10 Questions for Encinitas educator Yvonne Andrés of Global SchoolNet


Dr. Yvonne Marie Andrés is an Encinitas educator who is recognized as an e-learning pioneer and visionary. She is the president and CEO of the nonprofit Global SchoolNet Foundation and founder of the Global Schoolhouse.

Andrés began her career as a Title I teacher, school-based program coordinator, and technology mentor for the Oceanside Unified School District. Her activities include designing, producing and facilitating programs that demonstrate the power of engaging San Diego youth in projects that focus on their local community, while increasing global awareness.

Named one of the 25 most influential people worldwide in education technology, in 2000 she was invited to meet with President Bush to launch the Friendship Through Education initiative. She is the creator and producer of International CyberFair and the U.S. State Department’s Doors to Diplomacy program. She frequently writes about effective education programs from around the globe that blend online and offline learning.

She has provided leadership throughout the U.S., Canada, Asia, Europe, Australia, South America and Africa, and in 2007, was awarded the Soroptimist International Making a Difference Award for advancing the status of women and children. In August 2012, Andrés was selected as one of San Diego Magazine’s Women Who Move the City, recognizing dynamic women who create positive change and contribute to the community.

In 1992, Andrés developed and coordinated the original Global Schoolhouse Project with a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation, digitally bringing together youth from Tennessee, Virginia, California, and England to conduct an environmental watershed pollution study and share findings via state-of-the-art video conferencing using desktop computers and the Internet.

Andrés wrote “CERF’n Safari: Educators’ Guide to the Internet,” the first teacher’s Internet guide. In 1994, she accepted an appointment to the Governor’s Information Technology Council for California, where she co-authored “Getting Results.” Andrés co-wrote Cisco System’s “Going to School on the Internet” and “Harnessing the Power of the Web for Classroom Use.” She also wrote Apple’s “Getting Started on the Internet.” She was the executive producer of Dr. Jane Goodall’s first website and Microsoft’s first education website.

In 2014, Andrés co-wrote “CyberFair: Opening the Doors to Collaboration” and “School and the Community: Collaboration in the Context of New Educational Standards: Experiences of Russia and the United States.” These two publications reveal successful models for collaboration among schools, nonprofits and businesses — in the context of the new educational standards in Russia and the United States.

She is now co-chair of the Youth and Education working group of the U.S.-Russia Social Expertise Exchange (SEE). This program encourages cross-cultural understanding, preparing young people of both countries to work to solve or prevent global problems via student-centered methods such as education exchanges, seminars, and conferences.

What brought you to Encinitas?

I am originally from New York and moved to Oceanside after college, where I began my teaching career. I moved to Encinitas in 1998 because it has a very positive “vibe” and because of the abundance of educational and spiritual offerings.

If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in Encinitas?

I would add more live entertainment and cultural events. And, I would like to see the La Paloma movie theater improved and become part of the Landmark Theater family, showing quality independent films. I would also add more safe bike paths.

I can’t think of anything I would subtract, except for the terrible back-up of traffic trying to get onto the freeway at Manchester.

Who or what inspires you?

Two categories of people inspire me:

1) People who are highly creative — musicians, artists, film producers, writers, inventors, etc.

2) People who give back to the community, without expecting personal gain in return.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, who (living or deceased) would you invite?

I choose living folks — who I would love to exchange my own ideas with. These folks would include Steve Colbert, Ray Kurzwell, Bill Gates, Alvin Toffler, Dr. Jane Goodall, President Obama, Vladimir Putin, Oprah Winfrey — and of course you, to write about this amazing dinner.

What are your favorite movies?

This is a very long list, because I really, really love films and going to film fests. However, my favorites are those that make me laugh or think more deeply about topics, such as “Good Will Hunting,” “Back to the Future,” “Forrest Gump,” “Network,” “Sideways,” “Run Lola Run,” “Nebraska,” etc.

What’s the most challenging aspect of what you do, and what’s the most rewarding?

The most challenging aspect of my job is finding the resources to reach more youth. This is especially problematic in a time when youth need to develop global perspectives on important issues such as economics, business, technology, environment, diplomacy, culture and other challenges of international and cultural awareness and understanding.

What do you do for fun?

Play tennis, badminton, bike riding, camping, watching films, live music, and hanging out with my adorable Chihuahuas.

What is it that you most dislike?

“Glass half empty” complainers and chronic worriers. It’s hard to be positive, productive, or be an effective problem-solver when someone is complaining or worrying about every little thing.

What do you hope to accomplish next?

My biggest wish is to modernize the Global SchoolNet website (first built in 1994) so that we can engage more youth and improve more communities in more countries.

What is your motto or philosophy of life?

Great love and great achievement involve great risk.