After graduating in 1961 from California State University, San Jose, with a B.A. in elementary Education, Susan J. Kovalik began her teaching career as a sixth grade elementary teacher followed by a science teacher in a K-6 elementary school of 1,200 and a GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) teacher in five schools. In 1984, Susan was awarded the California Gifted and Talented Teacher of the Year. During this time, she also found time to share her love for experiential learning as the community leader of a multi-faceted 4-H club with 50 families and 37 projects.
Building on her own teaching experiences and emerging brain research, Susan developed the ITI model (Integrated Thematic Instruction), now referred to as the HET model (Highly Effective Teaching). Over the next 25 years, Susan and her remarkably talented associates have trained thousands of teachers in hundreds of schools throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.
In 1987, the ITI Model was selected by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to support the teaching of science in Monterey County, CA. Over 700 teachers participated in the program known as Monterey County Science Improvement Project (MCSIP).
The ITI/HET model was one of the 56 programs in the national Comprehensive School Reform Catalog , was selected for inclusion in the college text, Charles Reigaluth’s Instructional-Design Theories and Models: A New Paradigm of Instructional Theory and selected by the American Youth Policy Forum targeting Service Learning and Educational Reform as one of their 22 models.
Susan has created support materials, publications, and media products for teachers in brain-compatible instruction. Several of her 20 training videos received both the Gold Apple and Silver Apple awards from the National Educational Film and Video Festival.
A keynoter of national reputation, Susan continues to dedicate herself to improving education and helping others in implementing a bodybrain-compatible learning environment for students and their teachers.