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About us

With over 25 years of collaboration as teachers and consultants, Michelle and Theron bring a deep and complementary set of beliefs, skills, and interests in teaching and learning to client partners.

Michelle Swanson

Michelle began her career in education after a decade of work as a professional theatre director and organizer of the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and West Coast Playwrights Workshop and Festival in the San Francisco Bay Area.


During her 22 years in the classroom, Michelle co-founded the Ensemble Theatre Company of Marin, a sequential arts education model where students ran a repertory theatre at three high school sites. She served as Project Designer/Director of the Drake Integrated Studies Curricula at Sir Francis Drake High School, named a “New American High School” by the US Department of Education. She was also a founder of Drake’s highly acclaimed Communications Academy. During her time at Drake, she was also named the Marin County Teacher of the Year and the Marin Arts Council Outstanding Contributor to Arts Education.


On the national level, Michelle served as lead curriculum consultant on Jobs For The Future’s Benchmark Communities Initiative and designed professional development practices for the Collaborative Learning Communities, and was a Teaching Fellow for the AutoDesk Foundation for nearly a decade.


Michelle currently provides sustained professional services to districts throughout the US, focusing on school design, instructional design and delivery, project-based learning, standards-based assessment, and whole-school reform processes.


Michelle holds a BA from Washington State University in Speech Communications and an M.A. in Theatre Arts/Directing from San Francisco State University. Michelle and her husband Larry live in Eugene, Oregon.

Theron Cosgrave

Theron worked at Sir Francis Drake High School in California’s Marin County for 10 years – the first nine as a social studies teacher, and his last year as Assistant Principal. His teaching background includes helping to found Drake’s Communications Academy, a project-based program for 11th and 12th grade students that integrates Social Studies, English, Advanced Drama, and Advanced Video Productions. He also taught A.P. U.S. History, Psychology, Government, and Economics, served as Staff Development Coordinator, led two successful accreditation reviews, and presented at numerous conferences on project-based learning. Theron was named Drake’s “Teacher of the Year” in 2000.


As Assistant Principal, Theron managed Drake’s testing, technology, facilities, and athletics programs in addition to sharing teacher evaluation and student discipline duties.


In his consulting work, Theron designs curriculum and teacher training materials and works with educators on a wide range of instructional issues, including project-based learning, school and small learning community design, assessment, leadership development, asset mapping, strategic planning documents, and whole-school reform coaching. He has also facilitated the development of strategic plans for school districts and youth development organizations.


Theron holds a B.A. in Political Science and M.A. in Education from Stanford University, and a M.A. in Education Administration from San Francisco State University. Theron and his wife Jill live in Davis, California.

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Send us an email and we'll happily set up a call to answer any questions.

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