Frank holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History from California State University, Sacramento and a Master’s degree in Teaching History from Occidental College, where he specialized in student –centered curriculum development. Frank began his teaching career at the middle school and high school levels in the Elk Grove Unified School District, serving as classroom teacher and curriculum coordinator. After five years in the classroom, Frank transitioned to the California Department of Education (CDE), where he helped to shape school reform policy and worked to ensure greater efficiency in after-school and expanded learning programs. As the coordinator of CDE’s Regional System of District and School Support, he provided guidance to low performing schools and districts across the state. He has assisted hundreds of elementary and middle school after school programs in their efforts to better align program and practice to student needs and content standards. Throughout his career, he has personally trained thousands of classroom teachers in curriculum planning and implementation and after school program staff in strategies to infuse State Board of Education adopted curriculum standards into after school activities while maintaining a high level of youth involvement in the planning process. A strong proponent of youth-centered and youth driven programming, Frank regularly speaks about the critical importance of creating a relevant, engaging, and supportive environment to foster student success. Currently Frank is Director of History-Social Science at the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE), leading efforts designed to bring cross-curricular teams of teachers together to engage their students in service projects around youth-identified issues or concerns. Frank is working towards a vision where civic engagement and responsibility is taught across the entire curriculum, forming the context for learning.
In between 2017 and 2021, Frank led the Content, Literacy, Inquiry, and Citizenship (CLIC) project. CLIC was a statewide community of practice designed to assist educators implement California’s History-Social Science (HSS) Framework. Through CLIC, thousands of classroom teachers and administrators engaged in meaningful professional development around the Framework, inquiry, and other topics critical to student success. Though the CLIC project is no longer funded, the network created is still connected to high quality HSS instruction. Currently, Frank is providing HSS support to school districts in the Sacramento region and across the state and developing SCOE’s approach to foster greater youth voice and civic action.
My whole career in education has been promoting a real-world and inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning. The California Council for the Social Studies (CCSS) could play a significant role in supporting efforts to enhance the student learning experience. With the ability to reach thousands of educators and administrators across the state, CCSS has the opportunity to make a real change in how we educate our youth in California.
I would like to see CCSS help educators embrace an approach to teaching and learning that focuses more on the context for learning more than content of learning. The way to ensure a relevant and meaningful learning experience is to take a cross-curricular approach that involves blending all subject matters in support of a common objective. By utilizing current local issues, concerns, and data in lesson plans, students will be able to readily see the relevance of their educational experience, and the interconnectedness of what they are learning in each of their classes. The age-old question of, “When will I ever use this?” becomes moot because students will have opportunities to use the skills they’re learning in real-life situations.
CCSS should be a critical thought partner to the California Department of Education and other education organizations. With so much coming to the forefront of the educational experience (Ethnic Studies, the need for civil dialogue and civic action, and the need to support students and educators as we emerge from a worldwide pandemic), CCSS could and should figure prominently in those discussions.
If selected to serve as a Vice President, I look forward to providing valuable input and insight to inform the organization’s advocacy efforts and playing an active role in its continued growth.