Sarah Ottow (@SarahOttow) is the founder and CEO of Confianza LLC where she and her team of consultants support schools and organizations in-person and online to positively and proactively respond to increasingly diverse populations (www.ELLstudents.com).As a professional learning specialist focused on improved cultural understanding, communication and collaboration, Sarah has over twenty years of teaching, training and coaching experience. Sarah is also the author of The Language Lens for Content Classrooms: A Guide for K-12 Educators of English and Academic Language Learners published by Learning Sciences International. Having taught every age group, including adults, Sarah has enjoyed working in public and private schools, non-profit organizations and corporations across the US and internationally. Sarah has a master’s in curriculum and instruction with a focus on social justice in urban education, she has earned certifications in general education, English as a Second Language, bilingual education (Spanish), reading, coaching/mentoring, and she is currently earning her Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Certificate from Cornell while attending business development classes at Harvard Extension School.
As a consultant, some of the organizations Sarah has supported include the WIDA Consortium, the Center for Applied Linguistics, the Massachusetts Department of Education, Justice Sonia Sotomayor's iCivics education initiative and international schools in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia and Latin America. Previous to founding Confianza, Sarah built her extensive experience as an instructor as a school-based and district-based teacher, coach and curriculum coordinator, along with experience as a practicum supervisor and instructor for several educator preparation and master’s programs, all designed through innovative action research-based models for maximum impact and sustainability. When Sarah was the Director of English Language Learner (ELL) Programs at the Center for Collaborative Education, she led the ELL Teacher Leadership Network for the Professional Development Redesign Challenge with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Worcester ELL Teacher Residency Project under President Obama's Race to the Top initiative. Sarah is a two-time recipient of the AmeriCorps Award for National and Community Service in Milwaukee Public Schools classrooms in 2001 and 2003 and she is proudly the first person in her immediate family to graduate from college.