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Year Two: 2021-2022

YEAR TWO - 2021-22 
The formal sessions for the Think Tank began in January 2022 though Cohort 1 met and planned throughout summer and fall 2021. We undertook research projects during the spring semester and maintained the same committees as established during our first year: Equity, Mental Health, and Curriculum

Our research this year was based on our new guiding questions:

  1. Equity: How can PUSD create an equitable restorative justice system and break past the system’s inherent discrimination against black and brown students?
  2. Mental Health: How can PUSD identify and create an equitable structure to offer access to mental health resources for those who are most in need?
  3. Curriculum: What is the impact of critical pedagogy on both students and teachers? How can we as students and staff integrate critical pedagogy into the whole curriculum?

On April 28, 2022, we offered a presentation to PUSD's Board and community and shared research from our past two years. The Board was responsive and supportive of our work.

A highlight of the evening was a call to action in which we requested that the Board provide us with a governance structure that would lead to one student representative being appointed to the PUSD board with an equal vote. The request led to a Board discussion about how such an action could happen in the district.

To view the slideshow, click here
To view the video click here
Make sure to watch the video 3 hours after the starting point in order to hear the Think Tank!


Back row: Board Member Tina Fredericks, PUSD Superintendent Brian McDonald, Board Member Patrick Cahalan, Board President Elizabeth Pomeroy, Board Member Jennifer Hall Lee, Board Member Kimberly Kenne, Board Member Michelle Richardson Bailey
Second row: Literacy & Dual Language Specialist Jose Ortega, Lisbeth Ortiz, Sophie Shahinian, Naomi Moore, Paulina McConnell, Lauren Gray, Finney Brownstein, Addie Dale, Marshall Fundamental Ethnic Studies instructor Andrea Flores, Leo Long, Jesus Gonzalez, Celeste Edell, Miguel Roybal-Monzo, Assistant Superintendent Helen Chan Hill, Muir HS Ethnic Studies instructor Manuel Rustin,  PHS Ethnic Studies instructor David Flores
Front row: Muir HS English instructor Tatam Dao, Blair HS Ethnic Studies instructor Rhyna Vasquez, Morgan Gaskell, Parami De Silva, River Henry-Vasquez, Ella Uriu, Gabrielle Trujillo, Stephanie Barcenas, Natalia Abadjian, Mya Hernandez, Asha Bailey
Seatted row: Kira Burson, Maude Windsor, Think Tank Facilitator Sehba Sarwar


think tank


Think Tank students at Pacific Oaks College in April, planning their presentation for the April 28, 2022 PUSD Board Meeting.
Back row from left to right: Jesus Gonzalez (PHS '23), Maude Windsor (Marshall '24), Miguel Morales-Guevara (PHS '22), Lisbeth Jara (Blair '24), Leo Long (PHS '22), Finney Brownstein (Marshall '23), Sophia Chou (Marshall '25)
Front row: Natalia Abadjian (PHS '24), Gabrielle Trujillo (PHS '24), Paulina McConnel (PHS '24), Ella Uriu (Muir '22), Mya Hernandez (PHS '23)


2021-22 Cohort 2 Selection Process

The Think Tank expanded our base for 2021-22, and twenty-two students from Blair, Marshall, Muir and Pasadena High School were accepted into the Think Tank’s second cohort.  

Virtual interviews were conducted by a peer review team that consisted of juniors and seniors: Parami De Silva, Celeste Edell, Mya Hernandez, Naomi Moore, Miguel Roybal-Monzo, and Isabella (Ella) Uriu. The Think Tank’s adult advisory team supported the interview process.

2021-22 Cohort One: Sofia Carmenate (she/her, PHS, '22), Addie Dale  (she/her, PHS, '23), Parami De Silva (she/her, PHS, '23), Celeste Edell (she/her, PHS, '22), Mya Hernandez (they/them, PHS, '22), Naomi Moore (she/her, PHS, '22), Camila Morales Guevara (she/her, PHS, '22), Miguel Roybal-Monzo (he/him, PHS, '22), and Ella Uriu (she/they, Muir, '22)

2021-22 Cohort Two

Blair International Baccalaureate School: 
Elena Grigoryan (she/her, '24), Sophie Shahinian (she/her, '24), David Kunitake (he/him, '24), Lisbeth Jara (she/her, '24), Arlington Pacheco (they'24), Cynthia Vanesian ('24)
Marshall Fundamental High School:
Kira Burson (any, '24), Maude Windsor ('24), Stephanie Barcenas (she/her, '23), Finney (Alex)  Brownstein (she/her, '23), Sophia Chou (she/her, '25)
John Muir High School Early College Magnet:
Asha Bailey (she/her, '24), Lauren Gray (she/her, '24), Liberty Alderton (she/her, '23), Ewan Lamond (he/him, '25), River Henry-Vasquez (they/them, '25)
Pasadena High School:
Morgan Gaskell (she/her, '24), Gabrielle Trujillo (she/her, '24), Natalia Abadjian (she/her, '24), Jesus  Gonzalez (they/them, '23), Leo Long (him/him, '22), Paulina McConnell (she/her, '25)

If you have questions or concerns that you would like our team to examine, please submit your concerns and feedback through this Google survey form. We want to hear from you! You can also follow us on Instagram here!

Screenshot view of Think Tank virtual meeting

Think Tank Members (left to right, starting from top row):

Cohort One 2020-2022 (9 members): 

Sofia Carmenate (she/her PHS ’22), Addie Dale (she/her, PHS ’23), Parami De Silva (she/her, PHS ’23), Celeste Edell (she/her, PHS ’22), Mya Hernandez (they/them, PHS ’23), Naomi Moore (she/her, PHS ’22), Camila Morales-Guevara (she/her, PHS ’22), Miguel Roybal-Monzo (he/him, PHS ’22), Ella Uriu (she/they, Muir ’22). 

Cohort Two 2021-22 (22 members):

Natalia Abadjian (she/her, PHS ’24), Liberty Alderton (she/her) Muir ‘23), Asha Bailey (she/her Muir ‘24 ), Stephanie Barcenas (she/her Marshall ‘23), Finney Brownstein (she/her, Marshall ‘23), Kira Burson (Any, Marshall ‘24), Sophia Chou (she/her, Marshall ‘25),  Morgan Gaskell (she/her, PHS ’24), Jesus Gonzalez (they/them, PHS ’23),  Lauren Gray (she/her Muir ’24), Elena Grigoryan (she/her Blair ’24), River Henry-Vasquez (they/them Muir ‘25), Lisbeth Jara (she/her) (Blair ’24), David Kunitake (he/him) (Blair ’24), Ewan Lamond (he/him Muir ‘25), Leo Long (he/him, PHS ’22), Paulina McConnell (she/her, PHS ’25), Arlington Pacheco (he/her, Blair ’24), Sophie Shahinian (she/her, Blair ’24), Gabrielle Trujillo (she/her, PHS ‘24) Cynthia Vanesian (she/her Blair ’24), Maude Windsor (she/they, Marshall ’24)

Think Tank Facilitator: Sehba Sarwar (she/her)

Think Tank