About

Vision:

My clients and I believe in a world where education is a pathway to equal opportunity. Where family income does not determine a child’s’ future and effective teaching changes lives.

Applying considerable courage and creativity, we build this world together by expanding what is possible in schools. We lead courageous learning so that EVERY student may realize ambitious dreams and expectations and thrive in a changing world.


About Me:

tonya

As young child, I didn’t know my own voice, let alone dare express it.

My first grade teacher, Marion Conley, changed that. She cut out pictures of lions from a magazine, glued them into a blank book, and asked me to tell her a story.

I didn’t know how.

She waited.

When I finally I spoke, she wrote each word I said in black ink across the page.

It was the first time I saw that literacy isn’t just a subject in school. It is our voices in the world.

“Oops!” she laughed. “I made a mistake!” She scribbled her mistake into a rectangle and gave it wheels. It became a truck. Her next mistake grew butterfly wings.

Marion was the first to teach me mistakes are magic. It’s better to express and try, than hide from the unique people we might become. Marion and other star teachers in my life taught me the power of humble inquiry. It’s better to listen beyond our own assumptions than cling tightly to the limitations of what we know.

In my life, literacy has always been about daring and growing—finding my voice, and listening deeply to voices of others. In my work, literacy has always been about ensuring EVERY student has the power to learn courageously and communicate to impact the world.

Achievement gaps in literacy have driven my teaching career since day one. Skin color, home language, and family income level should never determine a child’s education or the power of a child’s voice. And yet, in many of our communities, they do. I work every day to change this.

I work to disrupt inequities by empowering teachers with asset mindsets and effective pedagogy to elevate literacy learning. A trilingual poet and linguistics nerd, I leverage my love of language to help teachers understand and excel with ELs in our schools.

I used to fear my own voice, but teachers in my life changed that. Now, as a bestselling author, keynote speaker, and learning leader in schools, I use my voice to help others find and express theirs.

Join me in stretching the limits of literacy and language learning in schools. The next generation depends on our courage to grow and change.