Teacher Fellowship Program

Los Angeles Audubon's Teacher Fellowship Program. Launching in October 2014, Stacey Vigallon and Cindy Hardin, will present articles about opportunities for teachers and highlighting student work. For more information call or write Stacey at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Cindy at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Los Angeles Audubon’s Teacher Training Fellowship: Working Together and Learning from Each Other

THE PROGRAM

Already on the front lines of social justice issues in our city, LAUSD teachers are also on the frontlines of environmental justice in urban settings. Teachers are often the first link to nature that city kids may have. Through Los Angeles Audubon’s education programs, we’ve had the privilege of meeting many dedicated teachers who make nature-based learning and environmental stewardship priorities for their students. In an effort to reach more teachers, and thanks to a grant from Boeing, in fall 2014 we kicked off the inaugural year of Los Angeles Audubon’s Teacher Training Fellowship. Our premise is that even on the most asphalt-laden campuses, motivated teachers can find ways to use nature to inspire and inform classroom learning. Through the Teacher Training Fellowship, we aim to

(1) work with teachers to help them develop strategies for using outdoor campus areas as instructional space that can enhance and promote cross-curricular, standards-based learning among students, and

(2) provide an out-of-school context where mentoring, collaboration, and idea-sharing among participating teachers is encouraged and fostered.

Workshops scheduled this year [2014] include:

  • Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook State Park: Thinking Big, Starting Small
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art: The Arts as a Bridge to Other Disciplines
  • Natural History Museum: Collecting Data, Connecting to Local History
  • LAUSD School Sites: A Day in the Field at LAUSD

THE TEACHERS

This first year’s cohort of ten teacher-fellows is a powerfully talented and professionally accomplished bunch. They hail from public elementary and middle school sites throughout Los Angeles, and we are extremely fortunate to be working with and learning from them during our series of workshops. Here are some highlights from their resumes.

Rodette Doreza has a master’s degree in marine biology and taught at the University of the Philippines for 17 years before moving to the US in 1999. An LAUSD teacher for 14 years, she also has a master’s degree in educational administration. And, she is a certified scuba diver!

Rosa Lopez has been teaching for 15 years, and humor and the arts are important aspects of her teaching style. She led her 7th grade choir to perform at the Southern California Vocal Association, and has also led challenging students to academic success through a behavior intervention class. She comes from a musical family and performs with her family band.

Marne Treves carries on the birding tradition in her family and loves to get her students involved in environmental science. She has a long history with Mar Vista Elementary School – she attended the school as a child, her sons attended as well, and she’s been teaching there since 2005.

Sharon Nakata is a Special Education teacher with over 25 years of experience. She now regularly writes grants to ensure that students at her school get access to nature-based field trip opportunities.

Maxime Salzburg embraces the challenge of teaching middle school students, as she was inspired by the great teachers she had when she was in middle school. A graduate of UC Santa Cruz and UCLA, Maxime strives to create hands-on, inquiry-based learning experiences for her students.

Evelia Medina was told by her high school counselor that she’d never get in to UCLA. She rapidly proved that counselor wrong by becoming a UCLA grad in 1999. After graduation she jumped right into teaching in the community in which she grew up, inspiring her elementary and middle school students to dream, plan, and work toward college.

Cynthia Archer had a master’s degree in painting and years of experience teaching art and design at the college level before she became an elementary school teacher 17 years ago. She fosters inquiry and critical thinking skills in her students by exploring environmental stewardship issues.

Brandyn Scully has been teaching in LAUSD for almost 30 years. She developed a love of insects through her time spent working in her school’s garden, a place where she’s been able to link multiple disciplines to nature for her students.

Jane De Haven started her career in financial world before being called to the teaching profession. In her 15 years at LAUSD she has mainly taught 5th grade and enjoys teaching all subjects. She also serves as a volunteer dog-walker at a local shelter for German Shepherds.

Linda Dowell has been a long-time collaborator with Los Angeles Audubon through programs at Politi Elementary School. Not only is she the Gifted and Talented Education Coordinator at Politi ES, but she also mentors and tutors at-risk students. She is an avid hiker and organic gardener.

For more information please contact Stacey at:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Cindy at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The following photos are of the Teacher-Fellows in action during our first two workshops this school year [2014]:

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Content will follow for Opportunities for Teachers.

Content will follow soon that will highlight student work in Los Angeles Audubon's Environmental Education Program.

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