Mary Schmida is a Senior Research Associate in WestEd’s English Learners and Migrant Education Services team. She designs and facilitates in-person and virtual professional learning experiences for teachers that exemplify powerful learning opportunities for students designated as English Learners. She has over 20 years of experience working with educators to develop their expertise to serve all students — especially English Learners — with rigor and future-oriented pedagogy.
Schmida is a co-principal investigator for a study with the National Research and Development Center to Improve Education for Secondary English Learners, funded by the Institute of Education Sciences. In this capacity, Schmida is writing units for 8th grade English Learners that support their analytic, conceptual, and linguistic understandings and is designing teacher educative materials to support their theoretical understandings and implementation of the units in their classrooms.
Schmida has been a middle school and high school teacher in high-poverty, diverse schools, taught College Writing at the university level, and conducted research focusing on the linguistic identity of long-term English Learners.
Schmida holds a bachelor’s in linguistics from University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s and PhD in Education in Language, Literacy, and Culture from University of California, Berkeley.