Esther Wojcicki
Palo Alto High School
50 Embarcadero Road
Palo Alto, CA 94301
650-329-3710 x.7370
email: wojcicki @ or wojcicki@

2002 - Teacher of the Year as selected by the California State Credentialing Commission and the California State Assembly Committee on Education on the Day of the Teacher.

2002 - Student newspaper I advise--The Campanile--chosen as most outstanding high school newspaper in nation by Time Magazine  and Time for Kids

2002 - Developing the curriculum for Web Journalism which will start this fall at Palo Alto High School

2002 - Working with the National Writing Project to help develop new models for the teaching of English to Include journalistic writing styles and non-fiction literature.

2001 - Awarded a 2-year Carnegie Foundation Scholar Award for excellence In teaching.

2001 - Society of Professional Journalists and High School Journalism Association award for excellence in scholastic journalism education and for "Inspirational Journalism."

2000 - National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Adolescent Young Adulthood English Language Arts Certificate

2000 - Subject of Stanford doctoral dissertation. My practice as a teacher was studied by several groups of Stanford students.One student, Kim Austin, wrote her dissertation about me and my use of Learning Communities in the classroom.  Worked with her to develop a website on Learning Communities and will continue to develop the website together with her.

2000 - Worked with Internet start-up TapCast in advisory capacity to help develop teenage website targeted at helping teens organize their activities more effectively.  Many of my students worked there.

1999 - Piloted the first Magazine Journalism program in the Bay Area at Palo Alto High School with a group of 25 students. Wrote and developed the curriculum for the quarterly magazine named Verde.   The first year the magazine published It was awarded the Gold Crown by Columbia University Press Association for excellence In high school journalism.  It received a similar award from National Scholastic Press called the PaceMaker Award, setting the pace for the nation.

1999 - Organized and coached the team of student website developers who won the Gold in the Arts and Literature division of the Thinkquest International Competition out of a 18,000 entries from around the world.  We were awarded an all expense paid trip to Los Angeles staying at the Hilton Hotel and the students each won $10,000.  The website is called The Art of Japan and can be found at

1998 - Wrote and developed a pilot course in Broadcast Journalism, coordinated with Channel 6, Cable Coop.  Researched equipment, purchased equipment, tested textbooks, trained students and produced first show, which aired three times in May.  The program is continues to be highly successful and now broadcasts to the entire school daily. 

1998 - Established the Campanile On-Line edition of the paper at Palo Alto High School. Worked with four students to train them in web management. The online edition will start again in the fall of 2002 with the implementation of the Web Journalism course.  I removed the website temporarily for a year or so until we could work out some policy details.

1996-present - Member of the Palo Alto District Technology Team and worked with the Institute for Research on Learning. Attended summer workshops, and workshops during the school year.  Helped conceptualize, create and develop the 1997, 1998, 1999 Technology Fairs held at Palo Alto High SchoolAlso working with Challenge 2000 Silicon Valley as a Project Based Learning (PBL) Lead teacher.

1997-present - Director of Education for the Varian Fry Foundation. Designed, coordinated production of nationally distributed film on the life of Varian Fry, a rescuer of Jews and anti-Nazis in 1941. The name of the film is Assignment: Rescue. Design included designing content of film, length of time, study guides, cover of video and packaging.  Presented at the National Council for Social Studies in Cincinnati in November 1997.  Worked closely with Foundation Director Walter Meyerhof, Academy Award Director Richard Kaplan, and Actress Meryl Streep.  Movie is being sold nationwide at present time. Also a presenter at the CAJE conference in San Antonio, Texas in the summer of 1998.  Helped facilitate the distribution of 35,000 copies of the video nationwide.

1990-1994 - Developed software and wrote teacher manuals for Earthquest, an educational software firm in Palo Alto. The software I worked on includes Earthquest, an ecology program and Time Treks, a history program.  I also wrote the teacher manuals for both programs.

1990-1994 - Worked on the development of the material to accompany the Writing Center, a software program teaching students in grades 3-12 how to write a research paper.  Together with Stanford Professor Decker Walker, we developed the teacher manual and student manual for the Learning Company.  It became the largest selling writing program for children and young adults in the U.S.

1988-1993 - Served as Instructional Supervisor in English at Palo Alto High School.  Led department in eliminating the gate keeping for the honors programming allowing students to "self-select" for honors classes; brought in the Bay Area Writer's Workshop to work with the department; brought in Poetry Alive program to enhance the teaching of poetry; wrote a successful grant for computers which funded the first "English Computer Lab" at Paly; eliminated the reading program which was viewed by parents and students alike as stigmatizing; helped develop a reading program integrated in the regular classroom; gave multiple presentations on a variety of topics on staff development days. 

1988-present - Have lead a variety of computer workshops for students and faculty alike in a variety of programs over the years: PageMaker, PhotoShop, Word, HyperCard, Hyperstudio, Power Point.  Trained students and faculty in use of web and web maintenance.

1990 - Journalism Teacher of the Year chosen by Journalism Education Association of Northern California

1985-present      Built Journalism program at Palo Alto High School from a small program involving 19 students and producing the newspaper on a typewriter, to a program involving three programs: Broadcast Journalism, Magazine Journalism and newspaper journalism. The Campanile, the newspaper, and Verde, the magazine are produced using Adobe desktop publishing software. In the Beginning Journalism program, I use PageMaker, Illustrator, PhotoShop and Microsoft Word. The program won national recognition for excellence from Columbia Scholastic Press Association and National Scholastic Press from 1989 to the present.  The newspaper and magazine have won Gold Crown's form Columbia Scholastic Press Association and PaceMaker Awards from the National Scholastic Press Association. 

University of California, Berkeley  

B.A. English/Political Science

University of California, Berkeley  Credential  General Secondary
University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
University of Geneva, Switzerland  School of International Relations
Sorbonne, Paris Advanced Degree In French History
San Jose State University M.A. M.A. Education and Computers
San Jose State University M.A in Secondary Administration
Pacific High School, San Leandro 1965-1966
San Carlos High School


Lycee International de Ferney-Voltaire 1980-1981
Palo Alto High School 1982--present
Regents Scholarship at University of California, Berkeley
Graduate Scholarship In Journalism
California State Scholars Award 1986

Palo Alto Foundation Grant recipient 1988, 1993, 1997, 1999

PTSA Grant Recipient   1986, 1987, 1991,1992, 1995, 1998, 1999

PTSA Recognition Award 1990

Who’s Who In American Teachers (every year since 1990)

Society for Professional Journalists Award 1997
Teacher of the Year In Journalism 1990
Columbia Scholastic Press Association Panel of Judges

National Scholastic Press Association Judge

Thinkquest International First Place Coach Award 1999

Reporter for the following publications (free-lance and full-time) 

Glendale News-Press

Los Angeles Times

Time Magazine

San Jose Mercury News

Palo Alto Weekly

Have written a several booklets for teachers on a variety of topics