Open Alternative School will have a new principal, effective next Tuesday.
Colleen Million is currently serving as an affiliate faculty and supervisor of Antioch University Teacher Education Program. She will be serving as a half-time OAS principal and continue her administrative work with Antioch University, which is a partner with OAS.
"I am very excited to be the principal of OAS," Million said. "I have always been a leader in innovative pedagogy where students are at the heart of learning and construct their knowledge of themselves and the world through hands-on differentiated project-based learning, place-based education, and public service. At OAS, we have a unique opportunity to create exceptional learning experiences for children as the result of the special relationship with Antioch University.
"OAS and Antioch formed a partnership at the end of 2012, and this has allowed for teacher candidates to work closely with OAS faculty, students and parents. The original partnership included the psychology department as well as the education department. I look forward to fulfilling the potential of the original agreement to create a place of learning where all aspects of the environment are considered.
"My goals are to connect the research that supports a constructive approach to learning in an environment of restorative justice with the California Common Core Standards and the academic scope and sequence embraced by the district. As an Antioch affiliate faculty member and as the principal of OAS, I will work closely with all stakeholders to accomplish these goals. I am thrilled to be working with the school board and the district, which have extended their complete support to achieve excellence for OAS."
Million's Antioch University duties include providing administrative support for teacher credentialing, supervision of teacher candidates, oversight of Performance Assessment for California Teachers as well as teacher evaluations.
She is a longtime educator with more than 35 years of administrative and management experience. Most recently, from 2009-13, she was the executive director of Santa Ynez Valley Charter School, serving grades K-8. She served as Isla Vista School's summer school principal in 2007; principal designee at Ellwood School (2006-08); teacher trainer in writing methodology for the Santa Maria School District and Goleta Union School District's Ellwood School.
She has developed a host of educational programs to benefit students and teachers.
Million has deep roots in this community. Her family has lived here for seven generations. She is a descendent of Thomas Hicks, one of the first pioneer families in Goleta. She attended La Colina Junior High (the site of the OAS campus) and San Marcos High, and graduated from Santa Barbara High.
— Dana Cisneros represents Open Alternative School.