Up the Bar Educational Achievement provides tailored solutions for school districts that want to take a holistic approach to student growth and achievement.
Led by Susana Matos-Kruck, the firm provides practical strategies for cultivating an inclusive climate and culture.
Up The Bar Educational Achievement drives meaningful solutions in solving challenges in school districts so that all students receive equitable access to educational opportunities. Our main distinction is that we are implementation experts who are committed to real change.
Candice Bland, PhD
Candace has 23 years of Bilingual/ ESL/ WL teaching and administrator experience.
She has deep knowledge of best practices in second language acquisition.
She specializes in professional learning/staff development that raises awareness of SEL, cultural competence, and equitable curricular practices for MLLs.
She takes pride in sharing her international didactic experience wherever possible.
Dr. Lakata is knowledgeable in adult learning and how to structure and support on-going, job-embedded professional learning experiences for educators and administrators.
Dr. Lakata has expertise working with students and educators from pre-K through 8th grade through her roles as a classroom teacher, district instructional coach, and now professional learning facilitator.
In particular, she possesses great passion and knowledge in the area of vocabulary development for English language learners and in best practices for young learners.
“I recently contracted Susana Matos-Kruck, Up The Bar Consulting, to design and lead an intensive three-day series of cohort classes for 120 middle and high school teachers and administrators, focusing on the effective integration of English Learners (EL) into the mainstream classroom. Not only did Susana deliver on key strategies that could be readily implemented in the classroom, she also inspired teachers to authentically reflect upon their current practices in order to make room for improvement. It was apparent to all participants that Susana is passionate about the field of education and that she is committed to excellence and equity in education for all students. Her passion, combined with her wealth of experience in working with diverse populations, allows her to lead educators to ‘Up The Bar’ on the quality of education they deliver to their students. I look forward to a sustained partnership with Susana as she continues to cultivate a culture of success and possibility in our school district.”
Pedro J. Ruiz, Ph.D, Supervisor Bilingual, ESL and World Languages at Irvington School District, New Jersey
I highly recommend Ms. Susana Matos-Kruk for presenting PD in your education system. She worked with us in Garfield and all teachers and administrators found her to be an extremely engaging, dynamic, intelligent, interesting, and high energy person. We found her to be highly knowledgeable on the subject matter. She kept the momentum going throughout the day by using different activities to assure all staff were participating at all times, and moved smoothly through the activities so there was no down time. There was whole group instruction and small group work. She switched the groups up so there was more interaction among the staff. Teachers willingly moved out of their comfort zone and went with the flow of activities; Ms. Matos-Kruck is very personable and invites you to participate in a meaningful manner. She makes you feel that you want to be involved. Ms. Matos-Kruck designed her presentation to meet the needs of our district in every detail. She will do the same for you. All teacher surveys on her PD came back rating her as highly effective. There aren’t enough superlatives to describe Ms. Matos-Kruck and I look forward to working with her again. She will be highly effective in your education system too!
Geri Ledford, Federal Programs Supervisor at Garfield Board of Education
Over the past 6 years, I have had the pleasure of working with Susana in two different capacities: first, when I was a special education teacher and then when I was promoted to assistant principal. While I was teaching, Susana challenged my thinking and my approach to education. We often engaged in thoughtful debate about the nature of educational equity and how we could best position ourselves to deliver a quality education to all students. In my role as assistant principal, Susana provided me with valuable support and insight as she continued to coach and train my staff of teachers. I find her opinions interesting, thought provoking and intellectually challenging. I greatly value the times we have shared as they have helped shape me. I recommend Susana wholeheartedly because I am confident that she will be successful at anything she chooses to accomplish. Please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding this matter.
Miguel A. Frias, Assistant Principal at Passaic Board of Education
I was lucky enough to begin my teaching career six years ago in a district rich in diversity, and full of opportunities to do my best work as an educator. Much of my success in the classroom is a result of the many strategies Susana Matos-Kruk helped me to develop. She is passionate about her work, and is dedicated to encouraging educators to “up the bar” so that students can reach their full academic potential.
Susana Matos-Kruk coached me to apply differentiated instruction across curricular areas. She also helped me to understand how to use data to drive instruction in my classroom, and to use data to perform interventions. Her workshop on reciprocal teaching strategies has helped me reinforce strong reading comprehension skills in my classroom. Her workshops are engaging and purposeful. Our district has greatly benefited from the work of Susan Matos-Kruck.
Nicole Ward, Elementary school teacher, Passaic Public Schools
Susana was a great help to me and all the teachers of the Passaic School District…She is up to date on the current cutting edge issues in education and any new teaching techniques in education. Susana is here to help mentor and advise any teacher at any point in their career. She puts the kids first. I’m proud to work by her side.”
Phil Delzotto, Varsity Football Offensive Coordinator / Linebackers Coach at Belleville High School District
I am now retired from teaching, but I had the pleasure of attending several workshops given by Susana Matos-Kruck, before I retired. I am sure there may be some retired teachers that would leave the benefits, and knowledge gained through her workshops behind, but I am not one of those people. I still have a love of teaching in my heart, and her workshops will always be in my heart, and mind as well. While teaching, like most teachers, I attended workshop after workshop, but Susana’s workshops were always something to look forward to. She was not only there to give workshops, but to listen to our problems, and concerns, as well. They were always interesting, and sometimes entertaining. Although I taught for almost 30 years, I always left her workshops feeling like I learned something new. A new approach, or strategy to help my teaching, and as a result help my students learn, most importantly of all. I highly recommend Susana Matos-Kruck to any school, and teacher to help teachers teach more effectively.
Susan Yedwab, Retired teacher, Passaic Public Schools
“Susana Matos-Kruck came to Passaic High School to address our need to improve Climate & Culture. The staff was extremely receptive to the content of her information due, primarily, to her professional delivery of instruction and the respect and understanding with which she worked with the staff. Susana not only has the depth of knowledge but possesses the ability to deliver the material.”
Joanne Czap, School Improvement Plan/Data Coordinator at Passaic High School