Secondary Teaching & Leadership (6-12)

My research in Academic Optimism and Community and Parent Engagement is cited in the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders by the Chief Council of State School Officers (USA).

*English Teacher, 7th grade, Binghamton City School District (September 2021-June 2022)

Because of Covid, my family had to depart Australia much earlier than anticipated. We have returned to NY and have in upstate New York.

·       Engaging youths in improving written and spoken communication, as well as the importance of being a positive force of change at home and in our community. I teach 84 students.

·       Workshop Facilitator: District Wide DEI PD Implementation: Implicit Bias & Cultural Competency

                                                                                                 Language & Micro Aggressions

·       Faculty Sponsor: Student LGBTQ+ GSA club, meets 3 times weekly

*National Center for Urban School Transformation, San Diego State University, Research Intern (Summer 2007), National Fellow (2008/9)

As a National Fellow, provided expertise and evaluation for the national Excellence in Education awards, as well as assisted the Center in research dissemination of the California Continuation High School study conducted during my internship. Supported Southern California PI Dr. Lynne Perez in data collection through school visits, interviews with students and principals, county and state officials on California’s primary dropout prevention education option: the Continuation High School. Partnered with Stanford University. Funded by the John Irvine Foundation.

*Editorial Board Member, American Secondary Education Journal (ASEJ), 2010-2017 (with last issue).

American Secondary Education

*Substitute teacher & Summer School Middle School English teacher, Williamsburg/James City County, Virginia Schools. James Blair Middle School, Berkeley Middle School and Warhill High School, May 2005-2007.

Student Created Logo, 2003

*Secondary English Teacher & English Department Chair, Westchester Manhattanville Magnet Academy (WMMA), June 2003 – August 2005.

Purchase, NY

Key Responsibilities:

  • Taught 5 small classes (25 students each) in English Language Arts(ELA), aligned to the ELA Core Curriculum of the State of New York, years 9-11.
  • Invited to serve as Policy Board Member of the Edith Winthrop Teacher Center of Westchester County, NY, as well as the Building Leadership Committee of Manhattanville College.
  • Managed budgets, contracts and other material resources for English Language Arts.
  • Designed, developed and implemented schoolwide professional development on Project Based Learning and Differentiating Instruction based on teacher needs.
  • Facilitated and advised students in the creation of the school’s first yearbook.
  • Adhered to state and federal policy requirements in providing the Least Restrictive Environment for students while providing instruction to meet their various needs.
  • Implemented and evaluated peer teaching across the school to further build capacity.
  • Commissioned and co-developed schoolwide PBL units to further integrate student learning across multiple subjects. 
  • Served students as a mentor in ‘homeroom’ class each day to ensure students’ needs were being met.
  • Created a process to improve administrative functions of the department to improve efficiencies at the school and district level.
  • Provided advice for Year 11 Regents Examination preparation for students to District Executives.
  • Attended Individual Education Plan meetings and provided appropriate advice and follow through for my students with disabilities.
  • Provided school-approved out of school cultural activities for students (eg museum trips, Broadway plays and behind the scenes with actors)
  • Highlights of Students’ Syllabi:
    • Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
    • 1984 and Animal Farm by George Orwell
    • Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
    • Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
    • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass
    • Hiroshima by John Hersey
    • Units on Critical Consumerism & Media Literacy, Journalism and Globalization

New York City Department of Education: 

*Middle & High School Teacher Trainer

New York Urban Teachers, The New Teacher Project (2003-2004)

Manhattan, NY

*English 9, 10, 11 & Journalism Teacher, Regents Exam Tutor

Herbert H. Lehman High School (2001-2003) &

*Literacy Teacher, 6th grade (8th grade Saturday School)

Intermediate School 158 (2000-2001)

Bronx, NY

Key Responsibilities:

  • As a teacher trainer, I implemented The New Teacher Project’s curriculum around classroom management, instructional design and delivery, building positive classroom culture and self-management to new-to-the City teachers.
  • As a high school teacher, I taught 5 sections per day (34 students per class) English, aligned to the English Language Arts Core Curriculum of the State of New York, years 9-11. Also taught Journalism and produced the school newspaper (school size=5000 students; 500 teachers).
  • Collective bargaining experience as a UFT Building Delegate during protracted 2002 Teachers’ Contract Negotiations.
  • Attended arts-enriched professional development put on by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • Initiated curriculum-integrated arts opportunities with 6th grade students through my partnerships with the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Carnegie Hall.
  • Provided students enriching out-of-school activities to extend classroom learning (eg. After reading Night, we visited the Museum of Jewish Heritage in lower Manhattan.)
  • Coordinated after school English Regents Exam tutoring, T, W and Th.
  • As a 6th grade teacher, I worked with 5 classes of 15-18 students who were at least three years ‘behind’ in their reading and writing to improve literacy; by the end of the year, all students tested ‘at grade level’ on the NYC 6th Grade ELA exam.
  • Established and maintained a relationship with the Link UP! Program at Carnegie Hall to collaborate on a music/ELA integrated project on Dvořák’s 9th Symphony; organised trip for 24 students to Carnegie Hall to participate.
  • Attended Individual Education Plan meetings and provided appropriate advice and follow through for my students with disabilities.

*English Teacher, 8th & 9th grade ELA, July 1999 – April 2000.

Rhinecliff Union Free School, Rhinecliff, NY. Holy Cross Campus

Key Responsibilities:

  • Taught five sections of English Language Arts to students in a class sized no larger than 15, as this was a juvenile detention facility.
  • Regularly communicated with school psychologist, residential psychologist and social workers to ensure the needs of the students were being met both at school and in the residences.
  • Advocated for students in Individual Education Plan meetings (typically no carer or parent was present) to ensure appropriate advice and follow through were allocated for students with disabilities, which was 90% of our school population.
  • Participated in conflict resolution workshops and mental health workshops to better serve the needs of my students. 
  • Facilitated after-care for two students released during my tenure in an attempt to reduce recidivism. 
From a student at WMMA ~ Purchase, NY 2005