publications and promotion of college and career-related materials and data, and in celebrating our local high school graduates.
Administrative Assistant, Ed Services