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School Notebook

Maria Cieslak

Policy Analyst

Maria Cieslak serves as a Professional Development Specialist at the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL). Prior to working for CAL, Maria was a PreK-12 project facilitator in the English Language Learner Division in Clark County School District, the 5th largest school district in the United States. Maria is also a current Ph.D. candidate at Walden University specializing in Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability. 

Trilingual in Polish, English, and Spanish, Maria is a former NV and IL educator and professional developer who has taught Kindergarten through 8th grade, as a bilingual/ ESL/ and general education teacher. In addition to her varied and extensive teaching and instructional coaching background of 20+ years, Maria is nationally board certified in English as a New Language Ages 3-12.

Maria has Senatorial and Congressional Recognition and Commendations for facilitating Family Leadership Institutes in Nevada, has been a Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Virtual judge for the largest K-12 STEM competition in the world, and co-founded the largest school garden in Las Vegas. Maria was honored as a Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Awardee, a Distinguished Educator in Nevada, and the Fishman Prize for Superlative Classroom Practices Honor Roll Awardee (The New Teacher Project).


Her accomplishments include developing the Nevada ELD Standards Instructional Framework and Guidance documents for Science K-5 and Social Studies K-12. The Framework provides general Language Use Expectations that English learners can do with instructional supports at different proficiency levels.

On the international front, Maria had the opportunity to work with the USAID Learning: Transition to English project to help create strong language and literacy development for Grades B1, B2, and B3 in Ghana.

Maria is very excited to be working with teachers, parents, and stakeholders to meet the needs of multilingual learners of all ages all over the world.

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