Our Staff

Michelle Bamrick joined Growing Educators as a staff developer in July 2011. Prior to her work with GE, she taught in the Redondo Beach Unified School District for ten years—three years as a high school teacher and seven years at the elementary level in grades K, 2, 3, and 5. She has spent numerous summers studying at Teachers College. She currently works with schools all over Los Angeles and Orange County to support teachers with their reading and writing instruction.  Michelle has an M. Ed.  in Education Administration from CSUDH.

Regina Hurh Kim received her M.A. in Elementary Education from Teachers College, where she was introduced to the idea of balanced literacy and workshop teaching through classes with Lucy Calkins. For several years, Regina lived in New York City where she taught at P.S. 163 and later worked as a staff developer for TCRWP.  After moving to California, Regina worked as a full-time editor and as a freelance writer/editor for various educational publishing companies. She joined Growing Educators as a staff developer in 2011.

Jessica Martin is Co-Founder and Director of Education at Growing Educators and a former Teachers College Reading and Writing Project staff member. She has taught both primary and upper grades and worked as a consultant for schools in reading and writing workshops across the country, K–12. Upon returning to the LA area in 2006, Jessica continued to work part-time for the TCRWP and as a Faculty Resident Advisor and Field Supervisor in LAUSD for the Teacher Education Program, Center X at UCLA. Her vision as Co-Founding Director of Growing Educators is to build an organization created and committed to innovative and collaborative professional development for educators that will help improve literacy instruction for all students.

Claudia Vecchio Wille joined the Growing Educators team as a staff developer in 2014, after working in New York City Public Schools as a kindergarten and first grade teacher, as well as a literacy coach.  While in New York City, she worked closely with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project as part of two different lab-site schools, numerous project summer institutes, and several leadership groups. She received her Master's degree from City College of New York.  She also worked as an instructional coach in Federal Way Public Schools, transitioning her school from the Success For All literacy program, to a balanced literacy workshop model.

Growing Educators Collaborative Team

Joyce Friedman graduated from Worcester State College in Worcester, MA with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She has taught students from kindergarten through eighth grade in Boston, San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles. Joyce has also been a literacy coach at the UCLA Lab School and the New Haven School District in Union City, California.  She presently teaches at the UCLA Lab School and has attended several summer institutes at Teachers College. She has hosted teachers from all over Southern California as part of UCLA Lab School's intensive professional development model.

Dr. Cory Hills is a percussionist, composer, and improviser who thrives on breaking down musical barriers in creative ways. Cory is carving out a unique niche in the classical-contemporary music scene: multidisciplinary arts projects that combine his knowledge and proclivity as a performer with his passion and desire to educate others. The result has been an expansion of Percussive Storytelling, in which originally conceived children's stories are blended with originally composed percussion music. In May 2009, Cory launched Percussive Storytelling with the mission to bring classical music to under-served communities. To date, Percussive Storytelling has been performed more than 300 times to over 21,000 children in eight countries. For more information, please visit www.splatboombang.

Antonio Sacre is an internationally touring storyteller, writer, and solo performance artist based in Los Angeles. He has been a featured storyteller at the Kennedy Center, the National Storytelling Festival, the National Book Festival at the Library of Congress, and museums, schools, libraries, and festivals worldwide. His CD recordings have won numerous national awards, and his retelling of the story The Barking Mouse was a winner of the 2004 International Reading Association Notable Books for a Global Society. His next two picture books A Mango In The Hand - A Story Told Through Proverbs, and La Noche Buena, A Christmas Story, were published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, and were both chosen for inclusion in the California Readers recommended book lists for California school libraries.