Our Global Leadership and Democratic Classroom workshops offer proven methods to empower and engage students:

  • The conversion of classroom teaching methods and modeling away from benevolent dictator/facilitators into transformative, democratic leaders whose students share responsibility and accountability for learning
  • Instruction on key topics such as cultural sensitivity, privilege, accountability, inclusion and diversity
  • Continuing education clock hours from the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Inexpensive instructional credit(s) from Seattle University's College of Education
  • Clear pathways to increase teacher evaluation ratings (e.g. Danielson) via student engagement and achievement
  • Opportunities for international travel as adult chaperones and involvement in service projects in Guatemala

Creating "a democratic classroom" is at the core of this endeavor. A democratic environment fosters mutual respect, dignity, and equal worth. Rather than teaching with power over students, our programs impart educators with ways to facilitate learning opportunities and build power along with the students. Ultimately, practicing democracy in your classrooms builds peer-to-peer leadership where students learn and teach each other the subject matter. Our workshops help you share ownership of the classroom community and create peer-to-peer leadership by:

  • Prioritizing a classroom of community building, including group grading for some assignments and collaboration
  • Creating situations where students hold each other accountable for behavioral and learning outcomes
  • Enabling students to become project-based learners and growing their creative-, critical- and systems-thinking skills
  • Using natural and logical consequences for missteps and behavioral issues rather than reward and punishment
  • Offering "Adopt-A-Class" projects with a partner class or school where students teach students about a global issue
  • Planning weekly class meetings with students to collaborate on curriculum, norms, and the classroom expectations

We know that what students do outside of class affects how you reach them inside the class. Our workshops for educators work in tandem with those we create for students in our Global Leadership youth programs. We strive to support you in the classroom, during the school year as well as during the summer K12 educators one-week Global Leadership Summer Institute.

Our out-of-school student program curricula works in accordance with the democratic classroom environment you create in your classrooms, with a focus on developing the following skill sets:

  • 21st Century Leadership Skills: We work towards improving critical thinking skills by presenting global justice and environmental problems and positive solutions. We help students become better communicators and collaborators. We emphasize creativity and innovation as foundational for leadership.
  • Global Sustainability Awareness: We advance the understanding of sustainability using the "3 Es": economy, environment and equity. We address how students' personal actions and consumer choices make a difference.
  • Social Justice Advocacy: We cultivate empathy by discussing how to transcend stereotypes and structural oppression. We are allies for those who are targets of discrimination.
  • Cross Cultural Sensitivity: We promote a sense of global awareness, sensitivity, celebration and individual and universal responsibility for the preservation of all cultures, and importantly, indigenous and minority cultures.
  • Second Language Skills: We offer 150+ hours of Spanish immersion and one-on-one Spanish language training.
"Global Visionaries has done a masterful job articulating the complexities of bringing young people to volunteer internationally. At the heart of this is moving away from programs that feel paternalistic and going towards learning opportunities that embrace the advantages of a mutually beneficial relationship. This is an important distinction that colors a student's experience as they travel abroad." -Mark Manuel, High School Director of Diversity
Chris Fontana

Chris Fontana is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Global Visionaries (GV). Launched in 1999, GV has led more than 1,400 students and adults to Guatemala. He is the co-creator of the Global Leadership curriculum for Seattle area schools, which he first taught at the Global Studies Academy at Cleveland High School. Chris has an extensive background in cross-cultural and diversity training and taught Spanish to secondary students for 14 years. Chris's passion for engaging youth in global leadership was evidenced in 1995 through his organization of YES, a youth-organized global Youth Environmental Summits. The 1995 Summit, sponsored by the United Nations Environmental Program, brought 300 high school students from 32 countries and 40 states together for one week of education in environmental and peace issues, social action, leadership skills, and direct environmental service. For his efforts, Chris won the 1995 Colorado Partners in Education Award. In 2007, Chris was Antioch University's Distinguished Alum, in 2008, Chris was an honoree of the Thomas C. Wales Passionate Citizen Award, and was honored by Seattle University's Albers School of Business with its 2011 Redwinged Leadership Award for Nonprofit Leadership in Social Justice and Business Acumen.

Noah Zeichner

Noah Zeichner is a National Board-certified social studies teacher at Chief Sealth International School in Seattle, Washington. He currently teaches Global Leadership, American Government and IB Theory of Knowledge. He works in a hybrid role, spending part of his day supporting the Center for Teaching Quality's global teacher-leadership initiatives and the majority teaching and mentoring young people and colleagues. During his teaching tenure, Noah has traveled with students to Guatemala and China. In 2012, he journeyed to Brazil as part of the Teachers for Global Classrooms fellowship. For the past four years, Noah has coordinated a student-led, school-wide festival called World Water Week. In 2014 Noah was honored with the World Affairs Council Global Educator of the Year. He is also among 50 finalists chosen from 1,300 teachers in 127 countries for the Global Teacher Prize, widely known as the 'Nobel Prize' of education.

Kimberly Corrigan

Kimberly Corrigan is the former Executive Director of the national K12 curricula publisher, Facing the Future, now a division of Western Washington University. Kim also currently serves as a U.S. Affiliate for The Earth Charter Initiative based at the University for Peace in Costa Rica and as a Director for the nonprofit Board of Washington Autism Alliance and Advocacy. She holds a master's degree in communication from the Edward R. Murrow College at Washington State University and a Master Certificate for Project Leadership from Cornell University. Kimberly lived overseas for nearly a decade in the 90s while directing the development of market surveys and educational materials across Eastern Europe, China, Ukraine and Russia for a Dutch-owned company based on Cyprus, and upon her return became a Senior Product Manager at Gear.com (now Overstock.com). An avid sailor, diver and reader she can also be found walking Washington's freshwater coastlines with a heavy supply of dark chocolate.​

Board of Advisors

Terry Bergeson, former WA State Superintendent of Public Instruction and Karen Kodama, former International Education Administrator and former Principal of John Stanford International School

Seattle public TV, KTCS, profiles Noah Zeichner's students and shares how GV's Global Leadership course is working as part of Chief Sealth High School. As of 2016, more than half of all sophomores at Chief Sealth International High School choose this elective which offers students social studies credit.

Check out the whole video:

We are always looking to develop partnerships with organizations, schools, and districts who share our values or student leadership and educator excellence. Email officemanager@global-visionaries.org to learn more or to inquire about a partnership.

Our current partners include: