Ventura Rodriguez, Director, Office of Strategic Transformation, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
by Matthew Presser, Ed.L.D. candidate July 19, 2017
Twenty 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.
April Bo Wang, Director of Education, 826 Boston by Matthew Presser, Ed.L.D. candidate July 12, 2017
One 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, Chief Operating Officer, Mobile Area Education Foundation by Matthew Presser, Ed.L.D. candidate June 28, 2017
Part-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.
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, 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.