Nicky Ramos-Beban, PhD, is a life-long educator, spending more than a decade right out of college teaching English at large, comprehensive high schools and mentoring new teachers before co-founding East Palo Alto Academy with a team of talented peers and advisors. Nicky earned her doctorate in curriculum and teacher education from Stanford University with a research focus on principal leadership and relational trust. Currently, Nicky works at the Santa Clara County Office of Education as assistant director of alternative education, helping to oversee schools for students ages 12 through 24 who have been expelled or incarcerated, or are re-entering the school system to finish their diploma and gain career skills. Nicky was an instructor in the Stanford Teacher Education Program for a decade and currently teaches classroom management in the Lurie College of Education at San Jose State University. Nicky is also a part-time writer; most recently, she wrote the cover story for Magic magazine’s September 2015 issue.