Yvonne WattersonDirector of Education Innovation
Yvonne’s professional journey spans over thirty years in public education. Originally from Northern Ireland, she began her career as an English teacher in Belfast. She spent the next sixteen years teaching in various positions within public schools and schools of higher education. From the inception of Arizona’s charter movement in 1995, Yvonne has held instructional, leadership, and founding charter holder positions in Arizona charter schools including Arizona School for the Arts, GateWay Early College High School, the Girls Leadership Academy of Arizona and Alhambra College Prep High School. For her efforts in school reform as a principal and turnaround specialist, Yvonne’s work has been recognized by the Arizona Department of Education and the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools. In April 2013, her work on formative assessment was featured in Education Week, following a presentation to policy makers in Washington D.C.. Yvonne’s work has received national attention and been highlighted in various national media including The New York Times.
Beyond the classroom, Yvonne has been recognized for leadership and service to the community. In 2007, she collaborated with the Hispanic Institute of Social Issues to publish a bilingual book of student letters, Documented Dreams. In 2008, she received the City of Phoenix MLK Living the Dream Award, the Hispanic School Administrators Association Award for Leadership, and from Northern Arizona University, the Martin Springer Institute Moral Courage Award. In 2009, she was awarded the ASU “Horquilla” Leadership Award and later in 2010 she received the YWCA Tribute to Women Social Justice Leader Award.