Natalie Priester is passionate about helping educators use technology to support face-to-face relationships. She currently teaches English Language Development at Pinacate Middle School in Perris Union High School District. Prior to relocating, she taught English 9 and 10 and Yearbook at San Pasqual Academy, a residential high school for foster youth which is part of the San Diego County Office of Education’s Juvenile Court and Community Schools (Momentum Learning). Natalie has a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from Mount St. Mary’s University, a Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning with Technology from Ashford University, and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership with an Emphasis in Technology from San Diego State University. She holds California teaching credentials in English and Multiple Subjects (CLAD), and she recently earned an Administrative Services Certificate of Eligibility. Her classroom is an innovative learning environment that includes daily proactive restorative circles, play, and a combination of station-rotation blended learning and project-based learning.
Over her career, Natalie has grown from an innovative site leader to a regional leader with the title of Google for Education Certified Innovator. As an English teacher at San Pasqual Academy, Natalie coached colleagues as an Induction Support Provider and was an early adopter of various programs, including academic language curriculum, technology integration, and restorative practices. Additionally, she worked closely members of multiple partner agencies as part of the Building Effective Schools Together Committee to create school-wide behavior expectations and consequences. The committee collected and analyzed data to inform our efforts, including designing professional development for the school staff based on current needs. At the district level, Natalie played an integral part in the Academic Language Committee’s development of a year-long curriculum; she increased accessibility through online documents and cloud-based storage. Natalie also helped train district teachers during the rollout by modeling lessons and providing technical assistance. In her current district, Perris Union High School District, Natalie leads professional development about station-rotation blended learning.
Regional Professional Development
In recent years, Natalie’s leadership efforts have extended to influence teachers throughout the state. She has presented to hundreds of educators at EdTechTeam Summits Featuring Google for Education, Computer Using Educators Rockstar Camps and Black Labels, Riverside County Office of Education Google Educator Summer Camps, and multiple EdCamps. Her presentation topics include: station-rotation blended learning, standards-based grading, digital reader’s notebooks, the writing process using Google tools, restorative practices, and social-emotional learning using classroom play. She is an engaging presenter and provides follow-up support through social media and direct correspondence. In an effort to support more educators, Natalie created the Teachers vs Zombies website.
Natalie lives with fellow innovative educator, Nishantha Unantenne, in the Canyon Hills community of Riverside County. She is a new mom to a smiley little girl named Nouarie, who currently enjoys reading--and tasting--books. Their family has four dogs and a cat. Natalie enjoys reading, hiking, practicing yoga, and of course spending as much time as possible playing with baby Nouarie.