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Stock up on summer PD reading with 25% off + free shipping on books through June 30.

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The Thought Leaders

Douglas Fisher, Ph.D., is Professor of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University and a leader at Health Sciences High & Middle College. He has served as a teacher, language development specialist, and administrator in public schools and non-profit organizations, including 8 years as the Director of Professional Development for the City Heights Collaborative, a time of increased student achievement in some of San Diego’s urban schools. Doug has engaged in Professional Learning Communities for several decades, building teams that design and implement systems to impact teaching and learning. He has published numerous books on teaching and learning, such as Assessment-capable Visible Learners and Engagement by Design.


Nancy Frey, Ph.D., is a Professor in Educational Leadership at San Diego State University and a leader at Health Sciences High and Middle College. She has been a special education teacher, reading specialist, and administrator in public schools. Nancy has engaged in Professional Learning Communities as a member and in designing schoolwide systems to improve teaching and learning for all students. She has published numerous books, including The Teacher Clarity Playbook and Rigorous Reading.


Dr. Olivia Amador is a Professional Learning Consultant with Corwin. As an award-winning elementary school principal, former bilingual teacher, and reading and language arts specialist, her area of focus and expertise is in creating a culture of learning connected to high-impact practices, English language development, teacher collaboration, and leadership development. 

Joseph Assof is an 11th and 12th grade mathematics teacher and the math department lead at Health Sciences High and Middle College in San Diego, CA. He leads his department’s reform efforts to align to the Common Core Standards – with a focus on high quality instruction. He is a member of the San Diego County Math Leaders Task Force, whose mission is to support every student in meeting the rigorous expectations of the Common Core.


Certified Consultants

Dr. John Almarode is an Assistant Professor at the College of Education at James Madison University. Throughout his career he has conducted staff development workshops, keynote addresses, and conference presentations on a variety of topics including student engagement, evidence‑based practices, creating enriched environments that promote learning, and designing classrooms with the brain in mind.

As a full-time Professional Learning consultant, Karen Flories works hands on with teachers and leaders to drive learning at surface, deep and transfer levels.  Prior to her consulting work, Karen was the Executive Director of Educational Services for 5 years and Director of Literacy and Social Studies in VVSD for 2 years, after serving as the English Department Chair for Romeoville high school. 

Cathy Lassiter, Ed.D. is an education consultant with over 30 years experience as a public school teacher, principal, central office administrator and consultant.  She supports large and small districts in the areas of leadership development, school culture, principal and teacher evaluation, collaboration, instruction, assessment and closing achievement gaps.

Dave Nagel, a former teacher and principal, has used his experience and expertise to implement effective practices that help elementary through high school students experience achievement gain. Dave has been a teacher and coach to classroom educators and leaders across the country and internationally. He has also assisted districts in the past few years through a process to identify essential Common Core State Standards and their relationship with state and local assessment results.