Dr. Paul Astin has worked in education for nearly 30 years. He has been a teacher and administrator in both public and private schools. Paul has a BA degree in Prehistoric Studies, a bilingual teaching credential, an MA in Latin American Studies with an emphasis in Medical Anthropology, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Paul’s 2008 dissertation focusing on adolescent development and middle school reform won the Dissertation of the Year Award in UCLA’s Educational Leadership Program. Paul founded and directed Los Vecinos Grassroots Development Organization, a non-profit corporation that from 1988-1991 developed health education programs in squatter settlements outside of Mexicali, Mexico. In 2001, Paul won the Bravo Award from the Los Angeles County Music Center for integrating art into his classroom. Paul was named “Topanga Citizen of the Year” in 2008, partly in recognition of the service work of his 6th grade students at Topanga Elementary. Prior to becoming a full-time classroom educator, Paul worked as a jazz pianist and music teacher. Paul lives in Topanga Canyon with his wife Jenny Griffiths. They have two daughters, Amalia (25 years old), and Ila (22 years old).