Amy Wooliever is the superintendent of a small, rural district in the Bay Area of California. While that region of the country may not be what many people would imagine as being rural, the La Honda-Pescadero school district is comprised of farmlands, flower fields, and a sparse human population. The high school in the district averages around 100 students thanks in large part to Amy’s outreach efforts towards demonstrating the value of small schools—the tagline was “Small School, Big Dreams”—which helped her nearly double student enrollment.
When Amy met CCLC’s TREE team and started learning about Washington County and TREE’s goals toward re-envisioning rural education through trauma-sensitive approaches, she recognized an immediate kinship between the two communities. Learning from TREE’s Resource Coach, Laura Thomas, about their model of placing resource coaches in schools was particularly inspiring to Amy. She is currently working on adapting TREE’s trauma-informed model in her schools.
Amy summed up the broad-reaching impact of TREE by sharing, “The east-west coast thought partnership is really valuable—to have someone to think through some of the challenges that rural education entails. Rural students have different needs that we need to be able to address. TREE has been informing my work by example as they’ve been in the forefront of having innovative ways of addressing those needs. I can see that work spreading—we’re already partnering with another school district on these efforts.”