Who We Are

About the Primary Bloggers

Seth Biderman

spent over a decade teaching public and private school children of all ages, and in 2008-2009 was Dean of Students at Monte del Sol Charter School in Santa Fe, NM. He was a co-founder the (now closed) Summer Sustainability Institute, an innovative residential program for high schoolers. His essays and journalism on education, sustainability, and human rights have appeared in The Christian Science Monitor Online, YES! Magazine, The New Internationalist, and The Albuquerque Alibi. Currently he lives in Cali, Colombia, where he researches for the Academy for the Love of Learning and writes a monthly “School Re-formed” column for the Santa Fe Reporter. 

Christian E. Casillas

is a fellow New Mexican, currently in India, thinking about the benefits and costs of his years of institutional learning.

Zoë Nelsen

lives in Santa Fe, NM. She teaches at Monte del Sol Charter School, and works in their Mentorship Program. She also works closely with her father’s landscaping business, EcoScapes. With the support of the Academy for the Love of Learning Zoë produced a film, titled Water Teaches, highlighting where food, water and education can meet.

About the Guest Contributors

Dipti Vaghela

Since 2003, Dipti has been working with rural and indigenous communities in India.  Her recent focus has been community-based micro hydro for rural electrification in Odisha.  Dipti views co-learning and learning-at-the-heart as the foundation for any project or exchange with a rural community.

Tony Gerlicz

is a 35 year education veteran.  He has been a full-time classroom teacher for 9 years and founded The Oregon Governors’ School for Citizen Leadership, a leadership development program for Oregon youth.  From 1999 to 2008, he was Founder and Head Learner of the Monte del Sol Charter School in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Tony has also taught and administered in independent schools as well as international schools in South America.  Most recently, from 2008 – 2012, he was Director of the American School of Warsaw, in Warsaw, Poland. Tony has presented at home and abroad on issues of school reform and school leadership.

Nanda Currant

I am a fine artist with a background and training in both therapy and education. I worked in setting up home school and charter school education programs and community arts events. I like building bridges between the districts and the alternative approaches to education. I also really enjoy helping create a local place-based educational option for young people outside of the school system. I have completed two full length documentary movies, Beehive in My Heart and Conditions to Flourish, and graduated from the College of Santa Fe Documentary Studies program. I completed two guides on Performance Art in Service of the Wild: Bringing Nature to Life and RiverWorks.  Learn more at http://members.cruzio.com/~hearth/index.html.

Paul Biderman

Paul Biderman, J.D., retired in May 2011 as Director of the University of New Mexico Institute of Public Law (IPL), and as a research faculty member of the School of Law. Prior to becoming Director of IPL, he served as founding director of the New Mexico Judicial Education Center. He was New Mexico’s Secretary of Energy and Minerals from 1983 through 1986, where he promoted energy conservation and renewable energy policies. Beginning in 1976 he founded and headed for several years the Energy and Utilities Unit within the New Mexico Attorney General’s Consumer and Economic Crimes Division, intervening on behalf of ratepayers and promoting sound utility regulatory policies. He headed the Consumer Division in 1982. Professor Biderman’s awards include the 2005 Public Lawyer of the Year Award from the State Bar of New Mexico, and the 1997 Judicial Education Award from the Judicial Division of the American Bar Association. He has served on numerous community and professional non-profit boards, with terms as president of six organizations, including Monte del Sol Charter School, the Western Interstate Energy Board, the National Association of State Judicial Educators, and the Ghost Ranch Conference Center National Governing Board.

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