Faculty and Staff

Ruth Mathis Bissell, Ph.D.

  • B.A. and M.A. in Anthropology from University of California, Santa Cruz
  • M.A. in Educational Leadership from University of California, Berkeley
  • Ph.D. in Anthropology from University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Leadership in Education Certificate from Harvard University
  • With The Meridian School since 2022

Ruth has over 20 years of experience in K–12 education and uses her anthropological training to coach teachers and support diverse, equitable educational experiences for students. Prior to becoming the Head of School for Meridian, she regularly led educator workshops on restorative justice at the local and national level, and served in multiple administrative roles in public, charter,  and independent schools as a teacher leader, assistant principal, and division head. Ruth’s educational and anthropological background infuses a social justice lens and antiracism focus, nurturing a curriculum that provides varying cultural perspectives, civil rights, and empathy for others. She loves fostering community and helping design in-person learning experiences that include academic, project-based learning programs and outdoor education. She is trained in Universal Design for Learning and culturally responsive practices, and values the diversity of learners in our community.

Ruth serves  as a trustee on multiple boards, including Prospect Sierra School in the San Francisco Bay Area and The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco,  and is on the National Advisory Board for Beyond Differences, a national nonprofit focused on ending social isolation in middle school. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her two children, Ryan and AJ, and on occasion can be found teaching a college course or two on anthropology or education.  

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