Jeanne Fauci, Executive Director is a co-founder of the Los Angeles Small Schools Center, overseeing all operations and programs. She supports the development of Pilot Schools within the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), coaches educators on all aspects of designing and implementing small district and charter schools and works to establish the conditions within school districts for sustainable, equitable, learner-centered small schools. Additionally, Ms. Fauci leads the LASSC Linked Learning Center focused on implementing the Linked Learning Initiative at LAUSD and southern California high schools. Formerly, Ms. Fauci was the Director of Wildwood School Outreach Center where she designed, coordinated and presented professional development workshops on essential elements of high functioning 21st century schools. Ms. Fauci has presented numerous professional development workshops on school culture, advisory programs, project-based learning, and effective communication strategies. She directed, produced, and is the lead author of The Advisory Toolkit, a book and DVD on how to establish a successful secondary school advisory program. A graduate of Pratt Institute, Ms. Fauci received the 2008 Coalition of Essential Schools Transformational Leadership Award for her commitment to improve educational outcomes for underserved students in LAUSD Local District 4.
Talma Shultz, Linked Learning Director supervises the LASSC Linked Learning Center. She develops curriculum, supports district-wide Linked Learning implementation and coaches career-themed high schools to prepare students for college and career. Ms. Shultz was a school coach and curriculum developer at Facing History and Ourselves, worked for Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations as Senior Human Relations Consultant developing and implementing cultural diversity programs to address inter-group relations in Los Angeles County schools and was Instruction and Curriculum Coordinator for the Orange County Human Relations Council, where she developed and implemented leadership programs aimed at addressing issues of prejudice, violence prevention, understanding, and appreciation of cultural differences. As a middle school teacher, Ms. Shultz led student advisory and taught science with an emphasis on environmental social justice. She began her career in education as a research scientist conducting research, publishing scientific papers and presenting workshops on the biology of the brain. Ms. Shultz has a Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel and a B.A. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Biochemistry from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico.
Kelly Gallagher Nick, Director of Teaching Effectiveness works with the UCLA IMPACT program, Los Angeles Unified School District and community partners to support the development and efficacy of new teachers and mentor teachers in the schools that the Los Angeles Small Schools Center supports. Ms. Nick graduated from UC Santa Barbara with degrees in Sociology and Cultural Anthropology and received her Multiple Subject Credential and M.Ed from UCLA Graduate School of Education. She spent 17 years teaching in a full inclusion independent school where she was instrumental in planning curriculum, conducting parenting classes, supervising student teachers, peer mentoring, and providing professional development workshops for the faculty. Since leaving the classroom, Ms. Nick has created curriculum for The Eisner Foundation and the Timeline of American Race Relations. She has been a consulting LAUSD and LACOE BTSA Support provider mentoring new teachers and has also been a lead support provider, coaching others on mentoring techniques. Ms. Nick supports new and mentor teachers using a variety of techniques from the New Teacher Center, Laura Lipton, and Cognitive Coaching.
Nora Diaz Gutierrez, Linked Learning Coach supports LAUSD Local District 4 Linked Learning Pathway programs including Los Angeles High School of the Arts, Multimedia Academy at Belmont High School, Los Angeles School of Global Studies and School of Business and Tourism SLC at Miguel Contreras Learning Complex. M. Gutierrez is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and has an M.A. in Special Education and Human Development from George Washington University. She began her career managing a Latino community education program in North Philadelphia, has been a founding staff member at See Forever Foundation/Maya Angelou Public Charter School and Equitas Academy, an LA charter elementary school, and worked for four years at Public/Private Ventures as a Senior Program Officer providing technical assistance for California projects. Ms. Gutierrez is the author of a toolkit on implementing strengths-based staff development for after school program managers and developed training and program curricula for adolescents around the topics of self-identity, family relationships and community.
Leora Wolf-Prusan, Linked Learning Coach is a native San Franciscan, and a graduate of UC Davis with a B.A. in Spanish and International Relations and a minor in Social and Ethnic Relations. She spent much of her undergraduate years working in student affairs with the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)Information Office, working as a Peer Advising Counselor and then as the Coordinator. Dedicated to higher education access, Ms. Wolf-Prusan continued her work with urban education while at Mills College earning a 6-12 social studies teaching credential in the Teacher's for Tomorrow's Schools program. After teaching in small essential schools and public and private schools, she moved to Jerusalem for a graduate research fellowship in Non Profit Management, Community Leadership, and Education at Hebrew University. She then spent the following three years in the Bay Area in low-income communities in effort to increase college going culture, utilizing the platform of high schools as the leverage for community development and change with College Summit Northern California. Currently Ms. Wolf-Prusan is pursuing her doctorate in educational leadership at UCLA, focusing on postsecondary access and success as well as educator mental health and healing services. She thanks John Dewey for the quote that captures her pedagogical framework: "Education, therefore, is a process of living and not a preparation for future living."
Christine Yap, Linked Learning Coach supports LAUSD Linked Learning Pathway programs. Ms. Yap graduated from UC Berkeley, has a PreK–12th Multiple Subject Credentialand a M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary in Family, Teens and Children Counseling. She began her teaching career at the Lawrence Hall of Science, Chemistry and GEMS, UC Berkeley. Ms. Yap was the Director of Youth Institute, New Vision Partners, CORAL Innovation Center K-12 in Pasadena where she created year-round out of school programs for at-risk middle and high school students and trained staff to be academic coaches. Her passion for fair trade led her to create and implement a Global Issues curriculum in which high school students traveled internationally to Mexico, Guatemala, Haiti, India and Kenya. She is a founding board member of the first all fair trade nonprofit store in California, a unique business model, located in Pasadena. She designed and established the annual Summer Film Institute for students that culminated in a Film Festival for the community. As a former LAUSD teacher she taught in the classroom for over 10 years, served as a Coordinator for Gifted students and T.U.P.E, coached volleyball, fundraised and organized college tour trips for low-income students, mentored teachers, and developed integrated project-based learning curricula district-wide. She also taught science methodology classes at UCLA.
Nancy E. Rodriguez, LASSC Office Manager provides administrative support for all Center operations including human resources, bookkeeping, and event coordination. Previously, Ms. Rodriguez was employed by the Children’s Bureau, a non-profit agency that serves the West Adams community where she served as the administrative assistant working directly under the Family, Friends and Neighbors Program funded through First 5 LA. In 2003, she worked for About Face: Domestic Violence Intervention Program in Koreatown. She served as the Program Secretary, working with domestic violence victims & batterers as well as sexual offenders and their victims. She worked closely with the Los Angeles Probation Departments and Los Angeles Courts as well as the Department of Children and Family Services. Ms. Rodriguez is a high school graduate from Belmont High School, Class of 2003. She has taken child development coursework at Los Angeles Trade Technical College and is currently enrolled at Mount St. Marys pursuing a bachelors degree in business administration.
Ingrid Hernandez, LASSC Administrative Assistant provides office support, event logistics and staff assistance. She has six years experience in related fields; prior to joining LASSC she worked for a surgical center assisting Spanish-speaking patients with instructional care. She has also assisted with child-care for special needs children. Ms. Hernandez is a Belmont High School graduate, class of 2004 and continues to attend community college to further her education. Previously, she has taken child development, communication and behavior courses. In her spare time Ms.Hernandez does volunteer work at local elementary schools, tutors children in her community, and coaches a co-ed baseball Little League team at the Echo Park Recreational Center.