Mike Gwaltney

Mike Gwaltney
Mike Gwaltney

ISM Consultant, Academic Leadership Department Head, and Director of Online Learning

In his 30-year career in private-independent schools, Mike has served as a teacher, coach, department chair, technology specialist, curriculum developer and coordinator, division head, high school principal, and Assistant Head of School. He has been with ISM as a Summer Institute faculty member since 2014, and as a full-time ISM consultant since 2020.

As an ISM Consultant, Mike works with schools in all areas of academic programming, including leadership and management, strategic academic planning, faculty culture and the student experience, faculty evaluation and growth, curriculum design and review, departmental management, academic technology and online learning, and classroom instruction.

Since 2014, Mike has led ISM’s Summer Institute workshop Chairing Your Department, and often facilitates customized workshops for schools to train their Academic Department Chairs.

Mike is a pioneering leader in online learning within the American private-independent school community. As a classroom teacher in the early 2000s, Mike was an early leader in employing online tools, building websites, and designing online discussion forums for his classes.

In 2010, Mike joined the Online School for Girls as one of the inaugural-year teachers, and continued through 2014 teaching courses for students and professional development courses for teachers. In 2011, Mike helped lead the accreditation of this fully online, student-centered—the first ever private-independent school to achieve this goal.

From 2014 to 2017, Mike led the development of an award-winning blended/online program for private-independent schools in Portland, Oregon. In 2016, Mike completed a master’s degree focused on progressive/constructivist distance learning, and he is considered a thought leader in developing constructivist learning experiences that connect students online in highly collaborative projects.

Mike is in demand as a speaker and consultant nationally and around the world on blended/hybrid/online learning, project-based learning, and assessment.

Mike is the recipient of numerous teaching awards, including recognition six times as “Most Inspirational Teacher” from the Mayor of Los Angeles. Mike’s work has been featured on National Public Radio, Edutopia, KQED’s Mindshift blog, and in recent books on project-based learning and online learning.

Mike received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from California State University at Fullerton.