Teacher Appreciation Week

From May 7th through 11th, Teacher Appreciation Week presents the special opportunity to thank the many teachers who strive to make a difference in the lives of their students, ensuring that the next generation learns the skills, knowledge, and empathy necessary to become leaders in an ever-changing world.

Of the 1,200 alumni of the Graduate School of Education, approximately 55% call Solano County home.

Below is a collection of stories featuring the students, alumni, and faculty of the Graduate School of Education. Discover their impact and learn what strategies they bring into the classroom to ensure that their students are inspired.
Brenda Mitchell

Brenda Mitchell, MAEd, CEHS 2015
Multiple Subject Teaching Credential Alumna, 2012
Preliminary Administrative Services Credential, 2016

Inspiration Soars When Applied

Brenda Mitchell, MAEd, saw her sixth grade students from Hogan Middle School in Vallejo turn into little engineers for the first Bay Area KidWind Challenge. All she had given them was the challenge to harness the power of the wind...

“They had to calculate for different variables like blade length, tilt, and pitch. Because it was all real world application, they didn’t look at it as school work. Even with all the math, they loved it!” she beams.

Read more about Ms. Mitchell

Lisa Gottfried

Lisa Gottfried, MAEd, CEHS 2016
Adjunct Professor, Graduate School of Education

Giving Them a Reason to Make Sure Their Grammar Is Correct

"My capstone project involved helping students to understand how to use blogging as a means for reflecting, documenting and teaching others about the learning they do at school.  The theory I have always had is that we can elevate student thinking by providing authentic writing experiences that will help them as they move into the world of college and career.  Blogs can help students to connect with experts out in the field, allow them to showcase learning to other teachers and learners in order to provide a portfolio of work, as well as to provide a platform for teaching others what they have learned."  

Read more about Ms. Gottfried

Roger Pence

Roger Pence, MAEd, CEHS Class of 2009
Adjunct Professor, Graduate School of EducationBeing the “Lead Learner”

Being the "Lead Learner"

I try to find a point of entry for students’ prior knowledge, be they middle schoolers or Touro University graduate students. I try and find interesting and intellectually challenging things for students to do in my classes that help to make the subject real and relevant. Science is a ready-made subject for hands-on investigation, and I attempt to connect conceptual learning to opportunities that employ doing.

Read more about Mr. Pence

Louise Santiago

Louise Santiago, PhD

Faculty Chair for the Educational Leadership Program, Graduate School of Education

Communities of Practice: Solving Problems Together in the Educational Leadership Program

How do you go from leading children in a classroom to directing the entire school? That is the question that Dr. Louise Santiago tries to help students answer as Faculty Chair for the Educational Leadership program in the Graduate School of Education.

“It is a huge shift in focus for educators to come out of the boundaries of the classroom and become a good instructional leader,” says Santiago. “The needs are way more magnified.”

Read more about Dr. Santiago


Mike Willmarth, MAEd, CEHS Class of 2011

Tammy Lee, MAEd, CEHS Class of 2012

Scott Marsden, MAEd, CEHS Class of 2014

Educational Technology Alumni

Read why Mike Willmarth was named Napa Valley Teacher of the Year from the Napa Rotary Club or how Tammy Lee and Scott Marsden coached their middle school and high school students respectively to a 1st place win for northern California and 1st place in the entire state at the C-STEM Day 2015 day Robotics Competition.

Read more about their work here

Napa Learns Fellows

GSOE & NapaLearns: Changing the Face of Education in Napa County

Education is constantly evolving and, along with the Touro University Graduate School of Education, NapaLearns supports Napa County teachers to become leaders of change. In six years of partnership, 116 teachers received over a half million dollars in funding to pursue their Master’s degree in Innovative Learning. Dr. Pamela Redmond, Chair of Graduate Studies at TUC, created the program to address the needs of 21st century learning. In return, NapaLearns Fellows are required to research local school challenges and explore how digital media and technology create new ways for students to engage with curricula.

Read more about GSOE & NapaLearns here


Jim O'Connor

Jim O'Connor, PhD
Director of the Center for Innovative Learning and Teaching, Western Division Touro University California
Founding Dean Emeritus of the Graduate School of Education

Teaching Teachers to Teach

Passing by him in the halls, you wouldn’t know that Dr. Jim O’Connor has swum over 500 miles in the San Francisco Bay and gone on countless scuba dives across the globe. Or that his first time teaching was as a high school student filling in when his Biology teacher had a sudden injury. Or that he has learned to paint with octopus ink from one of the greatest painters in the medium, Diana Tillion. Dr. O’Connor’s adventurous spirit has been a driving force for the College of Education and Health Sciences (CEHS) since it was founded under his leadership.

Read more about Dr. O'Connor here


Kendra Parsons
Student Profile: Innovative Learning Program

I have been wanting to get my masters for a while and have not had the time or the right fit. With the Innovative Learning program, it is something that I can manage because it is online. I am currently teaching at a project-based school where we have a lot of freedom to think outside the box; I am also a teacher that likes to continue to push my practice. I went into this program with the mindset of learning new information and technology that could open up opportunities for me in and out of my classroom.

Read more about Ms. Parsons here