2016 JDP Chrispeels Fellowship
Congratulations to Michelle Clark and Jonathan Penuliar for receiving the 2016 JDP Chrispeels Fellowship
Michelle Sadrena Clark is a 9th grade World Cultures, Geography, and Literature teacher at High Tech High North County in San Marcos, California and a School Transformation Coach. She earned her Master’s in Pacific International Affairs, with a career concentration in International Development and a regional specialization in Latin America at the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California, San Diego. Prior to entering graduate school, Michelle lived in Bisai, Japan for two years, teaching English and American culture at public junior high schools while engaging in performance dance and theater. Michelle received her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Irvine, with a major in International Studies and a minor in Clinical Psychology. During this time she also attended La Universidad Catolica Pontificia in Santiago, Chile for one semester. Proficient in Spanish and conversational Japanese, Michelle enjoys international travel and leaves the country at least twice a year. While working at High Tech, Michelle has taken student’s to Washington D.C., the Dominican Republic, Vietnam, the U.K., France, Panama, and Costa Rica. Michelle recently earned her Certification in Dance at Palomar College and was awarded 2013 Dancer of the Year. As a former member of the renowned public speaking organization, Toastmaster’s International, Michelle has won numerous accolades for competitive public speaking. Her 2014 speaking engagements include the USC Shoah Foundation Gala when Stephen Spielberg presented President Barack Obama with the Ambassador for Humanity Award, TEDx Hollywood, and the Past is Present 70th commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz. With a dual passion for education and dance, she embraces an energetic teaching and coaching style. Michelle seeks to enhance her leadership and social justice facilitation through the Joint Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership at the University of California, San Diego and California State University, San Marcos.
Jonathan Bernard Penuliar traces his family roots back to the islands of the Philippines. Struggling to find work after college, his parents were blessed to have been given the opportunity to immigrate to San Diego in the late 1970’s. Starting in a working-class neighborhood in South San Diego’s National City community, his parents worked hard and saved enough to slowly migrate north in order to give their children access to alternative educational experiences in the Poway Unified School District. Inspired by his parents’ perseverance, Jonathan continued his education and received his B.A. in English and communication at UC Santa Barbara. He then proceeded to complete the M.Ed. and Teacher Credential Program at UC San Diego. Through this program Jonathan was able to teach in South San Diego schools, serving the community his parents once called home. He has further supported this demographic through deep involvement in the nonprofit sector by working with organizations such as UC San Diego’s Upward Bound program, a federal grant project that aims to increase the collegiate success of low-income, first generation students. Having returned to the Poway Unified School District, Jonathan is currently the English Language Development site coordinator, yearbook adviser, and theatre director at Twin Peaks Middle School. He is also a faculty member in the English Department. His work revolves around the basic premise that all students deserve every opportunity to succeed through a safe and rigorous learning environment. With research interests in the areas of cultural intersections in schools, language and education, and social justice education, Jonathan is back to pursue doctoral study in the UC San Diego/CSU San Marcos Joint Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership. Jonathan is incredibly grateful for being selected as a recipient of the 2016 JDP Chrispeels Fellowship. This award will support him in continuing his journey as a scholar-practitioner whose aim is to positively impact organizations and school systems to build stronger communities through education.