ESTHER WOJCICKI , Founder, Palo Alto High Media Arts Center
Esther Wojcicki is a internationally known journalism teacher and the founder of the largest media program in the US, Palo Alto High School Media Arts Program, a program that focuses teaching 21st century skills through the use of media (newspaper, magazine, yearbook, websites, video production, photography, radio, & television). The program started in 1984 with an already established (1918) 6 -8 page newspaper and 19 students; it has grown have 600+ students, six additional journalism teachers, ten publications, and a new 25,000 sq. ft Media Arts Center (2014). Her students have been at the top of the US for the past 30 years, having won Gold and Silver Crowns from Columbia Scholastic Press Association and PaceMaker Awards from National Scholastic Press.
Esther is a graduate of UC Berkeley where she holds an M.J. degree in journalism and has a lecture series named after her at UC Berkeley; has been a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at MediaX at Stanford since 2013; is a 2009 MacArthur Foundation Research Fellow; was the 2002 California Teacher of the Year by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing; was the 2011 Charles O’Malley Award recipient from Columbia Scholastic Press. In 2013, she was awarded an honorary doctorate by Palo Alto University, and in 2016 an honorary doctorate from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). In 2018, she was awarded another honorary doctorate in from Central University of Brazilia. In November, 2016 she was awarded the MyHero Award for her work in global education. She has been a speaker at multiple conferences including TED (2015), G20 Summit, and the SLUSH conference in Finland (2017), WEBIT in Sofia, Bulgaria (2018) .She is on the faculty at Singularity University. She co-authored popular education book on blended learning entitled Moonshots in Education: Launching Blended Learning in the Classroom (2015). Her focus is empowering students through the use of digital resources and giving students more control. She is the mother of Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, Janet Wojcicki, Professor of Pediatrics at UCSF Medical School and Anne Wojcicki, CEO of 23andMe. She is married to Stanford Physics Professor Stanley Wojcicki.