Meet the Team

BAWP Welcomes a New Director

Hillary Walker became the Bay Area Writing Project’s newest Director after serving as BAWP’s 2019-2020 Co-director and engaging in numerous BAWP initiatives over the past several years. These include BAWP’s annual Invitational Summer Institute; Weekend Workshops; 2019 Teacher Writing Camp in Uppsala, Sweden; Teen Writing Courses, Professional Development in Bay Area schools, and the Professional Writing Group. She has also taught middle and high school humanities courses for 14 years, most recently College Writing, AP English and Intensive Writing Support at Life Academy of Health and Bioscience in Oakland.

Because of her strong beliefs in teacher leadership and agency, collaboration, and coaching, working with Hillary is an inspiration. When facing the endless challenges that threaten efforts to improve writing and deliver equitable education, Hillary is rarely daunted. Instead she sees the promise in BAWP’s wide reaching community to lead change. Working with Hillary is to know optimism for the world and optimism for our power to make it a more humanizing place.

And, just a few other extremely important things to know about Hillary: 

  1. She recently finished an herbalism course

  2. She loves soca and reggae music

  3. Despite an obsession with calligraphy as a young person, her handwriting on paper is almost illegible (Hillary’s words, not mine). Oddly enough, her whiteboard writing is very neat.

The Bay Area Writing Project (BAWP) is an organization made up of BAWP Teacher Consultants. 

Hillary Walker

Director, The Bay Area Writing Project

Hillary Walker has been teaching English and History courses at the secondary level for 15 years. She currently teaches a dual enrollment course for Oakland Unified high school students through the College of Alameda. As the Director of BAWP she oversees a number of programs and initiatives including the Invitational Summer Institute in the Teaching of Writing. 

Katherine Suyeyasu

Co-Director, The Bay Area Writing Project

Katherine Suyeyasu joins the Bay Area Writing Project after 16 years of teaching (middle school Humanities and upper elementary) and one year as a school administrator.  A teacher consultant for the Bay Area Writing Project since 2003, she has led professional development workshops, taught courses in BAWP’s summer Open Programs, and worked with youth in the Digital Storytelling and Young Writer’s Camps. Katherine holds a Master’s degree in Education from UC Berkeley and a Bachelor’s in Sociology and Education from Swarthmore College.

Rebekah Caplan

Associate Director, Professional Development

Rebekah Caplan coordinates BAWP’s professional development programs in collaboration with school districts requesting workshops and programs on the teaching and learning of writing. Prior to joining the BAWP Team, she served as a literacy specialist for the National Center on Education and the Economy and its America’s Choice School Design. In this role, Rebekah led literacy workshops nationally for schools seeking guidance in standards- based reforms and also developed curriculum training materials to accompany the work. Rebekah also served as Language Arts Coordinator for the Oakland Public Schools and is a past Co-Director of BAWP.

Stan Pesick

Associate Director, Partnerships

Stan Pesick taught 11th grade American History and 12th grade American Government/Economics course in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), 1976 – 1994. Between 2001 and 2011, he co-directed OUSD’s history/social studies department.   Between 2011 and 2014 he co-directed the Oakland Unified School District/Mills College History-English Language Arts (ELA) Collaborative on Writing the Argumentative Essay.  Since 2014 he’s worked as a curriculum consultant to the National Japanese American Historical Society and National Park Service. He recently completed work with National Writing Project that developed materials to support students’ civically engaged writing.

Tara Kaiser

Program Manager

Tara enjoys working in education and finding ways to partner with teachers as they improve student achievement in the classroom. Tara holds a Master’s degree in International Education from American University and a Bachelor’s in Geography and Environmental Sciences from San Francisco State Universtiy.