My name is Mike Gwaltney. I am a veteran teacher, school leader, writer, and an educational consultant.
I am proud of my reputation as a dynamic, creative, and innovative educator, recognized for visionary leadership and a commitment to student-centered education. I have led numerous school improvement initiatives, including teams and task forces on progressive, learner-centered and 21st Century learning, online/blended learning, and on assessment. I have co-chaired an accreditation process, run athletic programs and academic departments, directed a large 12th grade retreat program, and in 2011 I co-founded EdCampPDX in Portland, Oregon.
As a leader in private-independent schools, I have been at the forefront of school decision-making on all issues related to academic and co-curricular programs, while leading a staff of teachers and managing budgets. I am considered a master department chair, and I lead the ISM training program for new chairs within the NAIS and private school community. I have completed the NAIS School Leadership Institute, and taken numerous courses in leadership, including ISM’s course on theory of private-independent school management. Currently I lead a PK-12 department and teach courses in History and Government in Portland.
I am a noted international leader in project-based and online learning, and a strong advocate for engaged citizenship. As part of a PBL unit in 2014-2015, my students helped pass a major bill through the Oregon state legislature. I am also one of the pioneers in online learning within American independent schools. As an Online School for Girls teacher from year one, I helped establish a standard for progressive eLearning, assisted with the first ever accreditation of an independent supplemental online school, and developed two successful social studies courses and a professional development course. I am both a practitioner and a scholar of student-centered online learning, and have written about highly effective distance education.
I provide training and consulting in Project-Based Learning, Online/Blended Learning, Educational Technology, and School Leadership. I have worked with schools and organizations all over the world. I present about PBL and e-Learning at major international, national and regional conferences, including ISTE, NAIS, OESIS, NWAIS, among others. I have received numerous teaching awards, including recognition as “Most Inspirational Teacher” by the Mayor of Los Angeles six times. My work has been featured on National Public Radio, Edutopia, and in several recent books. In October 2016, I was given the annual Friends of the Muslim Educational Trust Award for my work creating shared online learning opportunities between my students and the muslim community in the Pacific Northwest (co-awarded with the Mayor of Portland, the World Affairs Council, and the Director of Refugee Resettlement for Catholic Charities).
There is art in the act of teaching, and the enthusiasm I have for inspiring all learners motivates my creative approach. Yet I also know that education is a science, and can be understood and improved through systematic study. I am a trained instructor, with comprehensive preparation and student-teaching for a California Teaching Credential. I also hold a Masters degree in Education, and am an expert on curriculum development and program leadership.