Constitutionally Speaking Speaker Biographies

NHICE Workshop, June 26 - 27, 2015

Presenters at the New Hampshire Institute for Civics Education, Saint Anselm College, June 26 and 27, 2015

Rebecca Valbuena, M.Ed., began teaching in South America and currently works in the Glendora Unified School District. This summer she is co-directing a teacher institute and is the interim curriculum specialist at the Autry National Center. A California History-Social Science Project fellow of UC Berkeley and CSU Dominguez Hills, Rebecca co-directed a Multilingual Institute and taught for UCLA Extension assisting teachers with effective instructional strategies for English Learners. Valbuena has served as a model teacher for Levstik & Barton's book Doing History and as a model Common Core teacher in videos for the California Department of Education. She is a past recipient of the California Council for the Social Studies Outstanding Elementary Teacher Award and a Los Angeles County Teacher of the Year.

Dianna Gahlsdorf Terrell, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Education Policy and School Partnerships at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. Dr. Terrell earned her Ph.D. at Boston College in 2010. Her research interests include education policy; the impact of high stakes tests on curriculum, instruction and assessment; civic and democratic education; and the social and political contexts of education. She teaches "Curriculum and Assessment in Teaching," "Getting Schooled: The politics and promise of American education," and supervises the Sophomore Early Field Experience (SEFE) and middle and high school teaching interns.

Judge Marjorie O. Rendell co-founded the Rendell Center for Civics and Civic Engagement in 2013. Judge Rendell has been a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, appointed by President Clinton, since 1997. She served as a Judge on the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania from 1994-1997. Judge Rendell was graduated from Villanova University School of Law in 1973. She practiced law in Philadelphia from 1973-1994.

Susan Wolowitz, M.Ed., is a retired elementary educator who worked in the Concord, New Hampshire public schools for 25 years and was honored by Concord School District as a Distinguished Educator of the Year in 1999. In 1999 she was awarded the National Law Education Award from the American Bar Association for the development of an early education law curriculum. She has been a member of the New Hampshire "Think Tank on Civics Education" since its inception in 2008 and a member of the New Hampshire Civics Education Task Force Leadership, and served as a trustee of the NH Supreme Court Society. She was recently named a board member of the Children's Museum of New Hampshire.

Beth Specker, M.A. Since 2013 Ms. Specker has served as Executive Director of the Rendell Center for Civics and Civic Engagement. In the past, Specker was Director of Civics Education with the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, where her focus was establishing professional development opportunities for teachers and the development of civics curriculum for elementary students. She also worked with the Philadelphia Bar Association on the ACE program (Advancing Civics Education). Prior to joining the National Constitution Center staff, Specker was Chief of Staff to the First Lady of Pennsylvania, Judge Marjorie Rendell, where she directed the operation of Judge Rendell's initiative to restore the civic mission of schools, working with schools throughout Pennsylvania and nationally with organizations such as iCivics, the American Bar Association and the Civic Mission of Schools.

Erin Moore is an elementary school teacher at the Mill Brook School in Concord, NH. She is a consultant trainer for the Center for Responsive Schools' Responsive Classroom.

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