Staff Profile REEd

Susan O’Hara
Executive Director

Susan O’Hara joined the School of Education as REEd’s Executive Director in 2013 with a wealth of experience and background in public education, and working closely with teachers, researchers and community leaders. An educator for 20 years, Susan began teaching mathematics and science to middle and high school students in Ireland. In 2000, Susan was appointed assistant professor in teacher education at Sacramento State University and received early promotion to associate professor in 2004. While at Sacramento State University she served as associate chair of teacher education and core faculty for the Independent Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Most recently, she was associate professor and founding executive director of the Center to Support Excellence in Teaching (CSET) at Stanford University.

Susan’s research has focused on professional learning for teachers and instructional leaders, with a specific focus on meeting the needs of English learners. She has been engaged in a five-year project to develop, implement, and test a professional learning model to build teacher and instructional leader capacity. Currently she is principal investigator on two federal grants funded by the Institute of Education Sciences and the Office of English Language Acquisition. Susan holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics and Science Education from UC Davis, an M.A. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Southern California, and a B.A. in Mathematics and Physics from the University College Dublin.

Current Grants

  • U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences (2017-2022). Investigating the Efficacy of the Academic Language and Literacy Professional Developmental Model.
  • U.S. Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition (2016- 2021). Building District Capacity to Support Mentors and Teachers in the Academic Language and Literacy Development of Young English Learners. ($2.5 M)
  • Improving Teacher Quality Grant (2016-2018). Resourcing Integrated Professional Learning Systems. ($3.2 M)
  • California Department of Corrections. Evaluation of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Career Technical Education Program. ($500,000).
  • Improving Teacher Quality Grant. Resourcing Integrated Professional Learning Systems ($5.8M).
  • U.S. Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition. Academic Literacy Support for Teachers: A Capacity Building Approach ($2M).

Selected Publications

  • O’Hara, S. and Pritchard, R. (Pending). Building district instructional capacity to meet the needs of English learners. TESOL Quarterly.
  • O’Hara, S., Pritchard, R. (2016). Framing Teaching for Common Core literacy standards: SOAR teaching frames for literacy. Psychology Research, February 2016, Vol. 6 (No. 2), 92-101.
  • O’Hara, S., Pritchard, R., & Zwiers, J. (2016). Framing the teaching of academic language to English learners: A Delphi study of expert consensus. TESOL Quarterly.
  • O’Hara, S., Pritchard, R., & Zwiers, J. (2016). Academic Language and Literacy in Every Subject (ALLIES): A capacity building approach to supporting teachers in Grades 3-8. In P. Proctor, A. Boardman, and E. H. Hiebert (Eds.), Teaching emergent bilingual students: Flexible approaches in an era of new standards. New York, NY: Guilford Press.
  • O’Hara, S., Pritchard, R., Pitta, D., and Webb, J. (2015). Implementing new technologies to support social justice pedagogy. In Papa, R., Eadens, D. M., & Eadens, D. M. (Eds), Social Justice Instruction: Empowerment on the Chalkboard. New York, NY: Springer Publishing.
  • O’Hara, S. & Pritchard, R. (2015). Using new technologies to engage and support English learners in mathematics classrooms. In D. Polly (Ed.), Cases on Technology and Common Core Mathematics Standards. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
  • Zwiers, J., O’Hara, S., & Pritchard, R. (2014). Common Core Standards in diverse classrooms: Essential practices for developing academic language and disciplinary literacy. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.
  • Jaquith, A. & O’Hara, S. (2012). Leadership for Learning: A Practice Brief. Prepared for the Center to Support Excellence in Teaching
(916) 425-1987

Log in