A dynamic, innovative educator and author, Dr. Shira Leibowitz is the founding Director of Portfolio School, designed as a network of K-12 schools focused on innovative project based, interdisciplinary learning. Prior to joining Portfolio, Shira served as a principal and Head of School in independent schools in the greater New York City area. A recognized leader in project-based learning, educational innovation, and instructional coaching, Shira has coached teachers throughout the country in implementing project-based learning in their classrooms and has led online communities of practice for educators focused on educational innovation, teaching and learning, and instructional coaching.
Shira earned her B.A, magna cum laude with distinction in all subjects, from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, including extensive study at Teachers’ College of Columbia University. Shira lives with her husband, Alfredo, and is the proud mother of two children – Talia, who is studying early childhood education at Drexel University and works in the Philadelphia public schools, and Ronen who is in high school. Included in her family are her two dogs, a cockapoo named Oliver and a jack russell terrier named Max.
Michelle Harris began teaching in El Cajon, CA. She taught middle school English and social studies before serving as an Instructional Coach, Title I coordinator, Student Manager and Assistant Principal at three middle schools, a K-8 school, and a 6-12 IBO school–all in Beaverton, OR . A seasoned staff developer, Michelle has presented and keynoted all over the United States and in Europe. She lives in Portland, OR with her husband and two sons. When not working, she enjoys reading, traveling, attending her sons’ numerous sporting events, entertaining friends and family, and sitting in a chair on a sunny beach.