In Praise of Ms. Arnold

Ms. Arnold as Coach and Mentor

Sally is truly a gifted educator and mentor.  She was hired in our district as a mentor for our ELD teacher at the middle school.  She first showed the teacher how to carefully analyze the CELDT data to group students by need and plan the next steps that would move them along through their learning.  She also shared many specific strategies that enabled the teacher to better differentiate for her students. As a result of her thoughtful approach and years of experience our teacher felt supported and more students were able to pass reclassification than in prior years.  I highly recommend Sally’s services.
—Moira Barker, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Soquel District

Sally is a caring, gifted educator, who is quickly able to assess the classroom situation and provide the needed assistance to help bring the teacher and students to excellence. She uses a diverse number of ways to approach learning, while helping the teacher to be able to create differentiation for each and all of the students. I highly recommend her to do the same for your teachers and students!
—Brenda Payne, Principal

Sally has been a lifesaver.  With her never-ending enthusiasm and positivity, she has provided multiple solutions to any issue, large or small, that presented itself.  She has a vast amount of experience with differentiation, and gave me many materials as well as multiple strategies to meet the needs of all of my students.  She modeled a number of lessons for me, always focuses on the positive, and really takes the time to make sure my individual needs as an educator are being met too.  Thank you, Sally, for all of your support!
Anthea Shore, Pacific School

Sally was an amazing support to me in my first 2 years as a new Principal. She has a strong sense of what has gone before, and is able to bridge the divide between past practices and new approaches and programs, giving sound advice and sharing deep insight and wisdom as I’ve needed to make decisions. She was an active participant on the volunteer Principal’s Leadership Team, helping to craft the school plan and the way forward.
Kerry Le Roux, Elementary Principal

Ms. Arnold has a special talent for differentiated instruction, and has led professional development for teachers on this topic. Sally is very familiar with the Common Core Teaching Standards, as well as the California Standards for the Teaching Profession. She has repeatedly demonstrated her ability to work very successfully with both culturally and behaviorally diverse student populations and their parents.  Ms. Arnold has become sought after for many leadership roles in Soquel School District.  A sample of these include: District GATE Mentor, CELDT site coordinator and administrator, biannual training of parents of Title I Students, grant writer, presenter of several series of professional development workshops for teachers (on differentiated instruction, guided reading, how to use volunteers in the classroom, etc.).
Carl Pearson, Partner, Applied Education Solutions and Retired Principal

Sally’s work at our school with the faculty, students, and parents has helped our school beyond measure.  She is a trusted mentor who understands the complexities of the classroom and has a wealth of practical solutions that teachers can use right away. She helps busy teachers differentiate their instruction so that they’re able to meet the needs of their struggling learners.  She has excellent communication skills and has a knack for presenting complex information in a simple straightforward way.  Sally has the ability to validate our work as teachers while stretching our thinking and encouraging new ways to turn tricky situations into powerful learning moments.
Jen Field, 3rd Grade Teacher

When a newer teacher was assigned to a challenging class, we contracted with Sally Arnold for assistance. Sally was insightful about what was needed.  She was supportive when the situation was difficult.  She was resourceful when strategies or materials were lacking.  Whatever was called for, she seemed to be able to deliver it.
––Eric Gross, Superintendent/Principal Pacific School

Sally is an exemplary teacher/mentor.  Her leadership, professionalism and ability to differentiate instruction for teachers and students is outstanding.
Ms. D, Santa Cruz Gardens

The art of teaching is knowing, analyzing, and feeling clear about what you, the teacher, want to achieve and then it is about listening, reflecting, and responding to the complex dynamics emerging from the minds of your students.  I love debriefing with you because you are doing this analyzing piece constantly and you are reflecting on what you can do next.
Bridget Maloney, Cotsen Mentor

Ms. Arnold as Developer of Effective Intervention

Sally Arnold is an experienced educator who is adept at developing intervention programs for students who are struggling with academics.  Sally’s responsibilities include assessment and data collection of student progress.  She presents organized and clear data to our staff that is helpful to her fellow teachers.  Sally is skilled at differentiating curriculum for the diverse needs of children.  Our second-language learners have benefited from her targeted, small group instruction and have shown remarkable gains with her guidance.
Chris Boles, Resource Specialist, Gilroy

Ms. Arnold played an integral leadership role for the entire school—working closely with teachers, students and parents.  She was regularly engaged in formally and informally assessing and analyzing student data and needs, prioritizing and maximizing services, while constantly considering our limited resources.   With the goal of serving all students in an equitable and thorough manner, Ms. Arnold facilitated an annual “Support Services Day,” bringing together the intervention team and classroom teachers to discuss and assess the needs of each student in the school.  She revived and maintained a school wide database to track interventions and results.  She monitored action plans throughout the year to ensure that all students were receiving appropriate services.  She was a key leader in establishing school-wide norms for programs, such as Accelerated Reader and a school-wide math facts program that she initiated and maintained.
Ms. Arnold also regularly served ELL students in her Title I role.  She used her grant-writing skills to initiate and maintain a United Way grant that brought more than $80,000 to our school over 8 years, thus significantly augmenting services to ELL students.  As budget cuts impacted all programs, Ms. Arnold took on increasing responsibility for ELL/ELD support.  She took on coordination and administration of the CELDT test for ELL students at our school.  She also provided Parent Education via biannual workshops for parents of Title I and ELL students and interacted regularly with families through parent conferences, SSTs and IEPs.
Molly Whiteley,  Retired Principal

Sally meticulously tracked student data, coordinated and facilitated Support Services Day, frequently facilitated decision-making processes and trainings, initiated new school-wide programs and was the Student Study Team organizer. As you can see, Sally was my “go to” and right hand person at the school. She helped everyone!
Alicia Escobar Assessment Coordinator, Soquel Union Elementary School District and Retired Principal

Sally developed our effective intervention program through thoughtful lesson planning and knowledge of how to differentiate for a variety of student needs.
Bridget Maloney, 3rd Grade Teacher, Santa Cruz Gardens

Sally uses a meticulous approach to assessment and analyzing benchmark data across all grade levels.
—Kerry le Roux, Elementary Principal

Ms. Arnold as Facilitator

Ms. Arnold has demonstrated the ability to guide differing groups to consensus, while also clearly expressing her own views in a non-threatening manner. Ms. Arnold’s excellent interpersonal skills combine well with her highly developed multicultural sensitivity to make her a first rate communicator.  Similarly, she is unflappable when dealing with the unexpected, as well as the inevitable upset person. Her performance always exceeded my expectations.
Carl Pearson, Partner, Applied Education Solutions and Retired Principal

Sally is valued and trusted, sought by both teachers and administrators for her sound judgment and objective, clearheaded ability to assess issues and communicate options and perspectives.
– Kerry le Roux, Elementary Principal

Sally’s direct approach to problem solving and wealth of knowledge, along with her desire to help in any way she can made her a true asset to our school community. I’m confident that she will use these skills to assist teachers and other professionals in the field of education.
Lori Makita, Santa Cruz Gardens School

Sally has proven herself as an expert facilitator in all aspects of educational decision making and leadership.  If you need a leader who can truly build consensus in a group, you have found your gal!
Bridget Maloney, 3rd grade teacher, Santa Cruz Gardens

Ms. Arnold as Substitute Principal

As Teacher in Charge for both short and long-term periods, Ms. Arnold stepped in during my absences to manage everything from routines to emergencies.  She dealt professionally and responsibly with daily issues, including conflict resolution among students, parents and staff and trouble-shooting glitches in various systems. She responded to various emergencies, including a partial evacuation, liaising with the sheriff, and calming highly volatile parents.  When I had to step out for two different extended medical leaves, I knew that Sally Arnold was the best choice to serve as “substitute principal.”  I was confident that the school would be in good hands.

Notably, Ms. Arnold’s first day as substitute principal, was the school day following the tragic Sandy Hook incident, when students, parents and staffs at schools across the nation grappled with this traumatic event.  Our community needed reassurance that our school was prepared and safe.  In my absence, Ms. Arnold liaised with the sheriff and set the tone for the school, communicating effectively with all stakeholders and maintaining a calm, safe campus. Children who needed support were identified and parents’ concerns were addressed.  Additional safety measures were taken by the district, based on the input from parents, which Ms. Arnold invited.  It was a challenging time to begin as substitute principal, but she handled it with professionalism, a serious sense of responsibility, and clarity.

I have always been impressed with Sally’s systematic approach to problem-solving.  For every task or decision, she gathers sufficient information, makes informed decisions, keeps records and notes, disperses them appropriately, and follows through. Some of the tasks she took on, employing this approach during her two substitute principal assignments included:

  • Trained new yard supervisors
  • Facilitated faculty meetings and group decision-making
  • Created various systems for increased student safety, counseling referral system, and teachers’ adjunct duty assignments
  • Improved the delivery and attendance of the computer-based Imagine Learning English program
  • Coached and supervised the new counselor
  • Created an office clerical system to more efficiently use aides and volunteers to assist all teachers and staff with clerical tasks
  • Solved maintenance and custodial issues by developing an improved set of written directions for substitute custodians

Molly Whiteley,  Retired Principal

Sally has frequently acted as principal at our school site and in doing so, consistently presented herself in a professional manner when interacting and collaborating with fellow teachers, parents, and students.  When presented with a challenge or difficult situation, no matter how big or small, Sally is able to identify practical solutions and follow through with their implementation.  She has a wide range of experience in many areas of the education field and is highly respected by our school community.
Chris Boles, Resource Specialist, Gilroy

Many times Ms. Arnold has served as teacher-in-charge during principal absences. In this capacity, she has experienced the full range of demands placed on contemporary educators, responding with the skill, intelligence and excellent judgment that are the hallmarks of an exemplary leader. She is decisive, and at the same time a collaborator of the first rank.
Carl Pearson, Partner, Applied Education Solutions and Retired Principal

Ms. Arnold as Educational Leader

I can say without reservation that she is an educational leader and teacher of the highest order. The commitment, energy, and judgment that she brings to her varied roles as an educator are unsurpassed. Moreover, she keeps steadfastly focused on the needs of students, not only while teaching, but also in leadership roles; whether conducting professional development or carrying out a complex administrative task. Therefore, I believe she will be an asset of great value to any educational organization.  Ms. Arnold is a fine example of a team player with integrity and a strong passion for her profession. She is highly intelligent and committed to making a difference in the demanding world of public school education. She has my highest recommendation.
Carl Pearson, Partner, Applied Education Solutions and Retired Principal

Sally is a multi-talented, highly skilled and committed educator. No teaching assignment or project is too big or small for her to undertake. She has held various classroom and intervention teaching assignments, she’s been a GATE and new teacher mentor, an ELL site coordinator, a decision-making facilitator, a grant writer, a math and differentiation presenter and more.  I believe only a few educators have the wealth of experience and accomplishments that Sally has reached.  Equally important and noteworthy, is Sally’s ethics and professionalism. Not only is the principle of equity an important core value for Sally, but also is her regard for confidentiality, prudence, respectful communication, flexibility, responsibility and collaboration. Sally does not engage in “parking lot” discussions and you will never see or hear her having inappropriate discussions about students, parents or staff members. Sally is task-oriented, prepared and dependable, not to mention an excellent problem-solver and “out of the box” thinker. You will be more than pleased with her commitment to children, her instructional and leadership skills, interpersonal relationships and work ethic.
Alicia Escobar Assessment Coordinator, Soquel Union Elementary School District and Retired Principal

Sally Arnold has been regularly involved in hiring, screening and interview committees, as well as several district committees: Development of a new report card, development of new multiple measures and the Response to Intervention task force.   She is highly reliable, hard-working, organized and known for her attention to detail, while keeping the big picture in mind.  She is an “equity educator,” committed to providing quality educational opportunities to all children, as exhibited by her thoughtful and informed instruction and practice, as well as her caring interactions with children and adults.  She has the skills, intelligence, heart and drive to be a leader in teaching, administration, professional development or any other niche in public education that she seeks.  I recommend her without reservation.
Molly Whiteley,  Retired Principal

Ms. Arnold as Teacher & Workshop Leader

Sally gives multiple concrete examples of teaching activities that are user friendly.  She has a tremendous wealth of knowledge about elementary math and reading.  Sally eagerly shares all her tips and curriculum adaptations with you.  I am walking away with more tools for my now overflowing toolbox.  I left her workshops feeling excited about implementing these activities in my classroom.
– Miranda Stark, Delaveaga Teacher

Even with her decades of experience, working with Sally always feels like collaboration, even when it’s really more like a mentorship.  As a newer teacher, I appreciate that.   She is a wellspring of ideas, suggestions, and approaches when it comes to the teaching profession.  Sally always keeps equity at the forefront of her work.  She always has the needs of all students in mind and has creative and useful ways to meet all students’ needs.
Ethan Ducker, 5th Grade Teacher

Sally is an amazing teacher, full of knowledge in how to teach anything. I would totally recommend her workshops to all teachers because they give you practical/useful ideas and strategies that would be easy to implement in any classroom.  Many real life applications!  Love it!  I’ll be back.
–Maritza Turpin, RSP Teacher

If there’s one thing I could recommend to teachers along the path to a sound practice, it’s to enroll in a course with Sally Arnold.  You will walk away with new and improved systems of instruction.  Her workshops delve into strategic interventions, truly effective differentiation, and overall success in your classroom and community.  It’s a must-do!
Carlo Albano, Primary Educator, Santa Cruz, CA

Sally provides a wealth of resources gathered over her years of classroom and training experiences plus the opportunity to participate in many hands-on math activities.  She models excellent teaching practices and offers helpful tips for modifying for specific teaching needs.
–Rachel Diaz, High School Vocational Ed

Sally is a true advocate for teachers who are ready for the next step in their practice, no matter where help is needed.  Plus her home is a gorgeous retreat that proves to be a welcoming learning environment!
Brian, 4th and 5th Grade Educator

This [Reading] workshop was wonderful because it was accessible, applicable, and motivating!  Sally shares her enthusiasm for teaching reading and it’s hard not to get excited yourself.
Alishia Robertson, Gault Elementary Teacher

Sally Arnold has helped countless students achieve success by targeting instruction to meet the needs of all students.  She has a clear track record of being able to pass those skills on to other educators.
Kathleen Howard, Retired Superintendent

Ms. Arnold is a gifted and enthusiastic educator who consistently spends extra hours preparing to get results, as well as making her program interesting and inviting. Her excellent knowledge of curriculum and instructional methods makes for highly productive learning as she works with students with various cultural backgrounds and learning levels. Her instructional approach, whether a cooperative experience or direct teaching, is virtually always activity-based involving students in experiences that actively engage them in their own learning. Sally is very familiar with the Common Core Teaching Standards, as well as the California Standards for the Teaching Profession. She has repeatedly demonstrated her ability to work very successfully with both culturally and behaviorally diverse student populations and their parents.
Carl Pearson, Partner, Applied Education Solutions and Retired Principal

Sally has a true love of teaching as is evidenced in her thoughtful, practical, and organized demeanor while delivering highly effective lessons to students of all grade levels.  She is consistently reliable, highly organized, level headed, effective and easy to work with.
Shelley G., School Secretary