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Susan Sperber

Expert Profile

Susan Sperber

Principal
Education for Change World Academy
Expertise: 
health of high school students
inner-city schools
safety on high school campuses
health programs for high school students
Oakland Unified School District

Biography

Susan Sperber is principal of the Education for Change World Academy, a charter school in Oakland, Calif. Previously, she was principal of Hawthorne Elementary School in Oakland. She came to teach at this inner city school quite reluctantly in 1983. At the time, she was looking for work with an emergency credential while studying to be a teacher at San Francisco State University. (Earlier, she studied drama arts as an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley, and earned a master's degree in theater arts at San Francisco State.) Sperber spent a week trying to dodge the calls from the school district requesting her presence but ultimately showed up for duty at Hawthorne. She arrived at a tough school with high teacher turnover. Soon afterward, a group of new recruits sat down and decided to begin to make changes. They brought in conflict resolution and team building trainers to help design ways for kids to feel safe on campus. And the school was able to attract funding from \"Healthy Start\" and special funding earmarked for \"demonstration\" school projects. By 1992, the school was beginning to build up its health programs, relying upon these grants. When the seed money disappeared, Sperber, who became principal in 1999, found ways to keep the health programs alive. Today Sperber sees the rich array of health programs at Hawthorne as key to the learning experience of students. \"You can't just deal with the ABCs,\" she says. \"You have to deal with the whole child.\"

1700 28th Avenue
Oakland  California  94601
United States
Office Phone: 
(510) 904-6400

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