Founded by Janet McGarvey in the early aughts as the Bay Area Teacher Development Collaborative with 58 Bay Area independent schools, the organization has expanded to Southern California and Central California and now boasts 140 member schools. Over the years CATDC has seen many changes, yet our transformational approach to professional development remains steady: whether you are a classroom teacher, an aspiring leader, or an experienced administrator, our programs provide you with the opportunity to develop to your full capacity and build sustaining relationships with peers from other schools.
Jackee Bruno has 17 years of experience working in independent schools. His career has been dedicated to impacting youth and making memories. He started as an assistant athletic director and coached basketball, football, track & field at the club, junior high, JV, and varsity levels. He then became an activities director in charge of student government, student activities programming, and community service, among other responsibilities. He is a hard-working and versatile community member that works to build relationships at all levels of stakeholders in a community to gain perspective and create genuine feelings of inclusion and belonging. Jackee is also the PTA president at a local public school, chairperson of the school site council, and on the board of directors for a local daycare business. He is a passionate advocate of all youth and is dedicated to student voice and empowerment. Jackee is also a presenter and facilitator for professional developments and conferences on topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. He has a BA from Stanford University and aspirations of a grad degree in the near future.
Briefly explain your leadership and/or career journey (what brought you to education, explain a pivotal moment or person, where are you now?)
I say that I got into education by abduction. A former boss/friend of mine got a job as an athletic director and was allowed to bring in an assistant. He reached out to me and I started soon after. I was first an hourly worker in the athletic office. Per usual, as the only Black person, I was brought in to support other students and families who felt out of place. That began my constant hunt for impact in the school. From there I moved to Activities Director and eventually became the Director of Diversity and Community, each year getting to impact more students and families.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership to me is engagement and collaboration for the purposes of a positive impact. It is also about spreading knowledge and ambition to others towards collective goals, and empowering others and showing them their own strengths and values to the community.
What does learning in community: across schools and roles, mean to you?
Learning in community has been a gift to me over the last few years, especially during the pandemic. Being in community with people with common learning goals has been similar to joining affinity groups. The feeling of inclusion and belonging that comes from sharing space with peers from other schools and roles has gotten me through some tough times at work and helped me gain perspective and ambition. It’s also been great to share concerns and commonalities with others as we grew together.
How has CATDC impacted your professional journey?
CATCD’s consistently relevant and available PD has made me a different person over the past 2 years. I have been able to access so much learning and expanded my professional network. I’ve also been able to use the learning to implement new programs and learnings to improve the quality of my DEI work impacting our student’s and faculty’s lives across our K-12 school.
What advice would you give educators today?
Never stop learning. Find a why, and keep it simple. The one important thing I learned this year was to confirm and reaffirm my direction and impact with my targets and to continually reconfirm. When I did that, I felt like I was able to keep making my impact stronger and stronger and was able to face stronger opponents.
Anything else you would like to share?
Another benefit that I found from interacting with CATDC and learning in community is that I was able to see more possibility, ability, and capacity in myself. I feel like I’ve accessed a level of ambition and confidence that I didn’t have 2-3 years ago. I know that this has helped me do more for my students, my co-workers, my family, and myself. Cheers to the future.