Improvement Coach

About Sonya

Sonya Soltani is an Improvement Coach at Ed Direction. She is part of our transformative effort to change educational outcomes around the nation – through school improvement, instructional coaching, and leadership development. Sonya partners with teachers and school leaders to improve student achievement and increase the capacity of educators through the Resilient Schools Support Program in Texas.

Prior to joining Ed Direction, Sonya was a devoted elementary educator with experience teaching grades TK-2, coaching first year teachers, and facilitating high-quality professional development. She taught at a public charter school in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she refined her expertise as a coach and facilitator with an emphasis on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (D.E.I.), data-driven instruction, and early literacy development. During the pandemic, Sonya took the initiative to launch a learning management system (L.M.S.) training program for teachers, designed a modified math curriculum to target high-level skills for student mastery, and developed a school-wide small group math structure that promoted differentiation in teaching and learning. Sonya began teaching as a Teach For America corps member in New Mexico, where she taught indigenous elementary students at a public school on the Navajo Nation. Her work is also grounded in her background as an education advocate for institutions of higher education in California. Sonya is a passionate advocate for educational equity in underserved and underrepresented communities.

Sonya earned her master’s in Elementary Education from the University of New Mexico. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from San Francisco State University. Outside of her work in schools and classrooms, Sonya enjoys a number of creative endeavors. She takes classes in singing and in Spanish, makes time to play her ukulele, and seeks opportunities to take the perfect photo. Her previous students would describe her as a class clown with a penchant for french fries. Sonya finds inspiration in nature, and can usually be found exploring the many hiking trails and campgrounds in her California community.

Career Highlights

Coach/Teacher-Leader/Grade-level Chair, KIPP Bridge Rising Academy
Elementary Teacher, KIPP Public Schools Northern California
Elementary Teacher, Gallup-McKinley County Schools
Teach for America, New Mexico Region ‘16
University of New Mexico, M.Ed.
San Francisco State University, B.A. Communication Studies


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