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MA in Education Faculty

CarolVanVoorenDr. Carol Van Vooren is the Coordinator of the Educational Administration Credential program and the former principal of Jefferson Elementary in Carlsbad, an IB World School.  She taught every level from K-21, mostly working with English learners through Migrant Education and federal Title programs.  Her research is focused on leadership through the lens of cultural proficiency and international-mindedness.  Dr. Van Vooren is the professor of several of the cohort classes including Leading School Communities in a Pluralistic Society, Leading for Assessment and Accountability, and Foundations of Leadership and Educational Issues.  She is also the Coordinator of the International Baccalaureate Educator Certificate at CSUSM.

E-mail: | Phone: (760) 750-8516



 Dr. Brooke Soles, an Assistant Professor of Education Administration, grew up in rural Wisconsin where she attended public schools. She holds a B.A. in Spanish and Education from the University of Wisconsin, Platteville, a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from the University of California, Los Angeles, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to higher education, Dr. Soles served for 15 years as K-12 bilingual teacher and administrator in the San Francisco and Los Angeles Unified School Districts in both traditional public and charter schools and well as a charter school monitor with the Los Angeles County Office of Education. Dr. Soles has also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras and Board Member of the Los Angeles Neighborhood City Council and the Gay and Lesbian Administrators and Allies of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Her current scholarship interests include school reculturing, moral leadership, professional development on inclusive practices, high impact strategies for inclusive school culture addressing teachers’ norms, beliefs, and values, anti-racist and diversity initiatives, school policies into practice, constructive problem talk, design-based school improvement, and online education.

E-mail: | Phone: 760-750-8284



 Manuel Vargas, PhD, is a teacher educator with over 30 years of experience in P-12 and higher education. He has taught 4th, 5th, 7th, and 8th grades and has been an assistant and school principal at International Baccalaureate (IB) American schools in Mexico. His career in higher education began in North Carolina as a middle-level educator. Soon after he initiated the middle-grades program, he became a departmental chair, then associate dean, interim dean, and dean of the School of Education and Human Performance at Winston-Salem State University, one of the sixteen campuses of the University of North Carolina System. His experience in higher education also includes two years at Sonoma State University, CA; one year at Appalachian State University, NC; and an adjunct part-time position at Salem College, NC. Dr. Vargas’s position as director of the School of Education at Cal State San Marcos ended in 2015-16 AY. Upon conclusion of his administrative duties, he joined the MA in Educational Administration and the JDP programs where he teaches courses related to leadership and diversity, leadership and organizational change, and access to educational opportunities topics which he has previously taught at Appalachian State and Sonoma State universities. His professional goals and scholarly activities focus on working with underrepresented groups in education, especially African American and Latino students. He is concerned about public education, which seems to leave many children behind while others race to nowhere. “Why is it that some school and classroom settings make it possible for some students to succeed while others fail?”

E-mail: | Phone: (760) 750-8535


Lisa Basista

Dr. Lisa Basista is a full time-lecturer with the Educational Administration program. She has worked in K-12 and university classrooms for over 30 years and has served as an elementary Bilingual Resource Teacher, high school Spanish and ELD instructor, Director of International Student Services, middle school assistant principal, and district and county SDAIE, BTSA, CLAD, and CTEL trainer. While conducting her doctoral research, Dr. Basista became the first female principal of an all-male, international military boarding school - the first in the school’s 106-year history.

Dr. Basista spent several years living and studying abroad as a student, which led to an immense enthusiasm for second language acquisition and bilingual/bicultural understanding. Her research interests target the linguistic, academic, and cultural factors that impact language learners, and on building schools and programs that promote social justice and equity. Dr. Basista is delighted to work with future school leaders in the following courses: Development of Professional Leadership Perspectives, Leading School Communities in a Pluralistic Society, and Research Methods in Education.



William Billingsley

 Bill Billingsley is the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Communication for the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District. During his time spent at FUESD, he has served as an elementary teacher, a middle school teacher, a Lead Teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal, Director of Student Services, and Assistant Superintendent. He is a two-time graduate of CSUSM, and is proud to work closely with the CSUSM Student Teaching Cohort located on the Maie Ellis Elementary Dual Immersion School campus. He is excited to be returning to CSUSM to teach and mentor future school leaders.



Michael Grove

 Dr. Michael Grove is the Associate Superintendent of Educational Services for the San Dieguito Union High School District. During his 26 year career in the San Dieguito district, Dr. Grove has served as a high school English and Speech teacher, a middle and high school assistant principal, and a middle and high school principal. His doctoral research focused on effective teacher professional development and his areas of interest and expertise include professional growth for teachers and school administrators, school improvement and organizational change processes, instructional leadership, and school management. Dr. Grove joined the faculty of the CSUSM School of Education in 2016.



Sean Nank

 Dr. Sean Nank earned a Ph.D. at the University of California Riverside. He received the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) in 2009 for mathematics from California. He has published two books titled Testing over Teaching: Mathematics Education in the 21st Century and The Making of a Presidential Mathematics and Science Educator, has published numerous articles, was a lead in writing the world’s first cloud based open source CCSS-M aligned K-8 texts (, and is currently working on his third book. He has worked in leadership positions with the United States Department of Education, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, National Science Foundation, California Department of Education, California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. He was appointed to represent the USA at the International Congress on Mathematical Education in Korea as the mathematics assessment expert, which culminated in a congressional address as to the current state of mathematics education in the USA. Sean Nank is the President and Program Chair of the Greater San Diego Mathematics Council. He has been a coach, Domain Specialist, and is currently a Facilitator and ambassador for LearnZillion. He also continues to consult for various districts across the country at the elementary, middle, and secondary level training teachers and administrators. Topics include transitioning to CCSS-M while aligning classroom and district curricula, pedagogy and assessments in a coherent manner using technological resources. His current research agenda includes how teachers negotiate the balance between the procedural, conceptual, and application via technological resources. Sean has been on numerous conference planning committees. He is currently the chair for a national educational summit in Washington, DC which will include Presidential awardees and members of various state and national educational agencies.



Mark Reardon

 Mark Reardon is founder, president, and CEO of CenterPoint Leadership. His career of over 36 years includes roles as an elementary and middle school teacher, middle and high school principal, trainer, consultant, speaker and author. Mr. Reardon earned his B.A. in Psychology and Religion from California Lutheran University, his teaching credential from Biola University, and his M.S. in Educational Administration from California State University, Fullerton. He has dedicated his professional life to discovering and articulating what works best in teaching, learning, and leading.



Lorri J. Santamaría, PhD is a former CSUSM Professor of Multicultural Multilingual Education (2002-2012). While at CSUSM, Dr. Santamaría supervised a number of graduate students as Director of the CSUSM/ UCSD EdD Educational Leadership Program (2010-2012). In 2012, she was recruited by the University of Auckland, New Zealand and appointed Associate Professor of Educational Leadership in the Faculty of Education and Social Work. After an enlightening five years, Dr. Santamaría has returned to the US and delighted to be working with CSUSM Educational Leadership students in the College of Education Health and Human Services as an Adjunct Professor and Thesis Chair in Educational Leadership. Her research interests feature diversity as a resource and international culturally responsive and sustainable educational, leadership, and research practices. These are reflected in selected publications: One against the grain: Re-imagining the face of school leadership in Aotearoa New Zealand, International Journal of Educational Management (2017); Culturally responsive leadership in higher education: Praxis promoting access, equity and improvement, Routledge Books. (2016); and Culturally responsive leadership in education: Engaging social justice and equity for improvement, Education Sciences (2016).



Stephanie Wallace

 Stephanie Wallace is the principal at San Marcos Elementary in the San Marcos School District. Prior to working as an administrator in San Marcos, she taught K-4th and was the bilingual coordinator in Solana Beach and San Diego Unified School District. She holds a B.A. in Spanish and Latino Studies and a BCLAD credential from the University of San Diego and an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from National University. Her current passions and interests are in the areas of Equity and Access for all students, best teaching practices for English Language Learners and incorporating meaningful work for students through project-based, community-based learning opportunities. She enjoys teaching the online Leading Instruction and Fieldwork courses.



Brieahna Weatherford

 Dr. Brieahna Weatherford is the Principal of Oak Crest Middle School, in the San Dieguito Union High School District. During her career in education, Dr. Weatherford has served as an AVID, English Language Development, Health Sciences, Mathematics, Spanish, and Sheltered English teacher, at both the middle and high school levels, as a Teacher on Special Assignment, focused on student attendance, data/testing, and technology for 21st century teaching and learning, and as both an assistant principal and principal. Her doctoral research focused on the preparation of preservice teachers for effective technology use, and her areas of interest and expertise focus on quality instructional practices, effective and purposeful technology implementation, and providing opportunities for all students to experience educational success. Dr. Weatherford joined the faculty at the CSUSM School of Education in 2017.