Our dynamic international learning community includes scholars, industry experts, artists, and activists. Students design our courses and our job is to find mentors to support them while they take a deep dive and explore their interests. Our founder and board members also teach courses, when they align with students’ interests.
Meet the Founder and Director!
Robin Harwick, Ph.D.
Robin Harwick is an author, scholar, and consultant dedicated to improving the lives of children and families through research, teaching, and service. She earned a Master of Science in Special Education and Doctorate in Secondary Special Education and Transition from the University of Oregon.
Dr. Harwick has been a member of academic, governmental, and private research teams since 1995. She also worked extensively in direct service of children and families as a parent educator, home visitor, and therapeutic foster parent. She has taught at the graduate and high school levels.
“Dr. Harwick’s understanding of the course content was excellent and she was able to reference real-life examples to support our reading and learning” -doctoral student.
After years spent coaching youth and young adults on how to achieve their dreams – she decided it was time to “walk her talk” and embarked on a world schooling adventure with her teenage son and two dogs! The journey took them to Mexico, and they decided to make it home. After almost a decade of searching for a democratic learning environment for her son, he gave her the idea of starting her own school. She listened and The Pearl Remote Democratic School was born. Dr. Harwick will be teaching the foundations course at The Pearl, and other courses at student request.
“I’ve come to the conclusion that you are the best teacher I’ve ever had…you seriously rock”– high school student.
For more information about Dr. Harwick’s experience you can review her full CV.
Youth Advisory Board
Sydney , MA - Guest Instructor
Sidney Morgan, M.A. is a nationally recognized facilitator, mediator, speaker, and consultant specializing in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work, Restorative Justice practices, and Conflict Transformation. She has over 18 years’ experience as a Restorative Justice Practitioner and certified Conflict Mediation Facilitator. She has worked with Private and Public sector organizations as well as, educational institutions, and Community Accountability Processes.
Sidney began her Restorative Justice & DEI journey with the Juvenile Justice Department in Portland, Oregon. Experiencing the school-to-prison pipeline through her juvenile justice work there, she was able to see the powerful impact that Restorative Justice had on the youth and families she served, which led her to become a K-12 District Restorative Justice Coordinator, within the public school system. In this position Sidney was able to train, coach, facilitate, and support school staff throughout the district in racial equity, DEI, and Restorative Justice practices. In 2018, Sidney began her own consultancy working with organizations across the country. Sidney leads DEI work with organizations focused on what the late James Baldwin offers, “ If I love you, I have to make you conscious of the things you can’t see.” This means we must take the opportunity to examine the quality of our consciousness.
Sidney holds a M.A. in Transformational Leadership and Restorative Justice from Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia. She also has a degree in Biblical Theology from Trinity Bible College and Seminary in Newburg, Indiana. Sidney is grounded in the belief that DEI and Restorative Justice practices offers an opportunity to see “What are the possibilities from this process and what is possible from here?”
Sidney lives in the Northwest with her family. She enjoys vegan cooking, running, martial arts, and time at the Pacific Northwest Coast.
During Spring Term 2022, Sidney will be teaching Conflict Happens: What are We Going to Do About it?
Marietta Mayo, MS
Marietta Mayo is a native of the island of Puerto Rico, and describes herself as a scientist, an explorer, a mother, a wife, and a compassionate human being. Her academic background is in environmental and aquatic sciences, with a range of K-Adult bilingual education experiences in Florida, Puerto Rico and Illinois.
Her passion for education and mentoring started 17 years ago when she was selected as a National Science Foundation GK-12 Graduate Teaching Fellow while pursuing her graduate studies. More recently she has engaged with students of diverse backgrounds in higher education while teaching Introduction to Biology and General Biology. She joins The Pearl after gaining additional teaching experience in a project-based learning school with a strong focus on experiential learning.
“Mrs. Mayo was a wonderful teacher who always went the extra mile to help me, and my classmates, learn the material rather than memorize facts. She not only set us up for success in the classroom, but outside as well by providing each student with one-on-one support.” – Former university student
Marietta and her family lived and managed a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve on the Southwest coast of Puerto Rico for three years. While there, Marietta dedicated her time to grant management within a community-based non-profit focused on coastal restoration projects.
Marietta believes that teachers should serve as mentors, collaborators, and allies, while providing the tools that students need to succeed. Her goal as an educator is to promote in students a sense of global citizenship, where current environmental and societal challenges are brought to discussion, broadening their perspectives as developing leaders.
Marietta teaches STEAM courses with an emphasis on science & Spanish at The Pearl.
Ben Tufts, MA
2022 marks Ben’s twenty-third year as a music educator. Born and raised in the Washington, DC metro region, he holds a Bachelors in Music Education from Longwood University, and a Masters in Music Performance from the University of Maryland. His primary instrument is drumset, but he is proficient on many percussion instruments, in addition to bass, piano and guitar. A self-described musical omnivore, Tufts’s holistic approach to teaching has evolved directly from his 25+ years of wide-ranging experience performing and recording rock, metal, punk, jazz, classical, latin, folk and theatre. Ben has played over 1200 shows in the past eight years, with 100+ bands and artists, covering the entire continental U.S. You can also find his playing on over seventy recordings by a myriad of east coast projects.
“The most patient teacher in the universe! I checked! Also…the on-line experience…flawless! This man is turning rhythmless me into a drummer!” – Colleen B., student
Ben’s educational experience is every bit as diverse as his performance resume–from coaching rock camp, to marching band, to jazz and orchestral. In his own words: “If there’s music and young people are excited about it, I’m in my element.” More recently, a shift into the world of music technology–initially a necessity brought about by the coronavirus pandemic–has become the latest on a long list of music related passions. Just weeks into the COVID lockdown Ben shifted his entire studio to online lessons, and before long his roster grew to over fifty private students. He has since coached students remotely on a wide range of subjects, including music history, music theory, composition, songwriting and music production.
“It’s rare to find someone highly accomplished both in his art and in his ability to pass that art on to others. Ben is one of those rare finds.” – Jonathon Reavill, adult student
In his free time, Ben enjoys philanthropy, holding charity concerts to raise thousands of dollars for the Craig Tufts Educational Scholarship Fund, which provides money for young people to study the natural world. He is also an avid kayaker, cyclist and long-distance runner.
“Ben Tufts’ brilliance, both as a musician and teacher, shines brightly through my two sons who have grown to become accomplished musicians through Bens’ mentoring.” – Rex Peters, parent
Ben teaches music and audio production at The Pearl.
Brittaney Drake - MA
Bassem Sabra, Ph.D.
Bassem Sabra is Professor of Physics & Astronomy at a leading university in Lebanon. He has been in academia for the last two decades. Bassem has a Ph. D. in Physics (astrophysics) from Ohio University, USA. His field of research is active galactic nuclei. His research is published in top-ranked astrophysics journals. He has taught physics and astrophysics courses varying from the Freshman to the graduate levels. He has extensive experience in curriculum development, program reviews, assessment development, and outcomes assessment. Throughout his academic career, Bassem strove to help his students realize their full potential.
Bassem will be teaching STEAM courses with an emphasis on Math and Physics
Adult Advisory Board
Rachel Pearl - President
Rachel Pearl has developed programs in the juvenile justice system for 20 years. Her background consists of program design and implementation in the areas of youth empowerment, family engagement and self-sufficiency. She is an expert in strength-based, asset-based program development with an emphasis on youth voice and empowerment. Rachel is currently the Chief Program Officer for Friends of the Children-Portland where she has worked for the past 2.5 years. She loves the intentional, unconditional and true investment in the lives of young people that Friends of the Children provides through their commitment of 12.5 years of mentoring, no matter what.
A skilled trainer in restorative principles in program design and community-based interventions. Prevention has always been Rachel’s focus, and she is inspired to work at Friends of the Children – Portland alongside a talented and diverse group of people to refine and enhance our proven program model. Rachel is inspired by the long-term and unconditional where the Friend/youth relationship remains constant for 12+ years – no matter what. Such intentional, youth-focused support is critical for youth in a world which often alienates children who are navigating challenging life experiences. Rachel is committed to strengthening family economic stability and engaging communities as a catalyst to help youth reach their full potential.
Rachel has demonstrated content expertise, a passion for service, and a commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. As the daughter of Art Pearl, Rachel is passionate about Democratic Education and creating an optimal learning environment where youth have voice, choice and the lead role in designing and defining their education
Kimberly Douglass, Ph.D - Vice President
Kimberly Douglass is the President and CEO of Remote Learning Solutions. As an entrepreneur, Dr Douglass develops online courses for/with businesses and individuals who want to monetize their content and skills. Also, she uses online courses as tools to revolutionize education for African American Boys ages 4 to 9 to help them reach their highest potential. Her notable achievements include: opening up a space in the Beauty Industry (Cosmetology, Barbering, Massage, Esthetics/Aesthetics) to discuss the needs of individuals who have Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), a condition common among people who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Additionally, Dr. Douglass was a working group leader in the earliest development of National Science Foundation (NSF) – funded (science) data infrastructure, DataONE. Additionally, Dr. Douglass led the School of Information Science (SIS) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in the American Libraries Association’s (ALA) regular review of the School’s accreditation. She was Interim Associate Director of the School and an Associate Professor in the School. Dr Douglass is currently an Associate Professor at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) in the Master of Library Science Program.
Dr. Douglass is married to Dean Tate. She is the Mom of Jackson Douglass- Tate. Jackson has been one of her most powerful spiritual teachers.
Alethea Barlowe, MS EI/ECSE - Secretary/Treasurer
Alethea is the new On Track OHSU! Program Coordinator for the Klamath/Chiloquin site. She is an enrolled Klamath Tribal member and graduated from Western Oregon University and the University of Oregon, then returned home to work with tribal youth in 2011. Alethea will be working with our program to support tribal youth in exposing and encouraging a pathway to the sciences and healthcare field. She is excited to learn more about the program and eager to implement a positive program within the Klamath County area.
Alethea Barlowe is currently raising her three children in her homelands of Chiloquin, OR, she is an enrolled Klamath Tribal member. Alethea graduated from Western Oregon University with a Bachelors in Criminal Justice and Developmental Psychology and worked in research at the UO. In 2011, she graduated from the University of Oregon with a Masters in Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education including a Teaching License in SPED.
Alethea returned home with the intention of working with tribal students and changing the educational system to fit their needs. Since being home she has briefly worked K-12th grade in the Special Education field, but has worked the majority of the time with the Klamath Tribes Education Department Pre-K through 12th grade and beyond. She has started working for Oregon Health & Science University as the Program coordinator with an emphasis on creating a pathway program to encourage tribal youth to go into the healthcare/science field.
Randy Corradine, MPA
Randy Corradine was born in Long Beach, CA. A California transplant that grew from the concrete in the City of Roses (PDX). I am a husband, stepfather, brother, son, grandson, first-generation college graduate, poet, artist, educator, and achiever. A sneakerhead sophist, loves deep conversations about equity and justice. #FeedMeBooks, I am an avid reader. I engage and fuel in the experience of reading, and for me it muses my artistry, and sparks my creativity! I love hip-hop. I come from the golden era but love the boom-bap of all generations. I love all music and believe that music is the heartbeat of humanity.
I am currently an Associate Professor at City University Teacher Certification Program in Seattle, WA, and the IDA Program Manager & Training Specialist for Neighborhood Partnerships in OR. I served as the Director of Educational Equity and Director of Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity at Friends of the Children-Portland combating generational poverty for three and a half years. Bring over fourteen years of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion experience in student affairs experience in Higher Education (Evergreen State College, Gonzaga University, Community Colleges of Spokane, and Eastern Washington University).