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I have always loved learning, both in and out of school. After a fairly traditional and successful K-12 experience, my eyes were opened to students and communities who were underserved in schools as an undergrad at UC Santa Cruz. I developed an interest in culturally relevant and compatible education that led me to graduate programs at the University of Hawaii. I met incredible local educators working to empower Native Hawaiian and other youth in Hawaii through programs addressing current community challenges. I saw the impact of getting kids outside of the school walls on their engagement and outcomes.

As a classroom teacher, I worked to bring what I had learned into my own practice. During those teaching years, I was introduced to Big Picture Learning. The simple foundations of structuring learning opportunities around Relationships, Relevance, and Rigor resonated deeply and have informed the work I have done as a teacher, principal, and consultant for the past 20 years. I believe in the power of education to battle the inequities pervasive in our communities.

I am fascinated by how the mind works, and I travel with my husband and 2 kids whenever possible to challenge my lenses and frames of reference. If there happens to be high quality, ethically sourced dark chocolate along the road, the journey is that much more enjoyable!

Andrea Purcell

Program Director, LA LTL & IBPLC

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