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The Northern California Writing Project is a professional development organization devoted to improving the teaching of writing in our service region.

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September 2021
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August 30, 2021 August 31, 2021 September 1, 2021 September 2, 2021 September 3, 2021 September 4, 2021 September 5, 2021
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Category: Writing Project

Meet the NCWP 2021 Summer Fellows!

Meet the NCWP 2021 Summer Fellows!

We are excited to introduce the invited fellows for the NCWP Summer Institutes! This year, we are offering two institutes: one for teachers in their first five years of teaching–our Beginning Teacher Design Institute–and one for teachers who have been teaching more than five years, our traditional Summer Institute. Please welcome the new cohorts to the network of National Writing Project teachers! We are so excited to bring this group together to think about the teaching of writing.


2021 Beginning Teacher Design Institute Cohort!

Cecilia Allin

Cecilia Allin teaches English 9-12 and Drama at Westwood High School in rural Lassen County. This is her fourth year teaching English, and she completed her Masters in Education from Brandman University. Her background was in business management before she became a teacher, and she currently owns and runs Blue Ox Coffee shop with her husband. She grew up along the Central Coast of California, but fell in love with the Northern California area because of her love for hiking. She is an avid reader, and encourages her students to discover new authors throughout the year. She keeps a wide selection of young adult literature in her class for students to use as choice novels. She is very excited to be part of this summer institute, and hopes to learn strategies for helping her struggling writers be successful! 

Natalie Borer is originally from Grass Valley, California, but moved to Chico to pursue a BA in English Education and a minor in

Natalie Borer

Linguistics, which she received in 2015. Following her BA, she completed her Master’s in Education Residency in Secondary Education (RiSE) Program at Chico State in 2016. She is currently in her fifth year teaching high school English, 9th, 11th, and 12th grades, at Corning Union High School. Her aspirations as an educator include instilling the value of education and encouraging students to be lifelong learners. Some smaller hats she wears include being the junior class advisor, prom coordinator, book club leader, and Avid Site Team member. In previous years, Natalie has spent summers teaching for Upward Bound at Chico State, helping students write personal statements for college admission, but has recently taken the summers for professional development opportunities as well as for quality time with her husband and two children, who are her greatest joy. In her spare time, she enjoys reading murder mysteries and memoirs, hiking, Crossfit, crafting, and creative writing.

Nathan Collins

Nathan Collins started his teaching journey while completing his Master’s in English Literature at Chico State. Growing up in the tiny mountain town of Magalia, CA, his studies bent towards the literary exploration of the sublime in nature. Naturally (pun intended), he studied the Transcendentalist movement in 19th-century American Literature and wrote an innovative thesis on the interplay of Thoreau & Emerson’s works. While employed at the college, he devoured every teaching and mentorship opportunity he could find: including teaching First Year Composition classes, working as a mentor in the First Year Composition Jumbo class, the English Writing Workshop, the Educational Opportunity Program’s (EOP) Summer Bridge, and the U-Course—a collaborative, co-taught First Year Composition & Government class. Putting to work his background in journalism, he helped re-launch and re-brand the college’s literary journal, Watershed Review, served as its Editor-in-Chief, and co-taught the Literary Editing & Publishing class in support of the journal. He re-designed the graduate student literary journal, Manzanita, bringing the literary artifact up to industry standards in design for online and print versions. He served as the Editor-in-Chief and publishing liaison for the Chico State English Department’s in-house first-year writing textbook, Passionately Curious: Official Strategy Guide for Leveling Up in College Writing, while contributing one of his own essays on rhetorical moves in academic writing to the volume. After finishing the program, he devoted himself to his career in the music industry and music teaching, completing multiple tours and professional recording projects, while working as a private guitar instructor. After a few years of life on-the-road, he came home to complete the teaching credential at Chico State, co-teaching all-grade-levels of ELA and a Broadcast Journalism class at Paradise High School, in the school’s first year back on campus post-Camp Fire. He accepted a full-time ELA position at CORE Butte Charter School, a small non-classroom based K-12 school in Chico, CA, starting August 2021. He will be teaching musical performance & recording arts, ERWC-based ELA classes, and serving as a Personalized Learning Teacher. His nindo (ninja way): know your why, find your mentors, and “just keep swimming.”

Jasmine Corona

Jasmine Corona is currently teaching first-year composition at California State University, Chico. She is obtaining her M.A in English in the Language and Literacy pattern. Jasmine aspires to work with high school students after she obtains her M.A. Her research interests are language, literacy, and cultural rhetorics. She was recently awarded the Scholar for the Dream award at the Conference on College Composition and Communication and is an Adelante Scholar at Chico State. Jasmine likes to read young adult novels and spend time with her family during her time off.

Cristy Kidd

Cristy Kidd is a Bay Area native, now living and teaching in Redding, CA. She teaches at, both, Shasta College and Shasta High School in the Communication and English departments, respectively. She has an inherent inability to grasp the concept of “finishing” school, herself, and, as a result, has a B.A. in Communication, a M.A. in Mass Communication and Public Relations — both from University of the Pacific–and a M.Ed. with an emphasis in ELL Education from National University. Despite graduating (again) last summer, Cristy has spent the last two years as part of a cohort exploring effective teaching practices through the Association of University and College Educators, has been certified in ERWC curriculum and, now, is absolutely delighted to be a part of the Northern California Writing Project. Prior to teaching, Cristy worked in marketing and public relations, which she was successful at, but also miserable doing. Enter: education. Outside of school-life, Cristy is an avid reader, has been dancing since she was two, loves to bake (she’s currently working through a cookbook of 100 traditional British baked goods), plays Dungeons & Dragons at least once a week, and lives for (and sincerely misses) live music. If it isn’t apparent yet, she has way too much on her plate most of the time and, also, is on the Board of Directors for the Shasta County Arts Council and volunteers with the local PBS station. She is married and the “mom” to three fur-babies. (And, yes, she does sleep, but she also lives for coffee).

Andrea Marchyok

Andrea Marchyok Andrea is a former Art Teacher & Artist-in-Residence now teaching 3rd-6th grade for Northern United-Siskiyou Charter School in Mt Shasta. She loves small class sizes and project-based learning. She loves teaching Writing and Literature to her students and looks forward to spending more time writing this summer. When she’s free she’s painting, drawing, embroidering weird things and gardening.

Valeria Miranda

Valeria Miranda Hello! I’m a kindergarten and ELD teacher at Los Molinos Elementary! Los Molinos is about 30 minutes from Chico. I teach Kinder everyday and I work with ELD students about 2-3 times a week. So I’m very busy! Part of being the middle school ELD teacher, my goal is to have these kids pass that ELPAC test so I help asses them as well. This is my second year teaching. I received my credential in 2019 from Chico State in the Bilingual multiple subject program. I’ve worked in the migrant program in the past and enjoy working with emergent bilinguals. My personal interests include hiking, spending time with family and friends, and making crafty things on my Cricut!

Julia Murphy

Julia Murphy has racked up some serious mileage in 52 years, but–thanks to the fact she hangs out with teenagers professionally since 2014–maintains a saucy and immature demeanor. She has really done nothing of note and doesn’t have any professional confetti that would look good here, but is always either working, making art, sweatin’ to the oldies (like Primus! They’re oldies now!) or sleeping. This may or may not be true. Julia teaches Art and English, with an alternative education focus, and she has no idea how to compress her CV into a couple of paragraphs, having paid someone to write her CV once and my, wasn’t that $50 down the drain? She believes that metaphor is the flower and expression of humanity in every creative iteration; and that by finding the lodestone of metaphor in art and language to describe ourselves, our perspectives and experiences, and the world we inhabit…we can find our way. It can be a dead hard place here; the transformative power of creative expression—and a loving laboratory of co-conspirators—may be a lifeline for our beloved youths. Or, you know, maybe we’ll just tell some good stories. www.pedalpress.org 

Sara Murphy

Sara Murphy is a fourth year English teacher for Plumas Unified School District (the school district she graduated from) and currently teaches English 7, Pre-AP English 1, and Pre-AP English 2. In 2017 she completed the 12- month Residency in Secondary Education (RiSE) program at Chico State, earning her Masters of Arts in Education and Single Subject Teaching Credential. When Sara is not in the classroom with her “humans” (as she adoringly addresses her students), she can be found reading (in true English teacher fashion), walking in the beautiful mountains, building Legos, and spending time with her family and three chihuahuas.

Jill North

Jill North teaches 6th – 12th grade at Shasta County Independent Study in Redding California. She is also the College and Career Coordinator for Shasta County Independent Study and Shasta County Juvenile Court School. She has recently finished her credential program through National University in Single Subject English. Prior to teaching at SCIS, Jill was the co-coordinator of the Puente Program at Shasta College Tehama Campus as well as an English Instructor. Jill earned her BA in Literature from CSU, Chico in 2014 and her MA in English – Creative Writing from CSU, Chico in 2015. Her emphasis on her campus is to help grow the writing program and opportunities for students while working in a self-paced program. Offering students more writing opportunities to promote college and career readiness has been another goal while continuing to support her students in their other curriculum as well. When she is not teaching she can be found frolicking with her 17 goats and two dogs on her tiny ranch. If you ask her nicely she will recite all 17 goat names without any vocalized pauses.

Cecilia Romero

Cecilia Romero grew up in Los Angeles before moving to Chico to attend Chico State University. She obtained her BA in English in 2018, a MA in Education and a single subject teaching credential in English through the Residency in Secondary Education (RiSE) Program at Chico State in 2019. Currently, Cecilia teaches English Language Development (ELD), and serves as the ELD Coordinator for Live Oak High School. When she is not collaborating with colleagues and grading assignments, Cecilia enjoys hiking, indulging in YA novels, and embroidering.

Casey Van Attenhoven

Casey Van Attenhoven is an English Teacher at Corning Union High School, in Corning California. After completing community college, she graduated from California State University, Chico in 2016, where she majored in English and minored in creative writing. She returned to Chico State the following year for her Masters of Arts in Education and a Single Subject Teaching Credential through the school’s Residency in Secondary Education (RiSE) Program. Casey enjoys teaching various levels of English, especially when she has students for more than one year and can watch them grow. Casey believes building relationships with students is the first step in a successful classroom environment. She connects with students outside the classroom through coaching girls basketball, being a leadership advisor for the sophomore class, and co-leading the school Book Club. Casey integrates diverse texts and writers in an effort to expose students from her school’s small, rural town to different life experiences and viewpoints. Casey also volunteers with the National Teen Leadership Program (NTLP), an organization that builds teen leaders. Casey, an alumna of the program, values the impact the program has on teens because of the impact it had on her. When Casey is not working, she enjoys quality time spent with her boyfriend, family, friends, and two cats- Salem and Corny. She also enjoys decompressing in her yard after a long week.


2021 Traditional Summer Institute Cohort!

Brian Condrey

Brian Condrey has taught college composition and rhetoric for over 20 years, including the last 13 at Yuba College in Marysville, CA. In addition to his assignments in composition, Brian teaches American literature, Introduction to Film, and Ethnic American literature. He will be on sabbatical during the 2021-2022 academic year to work on a project to develop curricula based on inquiry- and problem-based teaching and learning models. Brian earned both his BA and MA in English from California State University, Chico. He enjoys growing things, fighting the good fight, and riding bikes to remote places. Brian and his wife are involved in transgender healthcare advocacy, including an initiative to identify and close coverage gaps in public employee health insurance plans across the state. He currently lives in a small foothill community in Placer County with his family and their two fierce dogs, Cookie and Shortcake.

Cassandra Dulin

Cassandra Dulin teaches English composition and literature courses at Yuba College, Marysville. She recently graduated with her PhD in Rhetoric and Composition with her research focused on supporting nontraditional students in the writing classroom, which has led to more serious thinking about how to structure best practices to make learning easier for them in her classes. She has learned that finding methods to assist nontraditional students has created better ways to address the needs of all learners, which is, ultimately, most important. She is always curious about new teaching and learning strategies and enjoys opportunities to talk about them.

Haley Hansen

Haley Hansen is an English teacher at Los Molinos Elementary. She teaches 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. Los Molinos is a small farming community 25 minutes north of Chico. With the entire school K-8 only having about 300 students enrolled, Haley teaches all of the middle school students at the school. In addition to being a classroom teacher, Haley is one of two English Language Development site coordinators in her district and focuses her work on Los Molinos Elementary. The cherry on top of Haley’s “Can’t Turn Down Anything To Help the School Out” sundae is being the yearbook advisor. Haley attended California State University, Chico where she majored in English Education and minored in Linguistics. After receiving her bachelor’s degree, Haley continued her education and was accepted into the RiSE program. Here, she obtained her California single subject teaching credential in English and her Master’s in Education. When she is not shaping the future of the world in her classroom, Haley enjoys camping, fishing, hunting, and spending time with her family and dogs.

Eileen Heisig

Eileen Heisig has been teaching for 13 years, 9 of those years at Fletcher Walker Elementary School where she is currently working as the 4th and 5th grade teacher. Eileen is always looking for more creative ways to challenge her students and she is very excited to be involved in the Writing Project. Being part of a small school district has allowed her to experience the responsibilities of testing coordinator, Junior High Independent Study teacher and the new teacher mentor. When not working, Eileen enjoys hiking the many challenging trails in Lassen County and riding her mountain bike.

Eva Horvath

Eva Horvath is a lifelong California resident who has been in the education for 15 years.
Her passions include developing mindful and equitable curriculum for her students as well as devising ways to dismantle racism, the patriarchy and all oppressive systems from the inside of her classroom. In her free time she volunteers for unhoused folks, advocates for harm reductions and equitable education policies, gardens and spends time with her two dogs, Rosencrantz and Avon Barksdale.

Susan Roll

Susan Roll is a professor and chair of the School of Social Work at Chico State. Originally from Boston, Susan worked as a masters-level social worker in domestic violence and women’s health for ten years prior to pursuing her PhD in 2006. Now she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on policy and community organizing. Susan strives to maintain a good work/life balance through running, visiting the coast, and spending time with her new pup, Leti. @SusanSocialWork

Bernard Villavicencio

Bernard Villavicencio Teaching is a blast! Getting students to discover there is a world out there outside of their phones and T.V.s really drives me. I have been teaching English for over ten years and also coordinate the Shasta County Poetry Out Loud program and county competition.

California Writing Project Black Lives Matter

California Writing Project Black Lives Matter

We, the directors of the 15 California Writing Project sites, stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. We are saddened and horrified by the murders of the past few weeks—the latest manifestation of the racism that began 400 years ago with the colonizing of what is now the United States.

This is who we are and what we see
The CWP is a community of educators dedicated to collaborating with teachers K-University to improve student writing. Now, more than ever, we are seeing the power of words, in speech and in writing, as an energy that can transform individual lives and break down oppressive systems. We are encouraged by this time of collective raised awareness, and by the growing number of people who have found the words that capture meaning for themselves and for others.

The moment has given us pause to reflect on our work. We have not been explicit enough in communicating our vision of the future–a world where all students have the capacity to write powerfully towards the purposes they most care about. As teachers, we work within a system that continually perpetuates inequities. We seek to be a partner in the humanizing revolution that abolishes these injustices, making use of our positions and the particular power each of us has. This revolution must include all of us, of all ethnicities and races, working alongside those who have borne the brunt of our country’s most racist beliefs and systems.

This is our pledge
While a social justice stance has been the backdrop of our work these past 40 years, we pledge to intensify our efforts.  We will dedicate ourselves to nurturing a community that comes together through writing and teaching to address anti-Blackness and other forms of racism in our society and our schools.

We will encourage students, teachers, and organizations to use the written word to elevate the voices of those repeatedly marginalized and threatened.  The ability to respond to the world with the written word is one of the greatest tools we can offer. We will use this tool to disrupt the status quo, to shed light on injustices and effect change.

Further, we commit to creating safe spaces for teachers to listen loudly and engage in difficult conversations about matters of race, to sitting with the discomfort that allows self-examination and growth.

We must all break the silence.

In solidarity, California Writing Project Directors –
Tim Dewar, CWP Executive Director and South Coast Writing Project
Nicolette Amann, Redwood Writing Project
Louann Baker, Central California Writing Project
Martin Brandt, San Jose Area Writing Project
Kim Douillard, San Diego Area Writing Project
Kate Flowers-Rossner, San Jose Area Writing Project
Lauren Godfrey, UC Irvine Writing Project
Kim Jaxon, Northern California Writing Project
Peter Kittle, CWP Statewide Office
Agnes Mazur, Inland Area Writing Project
Carol Minner, Great Valley Writing Project
Katie Nguyen-Lake, CWP Statewide Office
Faye Peitzman, UCLA Writing Project
Karen Smith, Area 3 Writing Project
Katherine Suyeyasu, Bay Area Writing Project
Laurie Stowell, San Marcos Writing Project
Juliet Wahleithner, San Joaquin Valley Writing Project
Jenn Wolfe, Cal State Northridge Writing Project

Hello from the New NCWP Director!

Hello from the New NCWP Director!

Kim Jaxon, the new NCWP Director, with students from her first year writing course at Chico State

Hello fellow educators and welcome (or welcome back) to the NCWP site!

We’ve recently updated our website in order to highlight a couple new projects we are excited about: A Beginning Teacher Design Institute and, starting in February, local teacher featured blogs. The blogs will give you insights into area teachers’ classrooms and ideas they have for teaching writing across grade level and contexts.

Beginning Teacher Design InstituteNew teachers are perfectly positioned to know the particular challenges that can be part of the first few years. This summer (June 2019) we are launching an institute specific to the needs of early career teachers. Fifteen teachers–kindergarten to college in their first five years of teaching–will be invited to design writing support for other new, area teachers. We will alternate this institute every other summer with our traditional invitational institute. Please share the application with the fabulous early career teachers you know: LINK to application HERE.

NCWP Teachers WriteOn: In February, we begin our bi-weekly blog series featuring local teachers. These blogs highlight insights into best practices and ideas for teaching writing across the disciplines. We will offer the option to sign up for our monthly newsletter so you do not miss these blogs. If you are a local teacher who has participated in a Summer Institute in the past, and are interested in writing about your teaching, please apply to our Saturday session led by local writer Sarah Pape. The workshop will be held Feb 23, 9:00-3:00, on the Chico State campus. More information and application here: LINK  Applications due Feb 15.

In addition to our new projects, we have a lot of activity in the NCWP at the moment. Carla Truttman, an amazing high school teacher from Yreka, leads our College, Career, and Community Writers Program (C3WP). Currently, Carla and other local teachers–Shawni McBride from Corning High School, Robbin Jack from Shasta Unified, and Tracy Dickinson from Etna– are working with teachers at Maxwell and Princeton High Schools to think about research, argument, and claim driven writing practices. The team will meet with other teachers from around the United States in Atlanta in February to share insights into the C3WP program.

Amanda Von Kleist and Lindsey Nemec are currently leading a year long professional development series with Fair View, AFC, Cal, and Oakdale educators to support writing across a variety of disciplines. Robbin Jack is currently designing a summer civics writing camp for youth in Siskiyou County that will be held in July on the College of the Siskiyous campus. And, we recently completed curriculum design work with the National Parks that will be made available to local teachers.

I am thrilled to be taking on the challenge of directing the NCWP. My own adult children are 7th generation in this area: my ties to this community run deep. Recently, I’ve focused attention on supporting local teachers who were impacted by the fire. With two local elementary educators, Monica Brown and Amy Niess, we’ve started Color a Classroom with Love.

(Jason Halley/University Photographer/CSU Chico)

We are connecting teachers with support networks through a Facebook group and a website: LINK HERE. My future teachers at Chico State are working with me: we are in awe of the incredible work these teachers are doing to support their students. If you have not watched the documentary about Paradise Intermediate Schools efforts to relocate to the former OSH building, you can find the video on our Color a Classroom site. There is also a For Donors page if you are interested in supporting local teachers who were impacted by the Campfire.

We are grateful to all our teachers and the incredible work you do every day to support students. WriteOn.

Kim

Kim Jaxon, Director NCWP

Follow on Twitter: @drjaxon

Kim’s website