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Norah Cunningham


About Me

                I am working class Irish American from South Central LA who has worked continuously since age 14. 3 children, 9 grandchildren,5 great-grandchildren, Married illegally (without a license) for 44 years to John Posey, the first Black Supervising Senior Gardener in the LAUSD. A widow 3 years and Pacoima resident for the past 40 years. I have community organizing experience for Civil Rights, Anti-War, Womens' and Welfare Rights Movements in the 1960's and 1970's. I attained my education at Ascension School (1-8) St Mary's Academy, graduated 1962, Mount St. Mary's College,(Los Angeles) BA, specialization in creative writing, 1967 (Los Angeles) Notre Dame, Hunter College (New York City,) UCLA Extension,Los Angeles City College, El Camino College. I transferred 7 times as an undergraduate, earned BA in 41/2 years; LACC: Preschool Administrative Credential (1974), CSULA: Earned K-12 Credential (1975), CSUNorthridge: MA in Education, specialization in Reading Instruction (1978) LA Mission: 10 classes in Spanish (1990-1996). Besides Pre-School Administrative, and Multi-Subject (Elementary), I have Credentials in K-12 Reading Instruction, Secondary English, Spanish, Art, Social Studies. (Some are only for Alternative School).

                   I have teaching experience since January, 1967, teaching the second grade at Our Lady Help of Christians School in ELA, LAUSD Childrens' Centers,1967-1970. Then teaching at Pygmalion PreSchool (1971-1973 ) and moved on to teaching at South Central, County Probation Department & Special Schools, (LA & all Probation Camps), (1974-1975). I later began teaching at Valley Alternative Magnet (1976-1999 ) (Middle School & High School). I worked concurrently with UCLA Field Studies and EDD developing career internship & concurrent college enrollment program, and conflict resolution curriculum, group participation, and intervention for high school students and families (9 years); Amelia Earhart H.S. (1999-present). I know that 99% of everything I know I did NOT learn in school, excluding Spanish Literature, History, and grammar. However, after striving to be bilingual and fluent since 1958, and failing, I know language acquisition is best done in the real world. I love Spanish art, literature, and music,and can read and write it well.
                 My priorities are PEACE (within ourselves, families, communities, and the world) & JUSTICE (in governments, legal systems, education, communities, towards the earth and all of its people.). Following the State Framework, everything that we teach stops short of thinking about  "At what point, could the situation have had a different outcome?". My method is teaching background information, especially huge philosophical trends, analysis, creative problem solving & conflict resolution, comparison and connecting everything across disciplines (Holistic. interdisciplinary). It's very important for students to use many sources of information and to learn to evaluate them. I do everything possible to get students to move on to higher education, but my most important goal is that they be prepared to navigate the oceans of information that surround them to become effective life-long learners, and people of power and influence in our culture.They are the hope for the future. In the family, the neighborhood, the worksite, the church, sports team, or community group. I want them to be the wise yet humble voice of reason, understanding, justice, and wisdom that educates everyone they know. To me, this seems like the only way we can advance our culture because we all know that the most important things we've learned in life came from experience, and other people. They need to learn to work hard. "Work is Love, made visible,".