David Stephen
david stephen bio

In addition to his national consulting work, David serves as Design Strategist for Architects of Achievement, a group that focuses on building bridges between education and architecture. In this capacity, he contributes to the design of a wide range of community-based, art-oriented, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) focused schools throughout the U.S. David also helped over 20 public high schools in Los Angeles better personalize learning through the development of small learning communities. He also co-authored Architecture for Achievement: Building Patterns for Small School Learning (Eagle Chatter Press, 2007).

David co-founded High Tech High (HTH) and the HTH network of public charter schools in San Diego. He served from 2002-2006 as HTH Director of Design, overseeing the programmatic development, conceptual design, and construction management of HTH facilities, including the award winning Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs High Tech High, High Tech Middle, and High Tech High International. From 2000-2002, David was HTH’s Academic Coordinator, facilitating teaching teams, curriculum development, and professional training for the nascent school program. Today, more than 3,000 educators and architects visit the HTH network of schools each year.

As a member of the research team that wrote Dollars and Sense II: Lessons from Good, Cost Effective Small Schools (KnowledgeWorks, 2005), David espouses the importance of personalizing education to ensure that students are known well and have fewer opportunities to fall through the cracks. From 1996-1999, he served as Research Associate for the New Urban High School Project, a federally funded initiative to assist and document the work of five cutting-edge high schools nationwide. Prior to that, he served for six years as a high school teacher, program director, and co-creator of the award winning CityWorks program at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School. CityWorks engaged students in yearlong, community-based projects, building their technical and academic skills in the context of community exploration and development. The CityWorks program won a Ford Foundation Innovations Award. The New Press published the CityWorks curriculum in 1999.

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