The Academy was founded in 2011 to honor and support teachers as valued professionals in need of the latest knowledge and inspiration.
Our premise: by respecting teachers and giving them the support they need, we will keep them where they belong—in the classroom inspiring our children for years to come.
Our mission is to honor and support teachers through world-class learning experiences that inspire them to continue changing lives, in the classroom and beyond.
Sam Swope is on the faculty of the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College. He was founding dean of the Teacher Institute at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at The New York Public Library. His books include Gotta Go! Gotta Go!, The Araboolies of Liberty Street (which has been made into an opera and a musical), and I Am a Pencil: A Teacher, His Kids, and Their World of Stories.
Mario Biancamano joined the team in 2022. Most recently he served as the Director of Operations and Strategic Partnerships at South Bronx United. He has a Bachelors from Northwestern University and is finishing up his Masters In Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management at The New School. In his free time he enjoys playing and watching soccer, and spending time with his family.
Matt Cheng joined the Academy for Teachers in October 2022. Prior to joining, Matt was the Corporate Volunteer Manager at Children’s Aid. He cares deeply about education and continues to engage in learning, recently receiving an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership & Management from Baruch College. Some of his interests include queer history, spending time with his two french bulldogs, and baking.
Rebecca spent 9 years teaching middle school in public and private schools in New York City and has a Masters Degree in Secondary Math Education from Fordham University. Before becoming an educator, she was a researcher in microbiology and virology at Rutgers University and Yale University
Rachel Papert graduated from Bard College with a BA in American Studies. She is also a proud graduate of the New York City public school system. Some of her interests include contemporary literature, American history, and comedy.
Gwenith Williams graduated from Kenyon College with a BA in English Literature. Her parents, both teachers, have inspired her to think creatively throughout her life. Her interests include illustration and creative writing.
Barbara G Raho is the managing director of Golden Seeds, an investment firm with a focus on early-stage companies founded and/or led by women. In addition to being The Academy's board co-chair, Barbara sits on the boards of My Sisters’ Place and POTS (Part of the Solution), and served on the board of the Rye YMCA. Barbara holds a BA in religion from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.
Diana Revson is a founding board member of The Academy for Teachers. She has served on the boards of the ERA Coalition and The Gordon Parks Foundation, where she was the director of external affairs for twelve years. Her father was a professor of history.
Steven Aresty directs a private foundation which focuses on improving education opportunities for disenfranchised youth. He is a member of the Donor's Education Collaborative and the Early Education Partners and serves on the board of Symphony Space and the Westside Campaign Against Hunger. He is the Dean of the College's Advisory Council at Brown University and Chairman of the Family Leadership Council at Bard College. Steven has a BA from Brown and an MBA from the Wharton School.
Michael Glazebrook is a founding board member of The Academy for Teachers, and cofounder and chairman of the board of The Point, a center in the South Bronx dedicated to youth development and the cultural and economic revitalization of Hunts Point. He taught middle-school creative writing.
Dr. Aisha Haynes earned a BA in English from Villanova University, her MS in Teaching from Fordham University, and her Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy from NYU. Aisha is Brooklyn-born and raised, and a proud product of the New York City public school system. She served as an English teacher at the Academy of Urban Planning and Engineering for over a decade and now serves as a director at the Bank Street Education Center.
Patricia Hayot, PhD, most recently served for seventeen years as head of school of The Chapin School in New York City. She has taught in the United States; Geneva, Switzerland; and Paris, France. She served as head at the International School of Paris, a K–12 school offering the International Baccalaureate, for eighteen years, and at the Columbus School for Girls, a K–12 school, for ten years.
Joy Hurd is a founding board member of The Academy for Teachers and was its first board chair. He serves as head of school at St. Bernard's School in New York City and has taught at several other leading independent schools. He is a graduate of Harvard College, the Klingenstein Center of Teachers College (Columbia University), and Middlebury College's Bread Loaf School of English.
Amber Joseph is a public school teacher at a progressive 6–12 school in Manhattan, and a product of New York City public schools. She received a BA in History from Yale University and, as a NYC Teaching Fellow, a master's degree in Special Education from CUNY Brooklyn. She has written and spoken about inclusive history education and civics teaching across various platforms.
Peter Marrs is a managing director for Ernst & Young in international tax services. He teaches and develops content for Ernst & Young’s continuing education program, and is also an adjunct professor at the NYU Stern School of Business. A graduate of Union College and Yale Law School, Peter previously worked as a senior tax director for GE, and served in the Office of Tax Policy at the US Department of Treasury.
Caroline S. McBride, now retired, was cofounder and CIO of Forum Partners Investment Management. She is a trustee of Middlebury College. Her daughter teaches science in a public school in Chicago.
Jane Pollock has served on the boards of arts, educational, and reproductive rights organizations, including the Jewish Community Center, the West Side Montessori School, Symphony Space, and the National Institute for Reproductive Health. She has many teachers in her family.
Mary Singh is a board member of The Academy for Teachers, as well as a board member of Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Sam Swope is the founder and president of The Academy for Teachers.
Will Thompson is a managing partner at White Post Investments. He is a graduate of Harvard College.
Wayne Tobias is an award-winning educator of advanced mathematics and computer science at Williamsburg Preparatory High School in Brooklyn. He is a school leader who has been recognized for his advocacy of educators’ rights. Wayne has a bachelor's degree in computer science, and MSEd in both secondary math education and educational leadership.
- Alan Cheng
- Christian Clarke
- Elizabeth B. Dater
- Peter J. DiFiore
- Irena Goldstein
- Margery Mayer
- Roy Moskowitz
- Chloe Pinkerton
- Karen Russell
- Danny Schott
- Wilson Tong
- Felipe Vasconcelos
- Elly Wong
Explore the latest news on our programs, Fellows, faculty, and more.
Calling all teachers! Join The Academy’s softball team, The Detentions. We'll go to bat—and cheerfully demolish—teams from BAM, Carnegie Hall, MoMA, NYPL, and other New York institutions. (No experience needed, the goal is fun!) Play ball! Sign up!
Teachers explored artist Julian Schnabel's exhibition Self-Portraits of Others at the Brant Foundation.
Our English cohort of Early Career Fellows explored gratitude, grace, love, and letting go in the day-long writing workshop, “Love, Above All Things,” led by the brilliant Jennifer Falú. We’re grateful for the wonderful fellows, mentors, and faculty who make up this program.
Help us keep great teachers in the classroom
Teachers, our most valuable resource, are struggling. Overwhelmed and under-supported, too many teachers leave the profession too soon. The Academy’s enriching experiences and supportive community have been proven to improve those odds.