About Author

Brief Bio

I am a proud principal of an up and coming middle school, a father of a new daughter, a husband to a supportive wife, and an aspiring leadership coach. In my hard to find spare time, I like to dabble in hip-hop, stay active, and travel the world. I also love to write.

My Intentions

I want to help you be a radical leader. An engineer for equity. I believe that leaders (second only to incredible teachers) are the key factor in changing the outcomes for students. I am passionate about leadership and social justice. I want to support you to build a bridge between your commitment to equity and your mission of empowering all students. I want to connect like-minded individuals to harness our collective strength, learn faster together, and empower our schools. This will connect critical pedagogy, change management, and design thinking. I hope that leadership can be your tool for transforming schools, for the benefit of our children.

Detailed Background and Experiences

Joe Truss, is in his fourth year as Principal of Visitacion Valley Middle School in SFUSD. He brings fourteen years of experience working with public K-12 students, combining teaching, coaching, counseling, curriculum development, and school administration. He has extensive experience working in Title 1 schools serving low-income, immigrant, students of color.

Originally, born and raised in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco, Truss grew up in a single parent home, after losing his father at the age of five. He attended public schools in SFUSD and found his solace in his studies. Truss later studied the Spanish Language at UC Berkeley in the early 2000s.

He continued his education through the Urban Teacher Training Collaborative and received his Master’s in Teaching from Tufts University, in Boston. He then returned to teach high school Spanish in Oakland. After becoming a lead teacher, with Envision Schools, he returned to pursue his Administrator Credential through the UC Berkeley PLI program. There he conducted his Leadership Action Research Project on the effects of Culturally Relevant Curricula in a small urban high school.

Truss later returned to SFUSD, as a high school Assistant Principal, before becoming a Principal of Visitacion Valley Middle School. At VVMS, he introduced a vision focused on Love, Literacy, and Liberation. There he has worked to decrease student referrals, increase performance on the SBAC English Language Arts and double 6th-grade enrollment. During his tenure, he worked to bring in a focus on culturally responsive teaching, project-based learning, and trauma-sensitive practices.

In addition to leading school transformation at VVMS, he is also a member of the steering committee of the SFUSD Superintendent’s Leadership Fellows, an enclave of Social Justice leaders in the district. Through the Fellows, he helps to design leadership development for members and for administrators at large in SFUSD. Truss has led EdTalks, Workshops, and Professional Development. These experiences provide Truss with keen insight into effective tools for school transformation and leadership support.

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