A team of three experienced educators are crossing the country to identify successful practices from schools of every kind before they design and open a model public school. Follow their journey.

CURIOUS WHAT WE
ARE FINDING? CLICK
ON THE MAP TO THE RIGHT
CALIFORNIA<br/>SEPTEMBER 6 - 21 Arizona<br/>SEPTEMBER 24 - 25 New Mexico<br/>SEPTEMBER 25 - 27 Illinois<br/>OCTOBER 1 - 4 Indiana<br/>OCTOBER 15 - 16 New York<br/>OCTOBER 9 - 12 Ohio<br/>OCTOBER 17 - 18 Hawaii<br/>SEPTEMBER 17 - 18 Alaska<br/>TBD Missouri<br/>TBD Texas<br/>TBD Florida<br/>TBD Idaho<br/>TBD Iowa<br/>TBD Michigan<br/>TBD North Dakota<br/>TBD South Dakota<br/>TBD Oregon<br/>TBD Nebraska<br/>TBD Minnesota<br/>TBD Wisconsin<br/>TBD Washington<br/>TBD Montana<br/>TBD Washington<br/>TBD Montana<br/>TBD Kansas<br/>TBD Arkansas<br/>TBD Tennessee<br/>TBD Louisiana<br/>TBD Alabama<br/>TBD South Carolina<br/>TBD Georgia<br/>TBD North Carolina<br/>TBD Mississippi<br/>TBD Oklahoma<br/>TBD Colorado<br/>TBD Wyoming<br/>TBD Utah<br/>TBD Nevada<br/>TBD Maine<br/>TBD Vermont<br/>TBD Pennsylvania<br/>TBD Connecticut<br/>TBD Rhode Island<br/>TBD Massachusetts<br/>TBD New Jersey<br/>TBD Delaware<br/>TBD Maryland<br/>TBD West Virginia<br/>TBD Virginia<br/>TBD Indiana<br/>TBD New Hampshire<br/>TBD Kentucky<br/>TBD DC<br/>TBD
Brooke Peters Posts Michelle Healy Posts Todd Sutler Posts
ABOUT US
THE TEAM

BROOKE PETERS

Brooke's journey as an educator began at a campus childcare center while completing a dual degree program in Psychology and Elementary Education at Indiana University. As a preschool teacher, she worked with fellow educators in a progressive environment to create experiences that fostered the natural curiosity of her young students. When Brooke started teaching kindergarten in South Central Los Angeles in 2002 as a Teach for America Corps Member, she immediately noticed the stark contrast in the educational opportunities offered to young children in our nation. As she grew as an educator, she became more grounded in the belief that students learn best when involved in authentic experiences that connect with who they are as people and provide opportunities to make meaning in multiple ways. Over the next 9 years, she continued to study the work of progressive educators and created an integrated curriculum that emphasized literacy experiences in authentic, artful and engaging contexts. During this time she also moved to the east coast to teach kindergarten and first grade at Bronx Charter School for the Arts, completed the Literacy Specialist Master's Degree Program at Teachers College, Columbia University and became a National Board Certified Teacher. Last school year,she taught first grade at Community Roots Charter School, a progressive school in Brooklyn, NY.

TODD SUTLER

Todd worked as a teacher and youth mentor during his years at Amherst College. Afterwards, he traded bonds for an investment bank in New York, Toronto and Tokyo. He loved the opportunity to travel to many different countries and experience different cultures. Always drawn to children, Todd worked at Amherst College's nursery school, and after graduation, he mentored and tutored at I Have A Dream's Chelsea program. In the summer of 2004, Todd left banking to begin investigating opportunities in youth development. He visited schools, interviewed educators, volunteered for Harlem Children's Zone's Head Start program and helped raise funds for Washington D.C.'s SEED boarding charter school. In the fall of 2005, he joined The Boys Club of New York as Director of a social and academic enrichment program for teenage boys. In January of 2007, he began graduate study in Elementary Education at Bank Street College of Education; concurrently, he worked as an apprentice teacher in first grade at Manhattan Country School. After benefiting from the experience of observing and learning from a master-teacher, Todd passed on an opportunity to be a Teach for America corps member in order to continue his apprentice work. He worked (and learned) as a third grade assistant at The School for Children, Bank Street's laboratory school. In 2008, Todd was a co-founding teacher of the third grade at Community Roots Charter School in Fort Green, Brooklyn. Two years later, he helped start their fifth grade.

MICHELLE HEALY

Michelle became involved in the New York City Public School System nine years ago while completing her undergraduate degree in Childhood and Special Education at New York University. Michelle began her professional career teaching third and fourth grade at the Future Leaders Institute in Harlem. While there, she collaborated with teachers and instructional coaches to design curriculum and participated in an innovative and rigorous professional development program. Michelle joined the team of educators at Community Roots Charter School as a third grade teacher in September 2009, and the following year, she moved up to co-found the fifth grade. In her time at Community Roots, Michelle saw the power that collaboration, strong school culture and a supportive community can have on the education of all students. She has learned how to cultivate students who think critically, respond to the world around them, and take action to solve the problems in the communities that they are a part of. In 2010, Michelle enrolled in the Mathematics Leadership Program at Bank Street College of Education. Through her participation in this program, Michelle developed the belief that teachers must be utilized as researchers and leaders in order to change America's education system for the better.

BROOKE PETERS

Brooke's journey as an educator began at a campus childcare center while completing a dual degree program in Psychology and Elementary Education at Indiana University. As a preschool teacher, she worked with fellow educators in a progressive environment to create experiences that fostered the natural curiosity of her young students. When Brooke started teaching kindergarten in South Central Los Angeles in 2002 as a Teach for America Corps Member, she immediately noticed the stark contrast in the educational opportunities offered to young children in our nation. As she grew as an educator, she became more grounded in the belief that students learn best when involved in authentic experiences that connect with who they are as people and provide opportunities to make meaning in multiple ways. Over the next 9 years, she continued to study the work of progressive educators and created an integrated curriculum that emphasized literacy experiences in authentic, artful and engaging contexts. During this time she also moved to the east coast to teach kindergarten and first grade at Bronx Charter School for the Arts, completed the Literacy Specialist Master's Degree Program at Teachers College, Columbia University and became a National Board Certified Teacher. Last school year,she taught first grade at Community Roots Charter School, a progressive school in Brooklyn, NY.

NIKKI HEYMAN

Nikki graduated this past May from Oberlin College, Phi Beta Kappa, where she studied film and environmental studies with a focus on documentary production. She worked at the Apollo Outreach Initiative to help children of all ages become active creators of media and to effectively express themselves through film. Nikki values the role nature plays in children's development and has taught Environmental Education at the elementary level. While studying at Emma Willard School, she mentored and educated underclasswomen as a Peer Educator and senior Proctor. Nikki has served as an Assistant Director, Production Manager, and Camera Operator on professional feature films, shorts, and student films. She has worked as a videographer for the Oberlin College Athletics Department and Office of Communications. Her senior project 'Living Room', a documentary on family homelessness in Lorain County Ohio, received the Oberlin College Cinema Studies Award for Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Production and has been accepted to the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival. Nikki is thrilled to be a part of this socially relevant project at such a critical point in our nation's need for education reform.
THE ADVISORS

Deborah Meier

Deborah Meier has spent more than four decades working in public education as a teacher, administrator, writer and public advocate. She began her teaching career as a kindergarten and Head Start teacher in Chicago, Philadelphia and New York City schools. She was the founder and teacher-director of a network of highly successful public elementary schools in East Harlem. Between 1992-96, she also served as co-director of Coalition Campus Project, which successfully redesigned the reform of two large failing city high schools, and created a dozen new small Coalition schools. From 1997 to 2005 she was the founder and principal of the Mission Hill School, a K-8 Boston Public Pilot school serving 220 children. In 1987, Debbie was the first educator to receive a McArthur “Genius” Award. She currently blogs for Ed Week (Bridging Differences).

Sourabh Sen

Sourabh Sen is Co-Chairman of Astonfield, a leading provider of renewable energy in emerging markets. Sourabh oversees all government relations and lobbying efforts and provides macro-level operational and strategic guidance to Astonfield’s Global Executive Committee. Prior to co-founding Astonfield in 2005, he served as Executive Vice President of National Life Insurance Company until 2008 and Executive Vice President of First Investors Corporation from 1999 to 2005. Sourabh has extensive global expertise in asset management, cross border investments, strategic acquisitions and working with national governments on asset privatizations.

Zac Zeitlin

Zac is a member of the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education and sits on the boards of Domus and Big Picture Learning. Zac is a former partner of Silver Point Capital, where he ran the firm's Principal Finance business. He previously worked at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and TPG Capital. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas.

Blair Miller

Blair Miller is the Vice President of the MDG Health Alliance, a start-up coalition of leading philanthropists focused on using private sector solutions to address the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals. Previous to MDG Health Alliance, Blair spent five years at Acumen Fund, a $90M non-profit venture capital fund that invests in enterprises that serve the poor in India, Pakistan, and West and East Africa. Prior to Acumen Fund, she worked in micro health insurance in India and helped develop a fund to invest in small and medium size enterprises in Central America. Blair serves on the Executive Board of Venture for America and the Alumni board of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. She is an African Leadership Network Fellow and an Aspen Ideas Festival scholar. Blair holds an MBA from the University of Michigan and a BA in English Literature from the University of Virginia where she was a varsity volleyball player.

Nancy Cardwell, Ed.M

Nancy M. Cardwell is a former member of the graduate faculty at Bank Street College of Education where she was an advisor and taught child development, educational advocacy and research methods for educational change. Currently, she is completing her Ph.D. in Social Personality Psychology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York where she is also an Adjunct Lecturer on Early Childhood Education. Nancy is an education consultant and provides on-site professional development to schools, colleges and universities to improve children’s learning informed by recent findings from brain research. Her dissertation research explores the intersection of social development and social justice in novice teachers' views about their work with children in public, charter and private school settings. In her 25 years of education experience, Nancy has planned and conducted many interactive professional development experiences in urban, suburban and rural communities with educators (pre-kindergarten through 12th grade), cultural institutions and parents in Massachusetts, New York and South Africa. She is currently writing a book on applied child development theory and cognitive neuroscience for teachers, administrators and policy makers. Prior to joining the Bank Street College faculty, Nancy was a classroom teacher in central Harlem and a graduate student and researcher at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Hayin Kim, Ph.D.

Hayin Kim is the Director of Community Schools for the San Francisco Unified School District. Previous to joining SFUSD, Hayin worked with the City of Emeryville on developing a joint-use pre-K-12 community school partnership — the Emeryville Center of Community Life. Hayin is a trained educational researcher and evaluator, with a focus on community based programs and partnerships that support healthy development of youth and their communities. While at the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities at Stanford University, she co-facilitated the evaluation of multiple community and school-based project initiatives with an emphasis on collaborative, theory-based, qualitative research methods that engaged community partners in San Mateo, Santa Clara, and San Francisco counties. Previously, Hayin has worked at the Coalition for Community Schools and the Children's Aid Society's Community Schools initiative. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from Amherst College, and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Policy Analysis from Stanford University School of Education.

Mitch Weathers

Mitch Weathers is Chair of the Science Department at Carlmont High School in Belmont, California and the Creator and Executive Director of Organized Binder. He is an adjunct professor in the School of Education at Dominican University of California. Mitch also collaborates with Stanford University, California public schools and teacher support programs across the country in how to integrate Organized Binder into their classrooms. Mitch is an education technology enthusiast who advises EdTech start-ups in the Silicon Valley.

Robert Gibralter

Robert has been a marketing strategist for over 30 years. He has worked in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, building brands including m&m's, Singapore Airlines, Heineken, and Avon. After running advertising agencies, Robert taught marketing at Columbia University and advised both start-up and corporate clients in strategy, design, and communications. Throughout his career, he has devoted time to developing internship and training programs, mentoring over 200 interns and lecturing at universities, including Nanyang Tech and NUS in Singapore, Amherst College and Goskino Institute in Moscow. Robert has also mentored and coached teenagers for over ten years through StreetSquash, a Harlem-based non-profit. He grew up in New York, and earned his BA at Amherst College and MBA at Columbia University in marketing and international business.

Eliza Spang, Ph.D.

Eliza is the Learning Design Strategist at Institute of Play, an organization focused on designing experiences that integrate elements of games to make learning irresistible. Eliza is responsible for the long-term advancement of the game-like integrated learning model pioneered by the Institute — its continued evolution in existing learning contexts and its expansion and adaptation in new contexts. Eliza has over 13 years of experience in education, as a high school science teacher, teacher educator, educational consultant and researcher in New York, Massachusetts and California. She presents at national conferences regularly and was an adjunct professor at Hunter College. She holds a PhD in Curriculum and Teacher Education from Stanford University School of Education and a MAT in Secondary Biology from Duke University. She and her fiance live in Brooklyn with their dog.