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New leadership positions announced for Stanford’s acclaimed teacher preparation program

Photo of Ira Lit with STEP teacher candidates

New leadership positions announced for Stanford’s acclaimed teacher preparation program

The Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP) welcomes two interim faculty directors and, in a new role for the program, two assistant directors.

The Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP), a nationally renowned program at Stanford Graduate School of Education (GSE) that prepares teacher candidates for a career in the classroom, has announced the appointment of two new assistant directors, as well as two interim faculty directors for the 2021-22 academic year.

Associate Professor Ira Lit, MA ’90, PhD ’04, STEP's longtime faculty director, will be on a sabbatical in Washington, D.C., this year through a 2021 Scholars in Service fellowship, sponsored by Stanford Impact Labs and the Haas Center for Public Service. GSE Associate Professor Antero Garcia and Associate Professor Jennifer Langer-Osuna will offer faculty leadership to the program in his absence this year. 

To provide additional support and programmatic leadership going forward, the GSE has also named two accomplished educators and STEP alumni to serve as assistant directors of the program: Jeffrey Camarillo, MA ’05, and Mari Montoy-Wilson, MA ’09.

Photo of Jeffrey Camarillo

Jeffrey Camarillo

Camarillo has been appointed assistant director for STEP Secondary, which prepares teachers at the middle and high school levels. A longtime teacher and school administrator, Camarillo most recently served as principal of Lodestar Middle and High schools in Oakland, Calif. Prior to that, he was the founding director of the Luis Valdez Leadership Academy in East San Jose, Calif., which focuses on preparing first-generation college students for four-year colleges and universities. 

Camarillo began his career in school leadership in 2010 as an assistant principal at the East Palo Alto Academy and served as a teaching ambassador fellow for the U.S. Department of Education, where he sought to help bridge the development of federal educational policy with on-the-ground practice in urban schools. Before working in school administration, he taught middle and high school in addition to coaching boys’ basketball, football and baseball.

Camarillo earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to his master’s degree from STEP, he also earned a master’s in educational leadership from San Jose State University.

Photo of Mari Montoy-Wilson

Mari Montoy-Wilson

Montoy-Wilson has been appointed assistant director for STEP Elementary, which prepares teachers at the elementary and middle school levels. Most recently she served as principal at East Palo Alto Charter School (EPACS), having devoted her career to serving the community of East Palo Alto. 

While teaching first, second, and third grade at EPACS, Montoy-Wilson served as a lead and master teacher for several elementary grade teams; a mentor teacher for the STEP and Aspire Public Schools teacher residency programs; and a writing and Common Core leader for Aspire. She was also selected as a national fellow for the America Achieves Fellowship for Teachers and Principals, as well as a fellow in the Project for Education Research that Scales (PERTS) at Stanford, where she conducted and shared research on growth mindset in numerous Bay Area schools. 

Montoy-Wilson was named principal of EPACS in 2015. In 2020, she was awarded the GSE’s Alumni Excellence in Education Award for pursuing equity in education in East Palo Alto for over a decade. Before earning her master’s degree from STEP, Montoy-Wilson attended Stanford for her undergraduate degree.

Faculty mentioned in this article: Ira Lit, Jennifer Marie Langer-Osuna, Antero Garcia

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