Anchin Center Welcomes New Professional Development Director Rachel Hatten

Published April 10, 2020

Rachel Hatten

Rachel Hatten

The David C. Anchin Center for the Advancement of Teaching is excited to welcome Rachel Hatten as the new Director of Professional Development. In her new role, Rachel will lead efforts to build out professional development opportunities for K-12 teachers through partnerships with school districts, the higher education community, and business and industry.

We recently sat down with Rachel to discuss her background and experiences that will help shape her work forward with the Anchin Center.

What has your career path looked like?

Before moving to Florida, I worked as a high school English teacher, Racial Equity Coach and Literacy coach for 14 years in two different school districts located near Minneapolis, Minnesota. When my husband, Jim, accepted an instructor position in the USF College of Education, we moved to Tampa and I accepted a position as an English Language Arts Curriculum Specialist in Pasco County Schools, working primarily with schools in the northwest region of the county.

Most recently, I was the Senior Instructional Specialist for Literacy in the Office for Leading and Learning in Pasco County Schools.  In that role, I led the development, implementation, and monitoring of instruction, curriculum, and assessments in English Language Arts and Reading for secondary Pasco County teachers and students.  That included developing and delivering professional development to teachers, instructional coaches, and building administrators focused on best practices in literacy education, social emotional learning competencies, and the district’s key priorities around high-impact instruction, data driven decisions, and collaborative culture.   
I also teach classes as an Adjunct Instructor at the USF St. Petersburg campus in the College of Education. 

What background and experience do you bring with you to the David C. Anchin Center?

I believe my experience as a District Administrator, my doctoral studies in curriculum and instruction, and my classroom teaching experience at both the secondary and post-secondary level have allowed me to grow into this new position at the Anchin Center. Throughout my career, it was important to me to keep one foot firmly grounded in what I call the hard, holy work of K-12 teaching, and another at the university level immersed in research around best practices.

I worked really hard throughout my master’s and Ph.D. work to bring the best of those two worlds together in my daily practice with students. I’m excited about this position at the Anchin Center because I believe it reflects my commitment to connecting the best of what research has to tell us with on-the-ground work of teachers with students.

What plans and goals do you have for your position in Anchin?

I’m excited to build on the great professional development offerings that the Anchin Center has in place for teachers. I hope to partner with school districts to collaboratively shape relevant and meaningful learning opportunities for K-12 teachers that can immediately positively impact the lives of students, and serve as a bridge between surrounding school districts and the USF College of Education, so that the College of Education can continue to be seen as a local resource to teachers and a valuable avenue to increasing teacher expertise.

What is your proudest career moment and why?

I was part of a small team of teachers in Edina, Minnesota leading efforts to detrack our sophomore English class and offer a rigorous, personalized learning experience for all students through a social justice curriculum in Pre-AP English 10. Through support systems, flexible grouping, choice units, digital tools, culturally responsive teaching strategies and a genuine belief that all students can achieve at high levels, our students produced the highest reading scores in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area for multiple years on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) for reading—the state’s standardized measurement used for AYP purposes. 

My time working on that course with that team of teachers remains a mountaintop experience for me in my career, and made me passionate about detracking and expanding rigorous course opportunities to each student. I was happy to replicate some of those efforts in my time leading secondary English Language Arts in Pasco County Schools, with successful moves to detrack a number of middle school English Language Arts classes with positive impacts on student achievement.

What is a goal you’ve set for yourself on which you’re still working?

Finish my dissertation! It’s been a long time coming, but I’m hoping to finish and hold my defense within the coming year. My dissertation is a qualitative study focused on detracking and critical literacy in privileged spaces, particularly exploring the ways students enact stances of both resistance and alliance with critical work.

Where would we find you on a typical weekend?

At the baseball park! My 8-year-old son, Charlie, plays on two teams and my husband, Jim, coaches both, so we are all about baseball all the time. 

For more information about professional development opportunities at the David C. Anchin Center, contact Rachel Hatten at