Welcome to the 2019-2020 Cohort of the Perrone-Sizer Institute for Creative Leadership
Please welcome the new cohort of the Perrone-Sizer Institute for Creative Leadership. We’re looking forward to working and learning with this amazing group and to sharing their thinking and creativity as the year unfolds.
Pathways Coordinator, Charlestown High School, Charlestown MA
Aaron currently works as the Early College Pathways Coordinator at Charlestown High School. Aaron began working at CHS as a guidance intern six years ago and has held many roles at the school including school counselor, athletic coach, and now Pathways Coordinator. Prior to working at Charlestown High School, Aaron worked at various after-school education programs including Citizen Schools and America SCORES, and in those roles, fell in love with working with students in the City of Boston. Aaron enjoys building relationships with his students and colleagues and looks forward to watching his students learn and grow every day.
Student Support Coordinator, Mary Lyon K-8, Brighton MA
Jackie was raised in North Kingstown RI. She attended Clark University in Worcester MA where she majored in Psychology and minored in Education. After working several years around Central Massachusetts as a social worker, she enrolled in graduate school at Boston College Graduate School of Social Work in 2011. As a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, she worked in different clinical settings before landing at the Mary Lyon School as Clinician for the middle school. She recently transitioned to Student Support Coordinator, working across the K-8 grade span. She enjoys cooking, going to the gym, and spending time with her husband Mike and cat Matilda.
Early Childhood Program Director, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA
Mayra is an Early Childhood Program Director. She started her work at the Boston Public Schools as a 1st grade teacher and later moved on to be one of the founding teachers at East Boston Early Education. In her current role, Mayra mentors teachers in community-based educational settings for young children in the Mayor's Universal Preschool. Mayra is a parent of three children, ages 22, 20, and 17.
Math Teacher, Putnam Avenue Upper School, Cambridge MA
Kareem’s optimistic views will guide his leadership journey and experience. He has been teaching middle school math in Cambridge Public Schools for the last three years and recently became the team leader for 6th grade. Previously, he spent three years teaching high school geometry in New Haven CT. Leadership is the next pursuit for Kareem and giving back to the community continues to be one of his main missions. He is dedicated to improving his craft and elevating his school’s climate and culture.
Music Specialist, Winthrop Elementary School, Dorchester MA
Aytul has been part of the Performing Arts Team of Boston Public Schools since 2003. She is thrilled to continue her growth as an educator through PSi. While the focus of Aytul’s career in education has been on improving educational opportunities and outcomes for at-risk students, her pedagogical approach highlights the importance of the arts competencies in other disciplines where analytical and creative thinking is necessary. Aytul worked extensively with BPS Arts Department on developing curriculums. In addition to her work in performing arts, she has also served as a data specialist and MCAS interventionist to improve instruction, resulting in a significant increase in scores at Ellison Rosa Parks Early Education School during SY 2012-13. Aytul holds a BA in English Language and Literature from Bosphorus University in Istanbul, a Magna Cum Laude Artist Diploma in Operatic Singing from the National University of Music Bucharest, a BM, Magna Cum Laude, from Berklee College of Music, and a Master’s degree in Psychology from Harvard University. Aytul lives in Newton MA with her husband and two sons, and outside of work, she is an avid traveler and collector of original art.
Math Coach, Beebe School, Malden MA
Chris is a Math Coach at the Beebe School in Malden MA, where he supports teachers with curriculum, assessment, and instruction. Chris was a 2018-2019 Teach Plus Commonwealth Fellow. He is a member of the Educator Council for The Teacher Collaborative, an organization all about bringing educators together. Additionally, Chris is a recipient of the Sontag Prize in Urban Education, which recognizes excellence in education. He graduated from UMASS Boston with a BA in Psychology and received his MEd from Cambridge College in Mathematics Education.
Resident Artist, Conservatory Lab Charter School, Dorchester MA
Josh fell in love with the violin in the 4th grade and has never looked back. Inspired by the many music educators who helped him find a sense of belonging in the orchestral ensemble, Joshua went on to pursue his Bachelor's Degree in Instrumental Music Education from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University before beginning his work as a Resident Artist at the Conservatory Lab Charter School. Wanting to build on his developing practice, Joshua recently graduated from Boston University's College of Fine Arts with a Masters in Music Education. As an educator, Joshua wants to challenge and transform the traditional ensemble model into one that not only develops technical and musical skills in his students but also serves as a space that reflects the students’ own musicking, creativity, and artistry.
Sheldon Ryan Hitchens
Chief of Staff, Timothy Smith Network, Roxbury MA
Sheldon is the Chief of Staff at the Timothy Smith Network, a foundation focused on technology accessibility in Boston MA. Sheldon formally began his career as an educator in the 9th Ward of New Orleans where he served as an expanded learning teacher and taught personalized technology math and English courses, supported operations, and founded and taught leadership and character development classes to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. In addition to his work as a teacher, Sheldon has also helped develop and lead a successful youth internship program in New Orleans for public high school students that now provides hundreds of primarily low-income students internships, soft skills training, and 21st century skills education. Sheldon also served as the special assistant to the CEO of a midsized national charter management company. Sheldon is an alumnus of Tulane University where he graduated with top honors majoring in English and Africana studies, and completed his graduate studies at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he earned his Master's in Education Policy and Management.
Social Worker, UP Academy Boston, Dorchester MA
Sheila is a social worker at UP Academy Boston. As a counselor and family advocate for over eight years, she has worked to challenge stigmas about mental health and supported families in removing barriers to community resources. Born and raised in Lawrence MA, Sheila embraces all aspects of her identity as an Afro-Latina and believes in the power of representation. As a first generation Dominican American, she pushes students to think beyond the status quo and encourages them to dream beyond societal limits. She believes that education is empowerment and is dedicated to improving access to education for underserved populations. Sheila is a graduate of UMASS Boston where she studied Social Psychology, and Lesley University where she studied Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
Full Inclusion Middle School Math Teacher, Mary Lyon K-8 School, Brighton MA
Jennifer just finished her 12th year at the Mary Lyon K-8, a full inclusion school in Brighton MA. While at the Lyon she has taken on many roles, including Lead Teacher and as a member of the Instructional Leadership Team. Jennifer helped develop the 7-12 science department and teaches 7/8th grade math. She started a school science fair in 2008, which continues today. Jennifer constantly seeks to form partnerships and opportunities to grow as an educational leader. She was a Science Education Fellow with the Boston Science Partnership. The goal of this program was to create and support a corps of urban teacher leaders and to improve the quality of instruction through vertical and horizontal progressional learning communities and other professional development. Through this program she became involved as a teacher researcher with UMASS where she co-authored several papers and led professional development opportunities both locally and nationally. Jennifer views education as the cornerstone of our society. She understands the greatest gift that you can give a child is the gift of education and is looking forward to this next part of her journey as she develops skills as an educational leader and advocate for the students she serves.
Athletic Director / Extended Learning Time Coordinator, Charlestown High School, Charlestown MA
Prior to her work at Charlestown, Paige was a middle school social worker for 4 years with a BA of Social Work. She went on to get her Master's in Sports Leadership at Northeastern University. Paige has worked at Charlestown High School for four years as the Athletic Coordinator and most recently has taken on the role of Extended Learning Time Coordinator.
K-8 English as a Second Language Coach, Salem Public Schools, Salem MA
Sonia has been a middle school ELA and social studies teacher for eight years and a coach of teachers for three years through Sposato Graduate School for Education. Currently, she serves as a district ESL coach in Salem MA. She is also a passionate member of the Authentic Engagement Steering Committee, which provides feedback and recommendations to schools in Salem about how they can best meet the needs of students and their families and create welcoming schools for all people. Sonia obtained her bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Marlboro College in Vermont where she focused on the relationship between dissident groups and American print culture and received her Master of Arts in Teaching History from Salem State University. She also participated in the Massachusetts Language Academy through UMASS Boston. Outside of her work in education, Sonia has worked on a historic submarine and at a shelter for families who are homeless. She is an amateur potter.
K0/K1 Teacher, Gardner Pilot Academy, Allston MA
Alison is an early childhood educator who has been serving students and their families within the Boston Public Schools for the past decade. A graduate of the Donovan Urban Teaching Scholars Program at Boston College, she is committed to teaching through a social justice lens where she works with students to become critical thinkers. In this way, they can identify stereotypes and combat prejudices. In addition to her role as a classroom teacher at the Gardner Pilot Academy, Alison has served as a lead teacher and is the co-founder and co-leader of her school’s Racial Equity Initiative. She has been a participant in the National SEED (Seeking Educational Diversity and Equity) Project, and uses her learning to provide school-based and district-wide professional development for educators and families with a focus on developing and sustaining cultural, racial, and linguistic equity.
English and Special Education Teacher, Mary Lyon Pilot High School, Brighton MA
Katie is an ELA, ESL, and Special Education teacher at the Mary Lyon Pilot High School. Mary Lyon is the only fully inclusive high school that specializes in supporting students with emotional/behavioral disabilities. Katie received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the Lynch School of Education at Boston College. At the Mary Lyon, Katie has worked on several teams including the Instructional Leadership Team, MCIEA Quality Performance Assessments teams, and the Inquiry team. She has partnered with the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in their Thinking Through Art program for the past two years. Katie is also proud to have led two service trips in partnership with Quest Adventures bringing teams of students to Houston and North Carolina. Katie is excited to join the PSi cohort and continue to improve her leadership skills.
Director of Technology, Citizen Schools, Boston MA
The son of parents who immigrated to the United States from Guatemala, Gio was born and raised in Boston. He was a member of the first graduating class of one of Boston’s first charter schools, Roxbury Prep, a place where he learned what it meant to be academically challenged and supported. He continued on to a private high school called The Governor’s Academy and then to Wentworth Institute of Technology for college to study Mechanical Engineering. Months before graduating from Wentworth, the company with which Giovany was interning went on a hiring freeze. To gain financial stability, Giovany took on job as an IT support specialist at Boston Prep while resolving to find employment in the engineering field. After only a brief time working at Boston Prep, Giovany realized that his true passion lies in mentoring and educating minority students. For seven years, Giovany worked at Boston Prep as the Director of Technology, an advisor, a varsity soccer and baseball coach, and as a mentor for many students. Giovany recently completed a MEd in School Leadership from Harvard Graduate School of Education and is now the Director of Technology for Citizen Schools.
English Teacher, Greater Egleston High School, Roxbury MA
Genevieve, a Boston Public Schools and Boston Teacher Residency graduate, is entering her 15th year as an English Teacher in the Boston Public Schools. She is in a season of blossoming creativity and brings the arts to her students through partnerships with the Institute of Contemporary Art and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. She believes in the power of art and nature to enhance the humanity of students, and looks forward to expanding arts programming at her school with Company One and experiential learning through Intrepid Academy at Hale Reservation. Her passion project this year has been redesigning the interior of her school to foster a vibrant learning community. She is excited to be in PSi and continuing to grow her leadership and networking skills. She serves on Greater Egleston's Governing Board and lives in Roxbury with her 2 sons.
Director of Performing Arts, The Winsor School, Boston MA
Tiffany is the Performing Arts Director at The Winsor School in Boston MA where she oversees the school’s drama, music, and dance programs and is also establishing the Lower and Upper School orchestra programs. She is also a faculty member for YOLA National Festival Chamber Orchestra in the summers. She holds her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
English Teacher, Brookline High School, Brookline MA
Jennifer is an English teacher with 20 years of experience, and an active community member in Highland Park, Roxbury. She is the mother of two, a quilter, a gardener, a reader, a dreamer. Jennifer is committed to a radical agenda of education as liberation and believes the creation of art is central to this process. We all need to be makers in order to make change; there is no substitute for the deep sense of engagement and ownership that comes from a process of creation. Jennifer is a proud graduate of arts-based programs at Oberlin and Brown and has been on a lifelong quest for excellence in teaching, learning and community engagement. When young people love and lead their own learning, communities are transformed.
History Teacher, Belmont High School, Belmont MA
Allie is a high school history teacher at Belmont High School in Belmont MA. A Bowdoin College and Tufts University graduate, Allie has been working in the field of education for the last ten years. She began her teaching at the middle school level and recently transitioned to the 11th grade level. Allie is interested in school leadership and recognizes that a solid, supportive community and an effective, nurturing school system go hand in hand. She is excited to join this year's cohort.
Studio Manager, Artist Proof Studio, Johannesburg South Africa
Shannin was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. She completed her Master’s Degree in Fine Art (Cum Laude) in 2006 at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). She has been working at the Artist Proof Studio (APS) for 17 years. Prior to working at the APS, she worked as Course Leader for the Conceptual Studies Programme at the University of Johannesburg in the Visual Arts Department. Here, she also lectured Drawing, History of Art, Form and Colour and Video Art to all Departments at the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (Fada). She has also lectured at Wits Education School as a part-time lecturer. Since completing her Master’s Degree in 2006, she has been working full-time at the Artist Proof Studio in various units including Special Projects from 2002 until 2010. She was involved in an extensive research project for the Ford Foundation that explored the impact of Arts and Crafts as a participatory action research methodology in HIV Awareness and Training. Thereafter she developed and formalized a Third Year Senior programme and later an internship programme for APS Education. Since 2014 she has been the APS Studio Manager.