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Michelle Macchia

Assistant Professor of Professional Practice and Partnership Leader
Learning & Teaching
GSE Room 206c

Michelle Smith Macchia, Ed.D., Assistant Professor of Professional Practice, oversees the development and applied practice of GSE pre-service teachers through her role as a Partnership Leader in the Community School Partnership Network (GSE-CSPN). Dr. Macchia seeks to cultivate teachers who are well-versed in the principles of culturally relevant pedagogy and can identify and disrupt the prejudicial narratives frequently at play in urban school systems. To this end, she works to ensure that pre-service teachers at the GSE learn to hold high academic expectations for the students they serve and to demonstrate cultural competence and sociopolitical awareness in their teaching practice. Dr. Macchia’s academic scholarship reflects this social justice orientation, but with an emphasis on the importance of early literacy instruction and its correlation with gaps in long-term student achievement in historically underserved school communities.

Dr. Macchia, a first-generation college graduate, studied French & Linguistics as an undergraduate at the University of California, Los Angeles before realizing her passion for education during a post-graduate fellowship supporting teachers of color at independent schools. Her experiences as a fellow drove her to pursue a master’s degree in Educational Administration at Columbia University, Teacher’s College, and later earn her advanced teacher certification at the College of St. Elizabeth. Dr. Macchia faced one of her toughest challenges when she earned a position teaching students from mixed grade levels in an alternative education classroom in central California. Recalling it as both the most difficult and most rewarding experience as an education practitioner, she attributes the challenges she faced in this role as the catalyst for her decision to pursue an educational doctorate in Teacher Leadership at Rutgers GSE. At the GSE, Dr. Macchia was awarded the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Fellowship for her outstanding service to the field of education and observable potential in advancing the school’s change agent mission. Today, she serves as the Vice President of the Board of Trustees of Essex Valley School, a therapeutic alternative school dedicated to providing a supportive learning environment to students who have difficulty in traditional public and private schools. Dr. Macchia also offers educational consulting and is involved in several professional organizations, including the American Association for Blacks in Higher Education.

• Ed.D. in Teacher Leadership, Rutgers University (2016)
• M.A. in Educational Administration, Columbia University (1998)
• B.A. in French and Linguistics, University of California, Los Angeles (1994)
• American Association of Blacks in Higher Education
• International Literacy Association
• Kappa Delta Pi International Education Honor Society
• National Writing Project
• New Jersey Association of Black Educators

  • Expertise & Research Interest

    Early Literacy Instruction

    Teacher Leadership

    Culturally Relevant Pedagogy

    GSE Community School Partnership Network

  • Clinical Experience

    Assistant Professor of Professional Practice and Partnership Leader, Rutgers University (2018-Present)

    Senior Educational Consultant and Project Lead, Astor Early Reading Mentor Program, Teaching Matters, Inc. (2014-Present)

    Educational Consultant, Blueprints for Learning, Inc. (2012-2014)

    General Education Teacher, Sussex Avenue School (2004-2013)

    Coordinator, Teacher Academy, Morris School District (2012-2013)

    Cooperating Teacher, Sussex Avenue School (2012)

    Lead Teacher, Sussex Avenue School (2010-2012)

    Adjunct Faculty, County College of Morris (2011)

    Mentor, New Teacher Mentoring Program, Morris School District (2008-2011)

    Instructor and Advisory Council Member, Teacher Academy, Morris School District (2007-2010)

    Supervisor, Sunset After-school Program (2006-2008)

    Member, K-5 Basic Skills Summer School Curriculum Committee (2005-2007)

    Teacher, Grades K-3, Hanford Elementary School District (2001-2003)

  • Honors & Awards

    Samuel DeWitt Proctor Fellowship, Rutgers University

    Pioneering Coach Award, Teaching Matters

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