Joining the Hollyhock community, we look forward to collaborating with teachers across the country, and learning what other schools are doing to retain their highly successful teachers. It is our hope that many of the strategies and methods that these schools use to support their teachers can be brought back to Agua Fria, in order to ensure that every teacher in every content specialty feels supported in the classroom. We aim to persist and thrive as early career teachers. We commit to reseeding excellence in education through supporting new teachers in our learning community.
Community Charter Early College High School is a Title 1 charter in the San Fernando Valley dedicated to partnering with parents in order to uplift our communities and explicitly prepare our students for college success. Since the founding of our school, we have served as a community exemplar for graduating a high percentage of our students, many of which have gone on to four-year universities. However, many of our students fail to complete their undergraduate coursework and struggle to graduate on time. As a team of likeminded individuals across contents, we hope to better prepare our students for the rigor and responsibilities required at the university level. We want our students not only to get to college, but to graduate and stand as a examples for the rest of our community, as that is one of the principles of our school mission. We hope to strengthen our own practice and bring back the strategies and structures for the rest of our colleagues in order to instill a strong culture of cross-curricular collaboration across grade levels. Our team is aligned in purpose and we’re excited for what this summer will bring!
We teach at Fremont High, an urban public school located in the Fruitvale District--the heart of multiple, large immigrant communities in East Oakland. Our school is approximately one-third Newcomer students who are recent arrivals to the United States. The most common languages spoken at home include Spanish, Mam, Arabic, and Vietnamese comprising of about 64% of the total student population. Within our mainstream classrooms, approximately 10% of students have an IEP.
As a team of dedicated teachers, our overarching goal is to gain the professional development experience which allows us to transform our classrooms from teacher-centered spaces to student-centered ones, where our youth are doing most of the cognitive work. We want to meet all students where they are and promote equitable outcomes, regardless of prior educational experience or learning disabilities. It is imperative that we support our English Learners to engage meaningfully in complex texts, to be critical thinkers, and to communicate effectively through writing and speaking. Our ultimate hope is to nurture a community of learners which is eager to take risks and make mistakes without relying on constant teacher validation. As a team, we want to be able to support and retain new teachers facing similar dilemmas at our school site.
Carolyn Delfino is a second-year Newcomer social studies teacher, Joey Notaro is a second-year mathematics teacher, Maya Shweiky is a third-year English language arts teacher, and Agnes Zapata is seventh-year English language arts teacher. We’re here to build!
Humanitas Academy of Art and Technology or HAAT is a small pilot school located in East Los Angeles serving 400 diverse students with a staff of 18 teachers. The beauty and struggle of working at a small pilot is that we have a small staff that works very closely together. Our small content departments are usually composed of two to three teachers. The Hollyhock fellowship will allow us to expand our own professional network so that we can continue to build a more extensive bank of resources for the school as a whole. We anticipate that participating in Hollyhock will allow us the space to reflect on our pedagogy, focus on interdisciplinary work, and to solidify the teaching strategies that will allow us to excel with the common core. We have experience in interdisciplinary teaching, running a full-inclusion program, utilizing restorative justice practices, integrating a one-to-one laptop program, and working with community partners.
Orthopaedic Hospital Medical Magnet High School is located in downtown Los Angeles. We are adjacent to Los Angeles Trade Tech. Community College, where our students have the opportunity to take a college course per semester. We also have partnerships with the Orthopedic Institute for Children, California Hospital, USC, and Metro to provide internships and job opportunities for our students. Our demographic is mostly Latin@, with a small percentage of Asian and African American students. All Ortho students are eligible for free breakfast and lunch.
As teachers, our overarching goals are to push our students into higher levels of thinking and questioning while guiding them to be respectful, hardworking, and kind citizens. We implement cohesive and culturally relevant lessons that challenge our students’ literacy and writing abilities.
What we will bring to the Hollyhock community is our eagerness to implement what we learn into our small school; we believe that we can truly effect change and reshape our school culture in the Hollyhock model. Additionally, our team itself is diverse with different levels of experience in teaching and education. A common thread among us is our belief in a socially just pedagogy that is relevant, useful, and equitable for all students.
Santee Education Complex is a secondary school located in South Los Angeles, California. When the campus opened on July 5, 2005, it was the first new four-year high school to open in LAUSD in over 35 years. Beginning with the 2008/2009 school year, Santee teachers and administrators voted to join the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, a newly formed organization dedicated to bringing the best instructional and operational practices into the classrooms of inner-city schools. As science teachers at our school, we often find that our students come to our classes not prepared to tackle the necessary material. Many of the students have never participated in laboratory experiments, or written laboratory reports before, so we have to teach them the structure along with the concepts. We hope that with the integration of NGSS, we will be able to collaboratively create meaningful lessons and utilize useful strategies that address our students’ needs and yet still challenge them to excel in Science practice in addition to content. Our goal in attending the Hollyhock Fellowship program is to collaborate with other educators and to build upon our knowledge of such strategies to benefit our students and inform our practice. In return, we offer an open mind and willingness to collaborate with others in the program to give back to the larger educational community.
Social Justice Humanitas Academy (SJHA) is an LAUSD pilot school consisting of approximately 530 students and 29 teachers. We are one of four small schools on the Cesar Chavez Learning Academy campus in San Fernando, California. As a pilot school, teachers have autonomy over curriculum through our Instructional Leadership Team (ILT). Over 90% of our students receive free and reduced lunch. Our vision is that all members of our learning community (students, teachers, staff) achieve self-actualization. A key way in which we strive to realize this vision is through interdisciplinary teaching and planning, which helps students make meaningful and relevant connections between various content areas and their lived experience. Through Hollyhock, we aim to strengthen the connections between the humanities and STEM as a means of helping our students overcome the opportunity gap. At Hollyhock, we will bring a sense of leadership that we have each gained as a result of our experiences at a teacher-led school. We will also bring a compassionate culture that lends itself to developing the humanity and dignity of students thereby propelling their academic development. Thus, we are able to bring new curricular ideas to the table, all the while remaining firmly rooted in our sense of purpose as educators. Since SJHA practices distributed leadership, we will bring a sense of leadership that each of us has gained at our school; moreover, what we learn from the Hollyhock Fellowship will be shared amongst our staff.
Serving the predominantly Latino and Asian communities in the Southeast of San Jose, Yerba Buena represents a vibrant union of students, their families, and staff from a diverse set of backgrounds and experiences. Our students are Warriors in and out of the classroom, facing and overcoming academic and social injustices that marginalized communities too often face. Currently, our campus is undergoing major renovations that are impacting students, teachers, counselors, and administrators alike and, in addition to these uncertain and cramped circumstances, our limited space is shared with multiple schools operating on campus. Despite these challenges, we are committed to growing and learning in the teaching profession in solidarity with our students. We look forward to finding ways to make our lessons more rigorous, equitable, and meaningful for all. Moreover, we are devoted to celebrating diversity and honoring the unique needs and educational experiences of our students which, from one student to the next, will necessarily differ from our own. As we continue to strive to address the cultural needs of our students, we look forward to the opportunity to learn and grow with the Hollyhock Community over the next two years and beyond.
Our team this year consists of two math teachers, a history teacher, and a science teacher. We are all passionately committed to our school and our students and are life-long students in our respective content areas. We recognize that our students face unique challenges and circumstances that force us to get creative in how we push every student’s learning to the next level. Our goals are to explore new ways to foster more equity in the classroom and differentiate instruction and engagement to better prepare students for an ever changing world. We’re excited to do this in a collaborative context and looking forward to learning with and from each of you.
We teach at Charlestown High School which is an open enrollment school in an urban neighborhood in northern Boston. As far as racial demographics go, our school is made up of 40% African American students, 30% Hispanic, 6% white, and 20% Asian. Additionally, 25% of our student body is designated as needing Special Education services, 40% are ELLs, and 88% are eligible for free or reduced lunch. The point here is simply that our teaching context is extremely diverse in culture, needs, and incoming skill sets. In all honesty, numbers aside, our team goals are intentionally grandiose. Being that we are all on the English content team our goals focus around building a culture where kids can grow and develop their literacy skills. The vast majority come to us well-below grade level, and often ostracized from other educational systems. With this reality in mind, we dream of creating an educational space where students love to learn while also facing their demons and unflinchingly addressing the problematic spectres that haunt our society. As a team we all come from different educational backgrounds and experiences, but yet we all seem to align in our passion for teaching. Yes, the reasons we teach are varied and our approaches are different, but in the end we think our passion is what we bring to any space. (From left to right: Natasha Srivastava, Caroline Smith, Jules Perez, and Cesar Ortega Jr.)
Rachel, Andrew, Ben and Charlotte are math teachers from St. Paul, Minnesnowta who are excited to join the Hollyhock community of passionate educators. At Humboldt High School, students come from a variety of backgrounds, bringing diverse experiences and strengths. More than half of our students speak a language other than English at home, and it’s not uncommon to have five different languages represented in one classroom. Research and experience tells us that students learn math by talking about math, especially with their peers; therefore, we are excited about learning how to deepen student understanding through discourse with the added challenge of having a high English Language Learner population. We are proud implementers of AVID and ENVoY (Educational Non-Verbal Yardsticks) to maximize engagement and achievement, as well as PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies) to promote a positive school climate. We hope to bring our ability to make people laugh, our commitment to build positive relationships with students and colleagues, and our desire to grow.
The Bronx Academy for Software Engineering (BASE) is a four year Career & Technical Education high school situated within the most underserved borough in New York City. At BASE, we believe that education enables our students to cross boundaries, to challenge the status quo, and to realize their own agency and autonomy. Our goal is that the Hollyhock fellowship will help our team ensure that the principles we avow live within our teaching every day. We want to grow our practice to become more aware, more responsive, and more intentional. We’d like to develop practices around equity and literacy that help students read the world. What we bring to Hollyhock is our perspective as educators who are committed to diverse learners and students with disabilities. The members of our team are Justin Engles, Alexandros Orphanides and Gabriella Mucilli. Justin teaches Special Education in the Humanities, he comes to teaching via creative writing. Alex also teaches Special Education in the Humanities and works as a freelance writer. Gabriella supports our English Language Learners as the ENL teacher and ENL program coordinator. As teachers of special education and English to speakers of other languages, we're uniquely situated to impact students across classrooms and disciplines by imbuing our literacy work with the insights we gain this summer.
Our classrooms at Harvest Collegiate, a small public, unscreened high school in New York City, are some of the most geographically, racially and socioeconomically diverse spaces the City: nearly 60 percent of our students are on free or reduced lunch and over a quarter of our students have IEPs. The students reflect the diversity of all five boroughs, with students of color comprising nearly 70 percent of the learners. We are part of the New York Performance Standards Consortium, meaning instead of standardized tests, our students work toward significant projects, like a mini-PhD thesis for the high school level, which is presented publicly. The Consortium also empowers teachers to write their own curricula and assessments. Danny and Julia are both second-year math teachers, who are part of the Math for America Fellowship. Danny teaches Statistics and Algebra II to Upper House students (11th and 12th grade) and Julia teaches Geometry to Lower House students (9th and 10th grade). Andy del Calvo is in his fourth year of teaching social studies and previously taught in the North Bronx. He teaches Lower House history courses on Revolutions, Genocide, and Colonialism and is the chair of the Social Studies Department. We are all interested in expanding our pedagogy and thinking about how to systematically create greater social justice within our school.
Health Education and Research Occupations High School (also known as HERO High) is a CTE 9-14 school located in the heart of the South Bronx. Opening its doors to students in September of 2013, we are an unscreened school whose mission is to prepare students for a future in health care through our partnership with Hostos Community College and Montefiore Medical Center. Students are encouraged to take advantage of our full program to earn a degree in nursing or community health through Hostos. We have an advisory model where advisors are assigned a group of students and stay with them through graduation. Students take college courses as early as 10th grade, and they are expected to meet the state requirements for graduation from high school. Our team is a group of educators ranging in experience and disciplines. Adam Sawamura is a 2nd year US History teacher who brings social justice into his classroom by teaching different perspectives of history. Angelique Tarazi is a fourth year Living Environment teacher whose goal is to introduce students to science by applying concepts to the real world, and being more kinesthetic. Lastly, Deanna Bowman is a 7th year English teacher whose main focus is to implement different learning practices that allow students to connect with texts that, on the surface, seem out of reach for them. We believe all students can excel and enjoy learning. Our team goal is to find new practices to incorporate in our classrooms and to assure that all our students, whether they be ELL, students with special needs and those that are gifted, can reach their full potential.
Gina Le is a founding staff member of AMS III and a 4th-year English/Special Education teacher who has taught 9th grade English, American Literature, and AP English Language & Composition through a lens of social equity and cultural relevance. Erin Rougeux is a 4th year English teacher who began her teaching career alongside the establishment of AMS III in 2013. Erin has taught Reading Intervention, Creative Writing, AP Literature, and 10th grade English. Her goal is to prepare her tenth graders for the English Regents while focusing on skills that students will need for future success. Rigoberto Sargeant is a 2nd year Special Education English and History Teacher and was one of the founding members of AMS III as a Parent and Community Coordinator. Rigoberto has taught 9th and 10th grade Global, U.S. History, Economics, and 9th grade English. He is also our campus’ Junior Varsity Basketball coach. His goal is to prepare students for postsecondary success through rigorous classroom and social opportunities. Anne Desrosiers has been at AMS III for one year serving in the Social Studies Department and contributing her expertise in providing experiential and international opportunities to low-income, underrepresented youth. As a team, we are looking to leverage our skills and passions with Hollyhock’s resources and collaboration to nurture a more positive and motivating student culture, develop authentic rigor, and work to provide equal opportunities for all of our students to find success.
Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School (WHEELS) is an Expeditionary Learning school, which focuses on learning through experience and depth of understanding over breadth of knowledge. We are just 10 years old and located in the vibrant neighborhood of Washington Heights in New York City. We are currently moving towards performance and project based assessments, which will free our students from the requirements of standardized testing. Our school is very small (less than 400 students in the high school) and so we are all highly collaborative across grades and disciplines. Our school prepares students for college and life beyond holistically through a dual-focus on rigorous academics and developing of habits of work and learning (HOWLs). Our goal in the classroom as teachers is to reach and support all students where they are academically and emotionally and we strive for social justice and equity in education. Our team’s experience in EL learning, collaboration and passion for social justice are all things that we will contribute to the Hollyhock Fellowship Program this summer, and in the years to come.
Our team mainly serves the juniors and seniors at our school and consists of Kristin, Justin, and Brandon. Kristin is a third-year English teacher, Justin is a second-year chemistry teacher, and Brandon is a fourth-year math teacher. Our overarching goal as teachers is to transfer a love of learning to the kids we teach and to instill a drive within them to advocate for themselves, be heard, and contribute to the society in which they live. We hope to return to our classrooms with a new sense of who we are as educators and facilitators within our content area and to refresh our pedagogy to best reach our students. Having passion for our content and for our students’ success is paramount to what we do every day and we will bring that to the Hollyhock community.
Carmen Schools of Science and Technology is a network of charter schools located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The mission of Carmen is to graduate all students as critical thinkers and self-directed learners, prepared for success in college, meaningful careers, community involvement, and family life. Carmen currently has three campuses located throughout the city of Milwaukee serving a diverse study body. Our instruction is student centered with culturally relevant pedagogy, student-led conferences, and community involvement. Even though our network is dispersed across the city, we strive to put students first, collaborate always, and let data drive our instruction with a growth mindset. As a team we represent Math (Ashley and Allison), Social Studies (Dylan), and English (Ashlei) where we have the pleasure of teaching students, grades 9-12. Ashley is a fourth year teacher and 2012 Teach For America (Detroit) and City Year (Milwaukee) Alum with a passion for Urban Education and Culver’s. Dylan is a third year teacher and Alliance for Catholic Education (Oklahoma City) Alum and lives by the airport where he likes to watch planes fly into MKE. Ashlei is a 2015 TFA Milwaukee Corps Member and City Year (Milwaukee) Alum from West Philadelphia (where she was born and raised, on the playground where she spent most of her days) where she fell in love with teaching and trap music. Allison is a 2015 TFA Milwaukee Corps Member and AmeriCorps VISTA Alum with a love of Math memes and cotton candy. As Hollyhock Fellows, our team hopes to collaborate with innovative educators from across the country in order to enhance the Carmen mission and bring back new strategies and fresh ideas to engage students in lifelong learning.