About Dawn Bartz

An experienced educator and school administrator, Dawn Bartz earned master’s degrees in Social Studies Education from Columbia University's Teachers College and in Political Science from California State University. She recently joined Rutgers University as an adjunct professor. In this role, she teaches Expository Writing to college freshmen. After serving for several years as the Principal of Pleasantville High School, Dawn Bartz helped to develop a themed academy in the Danbury Public Schools to help increase student achievement. She is the district's Small Learning Communities facilitator and Global Studies Theme Coach working with teachers to develop and deliver an interdisciplinary, hands-on approach to learning through project-based instruction. Dawn Bartz also conducts field research as an educational consultant for Scholastic, Inc., working with senior management to better understand and meet the needs of school districts.

Dawn Bartz is in the process of writing her dissertation on how project-based learning can be used to significantly improve student achievement. Dawn Bartz has incorporated project-based instruction into the Danbury Public Schools as well as in her work at Western Connecticut State University (WCSU). At WCSU, she worked with students in the university’s Excel Program for middle school students, ConnCap program for high school students, and Educational Achievement and Access Program for high school graduates. Similar to her work at Pleasantville, which helped open new pathways to higher education for students through a more highly rigorous academic program and partnerships with universities and businesses, her work at Western Connecticut State University highlighted the success these partnerships can have on increasing student achievement, particularly for young people from lower socioeconomic groups. These programs were developed through partnerships with the U.S. Department of Education, the Connecticut Department of Higher Education, and the Danbury Public Schools.

Work History

Work History
Aug 2015 - Present

Adjunct Professor of Writing

Rutgers University
Jun 2015 - Aug 2015


Western Connecticut State University
Jul 2011 - May 2015


Pleasantville School District


Sep 2014 - Present

St. John's University

Aug 1994 - Jan 1995

Political Science

University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Sep 1981 - May 1985


University of Rhode Island