Meet the Team

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 previously served as the Co-Director of BAWP and engaged in numerous initiatives and programming. These included leading BAWP’s annual Invitational Summer Institute, coordinating Weekend Workshops, co-leading a 2019 teacher writing camp in Sweden, teaching Teen Writing Courses, and facilitating professional development workshops in Bay Area schools.

For the past 15 years, Hillary has taught middle and high school English and History courses in Berkeley and Oakland; this year, she is teaching courses in African American history through the College of Alameda.

Hillary is the proud product of Sacramento public schools and a graduate of three public institutions of higher learning, including UC Berkeley. In addition to teaching, much of Hillary's work has focused on building teacher leadership and agency, collaboration, and coaching. She believes strongly that BAWP's role in proliferating excellent teaching practice is one avenue towards building more equitable educational outcomes for all students.

Jabari Mahiri

Faculty Advisor, Bay Area Writing Project

Jabari Mahiri, BAWP's Faculty Advisor and P.I., is a Professor of Language, Literacy, and Culture in the GSE and the inaugural holder of the Brinton Family Endowed Chair in Urban Teaching, He also is the Faculty Advisor and an instructor for the Leaders for Equity and Democracy EdD and the Principal Leadership Institute MA programs. Additionally, heCo-chairs the GSE's Committee on Academic Leadership for Professional and Public Programs. His latest book, Deconstructing Race, received the AESA Critics Choice Award (2018) and the Prose Award for Educational Theory (2018). Formerly, he taught English in Chicago Public Schools. 

Sharon Pollack


In her 20+ years of teaching, Sharon Pollack has supported student writers from grades 7- community college.  She started her Writing Project journey in 2012 with the Inland Area Writing Project, serving on the Leadership Team from 2014 until her move to Northern California in 2017. She was invited to participate as a Returning Fellow for the 2017 BAWP Summer Institute & has been attending Summer Institutes ever since. In addition to her role as Summer Institute Director, Sharon coordinates the BAWP Weekend Workshop Series & is working actively to plan and promote programs that support teachers as writers. Sharon holds a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Cal Poly Pomona and a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Azusa Pacific University.

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.


Program Manager

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