William Cooley, Director of Civic Programs
William is an experienced journalist, educator and counselor. Over the six years he spent as a journalist, William held nearly every position in the newsroom, including reporter, designer, copy editor and photographer. He started his career at the Sonoma Sun, one of the first bilingual community weeklies in California. Before transitioning to teaching, William worked for the Center for Investigative Reporting in Berkeley and graduated summa cum laude from San Jose State University’s school of journalism.
In 2010, William joined Teach for America as a special education teacher. While teaching at San Jose High School, he provided academic and counseling support to a diverse group of students and garnered Teacher of the Year honors for the collaborative relationships he built with students and stakeholders. William also helped develop the district’s Common Core math curriculum and fought hard to see that principles of universal design were implemented district-wide. As a presenter, he has led trainings on a wide range of topics, including collaborative teaming, community engagement and positive behavioral supports. William’s special education background makes him particularly sensitive to issues of inclusion, accessibility and cultural relevance.