Esther Wojcicki

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Esther Wojcicki
Esther Wojcicki (cropped).jpg
Esther Denise Hochman

(1941-05-26) May 26, 1941 (age 80)
EducationUniversity of California, Berkeley (BA, MJ)
Paris-Sorbonne University (MA)
San Jose State University (MA)
OccupationJournalist, educator
Known forMoonshots: The Woj Way Pedagogical Philosophy (Trust Framework)
Spouse(s)Stanley Wojcicki
Children3, including Susan and Anne

Esther Denise "Woj" Hochman Wojcicki[1] (/wʊˈɪtski/ wuu-CHITS-kee; born May 26, 1941)[2] is an American journalist, educator,[3][4] and vice chair of the Creative Commons advisory council.[5] Wojcicki has studied education and technology.[3] She is the founder of the Palo Alto High School Media Arts Program in Palo Alto, CA.,[6] and the Co-Founder of TractLearning, Inc that publishes the website a peer to peer, project-based, gamified learning platform for kids 8 years and over.

Early life and education[edit]

Wojcicki is the oldest of three children, and was the first in her family to attend college. Her parents were Russian Jewish immigrants who came to New York City in the 1930s. Her family moved to Southern California after she was born.[7][8] Wojcicki was valedictorian of her high school class,[7] and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in English and political science. She received a secondary teaching credential at the University of California, Berkeley, as well as a graduate degree at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She has an advanced degree in French and French history at Paris-Sorbonne University, and both a secondary school administrative credential and a M.A. in educational technology at San Jose State University.[3][4]


Wojcicki has taught at Palo Alto High School since 1984, where she currently teaches journalism and English. There she began the journalism program which has grown to become one of the largest in America.[9] She has worked as a professional journalist for multiple publications and blogs regularly for The Huffington Post.[3]

Wojcicki was the 1990 Northern California Journalism teacher of the year,[3] and was selected as the California Teacher of the Year in 2002 by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.[9]

She served on the University of California Office of the President Curriculum Committee where she helped revise the beginning and advanced journalism curriculum for the state of California.[4] In 2009, she was awarded the Gold Key by Columbia Scholastic Press Association in recognition of outstanding devotion to the cause of the school press.[10] Wojcicki is also on the Board of Trustees of the "Developmental Studies Center"[11] and on the Board of Governors of the "Alliance for Excellent Education".[12]

She serves as Chairman of the Board of "Learning Matters"[13] and is part of the Advisory Board at the THNK School of Creative Leadership.[14] She is Chief Learning Officer for Explore[15] Planet3, an exploration based science platform for middle school students. She is on the board of the Newseum in Washington, D.C and the Freedom Forum. She holds an honorary doctorate from Palo Alto University (2013) and from Rhode Island School of Design (2016).

She is the founder of the Journalistic Learning Initiative at the University of Oregon School of Communications and School of Education (2016) She is the founder of the Moonshots in Education Movement (MiE) that can be found at In 2019 she was the author of the book How to Raise Successful People,[16] a parenting book on the philosophy she used in raising her 3 daughters. Wojcicki discussed her life and the book on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour in May 2019.[17] She publishes a newsletter called "Woj's World News."

Wojcicki mentored Steve Jobs' daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, in high school.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Her husband is Stanford University professor of physics Stanley Wojcicki. They have three daughters: Susan (CEO of YouTube), Janet, a Fulbright-winning anthropologist, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and researcher, and Anne (co-founder of 23andMe), and ten grandchildren.[9]


  • How to raise successful people : simple lessons for radical results, London : Hutchinson, 2019. ISBN 9781786331267, OCLC 1090425189
  • Moonshots in Education: Launching Blended Learning in the Classroom, Pacific Research Institute, San Francisco, 2015 ISBN 978-1-934276-20-4


  1. ^ Who's who in the West: A Biographical Dictionary of Noteworthy Men and Women of the Pacific Coast and the Western States. A.N. Marquis Company. 2004. ISBN 9780837909356. Retrieved 2015-04-16.
  2. ^ "Esther Wojcicki - Empowering Students" on YouTube
  3. ^ a b c d e Hwang, Tim (2008-07-10). "Education Innovator Esther Wojcicki Joins Creative Commons Board". Creative Commons. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
  4. ^ a b c "Curriki - Wojcicki". Retrieved 2008-07-23.
  5. ^ "Board of Directors - Creative Commons". Creative Commons. Retrieved 2010-12-05.
  6. ^ Esther Wojcicki (2013-06-09), Journalism and the Common Core Writing Standards, retrieved 2019-04-29
  7. ^ a b Lorenz, Elizabeth (1998-04-29). "People: Esther Wojcicki: Carrying the torch for free speech". Palo Alto Online. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
  8. ^ Tramiel, Preeva (April 18, 2012). "Esther Wojcicki: A Jewish mother of the tech revolution". Jewish Woman's Archives.
  9. ^ a b c "Esther Wojcicki"., Inc. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
  10. ^ "Esther Wojcicki receives Gold Key". Columbia Scholastic Press Association. Archived from the original on 2009-06-15. Retrieved 2009-05-27.
  11. ^ "Board of Trustees".
  12. ^ "Governing Board | Alliance for Excellent Education". 2013-03-29. Archived from the original on 2013-03-29. Retrieved 2019-04-29.
  13. ^ "Education Week Video".
  14. ^ "Innovation & Creativity Development- THNK School of Creative Leadership". THNK.
  15. ^ "Home". Planet3. Retrieved 2017-02-18.
  16. ^ Wojcicki, Esther. "How to Raise Successful People". How to Raise Successful People.
  17. ^ Presenter: Jenni Murray (2 May 2019). "Small Island, Esther Wojcicki, Natalie Haynes". Woman's Hour. 0:47 minutes in. BBC. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  18. ^ Bowles, Nellie (2018-08-23). "In 'Small Fry,' Steve Jobs Comes Across as a Jerk. His Daughter Forgives Him. Should We?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-04-29.

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