Jo Gusman is both an outstanding teacher of emerging bilingual students and professional learning provider. She began her teaching career in 1974 as a bilingual education instructional assistant, and later served as a Bilingual Education teacher, Multilingual Cross-Cultural Education, and Biliteracy Specialist. In 1981, her career led her to the nationally known Newcomer School, where Jo worked in a multilingual setting with refugee and immigrant Multilingual Learners. It is there where she developed her many Brain-Based ESL Strategies™. Because of her extensive experience and exceptional work with Multilingual Learners, she has received numerous awards from organizations such as the National Hispanic School Board Association, California Reading Association, and the California Association for Bilingual Education. She was featured on national television (NBC) in a five-day news series titled, The New Kids in Town. Jo received recognition for her teaching excellence from President Ronald Reagan, the U.S., and California Departments of Education. Jo has served as a presidential advisor and consultant to the USDOE and multiple state DOEs. Jo was appointed to the national Literacy Advisory Board in 2023 to act as an advisor in gathering, listening to and learning from diverse perspectives on issues impacting today’s students and teachers in the field of literacy, with an emphasis on the Science of Reading, cultural responsiveness, equity and inclusion.
Jo is the creator of the Foundation-Frameworks-Tools School Improvement Model and author of The Science of Reading and Your Multilingual Learners: Principles, Frameworks, Processes, and Strategies, Response to Instruction and Intervention: Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Frameworks, Processes and Strategies, and Accelerating Your ELs Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary Development, and Reading Fluency. She is a co-author of ACCESS: Building Literacy Through Learning, a content-area program specifically designed for Multilingual Learners, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), and Read 180: Strategies for Teaching Reading to English Language Learners (Scholastic).
Jo is featured in several professional learning programs such as, Helping Your Multilingual Learners Become More Successful Readers, Mind-Brain-Education Science and Your Multilingual Learners: Practical Frameworks, Processes and Strategies, Multiple Intelligences and the Second Language Learner, Optimizing Intelligences: Thinking, Emotion and Creativity and, Every Teacher – A Teacher of English Language Learners, which featured Jo’s Foundations-Frameworks-Tools© EL Program Model.
Jo taught Introduction to Bilingual Education, Foundations of Curriculum, and Language and Biliteracy courses at California State University, Sacramento for 20 years. She was a board member and instructor at the Multiple Intelligences Institute, University of California, Riverside.
Jo is the founder of New Horizons In Education-EduTrainers, an education consulting company dedicated to assisting school districts and corporations design and implement highly effective language and literacy programs for bilingual biliterate students and their families. Currently, Jo provides Foundation- Frameworks-Tools School Improvement and Transformation© coaching and guidance, EL Program Quality Reviews, ESSA implementation technical support, Biliteracy, language acquisition, and Mind-Brain- Education Science seminars. Jo shares her many ideas with administrators, teachers, students, parents, and policy makers throughout the world. Her seminars are fast-moving, energetic, and focus on scores of evidence-based practical ideas and materials participants can use immediately.
Jo grew up in a family who experienced the challenges that farm working, non-English speaking families face. She understands the complexities and multiple variables that surround Culturally and Linguistically Diverse learners. Because of her background and experiences, it is always her intention to provide practical ideas, inspiration, and a vision that all students are highly intelligent and can be successful in all aspects of their lives, regardless of race, gender, or socio-economic level.