Dr. Liza Bearman
founder and director of bes
Dr. Liza Bearman has spent the past several years working with Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) as a School Change Facilitator and Curriculum Coach for schools located in LACOE's Juvenile Detention Halls and Probation Camps, as well as with LACOE County Community Schools, leading faculty and students in the creation of site-based customized cross-disciplinary, thematic, project-based, student-interest rooted and community partnered curricular and assessment programs to increase student engagement and success. Her position as Associate Director of The Collective Voices Foundation (a Los Angeles based nonprofit organization whose mission is to help bring education to life for under-resourced youth through curricular programs in collaboration with teachers and community partners) from 2012-2016 enabled Dr. Bearman to implement the kinds of educational programs that change the lives of both teachers and students. Dr. Bearman is also currently a member of the Education Faculty at Bard College where she advises and teaches graduate students in their Master of Arts in Teaching program here in Los Angeles. She has over twenty years of experience in different facets of education, including directing an Intern Program for high school and college students for a U.S. Senator in Washington, DC, teaching high school English and Social Studies in progressive secondary schools in New York City and in Los Angeles, serving as the Co-Director of a new small high school in Los Angeles, and as the Regional Director for a national member organization of AHSI (Alternative High School Association/Association of High School Innovation). Prior to relocation to Los Angeles in 2007 (where she grew up), Dr. Bearman was a full-time faculty member at Teachers College (TC), Columbia University, where she was a Lecturer, Advisor, and University Supervisor as well as a Mentor for the Peace Corps Fellows Program and a Curriculum Consultant with TC’s Student Press Initiative. Dr. Bearman earned her in B.A. English and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Education (M.Ed.) and Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degrees from Columbia University’s Teachers College.
When not working, Liza is happiest spending time exploring and having adventures with her son Zevi, walking and playing with her two rescue dogs Mendota and Hudson, and being with family and friends.
Brande Jackson has been an educator and facilitator since 2001, working with a variety of community and school programs via her non-profit organization, Living Histories. She has created and taught curriculum for after school programs, as well as workshops and facilities programs for K-12 youth in schools and juvenile detentions centers. From 2011-2015 she was the program director for WriteGirl’s “In-Schools” programs. In addition to her work in K-12 settings, she is also a lecturer in American Studies at California State University, Long Beach, and at California State University, Fullerton, where she teaches classes on popular culture, American immigrant cultures and history, California culture and history, American character, celebrity culture, as well as introductory American Studies courses. She is currently working a on project called "Telling the Stories of Where We Are From" which aims to better connect communities via local history and storytelling/memoir writing.
Dr. Stephen Mucher
B.A. Taylor, M.A., Ph.D. University of Michigan. Stephen directs the Bard MAT in Los Angeles. A historian by training, Stephen's research and teaching explores the intersection of history, policy, and disciplinary teaching practices as well as the role the liberal arts in teacher preparation. He is an active member of the History of Education Society, the National Council for Social Studies, and the National Council for History Education. At Bard College in New York, Stephen has taught in the MAT Program, the Bard Prison Initiative, the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities and at The Institute for Writing and Thinking. A North Carolina native, Stephen began his career as a high school teacher in Honduras and in Micronesia before spending a decade in secondary and post-secondary positions in metro-Detroit. Most recently he has consulted on discipline-based professional development projects for the New York Department of Education, the Harlem Children’s Zone, Sacramento City Unified Schools, and the LAUSD.
Jon Lall is a songwriter, producer , multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and performer from Princeton, NJ and is currently living in Los Angeles, CA. Lall obtained his degree in Music Business from Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2008, with a principal in voice. Jon is the co-founder of Rhythm & Truth, an organization that partners with local non-profits and businesses specifically aimed at empowering youth at-risk through adapted music based curriculum, collaboration and community based learning. As a teaching artist, Jon uses a wide variety of music modalities including drumming, piano, guitar, lyric analysis, songwriting, beat-making, singing and recording to teach history, math, science, literature, production and performance. Jon has brought the Rhythm & Truth programming to schools in the greater Los Angeles area in juvenile detention centers, continuation high schools, charter schools, non-public schools and correctional facilities and is currently working with Bearman Educational Services at several sites. Jon has also been a private vocal & guitar instructor since 2005. When school is out, Jon is either in cowriting sessions for a wide range of artists, or is creating, recording and performing with his band PWR CPL.