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2015 Hollyhock Fellows

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2015 Fellows


Academic Leadership Community

Introduction: Academic Leadership Community (ALC) is located within the Pico Union community in downtown Los Angeles, which is one of the most densely populated urban areas in the United States. The community is home to over 350,000 people, primarily immigrants from Mexico and Central America. ALC is a pilot high school located on the campus of Miguel Contreras Learning Complex (MCLC). ALC currently serves about 450 students, all of whom are English Learners. As classroom teachers, we strive for content mastery and to build grit and resiliency in our students. We also work on developing universal skills that are transferable across content such as literacy and numeracy. Since we come from a small school, we are the only providers of our content areas, so we are coming with a motivation to learn from our fellow teachers.  We also represent the spectrum of beginning teachers (two 3rd year teachers) to more advanced (7 years teaching). At a small school we wear many hats and represent the content areas of math, science, economics, AVID, and leadership. We are all devoted to our students both in and out of school hours supporting many extracurricular activities such as track & field, ASB, and Oakgrove.  

Animo Jackie Robinson Charter High School

Introduction: Animo Jackie Robinson Charter High School (AJR) is a public charter high school located in South Los Angeles, one of the Green Dot Public Schools. Although our school is walking distance from the University of Southern California, 98% of students at AJR are Free and Reduced Lunch, 77% of students are English Language Learners, 98 % are Hispanic/Latino and 2% African American.  As teachers, we have chosen to implement critical thinking and social justice in our pedagogy.  We infuse social justice across curricula and  all grade levels.  In order to create and foster advocacy within our student population, it is essential that as History, Science, and English teachers, we present content that is inclusive of a variety of perspectives and cultures. Along with the content that is required by our charter and the State, we strive to dare students to critically think and challenge assumed notions of race, class, social economic status, sexuality, and environment. More importantly, we teach students that their experience living in an impoverished community is not a stagnant experience. Individuality and empowerment, as exhibited within Jackie Robinson’s character, is encouraged and respected. All students are expected to use their learning to take action and elevate the quality of life for themselves, their families, and their communities. The team that represents Animo Jackie Robinson consists of DeAnna Lee-Rivers, Jasmin Gonzalez, and Raquel Laguna.  Each member brings with her a unique approach to teaching that is grounded in the formative experiences that led her to the classroom. DeAnna Lee-Rivers, as a research biologist turned science teacher, imbues her pedagogy with a firm belief that all students, regardless of socioeconomic status and gender, can pursue a successful career in science. Jasmin Gonzalez, who spent the first few years of her adult career as a college counselor, understands the crucial role that teachers have in preparing students for life. She witnessed the emotional and academic struggles that many students faced once they attended college and was eventually compelled to become a teacher so that she could make an even bigger impact in the lives of her students. The final team member, Raquel Laguna, discovered her passion for helping adolescents through her volunteer work at a high school in Los Angeles. She went on to teach in the south side of Chicago where she formed a deep commitment to providing disadvantaged student populations a fair opportunity to succeed in college and in life.  The Animo Jackie Robinson team hopes to share their passion for social justice and educational equality with other Hollyhock fellows. 

Gompers Preparatory Academy

Introduction: Gompers Preparatory Academy started its charter in 2004 after a tumultuous period in which gang violence, high dropout rates and high teacher turnover threatened to have our school taken over by the state. With the leadership and courage of our Director, our school has been transforming into a new organization where students thrive and that proudly has a 100% graduation rate. However, the task is not easy. Our school is located in beautiful San Diego, California. We serve a community whose residents are primarily underrepresented and come from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Our streets are still plagued with gang violence, and not far from our campus there is a street corner pegged “The Four Corners of Death.”

Nevertheless, it is not uncommon to point out who our students are: They walk in the neighborhood proudly wearing their uniforms: dress shoes, slacks, button down shirts and ties. Through our curriculum, daily interaction with teachers, and college classes, students find emotional shelter as well as a place of intellectual challenge.  We are proud to represent our school and we are ready and willing to learn and share through collaboration, commitment, and connections.

Learning Works Charter School

Ashleigh Conway, Ruth Richardson, Chelsea Rasberry, and Eric Glenn teach at Learning Works Charter School in Pasadena, California. Our students at Learning Works are beyond “at risk.”  They are "in crisis."  That means they are major players in gangs, on probation, just getting out of jail and/or juvenile institutions, they may have kids of their own, use drugs, and/or take part in other unproductive activities.  The school takes a very holistic approach to educating our students.  Our job as educators is not only imparting academic content, but also to build lasting relationships and foster the development of our students into positive, contributing members of the community.  Ashleigh Conway has a Multiple Subject Credential, MS in Education, and teaches 9th Grade English, Writing, and hosts a weekly “Book Club” for all students.  Ruth Richardson has a Multiple Subject Credential, a Single-Subject Foundational Mathematics credential, and teaches classes that range from Visual Arts to Physics and Math.  Chelsea Rasberry has a single-subject Social Science credential, MA in Education, and teaches all Social Science classes.  Eric Glenn has a single-subject credential in Foundational Mathematics, MA in Education, and teaches 9th Grade Algebra and Geometry for upperclassmen.  Our goal is to improve our effectiveness in the classroom so we can better reach our “hard-to-reach” students, meet them where they are, and give them a practical, rigorous education.

Madera High School

Madera High School prides itself on a pathways system of “career schools” (Human Services/Business, Health Sciences, Engineering and Technology, and Humanities - similar to choosing a major in college) designed to ensure that ALL students are prepared postsecondary, whether it’s college or right into the workforce. The Coyote family has a wealth of club opportunities for students - There’s almost a club for every possible group on campus, with more being added each semester. In addition, the culture at Madera High School is garnered for student achievement with a school wide intervention program designed to prevent students from slipping through the academic cracks.

Our goal as classroom teachers is to create critical thinkers and students who are prepared for the real world. Working with undergraduate college students in the past, we’ve quickly realized many students don’t enter college with enough preparation. Our team is dedicated to ensuring that our students will be successful in all of their future endeavors by providing them with rigorous academic programs that enable them to develop analytical skills and make them more ready for the workforce. Our team consists of Jordan (B.S. & M.S. in Biology) - Biology teacher/Cross Country Coach, Cinthia - Chemistry/Earth Science and Freshman Advisor, and Crystal (@crysadunn) - World History/AP European History.  

Ocean View High School

​Introduction: Ocean View offers an educational experience like no other school. At Ocean View, we believe the academic road students can take should be as rigorous as possible, while providing balance in a student's life with pursuits outside the classroom. We produce students who are deep thinkers who can articulate differing points of opinion. With a student population of 1,400 students, we believe that the family atmosphere at Ocean View makes it an incredibly nurturing environment in which to grow and develop. We believe that thinking small can lead to big things and you “Can’t spell LOVE without OV”. Our overarching goal is to create student led classrooms that encourage higher-level thinking, participation, questioning, and content inquisition. The impact that we strive to have on our students is to be greater than what happens in the classroom. We aspire to mold these young adults to become socially and politically aware of the power they have to improve their lives and the lives of others.

Youthbuild Charter School of Caifornia

Introduction: Tussanee, Angela, and Daniel form a team of young teachers who help transform the lives of young people in Northeast Los Angeles at Youthbuild Charter School of California. Our school is made of about forty young people from immigrant backgrounds. Many of our students face challenges such as being teen parents, homelessness, or drug addiction. These challenges have led to them being pushed out of a traditional high school setting. Our team of teachers come from diverse, immigrant backgrounds and bring unique perspectives to education and transformation of young people. As the only three teachers at our school site, we are required to create unique opportunities for leadership development such as a Community Action Project that spans across subject areas and requires our students to become agents of social change in their community, Lincoln Heights. Our past project required students to critically examine their community, gather data, interpret information, and create a detailed analysis of the community’s assets and needs. These tasks would be impossible without the help, support, and expertise of my colleagues. With each other’s help, we can continue our journey to affect real and positive change in underserved, urban communities. Angela Lopez teaches math, science, technology, and health. Tussanee teaches history, government, and economics. Daniel teaches English, learning center, and technology.


The Denver School of Science and Technology

Introduction: The Denver School of Science and Technology is a STEM public charter network founded in Denver, Colorado. DSST serves over 2,800 diverse students with nine schools on six campuses. DSST schools are home to the highest performing and highest growth secondary schools in Denver Public Schools and our first six graduating classes have earned 100% college acceptance into four year colleges. DSST’s mission states that we “transform urban public education by eliminating educational inequity and preparing all students for success in college and the 21st Century.” We are a values-driven organization that focuses on six core values in all that we do: respect, responsibility, courage, curiosity, doing your best, and integrity. Our team is comprised of Lauren Sampley, a 7th year high school science teacher, Faith Howard, a 6th year high school English teacher, and Maggie Dering, a 3rd year high school math teacher. Lauren teaches at our founding high school called Stapleton High School, and Faith and Maggie teach at our newly opened Cole High School. We bring a lot of energy, passion, and experience to the Hollyhock Fellowship cohort. Each of us has unique goals rooted in leading from the classroom, and we look forward to learning from the various experiences of teachers in this program!


Bulkeley High School

Introduction: Hello from Bulkeley High School! We are a Title I public school in Hartford, Connecticut serving students through grades 9-12, 100% of whom receive free or reduced price meals. Specifically, the three of us teach in Bulkeley Upper School, which houses grades 11-12 and has two programs of study: Humanities and Teacher Prep. Justin Taylor is a social studies teacher in the Humanities Studies Program and is in his sixth year of teaching. Lauren and Paul are English teachers in the Teacher Prep Studies Program. Lauren has been teaching for two years, and Paul has been teaching for four. In addition to our varying years of experience, our team is always seeking ways to remain innovative in the classroom by leveraging technology to improve instruction and assessment. Next year, we will be implementing a model of blended learning in each of our classrooms as part of the Nellie Mae Innovative School Site Grant.

Our overarching goals are to spend more time collaborating in order to effectively design meaningful and academically rigorous curriculum and assessments aligned to CCSS and guided by instructional best practices. We also look forward to learning more about effective strategies that are working in other high-need districts across the country and sharing them with our colleagues.


KIPP Atlanta Collegiate

Introduction: As a member of the national Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) charter network, our school mission is to propel students “To and Through College.” This singular motto drives our focus at KIPP Atlanta Collegiate to prepare students for the academic and social rigors of life beyond high school. Founded in a traditionally-underserved pocket of Atlanta in 2011 with a unique advisory system and extended school day, KAC is set up to allow adults to form deep personal relationships with our students. We strive to help them develop the academic muscle as well as personal habits and mindsets – such as showing grit in the face of adversity – that will spring them to achieve their goals. So far, the model is working: as of April, over 80% of our founding class of 2015 is on track to be enrolled in a 4-year college or university in the fall. The members of our team represent three different departments and grade levels, but are excited to collaborate together to create an even better school environment. As a 9th-grade Literature and Composition teacher, Ms. Tawheedah Abdullah pushes students to not only analyze how the themes they explore while reading are reflected in modern day culture, but to develop their own powerful writing voices with cogent arguments. For example, how does the media’s representation of different cultural groups affect American society? In 9th-grade pre-AP World History/12th-grade AP Government, Ms. Kim Vo challenge students to deeply engage with historical documents, make connections to modern day issues, and then defend their thoughts in writing: was Hammurabi’s Code a fair way to govern? Over in the math department, Mr. Jerry Kosoff, who will loop up with his current 11th-graders to teach them 12th-grade Statistics or AP Calculus AB, encourages students to make connections with mathematics: is it really possible to lie with statistics? How do different professions utilize our math skills? This summer, we look forward to bringing our enthusiasm and critical lenses to model the growth mindset we seek to instill in our students. While we represent just three classrooms in our growing school, we are excited to bring our experiences back from California to enrich the lives of our fellow teachers, and more importantly our students.


Eric Solorio Academy High School

​Introduction: Eric Solorio Academy High School is a neighborhood CPS school located in Gage Park on the Southwest side of Chicago. We teach primarily Latino students, over 90% of whom receive free or reduced lunch.  As a part of the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL), Solorio is dedicated to training and developing teacher leadership.

Team Solorio is excited to learn and collaborate with the other Hollyhock fellows and bring the knowledge we gain back to make our school community a better place. Our team is comprised of Greta Kringle, a Chemistry and Biology teacher and Tim Nystrand, a Physics teacher. Despite our content differences, we are all passionate about content literacy, critical thinking, and inspiring civil engagement. Also, we share the belief that great teaching is based upon holding students to high expectations while building a respectful and joyful learning environment. We know that in order for students to be successful, they must not only gain content-specific skills and knowledge, but also develop the character traits required to be happy and productive members of our community.

George Westinghouse College Prep

Introduction: George Westinghouse College Prep is a public school located in the west side of Chicago. As a selective enrollment school, GWCP is fortunate to have students from all over the city. The majority of our students are from low-income, minority families. There is an expectation of postsecondary success, and the vast majority of our students continue on to colleges and universities. This year, our school’s focus has been on ‘Academic Perseverance’ and implementing powerful practices in our classrooms in order to create situations where students must struggle, but have the tools to persevere in those struggles. Amanda, Melina, and Hannah are chemistry, English, and math teachers at GWCP. Through their work in the Hollyhock Fellowship, they hope to affect tangible change at GWCP as well as encourage interdepartmental collaboration.


Chalmette High School

Introduction: Chalmette High School (CHS) is dedicated to the education of the total person– fostering intellectual, emotional, social, civic, and physical development of each student. We strive to create a respectful, responsible, and positive environment for our students and empower students to grow academically and emotionally. CHS is comprised of approximately 1700 students and 153 teachers and serves a very diverse population of students in the suburbs of New Orleans, Louisiana. Chalmette High School is the only high school serving the St. Bernard Parish area, which is constantly evolving as the community returns to pre-Hurricane Katrina population levels. Though our student population faces many challenges outside the walls of CHS, we believe that all our students have the ability to succeed and we are always searching for new ways to help our students achieve their goals. As the second team of teachers to start the Hollyhock Fellowship from Chalmette High School, Sara and Tony are excited for this opportunity to grow as educators, deepen our understanding of pedagogy in our content areas, and revitalize our commitment to holding both our students and ourselves to high standards. Both Sara and Tony are in the Social Studies department. Our introduction would seem incomplete if we did not add the sage reminder that our principle concludes the morning announcements with every day: the choices you make today shape your world tomorrow. We know the Hollyhock Fellowship is an excellent choice for us and will only improve our school’s tomorrows. 


Northwestern High School

Introduction: Northwestern High School is the proud home of Wildcats who ROAR with Respect, Opportunities, Achievement, and Responsibility. Located in Prince George’s County, Maryland, NHS is a public comprehensive and magnet high school for the visual and performing arts. The school mantra is, “At Northwestern High School, World Class Teachers and Staff are preparing our World Class Students to be College and Career Ready.” Day in and day out, our teachers and staff seek to improve achievement, instruction, attendance, and matriculation towards graduation for each and every single one of our young Wildcats.

Our NHS Hollyhock team is a dynamic group of four dedicated and passionate teachers who work relentlessly toward helping our students realize their full potential. We represent multiple content areas including English, social studies, and the sciences, and collectively we speak six different languages. We strive to close the achievement gap because we believe that every child deserves the opportunity to have a quality education no matter what their current circumstances may be. Working with students who mainly come from low-income or immigrant backgrounds, we understand the countless pressures and challenges that our students face, so we continue to work towards bridging the gap that keeps so many of them from pursuing higher education. Together, we believe that we can help inspire our students to follow their dreams and achieve their aspirations through their education.


Jeremiah E. Burke High School

​Introduction: The Jeremiah E. Burke High School is located in Dorchester, a neighborhood of Boston. In 2010, the Burke was one of the lowest performing schools in the state of Massachusetts and was designated a turnaround school. In order to turn the school around, efforts were centered on supporting the whole child, academic interventions, and developing the schools instructional leadership capacity. In September of 2014, Burke became the first high school in Massachusetts to successfully exit turnaround status.

The majority of Burke students enter high school having experienced chronic failure throughout middle school. Our students represent a linguistically and culturally diverse community, of which 30% are English Language Learners and 15% are students with disabilities. Many of our students have experienced clinically significant trauma and 90% are labeled as “high needs.” The supports our students require vary tremendously, ranging from emotional to intellectual, but it is our belief that they deserve a quality education that develops the tools they need to critically engage with issues that impact their lives and community.

The math department works collaboratively to find ways to foster student reasoning while addressing gaps in understanding. Our success is evident in our rising MCAS scores. In 2013, the proficiency rate was 45% and climbed to 71% in 2014. By creating classrooms where students are held to high expectations and given tiered supports, teachers can help repair students’ self-confidence while students engage in rigorous problem solving.

We are graduates of the Boston Teacher Residency and, as a result, we share many beliefs and instructional practices. We are invested in our students’ success and look forward to collaborating with other Hollyhock Fellows to improve our practice. When we’re not discussing student learning, we enjoy laughing, acting foolish, and hanging out - so we look forward to bringing our tomfoolery to the West Coast!


Holmes County Central High School

​Introduction: Holmes County Central High School (HCCHS) is the result of combining three high schools in Holmes County School District, S.V Marshall, William Sullivan, and J.J. McClain.  We are currently in our first school year of the merger. Despite concerns by some in the community, the merging of the high schools has been a success.  The HCCHS Jaguars (Go Jags!!!) are made up of approximately 760 students, ranging from 9th to 12th grade.  The school enrollment is 99% African American. Here at HCCHS, we have the distinction of being in the poorest county in the poorest state in the nation; consequently 100% of our students participate in the free lunch program. However, in spite of the economic situation, we come to work everyday prepared to motivate and educate our students.

By participating in the Hollyhock program, we hope to better educate our students and to live up to our school motto: Preparing students to leave Holmes College ready!!!

New Jersey

Uncommon Schools

Introduction: Uncommon is more than a network of schools. Uncommon is a mission grounded in the belief that education is the modern civil rights movement; a mission grounded in the belief that a child’s zip code should NOT determine his/her fate; a mission to truly make education the great equalizer.  Uncommon schools began in 1997 as North Star Academy with a mission to provide Newark children with the world-class education that they deserve. In 2005, Uncommon expanded out of Newark first into New York City and then Rochester, Troy, Boston and Camden. Uncommon Schools serve a student body that is 99% African American and Hispanic, 90% low income, and 95% first-generation college applicants. Our cohort this year consists of two teachers from North Star Academy High School in Newark and Uncommon Collegiate Charter High School in Brooklyn. North Star has been widely-renowned as one of the highest performing schools in New Jersey and the nation, hailing a 100% college matriculation rate and closing the urban achievement gap in every metric, including the NJ HSPA, SAT, and AP. Uncommon Collegiate Charter High School, while in its early years, is posting similar results. Uncommon’s success rests on three pillars:  data driven instruction, student culture, and instructional leadership. Every minute of the day is used to help our students to achieve academically and personally. Our goal is to help our children be legitimately successful, from real gratification from real learning and real work. They must see and believe that they can achieve. Success increases belief, and belief will motivate them to work for greater success. As a team, we will bring a drive to inspire a love of STEM in our scholars and a burning passion to close the achievement gap. We are so excited to be a part of this fellowship, and we look forward to learning from and collaborating with our peer educators!

New Mexico

Santa Rosa High School

Introduction: Our team consists of Breezy Gutierrez, Adam Sanchez, and Kenneth Flores and we teach at Santa Rosa High School in Santa Rosa, New Mexico.  Our school is located in a rural community with a population of about 2,540 and is the county seat of Guadalupe County which includes the small towns and villages that surround it.  The total population of Guadalupe County is 3,800 and is ranked the lowest, 33 out of 33 counties, when it comes to economic development and salary ranges.  Since New Mexico is vast and wide most of our students are bused an hour each way from these surrounding areas. There are not very many career options, opportunities, or resources in Santa Rosa, which also shows that there are almost none in the surrounding villages.  Hospitality and lodging are the main areas of business in Santa Rosa, probably since it is situated on I-40 which is one of the main interstates in the United States.  Community members and students who are looking for jobs have many options at the local restaurants and motels but there are limited vacancies in government and other career-oriented jobs.  Our high school has a population of 160, with a staff of 14.  Since we are small, we are all responsible for teaching multiple subjects and having other coaching and sponsorship responsibilities. Our district is classified as 100% Free and Reduced Lunch and our ethnicity comprises of 98% Hispanic and the rest is less than 1% Native American, White, and African-American.  Most of our students’ families are comprised of single parent households and in most cases, the students are raised by their grandparents or other family members.  We strive to support our students in any way we can because we know their lives are difficult, but we hold high expectations and push our kids in a direction that is educational-oriented.  Our ultimate goals, as teachers, is to provide many opportunities for our students, hold them accountable for their actions, expose them to enriching ideas, and prepare them for life.

New York

Achievement First Brooklyn High School

Introduction: We teach at a public charter school in the Crown Heights community of Brooklyn, New York. While the majority of our students live in Brooklyn, the other four boroughs are also represented in our school. A major part of our school’s identity is our students’ pride in their African American, Afro-Caribbean and Latin American ethnicity, which is undoubtedly reflected in their values and drive for excellence. 

We represent #TeamMath and #TeamUpperSchool! Emma currently teaches Pre-Calculus and will loop up with her students next year to teach AP Calculus. Sofia currently teaches Algebra 2 and will teach Algebra 2 and Pre-Calculus next year. Both of us are passionate about incorporating our students gender and racial identities in their perspective about themselves as mathematicians. In doing so, we are committed to facilitating student centered  mathematical discussions and explorations to drive true content understanding and application.

We both feel that we will bring our unquestionable swag and style to the Hollyhock Fellow cohort…but on a serious note, we excited to push discussions through the lenses of race, class, and gender. The intersections of these lines of difference impact students as learners and educators of each other, and also impact and teachers as educators and learners from students.

Bronx High School for the Visual Arts

Introduction: The mission of Bronx High School for the Visual Arts is to provide a quality education program in and through the arts that emphasizes critical thinking, student engagement and deep curricular knowledge necessary for authentic student achievement and for meeting State standards. We believe that this will be accomplished by working collaboratively with parents and the community to provide students with challenging programs that reflect high expectations and promote excellence in a safe, nurturing environment.

The whole school community most especially the teachers are committed to working towards the accomplishment of this mission. Consequently, it challenges us to avail ourselves of opportunities that allow us to grow professionally and enhance our skills and knowledge to work collaboratively. These are our team’s goals in joining this Fellowship. Our team is comprised of Rowena Renon-Adalla, Living Environment and Forensic Science Teacher; Judith Jackman, Special Education Living Environment and ICT (Integrated Co-Teaching) Living Environment Teacher; James Winslow, Special Education Social Science and ICT Social Science Teacher.

Our team will bring our passion for teaching and our commitment to developing our students as lifelong learners. We look forward to having authentic experiences, interactions and learning in this Hollyhock Fellowship!

Coney Island Prep High School

Introduction: Coney Island Prep's mission is to ensure that 100% of its students can access the college and career of their choice. As the first charter school located in south Brooklyn, the community of Coney Island houses diverse and thriving neighborhoods rich in culture and history. Taking students from all five boroughs of New York City, Coney Island Prep High School is committed to helping students realize their dreams through a strong academic focus and a rigorous college preparatory curriculum. CIPHS is a growing (we're small but mighty) school currently housing 180 lovely students in a 9th and 10th grade, with the plan to be a full-fledged high school in the 2016-2017 school year, when we will graduate our first cohort of college-bound students. As two classroom teachers who have spent the past few years at working here, we have absolutely fallen in love with our students, their families, and the community at large. As math and science teachers, we work on cultivating strong and deliberate STEM skills in concert with high academic standards, data-driven instructional practices, and classrooms built on trust and respect. We drive to produce students who are deep and critical thinkers, but also ones who are kind and care for those around them. To do this, we have been working diligently to improve our skills as teachers for the sake of our kids, and we share the common belief that all of our "kiddos" are capable of great and powerful things, both now and in the future. We're excited to be considered as part of the fellowship, and we look forward to linking arms with the common goal of improving education for every kid everywhere.

Eagle Academy for Young Men

Introduction: Eagle Academy for Young Men at Ocean Hill is a single-sex public middle and high school committed to serving young men of color, a group that has been historically under-served and disenfranchised by our education system. Sean McFadden, Madison Payton and Wendy Yau entered Eagle as new teachers ready to change the world in the fall of 2013. With Sean’s interests with rocks (Earth Science), Madison with books (ELA), and Wendy with anything involving numbers (Math), as a collective we represent teachers who have a strong passion for our content and collaboration across the subject areas. We believe that scholars should feel as if all subjects are part of one giant fabric, woven together to create a cloak of understood knowledge that is interrelated. We hope to bring back the necessary tools for other teachers to feel confident and supported inside the classroom. We also want to encourage across curriculum building among educators. We hope to bring understanding to our Hollyhock Fellows and key strategies to educating boys of color from the inner city. 

Khalil Gibran International Academy High School

Introduction: Khalil Gibran International Academy HS (KGIA) is located in Brooklyn, New York.  KGIA is a school of less than 200 students, 99% of whom qualify for free or reduced lunch.  In addition, roughly 35% of our student population is comprised of English Language Learners (ELLs) and 15% are students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs).  Our school is unique in that students are required to take Arabic as a second language.  Through our English and Arabic language program, students graduate with the bilingual and bi-literate skills needed for multicultural contexts.  As of the spring of 2014, KGIA officially became an accredited International Baccalaureate (IB) school.  As IB teachers (SL Biology/HL Psychology), we are excited to be part of a prestigious international community. 

Our goal as teachers is to develop, maintain, and graduate life-long learners who have a deep understanding of different cultural perspectives, a love of learning and a desire for excellence with integrity.  As 9th grade Living Environment (Biology) co-teachers, we promote holistic student development by supporting children to grow socially, emotionally, physically, and intellectually.  The heart of our curriculum focuses on academically rigorous, standards-based, data-driven, differentiated instruction that prepares students for higher education and fulfilling life-long careers.  We are dedicated to providing a diverse, supportive, student-centered, and collaborative learning environment where all students reach their full potential and grow into responsible, global leaders who will impact the world around them.

Knowledge and Power Preparatory Academy International High School

Introduction: KAPPA International High School was founded in 2007 as an unscreened public Bronx high school dedicated to bringing a rigorous IB quality education to all students. The IB, or International Baccalaureate Program, is an intense course of study in multiple disciplines designed for students across the globe.  KAPPA is one of only three public high schools in the Bronx, and the only unscreened of those, to offer IB.  Now in its eighth year, KAPPA has nearly 500 students sharing a single hall of six-school complex. These students are 60% Latino, 30% Black, and 10% of other backgrounds, with a majority of the students hailing from the Dominican Republic and 89% of students receiving free lunch. Nearly 40% of our students are Special Education and/or English Language Learners.  

Our team spans a variety of disciplines, grades, and specializations from 9th grade bilingual/ESL Math/Science, to Self-Contained Algebra, to 10th grade Global History, to 11th grade IB Literature and 12th Grade IB 20th Century Topics. Because of this diversity we don’t generally get the opportunity to collaborate. The Hollyhock program will provide us with a unique chance to work together, improving our vertical and horizontal alignment to best support our various student populations. Another major goal of our team is to develop sustainable teaching practices both for ourselves and to share with our teacher teams back home.  

The Young Women's Leadership School of Astoria

​Introduction: The Young Women's Leadership School of Astoria is a single sex New York City public school for students in grades 6-12. TYWLS of Astoria is part of an establishment that nurtures the intellectual curiosity and creativity of young women by supporting the 'whole girl' in order to maximize academic achievement and postsecondary success. We use a project-based, asynchronous approach that emphasizes the importance of experiential and collaborative learning. Teachers act as coaches and mentors to encourage students in their own discovery and inquiry-based learning. We use non-traditional mastery-based learning methods of assessment that provide students with multiple opportunities to revise and revisit skills. Our grading system is based on a collection of 10 outcomes, which reflect shared skills among all disciplines.  Our team goals include further fine-tuning these outcomes to reflect common student criterion for success.  

Urban Assembly Institute of Math and Science For Young Women

Introduction: The Urban Assembly Institute of Math and Science For Young Women (UAI) is a STEM focused Middle and High School in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn. Initially the teachers were a small, tight-knit team, encouraging each other and sharing in the struggles and minor victories that arise when building something from scratch. This system of mutual support and collaboration has remained the lynchpin of the culture of the school. Our students come to us from across the five boroughs of New York City, some travelling for over an hour on their daily commute. Through our pedagogy and partnerships, UAI strives to educate the whole student. Each cohort of young women is offered access to mental and physical health services, a comprehensive Family Life and Sex Education curriculum, college planning and courses and clubs that foster female empowerment. UAI runs a student centered pedagogy called Learning Cultures. Through this style of teaching we hope to instill our students with independence, inquiry, and the ability to self regulate. Ilyana is in her fourth year of teaching and joined the UAI team last year. She strives to foster being inquisitive and a need to challenge pre-existing structures within her students. Brodie joined the UAI faculty as a career-changer during the school's 2nd year. Being present from its earliest days has provided him with the opportunity not only to continually evolve in his own classroom, but also to be instrumental in the growth of the school and the larger UAI community. Jamie was a student teacher at UAI and is going into her third year at the school. She is currently pursuing a master’s in educational technology. Our team brings experience with teacher driven professional development as well as holistic and student centered learning.

North Carolina

West Charlotte High School

Introduction: At West Charlotte High School we strive to uphold the county-wide and school specific mission statements, goals, and expectations.  To be specific, our district’s mission is to provide any and all students with the best education available ANYWHERE.  It is our hope that we prepare EVERY student to lead a rich, productive, and meaningful life.  One of our most current endeavors is raising the achievement gap by promoting and increasing literacy skills in all grade levels.  The Charlotte Mecklenburg School district seeks to maximize student achievement by every student in every school.  West Charlotte also holds dear the five P.R.I.D.E. standards that insist all teachers approach education with the following in mind: proactive professionalism; respect and responsibility; integrity; discipline; and excellence.

Each department has set goals to assist the school in reaching 90% proficiency in all areas, to include graduation rates.  The group of teachers attending the Stanford Hollyhock Fellowship Program is eager to discover new tools, strategies, and resources for aiding in meeting the challenges previously set forth.  The three candidates, Ronald King; Ashleigh Joseph; and Albertia Burgess, represent the Social Studies, Science and English Departments.  At West Charlotte High, we WILL restore the ROAR!  Let’s go LIONS!


Power Center Academy High School

Introduction: Katie, Tiffany, Jon and Julia teach at Power Center Academy High School in Memphis, Tennessee.  Power Center Academy is a charter school in the Gestalt Community Schools Network.  Our student body is made up of 566 scholars; 99% are African-American. 71% receive free or reduced price lunch.  PCAHS scholars and staff strive to become leaders of positive change in their communities by learning to think creatively, problem solve effectively and serve joyfully.  Memphis is a diverse, constantly changing city that historically has struggled to meet the educational needs of the community.  To cope with this, we have experimented with a number of differentiation strategies and blended learning techniques to meet the needs of scholars at all levels.  As a cohort, we hope to share our experiences as well as learn and grow from others.   

Soulsville Charter School

Introduction: For the past 10 years, The Soulsville Charter School has aimed to provide students in the Memphis area high quality learning in a music-rich environment. Our school was born out of the legacy of Stax Records and works to keep that legacy alive today. As a staff, we believe in reflective teaching practices and, as a result, over our collective tenture at the school, we have each sought to find innovative ways to engage our students and enhance their learning. Last year, Erin raised over $10,000 to purchase computers for a standards-based learning program in her classroom. For the past three years, John has lead teams of students on exploratory trips to the American Southwest, as well as Paris, Rome, and London. Teresa has brought data to life for her students and, as a result, significantly raised her students' Algebra II scores. Janessa coaches the debate team which competed at Nationals in 2014. We look forward Zach Seagle and his rich teaching experience joining our team! 


Seagoville High School

​Introduction: Jasymne Alexander, Kristin Alvarado and Cirina Espinoza met and fell in love with teaching as part of Teach For America's 2013 Dallas corps members. All three teachers currently teach at Seagoville High School in Dallas, Texas. During their two short years at Seagoville High, these three teachers have held numerous leadership positions and produced outstanding scores in their district and state exams. Seagoville is 1 of 34 high schools in Dallas ISD, and a relatively small school with a diverse student body. However, because it is part of such a large district, the school faces significant financial hardship. Ms. Alexander, Ms. Alvarado, and Ms. Espinoza have not allowed funds or lack of materials to prevent their kids from receiving rigorous instruction day in and day out. As a biology teacher, Kristin Alvarado has worked hard to find materials and donations that allow her students to experience hands on scientific learning. Jasymne Alexander and Cirina Espinoza have worked together as the English I team and they have continuously promoted literacy outside of their classroom, as well as pushing its importance in all classes across the campus. These three women are not only teachers at Seagoville High School, but they are also members of the community; you can find them supporting their students at games, competitions and other school functions!

Southwest Early College High School

Introduction: Although the Southwest Early College High School (SWECHS) Hollyhock Fellowship team is a diverse lot, we also “found out that each one of us (to quote The Breakfast Club) is a[n] ...a second generation Biology teacher- Monica Brown, and… a self-proclaimed overachiever that celebrated his midlife crisis by becoming an English teacher- Paul Perez.  We teach less than eight miles away from Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico and within the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (PSJA) Independent School District in South Texas to a population comprised of nearly 1,800 almost exclusively Hispanic students, 700 of which are categorized as “Limited English Proficient.”  Southwest’s location was purposefully chosen in order to optimize PSJAISD’s “College for All” vision through which all high school-age students, regardless of grade level, ability, or familial financial status, can pursue higher education. Despite the challenging demographics, we attest the Paulo Freire idea that “attempting to liberate the oppressed without their reflective participation in the act of liberation is to treat them as objects that must be saved from a burning building.” Thus Southwest has the potential to become one of the most promising, innovative, and fastest growing comprehensive high schools in PSJAISD and Texas if both our teachers and students become reflective co-participants in the liberation or learning process. 

Uplift Heights Preparatory

Introduction: Monica Gaines and Mary-Grace MacNeil are currently second-year corps members serving with Teach for America in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. They teach at Uplift Heights Preparatory in West Dallas, a charter school serving one of the highest-needs communities in the Metroplex. Heights Preparatory is a Title I school, attended primarily by a Hispanic and African-American population, most of whom are on free or reduced lunch. Monica and Mary-Grace are deeply passionate that every child, despite life circumstances, deserves an equally rigorous education, and strive to push rigor on a daily basis in their classrooms.  Their work with their students at Heights is devoted to the mission of ending educational inequity, and closing the achievement gap. They draw upon the life experiences of their students to make content relevant and interesting to their classes. Monica and Mary-Grace seek to develop the character of their students by instilling in them a great passion and curiosity for learning, traits that will benefit them in future high school courses as well as in college.  Having taught for two years, they are ready and excited to further develop their teaching and vision for their classrooms and students through their participation with the Hollyhock Fellowship.


Freedom High School

Introduction: Freedom High School in Woodbridge, VA has one of the largest populations of English Language Learners and Special Education students in all of Prince William County. Our student body consists of various cultural backgrounds and individuals growing up in a community that is predominantly low SES. Poverty and absenteeism are issues directly affecting student achievement every year. The Freedom team of Matthew Harmon, Scott Kelly, JahB Prescott, and Lauren Rega; we represent the four core content areas. Our goal is to learn new instructional practices that we can implement as a team with our colleagues to ensure teacher retention. In addition, we want to develop student achievement in order to produce a higher on-time graduation rate at Freedom High School. 


Mariner High School

Introduction: Mariner High School is one of two major high schools in the Mukilteo School District. MHS, during the 2013-14 school year, had 2,147 students who are very diverse—ethnically, linguistically, and socioeconomically, with 65.1% designated for Free or Reduced Lunch. We have 13.5% of our students enrolled in Special Education and another 1.3% on 504 plans. Despite the poverty, the language barriers, the diversity, the sporadic technology deficit at home and the problems that do still occasionally flare from such tensions, Mariner High School is an incredible place that has won many awards recently—for test scores, for art, for English, for math, for robotics, for DECA, and for our principal.

Our goals as a team are to make students hungry to learn, make connections, gain perspective, think critically and independently, and make informed decisions to lead a happy, productive life. We want to hold our students accountable for their learning and inspire them to take ownership within the classroom, with the content, and within their own lives. We have experience creating classroom environments in which students are comfortable taking risks and learning from each other. Outside of the classroom, whether we are coaching or advising clubs, we build trusting relationships with students by being a part of the school community. We are excited to be inspired and grow from our experiences this summer.

Renton High School

Introduction: We teach at Renton High School in Renton, WA. RHS is a diverse school with at least 30% of our population Asian, 30% of our population African American, and 20% Latino. There over 80 languages represented in our district. We have just become an International Baccalaureate school with the goal of increasing rigor, improving access to college and careers, and closing the achievement gap for ALL students. Annie teaches Languages Arts, Allison teaches Social Studies, and Dustin teaches Science. Next year will be the first year each of us will be teaching an IB course. Our overarching goal as classroom teachers will be scaffolding all of our students’ skills and knowledge to prepare them for the IB curriculum. The unique characteristics that we will contribute are our willingness to learn from others, friendliness and sense of humor.   

Washington, DC

E.L. Haynes Public Charter School

Introduction: E.L. Haynes Public Charter School, located in the northwest quadrant of the District of Columbia, was founded in 2004 and currently serves 1,100 students from grades Pre-K through twelve. E.L. Haynes is named for Dr. Euphemia Lofton Haynes - the first African-American woman to receive a doctorate in mathematics and a DC public school teacher for 47 years, which has inspired our program to be math and science driven.  The diversity of our student body reflects the demographics of our city: 66% of E.L. Haynes students are economically disadvantaged and 21% are English Language Learners; E.L. Haynes' High School student body is 54% African-American, 42% Latino, 1% Caucasian and 3% Asian and Native American/Pacific Islander.

Although the school started in 2004, this past school year was the first year we served all grades, and will graduate our first 12th grade class on June 20th! As teachers at the high school, our primary focus is to “prepare each student, regardless of race, socioeconomic status and home language for the college of his or her choice.” We serve students from various backgrounds that all enter our school with specific needs and our goal is to not only teach them academic skills that will make them excellent students, but to teach them social and wellness skills in order to prepare them to be successful in all areas of life.  Our team is comprised of 4 determined teachers with teaching experience ranging from 2- 6 years in the areas of mathematics, science and social studies. We are looking forward to working together with other teachers in the HH program to continue to develop our craft so we can offer the very best learning environment for our students.