The critical first years: How to effectively support and retain new teachers

Nearly half of all new teachers leave the profession in the first five years, greatly impacting teacher shortages across California and the nation. Teachers of color are the most likely to leave.

Educators and experts delve into questions such as:

  • What can principals do to support new teachers, especially teachers of color?
  • How important is teacher preparation and mentorship to teacher retention?
  • Wasn’t the $1.4 billion the state allocated to recruit and retain teachers supposed to solve the shortage? What else must be done?

Read more about this roundtable.


Tommy Chang

CEO | New Teacher Center

Driven by his experiences as an immigrant student, teacher, principal, and district leader, Dr. Tommy Chang’s journey to becoming New Teacher Center’s CEO is rooted in embracing teaching and learning as dynamic, relational human exchange. He brings over 25 years of education experience and leadership to NTC, including as the former acting CEO and President of Families In Schools, Superintendent of Boston Public Schools, and Local Instructional Superintendent for Los Angeles Unified School District.

He has served on several nonprofit boards, such as Leading Educators and Silicon Schools Fund, and Education Leaders of Color, an organization dedicated to elevating the leadership, voices, and influence of people of color in education to lead more inclusive efforts to improve education.

Jenna Hewitt King

High school teacher & Teach Plus California Senior Policy Fellow | San Leandro Unified

Jenna Hewitt King is a high school English teacher at San Leandro High School and a 2022-23 Teach Plus California Senior Policy Fellow. Her pedagogy emphasizes student agency, social-emotional well being, and social justice, which she believes will equip students with the tools needed to become informed, engaged, and resilient citizens. She has experience leading professional development courses on SEL, anti-racist curriculum, and teaching through a social justice lens.

Hewitt King has also served in multiple leadership positions within her local teacher union. Jenna is a 200-hour certified yoga and wellness champion with Breathe for Change, where she now serves as a mentor to support educators participating in the training. She earned her BA in Communication Studies from San Francisco State University and her teaching credential and MEd in Teaching from Mills College, Oakland.

Gabrielle Wilson

High school teacher and former teacher resident | Palo Alto Unified

Gabrielle Wilson teaches English language arts, music and French in Palo Alto Unified. Wilson received a Master’s in Education from Mills College in 2021. In 2020, she co-founded the Global Storytelling Institute, an organization that hosts speakers who share with students their personal stories of academic achievement against all odds.

Prior to teaching, Gabrielle attended New College of California and University of Paris and received the degree of Juris Doctor in 2006. Her father, Roy S. Wilson, integrated Louisiana State University, School of Law in 1950. She enjoys playing piano and guest hosting jazz music programs at KPFA Radio in Berkeley.

Julie Sheldon

Induction coordinator | Walnut Valley Induction Consortium

Julie Sheldon has been involved in teacher induction for the past 24 years and is currently the Coordinator of the Walnut Valley Induction Consortium, which supports new teachers and administrators in nine districts in Los Angeles County.

She has served as Chair of the Greater Los Angeles Induction Leadership Team for the past five years and chaired the 2019 California Induction Conference. In addition, Julie is a member of the Commission on Teacher Credentialing Board of Institutional Review and the California Standards for the Teaching Profession revision team.

John Brazelton

Master teacher at Newport Harbor High School | Newport-Mesa Unified

John Brazelton is a master teacher at Newport Harbor High School in Newport-Mesa Unified and has been teaching for 30 years. John attended the University of California, Irvine, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in Biology. After completing his undergraduate studies, John went on to earn a master’s degree in Geoscience from Mississippi State University.

Diana Lambert

Panel moderator; Reporter | EdSource

Diana Lambert covers teachers and teaching for EdSource. Previously, she covered education for  The Sacramento Bee for more than a decade. She has won numerous awards, including the 2017 James Madison Freedom of Information Award from the Society of Professional Journalism, and both a first-place honor for investigative reporting from The Inland Press Association and the McClatchy President’s Award in 2016. Before becoming an education reporter Diana was a bureau chief for the Sacramento Bee. She began her career at age 17 as a part-time proofreader for the Lodi News-Sentinel. Diana earned a B.A. from California State University, Sacramento.

Anne Vasquez

CEO | EdSource

Anne Vasquez took the helm as EdSource’s executive director in May 2021. Previously, she served as director of content and strategic initiatives at EdSource. In that role, she helped shape editorial strategy, grow partnerships and expand the organization’s footprint throughout California. Prior to joining EdSource, Anne was an executive at Tribune Publishing, where she most recently served as senior vice president of strategic initiatives and chief digital officer. She previously was the managing editor of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Vasquez began her career at the Miami Herald and the San Jose Mercury News, where she was an education reporter and later an editor.