CVESD Education Leader Publishes First Book

CVESD Education Leader Publishes First Book
Posted on 08/23/2019
Toni Faddis

Principal on Special Assignment Toni Faddis, Ed.D., has published her first book, The Ethical Line. The book came out in print in June, and offers education leaders a problem-solving model along with 10 strategies for effective decision making. She hopes the book will serve as a valuable tool to current and future educators.

The Ethical Line book cover“My purpose in writing this book and working in education is to help people,” she explained. “I want teachers to feel good about their decisions. I want principals to feel good about their decision-making abilities. The Ethical Line allows me the opportunity to share the best of what I’ve seen in the research, published papers, conferences and best practices. This is something internal for me where I feel a sense of responsibility to give back.”

Dr. Faddis, who grew up in California’s Central Valley, began her professional career in education in 1993 as a teacher in modified bilingual classrooms in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

“Where I grew up, we didn’t have 26 different freeways,” Dr. Faddis recalled. “We had one highway, the 99. …I remember that first day of school. I was so excited. I expected all of the kids to come in and say, Hello, Miss Faddis. But they didn’t.” They said, Hola.

It was difficult at first, with the variety of cultures and predominance of Spanish. As a new teacher, who did not know Spanish, she felt like a fish out of water. Time, and a change in mind set, worked wonders, though.

“While I initially felt lost, I quickly began to embrace the Latino culture,” she said. “I was fascinated with the Spanish language. I was honest and sincere about my own culture with my students. And by being genuine, I was able to build strong bonds with them and develop trust.”

Soon, the students’ parents were inviting her to soccer games, quinceaneras, family parties. They taught her how to make tortillas de harina. “They introduced me to pozole,” she said, with delight at the memory.

Back on that first day of school, though, she now is embarrassed to say she did not notice her students’ cultural differences. Some were from Central America, others were multi-generation Angelenos, and others were of Yaqui heritage. “That first year, I became acquainted with different cultures,” she said. “I picked up some words and phrases en Espanol. The kids would write words for me to learn on the chalkboard. While I taught them math and about the rain forest in English, they would write a corresponding noun in Spanish. I probably learned about 180 words in Spanish that year, one for every day of the school year.”

Soon, she says, her students became her teachers.

TOni Faddis giving a TED talkHer experience, her transformation, became the source of a widely viewed TEDx talk at last year’s TEDxChula Vista titled, A Güera’s Journey: From Oblivious to Mindful. You can view her talk here.

After working in Los Angeles, Dr. Faddis worked as a Reading Recovery teacher in Lemon Grove before becoming an Assistant Principal in Del Mar in 2005. The Modesto native came to CVESD in 2007 when she assumed the role of principal at Allen Elementary. She then moved on to the principal position at Juarez-Lincoln. As a principal, Dr. Faddis established strong, collaborative teacher teams that resulted in improved content delivery, greater student well-being and achievement, and increased teacher self-efficacy. She currently coordinates new principal induction programs and supports novice leaders in the District while working on a significant grant from the Wallace Foundation. Her years of experience are evident in the practical advice and earned wisdom she shares in The Ethical Line.

With a focus on coming up with solutions that are ethical, logical, and culturally sensitive, Dr. Faddis’s book aims to assist her fellow educators in continually making decisions that are in the best interests of students. The Ethical Line includes real-life scenarios, mental exercises, reflection prompts, checklists, and other helpful tools that guide the reader through the process of ethical decision making.

In her book, which took about a year and half to complete, Dr. Faddis spotlights tricky situations that happen on school campuses. She also points out some of the repercussions that occur when an educator makes a misstep in his or her role as site leader.

“As educators our responsibility is great,” Dr. Faddis said, who earned her EducationalToni Faddis teaching Doctorate in PK12 School Leadership from San Diego State University in 2017. “Our communities trust us with their kids. I take that responsibility very seriously. Through the book, I’m able to provide some lessons learned for other education professionals.

“I wanted to talk about what I have experienced and come to know and then share this with other people,” she added. “I know what it’s like to be a principal and a teacher and I want to help and be with them as they work through difficult situations and tough decisions that arise.”

Through The Ethical Line, educators both within and outside of CVESD can benefit from the knowledge and expertise of Dr. Faddis.

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2019 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.