Five Center for Powerful Public School senior leaders and education specialists will be leading three workshops at the 2017 Linked Learning Convention in Oakland, CA on January 23-25 at the Marriott Oakland City Center. More than 1,200 leaders in education, business, workforce development, and policy gather at the Linked Learning Convention each year. To learn more about the event, visit

About the Workshops

Jeanne Fauci, Executive Director, and Kelly Nick, Director of Educational Services, will be leading “So You’re Interested in Linked Learning, Now What?” designed for those interested in supporting the implementation and/or expansion of the Linked Learning approach in their school or district. The hands-on workshop will guide participants through the steps to facilitate pathway development for school teams. Jeanne and Kelly have successfully worked to build programs in five Southern California districts and will provide coaching tips, suggested protocols, and templates for guiding school teams to implement new Linked Learning pathways.

Led by Grace Cruz and Jana Schmieding, Education Specialists, “Capitalizing on Our Students’ Inherent Creativity in the Classroom” takes a look at the integration of arts into curriculum for all courses. The workshop will show participants how to leverage the creativity of students through different classroom activities to engage them in course material.

In “Developing Competency Based Courses to Prepare Students for Internships in Behavioral Sciences/Mental Health/Social Work Professions,” Dr. Talma Shultz, Director of Strategic Innovation and Programs, will present the design of a capstone course developed in partnership with teachers and professionals that integrates essential competencies needed for these professions. The course includes the design of internships and performance assessments. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss the conditions necessary for successful implementation of this course in various settings.

About the Presenters

Grace Cruz is an education specialist at Center for Powerful Public Schools. She previously taught history and served as a school leader in middle and high schools in New York, San Francisco, Mexico City, Honolulu, and Los Angeles. While at the New York City Museum School, Ms. Cruz was part of the team that developed multi-year, interdisciplinary, project-based courses that utilized museums as classrooms, and art as primary sources.

Jeanne Fauci is Executive Director and co-founder of Center for Powerful Public Schools, overseeing all operations and programs. She supports the development of Pilot Schools within the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), coaches educators on all aspects of designing and implementing equitable public schools and works to establish the conditions within school districts for sustainable, equitable, learner-centered small schools. Ms. Fauci received the 2008 Coalition of Essential Schools Transformational Leadership Award for her commitment to improve educational outcomes for underserved students in LAUSD Local District 4.

Kelly Nick is Director of Educational Services and oversees the Linked Learning implementation for LAUSD schools and supervises the Education Specialists coaching pathways. She also works with LAUSD and community partners to support the development and efficacy of new teachers and mentor teachers in the schools that the Center supports. Prior to her work as a teacher educator, Ms. Nick spent 17 years teaching in a full inclusion independent school.

Jana Schmieding is an education specialist at Center for Powerful Public Schools. Prior to the Center, she was a high school English and Film teacher from New York where she taught in the South Bronx for ten years. Jana is dedicated to bringing equity to the entertainment industry by activating arts and arts education in public schools in Los Angeles.

Dr. Talma Shultz is Director of Strategic Innovation and Programs and develops curriculum, supports district-wide Linked Learning implementation, and coaches career-themed high schools to prepare students for college and career. Prior to joining the Center, Dr. Shultz was a school coach and curriculum developer at Facing History and Ourselves. Dr. Shultz has a Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel and a B.A. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Biochemistry from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico.