Author: kjaxon

Applications open for our 2022 Summer Institutes!

Applications open for our 2022 Summer Institutes!

NCWP Invitational Summer Institute 

This summer (2022), we are offering our Summer Institute (SI) in a new, extended format to allow for deeper engagement and community support as we navigate exciting and challenging ideas together. This extended institute experience is open to educators across grade levels (from kindergarten to college) and disciplines. First, we’ll host a Summer Institute Intensive that takes place in person July 25-27 in Sacramento (lodging provided). Monthly follow-up meetings via Zoom through December will give us time to work with the ideas and texts introduced over the summer. Educators receive a $1000 stipend for their participation in the summer intensive, and another $1000 upon completing the follow-up sessions. Teachers can also purchase 1-3 professional development units.

Who should apply?

Any teacher (k-college) who wants to think about the teaching of writing with other educators in our service area. Educators who are ready to engage in conversations about equity, anti racist approaches to course design, and ways to create dynamic communities in education. Teachers should come from a variety of disciplines–math to social studies–as we believe that language is a part of every area of study. Our goal is to connect rural teachers in our network at the beginning of what we hope is a long career in education by offering ongoing support, resources, and meaningful professional inquiry.

What will we do?

At the center of our beliefs about professional development is that teachers are the best teachers of other teachers. For this reason, teachers in our Summer Institute Intensive and follow-up sessions read new professional texts, write together, share problems of practice, and create the kinds of support they want as educators. 

This year, our core texts are Linguistic Justice by Dr. April Baker-Bell and Holding Change by adrienne maree brown. Alongside these books, grade-level specific texts and resources will act as both lens and anchor to our ongoing conversations and imaginations around our teaching.  

Who is facilitating?

The team of facilitators cover a range of grade levels and contexts: Anthony Miranda is a 7th grade English teacher at Sierra Vista K-8 in Vacaville; Kyra Mello, co-director of the NCWP, teaches at Yuba Community College and is the former Chair of Distance Education; Sarah Pape teaches creative writing at Chico State and is the managing editor for Watershed Review. The team will be joined throughout the institute by other veteran teachers who will facilitate a variety of workshops related to the teaching of writing.

Deadlines, dates and location?

  • Friday, March 25th: Applications due. APPLY HERE!
  • Pre Institute Orientation 
    • Saturday, April 30th: Pre-Institute Orientation from 9-12:00 via Zoom
  • Summer Institute Intensive Retreat: 
    • July 25-27 in Sacramento (lodging provided, details TBA)
  • Four fall institute days:
    • Saturday, September 3rd, 9:00-12:00 via Zoom
    • Saturday, October 1st, 9:00-12:00 via Zoom
    • Saturday, November 5th, 9:00-12:00 via Zoom
    • Saturday, December 3rd, 9:00-3:00 pm on Chico State campus (other details to come)

Are there other details I should know?

  • Participants will receive a total of $2000 for participating—$1000 for the summer work and SI Intensive Retreat and another $1000 in December
  • Professional development units can be purchased (1-3 CSU credits for $60 per unit).
  • All materials, including current professional books for participants, are covered by NCWP and will be mailed to teachers’ preferred address.
  • We will follow the evolving state-recommended COVID protocols throughout our in-person programming.

Applications are due March 25th! We hope you will join us!

Link to application

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. 

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.



Join us for one of our next workshop series. We’ll read together, learn from each other, and embark on educational redesigns, putting what we’re learning to practice.


In this inquiry group, we’ll read and discuss the book Grading for Equity: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How It Can Transform Schools and Classrooms by Joe Feldman. Feldman is a teacher, principal, director, and researcher who looks critically at standard, accepted grading practices questioning their ability to accurately and equitably assess student knowledge and growth. He offers alternatives that keep students motivated, assess students on course content, and create equity for all students. Please share with fellow teachers who would be interested in an inquiry into grading practices.

Open to all grades.  

Meeting dates: April 13 and 20; May 4 and May 18. Led by Nicole LaGrave. 

Deep Dive and Teacher Inquiry Community: (Re)Claiming Language Study Group

Deep Dive and Teacher Inquiry Community: (Re)Claiming Language Study Group

You are invited to participate in an exciting Deep Dive and Teacher Inquiry Community hosted by the Northern California Writing Project (NCWP).

The workshop series will begin with a collaborative, deep dive into Dr. April Baker-Bell’s Linguistic Justice: Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy, Black Language before turning toward reflective action aimed at answering: (1) How does Anti-Black Linguistic racism operate in our own contexts? (2) How is White Linguistic supremacy maintained in our contexts? (3) How might we design learning spaces where students’ full linguistic repertoires are valued as more than a bridge to White Mainstream English? (4) What pedagogical innovations might be reimagined and enacted when we build from the claim that Black Lives and Language matter?


The Study Group will consist of eight, one-hour long meetings on Tuesdays from 4-5 pm, Jan 12-March 9:

  • Jan 12, 19 & 26
  • Feb 2, 9, 16 & 23 (plus webinar with Baker-Bell on Wednesday, Feb 10, 4:00-5:00pm; see video from webinar below)
  • March 2 & 9

The series includes a special panel/webinar, “(Re)Claiming Languages: A Conversation with Language Scholars,” featuring Dr. April Baker-Bell (Professor, Departments of African American and African Studies and English at Michigan State University), author of Linguistic Justice: Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy (2020), in conversation with Chico State’s Dr. Sarah Trechter (Interim Assoc Vice President of International Education and Global Engagement and Professor of English) who studies the Lakhota, as well as language revitalization with the Nu’eta, and Dr. Aydé Enríquez-Loya (Associate Professor of English), who studies cultural rhetorics and femicides of Mexican/Mestiza women on the US/Mexican border. Facilitated by Dr. Kim Jaxon (Professor of English). Wednesday, Feb 10, 4:00-5:00, via Zoom. Open to all, including folks who may not be able to participate in our Deep Dive series. 


Online, via Zoom. Meeting details will be sent out to participants a week before the series begins.


The cost to participate in this workshop series is $40.00. Once your participation is confirmed, you’ll receive instructions to submit payment. By participating, it’s also possible to earn two university credits for advancement on your institution’s salary schedule.

How to Be Involved:

The space is limited, and participants will be selected on a first-come basis.

To sign up, please complete the sign-up form. Please complete this form by January 1, 2021.

What You Need To Participate:

You will need to purchase a copy of the text. If this is cost prohibitive for you or you need assistance, please let me know, and we will do what we can to support you. If you have access to an academic library, you may be able to find an e-text in the ProQuest Database.

If you have questions, please reach out. Thank you and we look forward to working together!

Email questions:

Link to flyer for book club

flyer for book club

Meet the NCWP Summer 2019 Fellows!

Meet the NCWP Summer 2019 Fellows!

This summer we are hosting our Summer Invitational Institute with a bit of a twist: we invited some incredible new teachers–teachers who are in their first five years of teaching–to join us for our Beginning Teacher Design Institute. These fellows will work together in June to share teaching practices and reflect on the teaching of writing in their classrooms, which span kindergarten to college. We believe these educators will offer new insights to our summer institute and new ideas to support local teachers. The fellows will imagine and design professional development for other new teachers in our service area.

Meet the 2019 Fellows!

[awl-slider id=835]

Samantha Brooks

Samantha Brooks teaches 9th grade ELA in the rural town of Colusa, California. Before entering her fourth year in teaching, she looks forward to beginning a graduate program through Arkansas State University online in Adolescent Literacy. She is also thrilled to be collaborating with fellow new teachers in the Northern California Writing Project. Samantha earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development from the University of California, Davis, which is close to the tiny town of Esparto, where she grew up. She enjoys the small-school atmosphere, but also appreciates the “professional distance” between her workplace and the town she lives in now: right here in Chico. Aside from teaching, planning, yearbook-editing, and student-supporting, Samantha has a newfound (or, found-again) love of reading for pleasure. She has incorporated a significant amount of choice-reading into her curriculum, and is often found at local thrift stores, scouring the book section for contemporary young adult novels. She is always accepting donations to her classroom library 😉 One of her goals is to get students to write more about what they read, and more easily see the connection between reading, writing, and agency in this world.

Jessica Bruce-McNeely

Jessica Bruce-McNeely is a 4th and 5th grade combo teacher at Alta Mesa Elementary School in Redding California. She is interested in technology, World History, and outdoor education. In her spare time Jessica spends the majority of her time outside exploring with her husband.

Sarah Darling

Sarah Darling is in her first year of teaching English in an American high school and is currently at Shasta High School. She teaches CP English II, Basic English II, Yearbook, and Literacy Lab. Before teaching at Shasta, she was living and teaching English in South Korea for two and a half years. She went to teach English in South Korea because she wasn’t sure she wanted to be a teacher when she originally started the credential back in 2011. She decided to teach English in South Korea to find out if she liked it or not. She LOVED teaching. She had to come back and finish her credential. Literally, had to come back to finish it: the deadline to complete it was approaching. American high school is vastly different, but she is glad to be here. Each of her students brings something different to the classroom. Each of them is a new world that she wants to help open up for the world to see and for them to experience the world. Sarah has no awards or accolades. On her wall in the classroom, she has various student drawings and random things the students have found and given to her, proving that even a teenager really is a child at heart.

Hannah Duran

Hannah Duran grew up in small town Cottonwood before moving to Chico in order to attend Chico State University. She received her BA in English Studies with a minor in Linguistics and she currently teaches freshman composition while attending graduate school. Upon completion of her MA this spring 2019, Hannah plans on pursuing her Ph.D. in order to one day teach at a 4-year university. Some of her current research interests include rhetoric, composition, literacy, and linguistics. When she is not willfully indulging in her studies, she enjoys coffee and reading, watching movies with her husband, being outside, and spending time with her family and friends. She works closely with first generation students in EOP through the Summer Bridge program and in FYC.

Kendall Enns

Kendall Enns is a high school English teacher and Herff Jones yearbook adviser at Willows High School. She completed her Master’s in Education with an option in Curriculum and Instruction through the Residency in Secondary Education (RiSE) Program at Chico State in 2017. Prior to that, she was an English tutor to Burmese refugees in Chiang Mai while studying abroad in Thailand as a Gilman International Scholarship recipient. The travel bug has since then inspired her adventures throughout Southeast Asia and Australia. Next January, she and her fiancé will be married on the island of Koh Tao joined by close friends. Normally she spends her summers teaching for Upward Bound, helping students write personal statements for college admission, but she wanted some time off for professional development. In her spare time, she enjoys plotting her next adventure, training for her first half-marathon, and studying Vedic meditation with some yoga in between.

Taylor Erickson

Born a southern Californian, Taylor Erickson moved to Redding in July 2018 and is thrilled to be on the north side of her native state where there is less traffic. She currently teaches 9th and 10th grade English at Enterprise High School in Redding. Last year, she spent her first-year teaching high school in Santa Ynez, California working mostly with mild to moderate special needs students. Though she never saw herself as a teacher after graduating from UCLA, she is glad to have directed her focus on public service. The best part of teaching is when a group of 30 teenagers actually listen and follow directions. The second best part is when they debate each other using academic language. The third best part is when that troublesome student admits that they actually missed you when you were absent. In her free time, she enjoys high-intensity exercising, organic plant-based food and brainstorming book ideas (which are gestating in her mind, waiting to be birthed into actual books).

Katie Gorman

Katie Gorman graduated in 2009 with a Masters Degree in Education from Simpson University with a Preliminary Administration Service Credential. She is a Kindergarten teacher at Buckeye School of the Arts. It is her first year at Buckeye. She loves teaching kindergarten because she can help kids see their potential and develop a love of learning. She is married and has three wonderful children. Her hobbies are mostly whatever sports her children play. Katie and her husband volunteer to run a Flag Football League every spring, with over 200 participants this year. Last Christmas, she organized a toy drive for Children’s First Foster Families and raised over 400 toys for foster youth.

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. As the site coordinator, Haley ensures all ELPAC testing is completed, trains teachers in ELD methods and strategies, and collects and analyzes data regarding the English Language Learners (ELLs) at her site. Haley was awarded the English Department’s student of the year at California State University, Chico in 2016 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. Her professional interests include culturally relevant teaching, language preservation, and self-reflection as a teaching and learning strategy. Her personal interests include spending time with her dogs, lifting weights, hunting, fishing, and all things crafty.

Keaton Kirkpatrick

Keaton Kirkpatrick teaches first year composition at CSU, Chico. He recently earned his MA in English in the Language and Literacy Pattern with plans to pursue his Ph.D. in Literacy Studies. He researches mentorship, classroom management, and digital communities relating to composition and literacy. He also works closely with students in the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) at Chico State as both a mentor and an instructor.

John LaPine

John LaPine earned his MA in creative writing & pedagogy from Northern Michigan University (NMU), where he worked as a part-time teaching assistant for two years, while volunteering as an associate editor of creative nonfiction & poetry for the literary journal Passages North. He is also a poet, and his work has appeared or is forthcoming in: The Rising Phoenix ReviewHot Metal BridgeThe /Temz/ ReviewGlass: A Journal of PoetryUnder the Gum Tree, Rhythm & BonesMidwestern Gothic, & elsewhere. John is currently in his first full-time year teaching English at Butte College, focusing on literature, poetry, creative writing, first-year composition, and critical thinking. He is on the committee that organizes WordSpring, an annual creative writing conference at Butte, and recently worked as editor for After/Ashes: A Camp Fire Anthology, a compilation of creative work about the Camp Fire, as a way to raise funds for fire-affected WordSpring attendees. John is also (slowly!) working on producing a podcast called Queer Americans, which seeks to document and project the voices of queer-identified Midwesterners. You can find more information on his website or follow him on Twitter @JohnLaPine

Anthony Miranda is a 7th grade English teacher at Sierra Vista K-8 in Vacaville. His interests are in exploring ways of using language and literacy that enable students to recognize and navigate schooling as a complex institution, in designing connections between content and civic participation, and in ongoing, critical reflection of how teachers negotiate the tension between schooling, as an instrument of oppression, and education, as an emancipatory practice. Prior to teaching only English, he taught 7th and 8th grade English and History. He participated in the UC, Berkeley History-Social Science Project’s Teacher Research Group that focused on making explicit to students the historical thinking skills necessary for evaluating and more fully understanding historical narratives. He is also interested in exploring and evaluating language and literacy initiatives that support students from non-dominant backgrounds. As a Curriculum Support Provider for ELA/ELD, and through participation in site-based teams and committees, he has explored how organizational theories of change and models of implementation can leverage teacher expertise and include their voice in the process of change. Outside of the classroom, he can be found with his wife at museums and art galleries, hiking and biking, or making the rounds to the local breweries.

Sarah Morrison

Sarah Morrison is a first grade teacher at Boulder Creek Elementary School in Redding — a school filled with mentor teachers who are willing to answer 20 (million) questions in order to help her survive and thrive in a classroom filled with 6 year olds.  When she’s not tying shoes and thinking about unicorns and the floss and all other relevant first grade things, she’s out being an aunt looking for baby dinosaurs with her nephew, exploring the coast of California, visiting family, biking with her German Shepherd, scheming her next international adventure, and decorating and redecorating her house.

Abby Ott

Abby Ott teaches English Language Arts at Willows High School, where she is about to begin her third year. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English Education from California State University, Chico, and she earned her single subject teaching credential and a masters degree in Education through CSU Chico’s RiSE program in 2017. Her favorite thing about teaching is getting to spend all day with teenagers, who she thinks are some of the best people in the world. Abby is a lifelong northern California native, and a proud connoisseur of local hiking trails and campsites. When she’s not teaching, lesson planning, grading, or directing the school play, she spends every possible minute adventuring outdoors with her husband, Ben, and her dog, Remi. She is an avid hiker, backpacker, and traveler, and hopes to check summiting Mount Shasta and visiting Asia off her bucket list this year.

Sam Roy

Sam Roy is the Reset/Onsite Suspension Teacher for Chico Unified School District at John McManus Elementary School. His classroom roster regularly consists of kindergarteners through fifth grade where he uses mindfulness and restorative justice techniques in the classroom with each student. Prior to the Reset role, Sam worked in the tech industry for five years as a training manager, using educational techniques he learned at the University of San Francisco with adults in tech. Sam attended seminars and conferences led by Brene Brown and Simon Sinek and applied their methods of leadership and vulnerability in the tech sector workplace. He also wrote grants for training tech with the Employment Training Panel with the State of California during his tenure as a manager. Before his life in the tech sector, Sam received his Master of Arts in Teaching and his California Teaching Credential from the University of San Francisco, with his thesis centered on project based learning focused on social studies material surrounding feudal Japan. Sam taught fifth through ninth grade in the Bay Area, ranging in topics from homeroom to civics to world cultures to American history. While in the Bay Area, he was the site leader for the Washington D.C. 8th grade trip and he also coached Jr. High boys and girls soccer and baseball. Sam resides in Chico with his wife, his daughter and son, and their dog. He enjoys lots of things, like comic books, roleplaying games, Magic The Gathering, and drawing.

Joe Willis

Joe Willis: Ever since early childhood, I have been exploring forbidden zones in garages and back yards to figure out how things work. Targets of my inquiries ranged from mechanical things like power tools, toasters and radios to insects and flowers, especially insect-flower codependency. This led eventually to discovering literature that brought a science perspective to imaginary themes in poetry, fiction, and the essay. Writers such as Steinbeck, Thoreau, Twain, and Shakespeare were studied superficially in high school. Strange as it may seem, I was first led to deeper appreciation of such writers through conversations in bars with my biology professors. I suppose the seeds were being sown all along for a career that would shift slowly but steadily from teaching science and math in conventional ways, to curriculum writing with interdisciplinary approaches that sometimes got me into trouble, to my current love which is living in the Sierra (which is a singular noun, by the way) and teaching writing and literature classes at Feather River College.



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 Jaxon, Director NCWP

Follow on Twitter: @drjaxon

Kim’s website