Senior Director of Curriculum and Learning, CWCLA
Marissa Berman received her B.A. from Columbia University and her Master’s in Education from UC Berkeley. Before moving to Los Angeles to start CWC Hollywood in 2010 as its Founding Principal, she was an administrator and teacher at the North Oakland Community Charter School (NOCCS), which included a three year stint on their Board of Directors. Given her time at NOCCS as a K/1 and 2/3 teacher, Marissa is a hands-on instructional leader who is closely connected to her own experience as a classroom teacher and developer of project-based curriculum. In her administrative functions at NOCCS, she helped lead fundraising efforts, while also redesigning their after-school program, creating a school-wide service-learning curriculum and developing an after-school math intervention program. Similar to her role at CWC, Marissa participated in teacher mentoring and professional development.
Previous to her time at NOCCS, Marissa worked at various public and independent elementary schools in San Francisco and Oakland. She has been a Project Zero Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, which led her to developing teacher training workshops and study groups on the Teaching for Understanding curriculum development framework, which CWC uses to structure thematic and interdisciplinary project-based units at each grade level.
Marissa grew up in Chicago having attended Francis W. Parker School. She has also lived in New York and San Francisco for several years each. Beyond her various “home bases” throughout the years, Marissa feels privileged to have had amazing opportunities living in Cameroon and France as well. With a true passion for travel, Marissa has learned a great deal from time spent in Africa, India, Southeast Asia, Australia, South America, Europe and North America. She speaks French and is learning basic Spanish.
Marissa’s enthusiasm and leadership around CWC’s core values has been truly contagious since the start of the organization, as the network’s first Principal of its flagship school – CWC Hollywood. More recently, Marissa has moved into a regional role to support all CWCLA schools as the Senior Director of Curriculum and Learning. In this new role, Marissa’s aim is to work with all Principals, instructional leaders and teachers at CWC Hollywood, Silver Lake and Mar Vista, supporting all campuses to become proof points that a diverse group of students can thrive when engaged in innovative, thought-provoking and rigorous educational experiences. Marissa is incredibly passionate about the mission and vision for CWC, particularly in project-based learning, workshop-based instruction and social-emotional learning. She sees that when all of these components come together we are actively developing a new generation of positive leaders and thoughtful citizens of the world. Everyday, Marissa is thankful for and humbled by the experience of working hard alongside creative educators to create something special from the ground up.
In her spare time, she spends time with her daughter, husband, friends and her big furry dog, Zeus, in and around Los Angeles.