Esther Wojcicki

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Dr. Esther Wojcicki
Esther Wojcicki (cropped).jpg
Wojcicki in June 2008
Esther Denise Hochman

New York City
Alma materUC Berkeley
University of Paris
San Jose State University
OccupationJournalist, educator
Known forMoonshots: The Woj Way Pedagogical Philosophy (Trust Framework)
Spouse(s)Stanley Wojcicki
ChildrenSusan Wojcicki
Janet Wojcicki
Anne Wojcicki

Esther Denise "Woj" Hochman Wojcicki[1] (/vjˈɪski/ vooy-CHIS-kee, Polish: [vujˈt͡ɕit͡skʲi])[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.

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.[6][7] Wojcicki was valedictorian of her high school class,[6] and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in English and Political Science. She received a secondary teaching credential from University of California, Berkeley, as well as a graduate degree from the Graduate School of Journalism at Berkeley. She has an advanced degree in French and French History from the Sorbonne, and both a Secondary School Administrative Credential and a M.A. in Educational Technology from San Jose State University.[3][4]

Dr. Wojcicki is considered the most influential educator in contemporary times[8] and her pedagogical and epistemological philosophy is being adopted by local Silicon Valley schools, national and global educational programs.[9][9][10] Woj is the pioneer of Moonshot Thinking in schools and her influence in technology enabled schools is central in modern education. Including John Dewey of the progressive era, Woj's influence in journalistic learning and education reform is often compared to that of John Amos Comenius, author of Orbis Sensualium Pictus in 1658.[11] Dr. Wojcicki's moonshot philosophy and education reform influence has gained a wide range of media attention in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In March 2018, the popular magazine, "wired" featured the wildly popular moonshots design lab taught at Design Tech High School at Oracle. Moonshot certified courses are described by masterful and beginning moonshot thinking students as "incubator-style" grounded in Trust, Respect, Independence, Collaboration and Kindness (TRICK). At the Oracle charter school in Silicon Valley, the first moonshot graduating class honored Dr. Woj with roses on their inaugural graduation and named their capstone project: "a moonshot legacy." In addition, the Woj inspired moonshots d.lab at Oracle was recognized as Silicon Valley's "Ultimate Incubator."

Dr.Woj is also known as the mother of Silicon Valley who raised three of the most successful women in the United States. She is also arguably considered the most influential mother in contemporary times. The Wojcicki family is active in the community and is fondly recognized as "Silicon Valley's Royalty."[1]

"The Woj Way" also known as Woj's trust framework is highly sought after by global educators and leaders[12] across the globe. International leaders are seen frequently visiting her for counsel on how they could implement moonshots in their countries. Dr. Woj's Moonshots in Education Advanced Teacher training program is globally renowned and recognized by the Wallenberg Foundation as critical in the “advancement of teaching excellence."[13][14]


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.[15] 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.[15] 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.[16] Wojcicki is also on the Board of Trustees of the "Developmental Studies Center"[17] and on the Board of Governors of the "Alliance for Excellent Education".[18] She serves as Chairman of the Board of "Learning Matters"[19] and is part of the Advisory Board at the THNK School of Creative Leadership.[20] She is Chief Learning Officer for Explore[21] 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[2]

Ms. Wojcicki mentored Steve Jobs' daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, in High School.[22]

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 nine grandchildren.[15]


  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. ^ a b Lorenz, Elizabeth (1998-04-29). "People: Esther Wojcicki: Carrying the torch for free speech". Palo Alto Online. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
  7. ^ Tramiel, Preeva (April 18, 2012). "Esther Wojcicki: A Jewish mother of the tech revolution". Jewish Woman's Archives.
  8. ^ Cheteni, Freedom (2018-06-26). "Moonshots with Woj: 42 the world's first self-driving classroom and school". Medium. Retrieved 2018-08-09.
  9. ^ a b Cheteni, Freedom. "The Dr. Woj Way: Moonshots in Education Design". Medium. Retrieved 2018-08-09.
  10. ^ Moonshots Channel (2018-06-21), Imagine VR: A Moonshot Legacy, retrieved 2018-08-09
  11. ^ [ "Cardinal Impact Moonshots"] Check |url= value (help). Designership Press at Stanford. External link in |website= (help)
  12. ^ Moonshots Channel (2018-08-06), Woj way, retrieved 2018-08-09
  13. ^ "Advanced Teachers Program". Stiftelsen Marcus och Amalia Wallenbergs Minnesfond (in Swedish). 2015-01-15. Retrieved 2018-08-09.
  14. ^ Moonshots Channel (2018-08-04), Moonshots Educator Freedom Cheteni Declares Moonshot Classes Lead by Fellows, retrieved 2018-08-09
  15. ^ a b c "Esther Wojcicki"., Inc. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
  16. ^ "Esther Wojcicki receives Gold Key". Columbia Scholastic Press Association. Retrieved 2009-05-27.
  17. ^ "Board of Trustees".
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Education Week Video".
  20. ^ "Innovation & Creativity Development- THNK School of Creative Leadership". THNK.
  21. ^ "Home". Planet3. Retrieved 2017-02-18.
  22. ^

External links[edit]