Core Staff

Grace Calisi

Grace Calisi

Research Associate
Grace has been with WestEd since 1998, working alongside Tracy in various research efforts — from high school reform to college and career-ready standards. Joining the Center in 2013, Grace has added a few hats to that of researcher including evaluator, project manager, and professional learning facilitator. Motivated by the work of innovative practitioners, Grace explores opportunities to build on their experiences to inform the larger education community.

Grace holds a B.A. in Economics from Stockton University and an Ed.M. in Secondary Social Studies Education from Rutgers University. While she fully embraces her life as a Californian, she still thinks New Jersey beaches are better.

Pamela Fong

Pamela Fong

Research Associate
Pamela has been part of the Center for the Future of Teaching & Learning team since 2013 as an education researcher, writing and developing publications and reports about the Center’s interest and commitment to advancing the profession of teaching. Initially joining WestEd in 1999 as a professional developer in adolescent literacy, Pam has always been inspired by learning the stories and experiences of teachers, whom she believes have lasting impact on their students in ways they will never realize.

No longer playing “teacher” with her oversized chalkboard in her childhood home, Pam moved on to studying English and sociolinguistics, teaching real students with her own real-life classroom chalkboard, and earning an M.A. in Language, Literacy & Culture from U.C. Berkeley’s School of Education. With two left feet, she practices Dancer’s Pose and hopes to hold the yoga pose with confidence one day.

Tracy Huebner

Tracy Huebner

Director
Tracy has been leading the Center for the Future of Teaching & Learning since 2013 and has been a senior staff member at WestEd since 1999. She has the enthusiasm to guide the vision of the Center and the compassion to listen carefully to those with whom she works. As Center Director, Tracy oversees all the research and outreach provided by the Center and ensures the work is mission driven. She actively maintains relationships with outside funders and presents Center work in public settings. Tracy has an extensive background in research and evaluation supporting school and district change.

Tracy holds both an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Education from Stanford University. When not wrapped up in Center work, she is trying, with little success, to teach her rabbit new tricks. Advice is always welcome!

Melissa Josue

Melissa Josue

Administrative Assistant
Melissa has been supporting the Center for the Future of Teaching & Learning with dissemination and high-level logistical support since 2014. As administrative assistant for the Center, she coordinates online and face-to-face learning events and supports the Center’s dissemination efforts such as maintaining the Center’s websites, publishing newsletters, and managing social media, among tons of other project support activities to increase the capacity and impact of the Center. Melissa is celebrating her tenth year at WestEd!

Having always been drawn to mission-driven work, Melissa holds a B.A. in Journalism from San Francisco State University and worked at the American Cancer Society and Red Cross prior to joining WestEd. She spends her free time keeping her toddler from eating cat food or reprogramming the TV remote.

Reino Makkonen

Reino Makkonen

Senior Policy Associate
Reino has worked with the Center since 2015 and joined WestEd in 2004. He is an experienced researcher and policy analyst who provides evidence-based analysis and technical assistance to policymakers and practitioners. His research focuses on teacher policy and school and district leadership, including investigating the distributions of teachers and principals in particular regions, evaluating professional learning initiatives, and examining current reforms in teacher development and support. Reino works with the Center on research methodology, instrumentation, analysis and dissemination, as well as contributing to project strategy.

Reino holds a Ph.D. in Measurement and Evaluation from the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Education. In his spare time, Reino likes reading historical fiction and visiting the Bay Area’s many live music venues, and he spends an inordinate amount of time concerned with the fortunes of the Boston Celtics.

Patsy Wilkes

Patsy Wilkes

Project Administrator
Patsy joined WestEd in 2011 when the Center for the Future of Teaching & Learning moved to WestEd. As project administrator, she brings her years in operations and program management to her role acting as air traffic controller, overseeing contracts and grants, workflow, finances, and commitments of the various Center initiatives. Previously, Patsy served as vice president of operations at the Center, and as a founding staff member she helped establish the organization in 1995.

Patsy holds a B.A. in Psychology and a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She spends her free time enjoying horseback riding adventures with her horse, Pal.

Clay Willis

Clay Willis

Communications Strategist
Clay joined the team in 2015 to lead communication and technology strategies for the Center’s California Initiatives, overseeing technology design and development, branding, key messaging, external content, quality assurance, and dissemination. He works across the Initiatives’ technical assistance network, district capacity, and research and dissemination strands, focused on equipping California stakeholders with the information, tools, and assistance necessary to strengthen implementation of the new content standards, including providing direct strategic support and advising to the Initiatives’ partners. With a devotion to user-centered design and a background in content of every kind, Clay is fixated on making knowledge work for people.

Before joining WestEd, Clay led communications operations for NewSchools Venture Fund. He received a B.S. in Journalism and Anthropology from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Clay spends most of his free time thinking about food, talking about food, growing food, cooking food, and especially eating food.

Center Contributors

Teresa Alonzo

Teresa Alonzo

Francesca Delgado-Jones

Francesca Delgado-Jones

 
Ayele Dodoo

Ayele Dodoo

Thomas Torre Gibney

Thomas Torre Gibney

Joy Lewis

Joy Lewis

Robert Montgomery

Robert Montgomery

Jack Pham

Jack Pham

Robert Sheffield

Robert Sheffield

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