Sonya Heisters — Director, YouthTruth
About the session
We know that a safe environment is a prerequisite for student learning. But what we may not know, is exactly how safe – or unsafe – students feel in our schools. To shine light, this session will highlight insights gathered through anonymous surveys from 180,000 secondary students in CA and the country. Through interactive protocols and small-group discussion, you’ll learn from the on-the-ground insights of those who know our schools the best – the students themselves. You’ll leave with new insights, new connections, and various strategies for harnessing student voice for school improvement. Participants will leave with tangible tools to engage in discussions about safety and bullying with district leadership teams, parents, and students and will receive templates and tools to take action.
About the speaker
Like many educators, Sonya Heisters’ love for teaching is in her DNA. Her grandmother was a principal, her mother, a high school teacher, and her brother is a celebrated middle school special education teacher. Her work in education has spanned every age-range. Prior to joining YouthTruth, Sonya served as a Director at the Presidio Graduate School. Her experience in K–12 education includes work as Director of University Tutoring, as the Tutoring Program Manager for Kaplan, and as the Site Director of a K–5 program in rural CA. Sonya graduated from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA with degrees in English and Non-Profit Management of Education Programs. She completed her student teaching practicum at Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School..