Quality education is the foundation for opportunity and success.
But access to education and educational resources is becoming increasingly limited and unequal. Teachers are undervalued to the point that not only is our country facing a critical teacher shortage, but teachers are facing the difficult decision to walk away from the students they care about to demand living wages, healthcare and respect.
For generations, the US has watched the ability of our schools to serve students and put them on the path to success decline. The list of challenges that students, teachers, faculty and education advocates face is long and growing, and we find ourselves asking, “how do we do more with less?”
We are fortunate to have individuals in this world who are so passionate about learning, teaching, coaching and inspiring that they have found ways around these barriers in order to serve young minds.
You’re invited to join the conversation with teachers, advocates, philanthropists and others at the Shalon table as we share an incredible gourmet meal, address challenges in education and discuss how we can support the people and institutions that are training and nurturing the future of our country.
- Learning to Recognize Promise (World Bank Flagship Report)
- Education Week: Question and Answer Index
- 18 Reasons the US Education System is Failing (The Advocate)
- Oklahoma Teacher Walkout (KFOR)
- W. VA Teachers' Strike: Winning requires creating a crisis (The Nation)
- Why America's Teacher Shortage is going to get worse (NY Post)
- Early Warning Confirmed: a report on 3rd grade reading (impact on student lives)
- Books, articles and recordings from Paul Tough: the author, most recently, of Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why
Jenn Pfotenhauer | Cragmont Elementary School
Jenn has been an educator for over 20 years. Her experience is primarily at the elementary level (K-5). Her early work focused on environmental and arts education, in addition to work as a researcher and curriculum developer in the fields of math and science. Jenn taught in the classroom for 8 years and is now in her 5th year as a K-5 Literacy Coach in the Berkeley Unified School District.
Her current work is centered around promoting equity through a literacy lens. She leads professional development and coaches classroom teachers in curriculum, assessment, and instructional practices, manages community reading tutors, implements schoolwide and districtwide literacy initiatives, coordinates targeted family outreach and education, and provides reading and writing intervention to struggling students. Her passion is in helping to make public education a more successful place for historically marginalized students, families, and teachers.
Luis Argueta | Roses in Concrete Community School
Luis is the Co principal in charge of School Culture and Climate. His focus is to develop a positive school culture. He has worked in the Bay Area, as a teacher and as an administrator, for the past 15 years serving communities to realize their organizational goals and aspirations.
Aaron Sokol | EdCloud Learning Partners
Aaron is the Managing Director of EdCloud and his goal is to empower millions of students, teachers, and education leaders with the best technology in the world. EdCloud provides learning system design, sales, and deployment solutions to dozens of leading education teams.
Jacqueline Smith | SEO Scholars SF
Jaqueline is on the development team for Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) Scholars in SF.
SEO was created to transforming public high School students into college graduates. SEO Scholars is a free eight-year academic program that gets underserved public high school students to and through college—with a 90% college graduation rate.
Her art is her cooking, creating balanced meals with nutrition in mind, never sacrificing taste and flavor. Since age 4, Chef Daniella has been creating culinary delights. She was born in Israel and raised in the Sephardic Greek and Turkish community in Seattle, WA.
Chef Daniella has had the amazing and unique opportunity to live and travel in the Middle East, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and Europe; tasting, smelling and learning about cultures through the food of the locals.
Dani Bensimon Catering specializes in farm-to-table North African, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, with a California fresh twist. Chef Daniella also has a variety of experience with other cuisines, including Latin American, Thai, Italian, American, Eastern European, and many more. (Kosher and Halal certified fare as well.)