About Mr. Phelan
Rick Phelan has worked in education for over 36 years. His teaching career began in 1981 at Sonoma Valley High School. Working as a Resource Specialist Teacher he pursued interests in special education and educational technology. In 1994, Rick became the Educational Technology Coordinator for the George Lucas Educational Foundation. There he initiated the foundation’s website and studied exemplary K-12 public schools around the United States for a book the foundation was publishing titled, “Learn & Live.”
In 1997 Rick was hired as an Education Specialist for the Sonoma County Office of Education and tasked with supporting educational technology among the 40 public school districts in Sonoma County. In 1997 he was also hired to work as a part time Adjunct Professor in the School of Education at Sonoma State University. As part of this work Rick was drafted into a group of California State University instructors developing and piloting interactive “online courses,” for college students. He created and taught various online courses for students in the SSU School of Education for over 10 years. In 2012, the Sonoma County Office of Education initiated efforts to close achievement gaps among student subgroups. Rick contributed to this effort guiding school data analysis with state and local assessments using Edusoft, Microsoft Excel and other tools.
In 2014 Rick became the Director of Technology and Learning for the Sonoma County Office of Education. In this capacity he worked in a number of projects including: robotics, Maker Education, Lesson Study, Improvement Science and the North Coast School of Education. Rick retired from his role as SCOE’s Director of Technology in Learning in 2018. He continued to pursue teaching interests with K-8 students and was hired in 2019 as a part time Resource Specialist Teacher at St. Francis Solano School.
Rick is a practicing Catholic and is a parishioner at St. Leo’s Church.
When not teaching, Rick likes being with his wife and family- he has five children and two grandchildren. Some of his outside interests include hiking, gardening, traveling, swimming, bicycle riding, and sailing.
Degrees & Credentials:
UC Santa Barbara: Bachelor of Arts- Cultural Anthropology
Sonoma State University: Master of Arts- Special Education
California Single Subject in Social Studies Credential
California Specialist Instruction Credential in Special Education
California Resource Specialist Certificate
California Administrative Services Credential
Executive Functioning/Study Skills
St Francis Solano School Planners
Carol Dweck- Growth Mindsets