A former teacher, teacher-leader and director of the Graduate School of Education (GSE)/Teach For America (TFA) Urban Teacher Program at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Dina H. Portnoy served as Director of the KSTF Senior Fellows Program from 2011–2015. As a Program Associate, she continues to support the Senior Fellows Program and the KSTF journal. Additionally, Dina supports Phase 3 Fellows as they prepare to transition to Senior Fellow status.
Dina spent over 25 years as a teacher in Philadelphia, where she was deeply engaged in teacher networks and teacher professional development programs, such as the Philadelphia Writing Project and the National Writing Project. Her participation in these programs and others, along with her facilitation of numerous professional development and teacher research initiatives through the Philadelphia Schools Collaborative, confirmed her belief that “teachers can be the best teachers of teachers.”
She earned a B.A. in English literature from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. in special education from Temple University, and an Ed.D. in reading, writing and literacy from the University of Pennsylvania’s Language and Education Division. Her long tenure in the Philadelphia School District includes two stints as teacher-on-special-assignment, providing support and professional development to teacher learning communities. From 1999 to 2006, Dina taught undergraduate English courses and graduate level education courses at the University of Pennsylvania. From 2005 to 2011, she led the university’s GSE/TFA Urban Teacher Program, where she designed and implemented a two-year certification and master’s program for up to 260 first and second year teachers in Philadelphia’s public and charter schools.
Dina has presented at numerous education meetings and conferences, including the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the National Council of Teachers in English. She was named the 2011 Educator of the Year by the Alumni Association of GSE.