"I'm really proud of the work the students produced this semester in The Write of Your L!fe."
~ Scott Jacobs, Instructor of Expository Reading and Writing, Gateway College and Career Academy
TEACHING, LEARNING & PROGRAM OUTCOMES
Dr. Debra Sacks has been an educator for over 35 years and has a passion for improving the lives of students by providing resources and experiences to build personal skills and resiliency so that their dreams become their reality. Her career experiences include teaching high school, continuation high school, adult education, and college, as well as serving as a school principal and administrator for Riverside County Office of Education, and providing oversight of State and Federal grants, including the School Improvement (SIG), the High School Graduation Initiative (HSGI) Grant, and the Youth Build Grant.
Debra worked with the Riverside County Superintendent of Schools on the initial blueprint and implementation of the Nationally-Acclaimed Come Back Kids (public) Charter School, a Dropout Recovery graduation program (2008), as well as the development of the College Connection Mentoring Program (2011) for youth in Riverside County, including court, community, foster youth, and adjudicated youth.
Both programs have received the California School Board Association Golden Bell Award. She has been featured on the PBS/KVCR American Graduate Series documentary and the KUCR radio show at the University of California Riverside. She serves on the ACSA Educational Options Council, the California Family Life Center Empower Youth Caravan Board, and the Women Wonder Writers Board. She currently provides coaching and consulting for ten districts in School Wide Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (SWPBIS), Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS), Social Emotional Learning, Mindfulness in Education, Restorative Practices, and Restorative Conferencing. She recently served on a Dissertation Committee for the University of Southern California (USC) Rossier School of Education.
Additionally, Debra has developed on-line Social Emotional Learning courses (Tier 1) and an Alternative to Suspension course curriculum called Raising Resilience(Tier 2), designed for middle school and high school students. Currently, six districts are using the on-line curriculum in both a direct teaching model and independent study model. She has been published in Leadershipmagazine, The JSSAC Journal, and has a chapter on “How to Repair and Restore Relationships in Order to Build Student Resiliency” in the book Transforming School Climate Through Innovative Solutions (2017).
Debra is a Happiness Ambassador, life-long learner, humanitarian, writer, mentor, athlete, poet, mother of three, wife, sister, and pet owner.
"I see almost everything with a positive outlook. I can express myself more than I did before."
~ Daisy, Gateway to College, Riverside City College Freshman
"I noticed the girls are truly invested in your program, we observed all the support you provide for them and think it’s tremendous."
~ Michele Worth, Visual Arts Instructor