Marike Anderson-Dam Homepage
About Marike Anderson-Dam
Marike Anderson-Dam is a sixth-year Social Science teacher at Palisades Charter High School. In addition to teaching History and Geography, she has also taught AVID and Academic Literacy. She serves as a member of the Communications Committee, which seeks to increase positive and efficient communications between and among all stakeholders. She is also a member of the campus Council Team, which promotes the use Native American council methods of communication to build community, resolve conflict, and give all stakeholders an authentic voice both in the classroom and in school governance. Marike is currently a member of UCLA's Principal Leadership Institute, Cohort 11.
Several years ago, Marike joined some of her colleagues in implementing The Village Nation program at PCHS to address the marginalization of African American students on campus. As a Village Nation Elder, she has worked as an advocate for African American students on campus by co-planning impact assemblies, co-sponsoring the Black Student Union, and helping to create a caring, culturally relevant, and academically challenging environment for African American students. Currently, she is using The Village Nation model to develop a similar program for Latino students at PCHS. By collaborating with students, college mentors, parents, teachers, and administrators, Marike is developing an academic and social support program that utilizes research about Latino students and families to build a college-going culture for Latino students.
Palisades Charter High School is a comprehensive charter high school located in Pacific Palisades. PCHS is an ethnically and geographically diverse school. Sixty-percent of PCHS's 2742 students travel from over 100 ZIP codes around Los Angeles to attend the school. PCHS students come from homes that speak more than 25 different languages. Maintaining the high level of diversity at PCHS is dependent on maintaining extensive busing programs, which is a major challenge in the current climate of budget cuts in LAUSD and across Californa.
With the support of all school stakeholder groups, PCHS originally converted to Charter in 1993 and gained fiscally independent status in 2003. PCHS is governed by a Board of Trustees composed of representatives of each of the school's stakeholder groups. The Board is advised by eight standing committees, which are comprised of all stakeholder groups. Students are encouraged to participate in the school's collaborative governance structure.
Leadership ProjectAs part of her fieldwork experience, Marike designed and implemented a leadership project to address the needs of marginalized Latino students. To do this, Marike created a program modeled after the successful Village Nation program called Fuerza Unida to provide cultural, social, and academic support. Throughout the year, Marike collaborated with faculty, administrators, students, and Latino parents to develop the program, which culminated in an impact assembly
for all of Pali's Latino students. She successfully organized a team of eleven "elders" including nine teachers, an administrator, and a parents who plan to continue developing the program next year. The Pali school board also approved funding for the program next year as an extension of The Village Nation for Latino students. TVN and Fuerza Unida elders have plans to collaborate activities next year to strengthen our ability to promote equity for all students at Pali.