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Alumni Features

Ventura Rodriguez, Ed.L.D.'15: Education is about freedom of choice

Ventura Rodriguez, Director, Office of Strategic Transformation, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

by Matthew Presser, Ed.L.D. candidate
July 19, 2017

Ventura RodriguezTwenty years ago, Ventura Rodriguez, Ed.L.D.’15, was looking for a school for his younger sister. After signing her up at a new San Francisco charter high school, he also signed up himself: as the school’s founding Spanish teacher.

 

So when Rodriguez talks about his commitment to ensuring that every Massachusetts school is good enough that he would feel comfortable sending one of his own family members, he speaks from experience.

“I wanted to build the best kind of school for my sister and for all of her friends,” said Rodriguez, who moved with his family to San Francisco from Panama when he was six. “This work has always been very personal; it wasn’t just theory.” Read more about Ventura Rodriguez, Ed.L.D.'15: Education is about freedom of choice

April Bo Wang, Ed.L.D.'16, helping kids find their voice and confidence through writing

April Bo Wang, Director of Education, 826 Boston
by Matthew Presser, Ed.L.D. candidate
July 12, 2017

April Bo WangOne of the most important lessons April Bo Wang, Ed.L.D.’16, learned about education comes not from the schools, school district office, or state capitols where she worked in the past, but instead from her office at the Greater Boston Bigfoot Research Institute.

It may seem like an unlikely place to learn about education until you consider that inside that institute in Roxbury, past the zombie apocalypse survival kits for sale, is 826 Boston, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center and one of seven nationwide 826 chapters housed within unusual retail stores. Wang, the Boston organization’s education director, says the playful atmosphere inspires students to fall in love with writing and has taught her the importance of what she calls “the ridiculous.” Read more about April Bo Wang, Ed.L.D.'16, helping kids find their voice and confidence through writing

Jeremiah Newell, Ed.L.D.'15, set to open the doors to the first Alabama charter school in his hometown

Jeremiah Newell, Chief Operating Officer, Mobile Area Education Foundation
by Matthew Presser, Ed.L.D. candidate
June 28, 2017

Jeremiah NewellPart-time jobs for high school students rarely last 15 years.

But for Jeremiah Newell, Ed.L.D.’15, his start at the Mobile Area Education Foundation (MAEF) as a high school junior became the launching pad to a career in education that, aside from an interlude to earn his doctorate in educational leadership at Harvard, has occurred entirely at MAEF.

At a time when it’s common for education leaders to serve short stints, Newell’s commitment to seeing long-term growth in the city where he was born is paying off. In a few months, Newell will open the doors to Accelerate Day and Evening Academy (ACCEL), Alabama’s first charter school, which he hopes will be a model for sharing innovative practices rather than fostering the type of district-charter competition that happens in many other communities. Read more about Jeremiah Newell, Ed.L.D.'15, set to open the doors to the first Alabama charter school in his hometown

In the News

Annice Fisher, Ed.L.D.'17: Meet Ed.L.D Marshal Annice Fisher

May 31, 2017
Annice Fisher knows that when it comes to education, most parents want what’s best for their kids. She experienced it growing up after her mother moved their family from Englewood, a deeply troubled neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, to the North Side so that Annice and her brother could go to better schools.

David Hay, Ed.L.D.'17: Meet Ed.L.D. Marshal David Hay

May 31, 2017
David Hay, Ed.L.D.’17, has come a long way from Antigo, Wisconsin, his hometown of 8,000 people from which he had to drive 40 miles to get to a mall. His new adopted city of New York, where he has taken a position as director of organizational effectiveness for the New York City Department of Education under Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, is just a bit larger.
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