Jessica L. SawkoDirector, Education

    Jessica Sawko serves on both the Education and Early Childhood teams. For the Education team, Ms. Sawko leads Children Now’s work on TK-12 teacher preparation and curriculum and instruction. In addition, she supports the team’s work which focuses on the diversification, recruitment, and retention of teachers, assessment, and accountability. Ms. Sawko serves as the Director of the California STEM Network, a project of Children Now and co-leads the Bay Area STEM Ecosystem. For the Early Childhood team, her efforts target the early learning workforce policies, including career pathways and preparation, compensation, and curriculum.

    Ms. Sawko has 18 years of experience working for non-profits and associations in Sacramento. Prior to joining Children Now, she served as the executive director of the California Science Teachers Association (CSTA), the largest professional association of science educators in California. She worked to position the association as the leading voice of science educators on state policy and legislative issues that impact K-12 science education including accountability, assessment, standards implementation funding, and credentialing. Known for her collaborative nature, Ms. Sawko worked diligently to establish strategic relationships with other organizations in order to advance the science education agenda at the state-level.

    Prior to moving to the Sacramento area, Ms. Sawko served as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Panama where she worked with Panamanians and Peace Corps volunteers to facilitate the development of community strategic plans. Other projects during her service included helping start the first all-female soccer team in the community and organizing a community-wide clean-up in celebration of Earth Day.

    Ms. Sawko completed her B.A. in economics at Hollins College.