Maria C. “Margo” Guilott has been an educator for over 36 years. She received a Masters degree and a Ph.D. from Tulane University and has been a classroom teacher from second grade to the college level, a district Supervisor of Instruction and, most recently, the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. Also, Margo was selected PTA Educator of Distinction, Co-Chair of the Louisiana Quincentenary Commission, and the only K-12 educator on Louisiana’s Workforce Commission for 10 years.
As the author of many programs designed to serve as safety nets for at-risk students, she understands the need to make learning authentic for all children. In a district of 35,000 students and 3,000 teachers, she committed to effect systemic changes, directing the writing of curriculum using the Understanding by Design® framework, in partnership with Authentic Education. The product is on-line, accessible, user friendly and easily modified. Everyone in the district calls it a “living document” because there are weekly uploads for improvement. The rollout was to take place in August of 2005, the same month the district suffered a direct hit from Hurricane Katrina. However, despite the temporary setback, under her leadership, the district proceeded with implementation, and the UbD™ concept is now embedded in the culture of the district. Margo has recently retired as an assistant professor in Educational Leadership at the University of Southern Mississippi, where she served as co-coordinator of the Instructional Leadership Center.
Areas of expertise:
- District wide curriculum planning and implementation using UbD™ as the framework
- Taking the written curriculum into the classroom
- Coaching the change toward authentic learning that leads to understanding
- Strategic Planning
Margo is also a native Spanish speaker, equally comfortable presenting in English or Spanish.
Client Feedback about Grant
“I was fortunate to be in touch with Margo running up to our seminar week and the direction and advice she gave me meant that our training went off without a hitch. She really is a consummate professional and the wealth of knowledge & expertise that she can bring to a school is priceless. We now feel that we are firmly on the right track and the UbD™ workshop has helped to consolidate our knowledge and energise everybody at the school. ”
Paul Morgan, PLC Department Head
“We found her (Margo) to be a dynamic speaker and someone who has a deep knowledge about Schooling by Design/Understanding by Design®. Her experience in the implementation of the philosophy in a school district gives her a unique perspective. She knows the benefits, the struggles and has forged a path to success. In other words, she comes from both a strong theoretical and practical perspective. By the end of the two days, departments were well on their way to having a plan to implement the philosophy into their areas. Margo also made sure she followed up with to see what progress we were making. I would highly recommend Margo. I find her intelligent, kind and above all, generous with her expertise. She is one of a kind.”
Leslie Collings, MEd, Principal
Springbank Community High School
Calgary, AB Canada
“I just wanted to let you know how happy we were with Margo…She was interesting, motivating, and very knowledgeable about UbD™. My superintendent was so impressed that he wants to have her back.”
Transition Coordinator/District Assistant
Ridgefield Schools, NJ
“Margot Guillot has not only been an excelent trainer for coordinators, principals and deputys of a diversity of schools in Chile, but she has also been inspiring and guiding their development in the UbD™ curriculum to enhance their practice and achievements of their students. The impact of her presentations have made a difference in the schools, and the autorities in schools have been reflecting their new vision to the rest of their teams. Her ability to create clear examples and visualise each participants needs, makes a lively course and a number of useful units of work for the schools in different disciplines.”
La Red Cultural
Universidad Gabriela Mistral Chile