Testimonials

Testimonials
There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about. 
   

- Oscar Wilde

Contacting a stranger who is offering a service can feel like a gamble. So—get to know me! Click or scroll down to hear what clients say about me and my work.

 

Since Kaara began teaching with us in Spring 2017, she has become a favorite instructor among students, a respected colleague among our faculty, and an engaged contributor to our program and curriculum. Kaara is expert in curriculum design, educational content development, research, and editing, and she is thoughtful and critical about writing and writing pedagogy. We can always rely on Kaara to be insightful, effective, creative, collaborative, and thorough. 

Lisa Del Torto

Co-Director, Design Thinking and Communication, Northwestern University

I hired Kaara for a temporary project editor position and she was amazing! The children's book projects were varied and complicated, with aggressive deadlines. Kaara quickly wrapped her arms around each project's objectives; analyzed, synthesized, and organized huge amounts of information; and wrote engaging, age-appropriate, license-appropriate manuscripts with educational heft. She worked thoughtfully and thoroughly without a lot of direction, and she was well-liked by the creative teams. Kaara is great to work with!

Susan Brooke

Editorial Director, Phoenix International Publications, Inc.

You will find no better candidate in terms of intellect, leadership, and dependability than Kaara Kallen. In the relatively short period of time I worked with her Kaara showed an unwavering passion and dedication to social issues and inequalities in education and how they affect various communities.

She has a wealth of personal initiative and spent the individual time necessary to learn and digest a large amount of material as she inherited a program in Chicago that was only three years old. Equally impressive was Kaara’s ability to integrate this material into well-organized and strategic workplans which is a strong aspect of her work ethic. Kaara takes pride in her work and this is revealed in the relationships she creates and the work she produces.

Overall, I believe Kaara is one of the most self-directed and grounded educators I have had the good fortune to work with and support. Kaara asks the hard questions because she cares about what can and needs to be done to create the change young people in Chicago, and the US, say they want. She is astute and embraces a positive youth development philosophy, and puts those qualities into practice when engaging and working with youth.

[On content work]

Kaara’s editing support and critical eye for detail and clarity made the curriculum incredibly strong. Throughout the editing process Kaara asked important questions about the goal and objectives for each lesson plan, provided examples and feedback on making definitions for challenging and new topics accessible at an 8th grade reading level, and helped with the overall grammatical edits of the curriculum. Kaara was an invaluable component of completing the curriculum we have today…Our other 24 films do not have this level of depth and inclusion for educators. Having Kaara as a member of our Education Department meant having a wider reach, stronger content, and useful tools for educators through our curricula and films.

[On outreach work]

The Chicago Manager position relies heavily on personal initiative and outreach to administrators, educators, and organizations. Kaara excels at making each personal encounter and connection authentic and meaningful. She uses her background in education and the arts to facilitate important conversations about social and emotional learning, media literacy, media justice, and a variety of social justice issues Chicago students encounter with a keen eye on the intersections of race, gender, class, and power.  

Bianca Laureano

Education Director, Scenarios USA

Kaara has been a go-to consultant for ThinkCERCA for years on a wide range of editorial projects, everything from resource development to content editing to research projects. We've relied on her particularly for more open-ended projects that require the consultant to see the big picture and fill in the more granular details to provide guidance to others, because we trust her expertise, precision, and thoughtfulness. For example, when we began a massive project of reviewing and revising all of our ELA lessons, Kaara was the first person we turned to to work through a sample grade level to provide not only insightful edits but also guidelines and best practices for all other editors to follow. The processes and resources she developed set us up for great success on that project. Kaara's close attention to detail, knowledge of student and teacher needs, and dedication to finding solutions to any issues that arise make her one of our favorite freelancers to work with.

Claire Podulka

Managing Editor, ThinkCERCA

Kaara is a knowledgeable editorial professional who can balance many projects simultaneously while doing excellent work on each one. She has in-depth, up-to-date knowledge of the K-12 educational landscape, and can tailor her work to specific classroom needs. Her writing and editing skills are superb. Kaara also knows the full editorial process, from conception to production, in detail, and works well with a variety of colleagues to create excellent work.

Nancy Carr

Senior Editor, The Great Books Foundation

Kaara instituted a public roundtable discussion to examine persistent questions in education. Kaara directed us presenters to frame our work as a through-line to a set of questions. This gave the controversial topics we covered their day in the sun, instead of obscuring them with pitch and spin. Kaara's passion for attending to idea development through communal analysis will benefit us all.

Ari Frede

The Orange School, Founder

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© 2019 by Kaara Kallen, Chicago, IL
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