Melissa Agudelo, Co-Principal of Lincoln High School in San Diego, shares about her experiences and insights as an educator and leader aimed at putting learners at the center by design.
Melissa shares how she got into education through Teach for America in the 1990s and the impact of seeing disaggregated student data under No Child Left Behind, which made her question traditional approaches to teaching focused heavily on curriculum coverage versus relationships and relevance.
She discusses her transformative experience teaching at High Tech High with project-based learning, but also her realization that those approaches weren’t reaching all students, prompting her move to lead schools focused explicitly on serving learners furthest from opportunity.
Key topics covered include:
- 🙏 Implementing restorative practices rather than zero-tolerance discipline
- 🤝 The importance of advisory structures to build relationships
- 🎯 Collaborative teacher development of projects and portfolio assessments
- 🖼️ Iteratively developing a learner-centered culture and portrait of a graduate focused on broader competencies rather than content mastery
- 👨🎓 Melissa’s vision for an education system that privileges authentic learning over grades and curriculum