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Participants in Workshop 1

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Gerald Bracey [ photo ] is a freelance writer and policy analyst with a lengthy background in education. He graduated from William & Mary College and has a Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University. He has examined the TIMMS study and other educational studies in detail.

Coventry Middle School is a public school in the growing middle-class community of Coventry, Rhode Island, with a fairly homogeneous population of about 900 pupils in grades 7 and 8. Recognized as a Carnegie Turning Points middle school, each grade is composed of four teams that stay together through most of the day and whose teachers regularly plan and implement integrated curricula projects. The school has been gradually incorporating the state standards and is committed to quality, developmentally appropriate experiences for all students. Teachers at Coventry Middle School are encouraged to grow professionally. On-site graduate level courses relating to aligning curriculum with standards and differentiating instruction to meet the needs of diverse learners have been quite successful. Plans to add a second Critical Friends Group next year are under way.

Donna Vigneau Carlson [ photo ] has been Principal of Coventry Middle School for ten years and was named Rhode Island Principal of the Year. Previously she had served as a vice-principal in Narragansett, RI and taught English in Coventry and in Providence, RI. Donna and her school are part of the Carnegie Turning Pointsnetwork and she is an Annenberg principal. She is past president of Rhode Island Middle Level Educators and is a member of the Rhode Island Cadre of middle level trainers. She is an instructor of middle-level curriculum courses at both Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island.

Deborah Jervis [ photo ] is an eighth-grade teacher of mathematics at the Coventry Middle School. She graduated from Rhode Island College four years ago, after having been in the commercial workforce for 11 years and raising a family. She has been teaching at Coventry Middle School for three years.

Fenway High School [ Web site ] is a public pilot school in Boston, Massachusetts. It serves 280 students, grades 9-12, from every part of the city in a rigorous, heterogeneously-grouped, and highly personalized setting. The school was an early member of the Coalition of Essential Schools and has restructured itself dramatically over its 16-year history. Due to the success of its graduates and its powerful school-to-career collaborations, Fenway has been selected as one of the U.S. Department of Education's New American High Schools.

Larry Myatt [ photo ] is the founder and director of the Fenway High School in Boston, Massachusetts. The school has received numerous national and regional awards for innovation and achievement. Dr. Myatt is an active writer and speaker on behalf of educational reform and works with principal networks in several states, as well as being a co-founder of the Center for Collaborative Education in Boston. He also served as an original member of the Massachusetts Commission for the Common Core of Learning.

Eileen Chen [ photo ] is in her first year as an integrated science teacher at Fenway High School, teaching 9th and 11th grades. She graduated from Duke University with a B.S. and got her Masters degree at the Harvard School of Education.

Mario Deif is a math teacher at Fenway High School. He has taught for four years and prior to that worked in a civic volunteer corps where he served as a teacher assistant in a fifth grade classroom in Boston. In his school he uses the Interactive Mathematics Program (IMP) curriculum where students learn in collaborative groups and grapple with context-based problems.


Thurgood Marshall Academic High School [ Web site ] is in San Francisco, California. It is a new high school, founded in 1994, with a specific focus on math, science, and technology. With an inner city population of African-American, Latino, and Chinese students, it has no entrance requirements but a specific focus on being a college preparatory school teaching math and science in non-traditional ways. Its first graduating class in 1998 had a 98% college acceptance rate.

Samuel Butscher [ photo ] is principal of Thurgood Marshall Academic High School. Originally from Liberia, West Africa, his training was in engineering. He got a Doctorate in Mathematics Education from U.C. Berkeley. A long-time teacher and Department Chair in Mathematics, in the San Francisco School System, he was chosen to be Principal of Thurgood Marshall at its inception in 1994. He is committed to providing quality education for all the students, without regard to their previous academic achievement.

Nicole Nunes [ photo ] teaches chemistry and physics at Thurgood Marshall Academic High School. With a Ph.D. in chemistry from Rice University in hand, she returned to her native California and chose Thurgood Marshall because of the schools math/science orientation and urban setting. She has been developing a 'conceptual chemistry' program which approaches chemistry from an unusual perspective, enabling students to understand it without all of the traditional background in mathematics and to use chemistry to learn mathematics instead of the other way around.

Laurel Reitman [ photo ] teaches at Thurgood Marshall Academic High School. She has taught integrated science in 9th and 10th grades and now is teaching conceptual chemistry and physics. Her undergraduate degree is in geology from Oberlin College; her Master's in teaching is from Brown University. She has been working with Nicole Nunes on the curriculum for the conceptual chemistry program.


  • Rose Feinberg
  • Denise Jenkins
  • Scott Schneider
  • Michelle Smith-Daniels


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