Susan Van Zant, Ed. D.
Susan Van Zant, an experienced educator, currently serves as a consultant. Susan holds bachelor’s degree in history for California State University Long Beach, a master’s degree in curriculum development from Northern Arizona University and a doctorate with a specialization in educational leadership from Alliant University in San Diego. Susan taught reading prior to her appointment as a school principal.
As an informed elementary and middle school principal for 27 years in the Poway Unified School District, she worked with teachers to present well-defined English Language Arts and math programs, which led to increasingly high achievement scores. Four of the schools where she was principal were recognized as a California Distinguished School and three went on to be identified as National Blue Ribbon Schools.
Susan served as president of the California Elementary Principals and was the president of San Diego Association of School Administrators, (ACSA), and served on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Elementary and Middle School Principals (NAESP). Susan taught leadership courses for two universities in San Diego. In recognition for her achievements Dr. Van Zant was chosen to be a National Distinguished Principal, the California Educator of the Year, and was selected to be a Milken Educator Award recipient.
Susan is the author of Words for Academic Writing: Vocabulary Across the Curricula and E-Solution, an extension of the Six Minute Solution. These programs are designed to expand student use and knowledge of academic vocabulary, improve fluency, reading comprehension, and writing skills. In addition, she has published articles in educational journals related to effective classroom management strategies, community relations, and using assessment data to drive instructional decisions.
Upon her retirement from public school service Susan accepted a position as Senior Educational Consultant with the Consortium for Reaching Excellence in Education (CORE). In this capacity she enthusiastically worked with educators in urban, suburban, and rural school settings throughout the United States. Susan served as the District Implementation Advisor for the Anchorage School District, East Moline, Illinois, Upper Darby (South Philadelphia). Hanover Area School in Pennsylvania, the Atlanta Public School System, San Bernardino and Stockton, California as well as four Bureau of Indian Education schools located in North Dakota, New Mexico and Minnesota.
Susan is the Southern California Regional Coach for CALI Reads, a five-year grant administered by the Napa County Office of Education. In this capacity Susan works with the Azusa, Anaheim and Moreno Valley school districts to implement grant components.
Milken Award Information
As principal of Pomerado Elementary School in San Diego, Susan Van Zant stimulated community support for and academic enthusiasm within a once-troubled school. Recipient of the 1988 National Distinguished Principal Award, Dr. Van Zant responded to her students’ needs by initiating programs such as the one that brought community leaders to the classroom, where they read to the children from literature classics.
Currently as an effective leader in curriculum and instruction, Dr. Van Zant trains teachers, adinistrators and graduate students. Dr. Van Zant is admired for her ability to get people working together for the good of the students, an important ingredient in the revitalization of any school.