Regional Directors

CGEP Regional Directors plan and implement programs in their regions to support the local professional learning needs of educators. Due to the integrated and inclusive nature of global education, Regional Directors work across disciplines and grade levels to support the development of global citizenship in all students. CGEP Regional Directors also work collaboratively across the state to share and improve programs and resources, and to reach California educators outside of these designated regions.  


Stephanie Buttell-Maxin

CGEP @ University of San Diego

formerly International Studies Teacher Education Project (ISTEP)

Stephanie Buttell-Maxin is a retired elementary Spanish/English bilingual teacher from Kimball Elementary School in National School District. Over the span of her 37 years in the classroom, Stephanie taught second through sixth grades. She earned her BA in Linguistics from the University of California, San Diego. Stephanie also earned her MA in Education, emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction, from San Diego State University. She has served as a Teacher Leader for both CGEP and the California Geographic Alliance for over 25 years.

Stephanie believes in giving back to the community. She volunteers her free time supporting Kimball School’s food bank and school garden. Also, she is a volunteer and board member of the Paradise Creek Educational Park, Inc. nonprofit organization.

As Interim Regional Director, Stephanie is dedicated to supporting educators and students throughout San Diego and Imperial Counties in their understanding of global issues and the skills necessary to meet those challenges.

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Barbara Vallejo Doten

CGEP @ CSU Long Beach

Barbara taught history-social science and foundations of law courses in the Law Academy at Juan R. Cabrillo High School in the Long Beach Unified School District. With the exception of three years as the Teaching American History Grant Coordinator in the Los Angeles County Office of Education, Barbara's teaching career spans 36 years as a middle and high school teacher in the Los Angeles and Long Beach Unified school districts. She became a National Board Certified Teacher in History/Social Science in 2007 and has taught instructional methodology courses at CSU Long Beach and CSU Dominguez Hills since 2005. She holds a BA (History/Political Science) and MA (Education) degree from CSU Los Angeles, as well as a Bilingual Certificate of Competency in Spanish. In 2004, the California Council for the Social Studies recognized Barbara as the High School Teacher of the Year. Most recently, she has written and received grants from UCLA's Center X and the LA County Education Foundation to incorporate culturally relevant curricula and civics into the secondary curricula. As a result of these grants, her civic team at Juan R. Cabrillo High School has received accreditation as one of the first Democracy Schools in the state of California.

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Lisa McAllister

CGEP @ UC Santa Barbara

CGEP @ CSU Fullerton

Lisa is the Research, Events and Outreach Coordinator for the Center for Middle East Studies, the East Asia Center, and the Latin American and Iberian Studies Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). In this capacity she facilitates cross-regional research collaborations and activities that bring the histories, cultures, people, and stories of these world regions to UCSB, local K-12 classrooms, and the Santa Barbara community. Lisa grew up in South Africa, Germany, England, and Cyprus. In England, she received a B.S. in Biology from Imperial College and an M.S. in Evolutionary Psychology from the University of Liverpool. She moved to Santa Barbara in 2004 and has since received an M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from UCSB. While completing her Ph.D. she lived and worked in Belize exploring resilience of coastal communities to environmental shocks and climate change, and in the Bolivian Amazon exploring the effects of education and health disparities on women's family planning and fertility. After completing her Ph.D., Lisa worked as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Missouri and Pennsylvania State University, exploring how hardships in childhood and adulthood influence U.S. and Bangladeshi men's and women's family planning and parental investment goals and behaviors. Lisa also worked for the UC Global Health Institute developing a Planetary Health Ambassador program that recruited, trained, and supported undergraduate and graduate students, from across the ten Universities of California, in organizing planetary health educational events on their campuses. In her current position at UCSB, Lisa is enjoying building relationships with local K-12 educators, and bringing UCSB and CGEP resources to K-12 educators and their classrooms. When Lisa is not working you will find her with her two sons and husband exploring the outdoors or attempting a new baking creation in the kitchen. 


Thomas Herman

California Geographic Alliance & NorCal Teacher Fellowship

Tom serves as Director of the California Geographic Alliance. In this capacity, he explores, expands, and explains the field of geography education while developing and delivering professional learning experiences for K-12 educators. He works with local, state and national education organizations to promote contemporary geography education and meaningful use of geospatial technologies. He finds innovative ways to increase support and resources for K-12 geography education in California and increase the number of students choosing geography as a field of study at the college level. In addition, as Director of the Young People’s Environments, Society and Space (YESS) Research Center at San Diego State University, Tom provides technical assistance, in the form of program evaluation and program development, to community-based and youth- and family-serving programs. His goal is to partner with non-profit organizations and local governments to provide strategic support for programs that make a positive impact on children, families, and neighborhoods. Tom is Adjunct Professor of Geography at San Diego State University with more than twenty years of experience teaching urban, social, and cultural geography as well as research techniques. His research interests focus on the social geographies of children, families, and communities as well as the evolution of urban neighborhoods. He earned his BA in Geography from Villanova University, MA in Geography from New Mexico State University, and Ph.D. in Geography from SDSU and UC Santa Barbara. Tom is a humanist and a passionate geographer who is endlessly interested in people's geographic experiences and strategies and in finding ways to support all kinds of people in having a high quality of life and opportunities for self-expression.


Dave Potter

Director of Partnerships & NorCal Teacher Fellowship

As a product of the California public schools system, Dave is passionate about his state fulfilling its promise to provide all students with a world-class education. Dave’s focus is supporting underserved communities through people-to-people exchanges and all forms of cross-cultural collaboration that make progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Dave is fluent in strategic partnerships, purposeful storytelling, and building networks of learners with government, corporate, philanthropic, and education leaders worldwide. He has helped raise $40 million to support Northern California Sister Cities, National Security Language Initiative for Youth, Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program, and numerous other exchange programs. For the past 25 years, Dave has helped expand the field of virtual exchange to build 21st century skills and foster compassion in K-12 education. Based in San Francisco, Dave has a BA in Astrophysics from UC Berkeley and an MS in Environmental Systems, International Development Technology from Humboldt State University.

Emily M. Schell

Executive Director


Emily earned her B.A. in Diversified Liberal Arts at the University of San Diego, M.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University, and Ed.D. in Education Leadership from the University of San Diego. After working as an editor for school publications, she served as a teacher, district Social Studies Resource Teacher, and principal in San Diego Unified. She was the K-12 History-Social Science Coordinator for the San Diego County Office of Education, joined the Teacher Education faculty at San Diego State University, and served as Liaison for the National Geographic Education Foundation. Emily is Co-Chair of the California Environmental Literacy Initiative (CAELI), Facilitator for the CAPP California Leadership Network, Ambassador for HundrED, and was named one of the Top 100 Visionaries in Education by the Global Forum for Education and Learning. Her work in geography education, Social Studies, interdisciplinary and equitable teaching and learning, and Linked Learning contributes greatly to her vision for global education. With years of experience in teaching, administration, writing, editing, curriculum development, and professional learning, Emily is enthusiastic about leading the California Global Education Project. 

Stephanie Duran

Program Manager


Stephanie graduated from San Diego State University in December 2015 with a bachelor's degree in Psychology and Counseling & Social Change. She earned her master's degree in Counseling in 2018. During her years as an undergraduate, Stephanie worked with the School of Teacher Education and demonstrated the organizational skills, leadership, and work ethic necessary to lead the CGEP Statewide Office in the SDSU College of Education.

Stephanie's commitment to global education relates to her personal experiences in a binational region -- born in San Diego and raised in Tijuana -- and firm belief that planting seeds of global competence in young learners leads to a better and more sustainable world where cultural differences are embraced. She envisions for future generations life with a strong foundation of peace, harmony, and love -- free of judgment and hatred. Most importantly, Stephanie is the proud mother of a brilliant, young global citizen named Imani. 

Esmerelda Sanchez

Administrative Support


Esmeralda has been working in education for almost 17 years. She graduated with her BA in Sociology and a Masters Degree in Student Affairs and Leadership from San Diego State University. While she was an undergrad she worked in the Dual Language and English Learner Education Teaching Credential Department (DLE). Working in education during her undergraduate years helped Esmeralda see the importance of supporting students through their educational journey, and she wanted to continue supporting them after she graduated. Post-graduation she continued her work with DLE, and as she became more involved in the department and the university, she decided to pursue her Masters in Student Affairs to equip herself with the tools to support and guide students. 

Her love for education isn't just in her career it is also at home with her two young children that constantly inspire her to continue learning. In the not-so-distant future, she wants to pursue her Doctorate.