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Reedies in PreK–12 Education, hosted by the Reed Career Alliance (RCA)

Saturday, August 26, 2023 1pm to 2:30pm

Join us on August 26th for a virtual Career Pathways panel, Reedies in PreK–12 Education.

Panelists include early childhood educator Tiffany Pearsall ’09, grade 6 teacher Lucia Zaczkowski ’89, educational equity leader Don Berg ’12, former elementary teacher and reading specialist Alyssa Reed-Stuewe 01, and community builder Mike Teskey. The panel will be moderated by English teacher Dean Schmeltz ’14 and researcher/central office administrator Liz Gilkey ’01.

Register here for the event!

Start time:

  • 1 p.m. Pacific
  • 2 p.m. Mountain
  • 3 p.m. Central
  • 4 p.m. Eastern

The Reedies in PreK-12 Education panel is the eleventh installment of the ongoing Career Pathways panel series hosted by the Reed Career Alliance committee of the Alumni Board that explores different career pathways taken by Reedies in a similar field of work. Past panels are available to watch at any time on alumni.reed.edu.


Panelist and Moderator Bios

Don Berg ’12 (he/him) is an award-winning author, education psychology researcher, alternative education practitioner, and leader. His award-winning book is Schooling for Holistic Equity: How to Manage the Hidden Curriculum in K-12. He has over 20 years of experience leading children in self-directed educational settings. His teaching experience has been focused on alternatives that empower students to direct their own learning within the context of caring communities. As the Executive Director of Deeper Learning Advocates he is on a mission to embed the psychology of learning in policy so that policy stops undermining learning. Internationally he has presented his work at conferences in the USA, Canada, Chile, the Netherlands, and in China.

Liz Gilkey ’01 (she/her) is Research & Evaluation Manager in the Office of Research, Assessment & Accountability at Portland Public Schools. Liz brings over a decade of experience leading large scale and high stakes research and evaluation with states, schools, districts, and national and local organizations. 

Her work has focused on equity, measurement and assessment, survey development, strategic planning, and postsecondary transitions. Her clients have included the US Department of Education, Oregon Department of Education, the National Assessment Governing Board, the College Board, the Council of Chief State School Officers, Oregon Education Association, and others.

After earning a BA in English from Reed (2001), Liz earned a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Organizations from University of California, Santa Barbara (2005); a JD with a focus in school law from University of Oregon School of Law (2008); and a PhD in Educational Methodology, Policy and Leadership from University of Oregon (2014).

Alyssa Reed-Stuewe ’01 (she/they) is a former elementary classroom teacher and reading specialist, recently transitioned to school librarian. She identifies as Filam and use she/they pronouns. She got her license after volunteering in public elementary schools during Reed. She is passionate about equity (family, gender,
race), mindfulness, natural history, organization, science fiction, educational technology, and trauma-informed teaching. She is currently completing the Antioch University (online/Seattle) school library endorsement program and writing a memoir. Being Brown and outspoken in Oregon public schools has
been and is challenging! She is starting a coaching business to help adults reach their health/adulting goals, because there is a huge need for this.

Dean Schmeltz ’14 (he/him) was a Linguistics major. He received his M.S.Ed. in Intercultural Communication from UPenn in 2018, and spent the past five years teaching high school English in Denver. Dean recently moved back to Portland, where this fall he will substitute teach for PPS.

Mike Teskey ‘85 (honorary alumnus) (he/him) While Mike is not a Reed graduate, he did work in the alumni office for 17 years before leaving Reed and moving abroad to work in international K-12 schools.  The first stop was the American International School of Mozambique where he and his wife worked for three years before moving to Warsaw and the American School of Warsaw where he is now. Mike does not work in the classroom; he is an administrator, and his wife is a music teacher. But he knows a lot about what international schools offer, how the hiring works, and what will give folks a leg up should they be interested in being international educators.  There are a small group of Reedies in this world, and it is a lifestyle and an environment that would suit Reedies well. 

Lucia Zaczkowski ’89 (she/her) was a Theater major. She teaches middle grades at Boreal Sun Charter School, a Waldorf-inspired charter school in Fairbanks, Alaska. She is also the chairperson of her school's governing body, the Academic Policy Committee. They are a small, relatively new school, and are building a community-oriented, place-centered, Waldorf-inspired program for K-8 students.

Event Details