Grants for Fellows
Grants are available to Fellows of The Academy for Teachers. Current grants include full scholarships to The Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College and The Don Quixote Fellowship.
Artist Residency for Teachers
The Academy for Teachers understands how hard it is for teachers who are also working artist to find the space and time to be creative. We are thrilled, therefore, that Foundation House has partnered with us and will host eight Academy Fellows for an artist residency of ten days this summer. Residents will be provided housing, three meals a day, and the ability to pursue their art in a supportive, safe, and undisturbed environment.
Bread Loaf School of English Scholarship
The Academy for Teachers is modeled on The Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College, where passionate students, most of them teachers, take inspiring classes in a beautiful mountain setting. Full scholarships, offered jointly by the Academy and Bread Loaf, will be awarded to Fellows of the Academy for Teachers who share a passion for literature, a love of creativity, and a devotion to teaching. We hope that six weeks among kindred spirits—reading, discussing, writing, playing—will send them into the next school year rejuvenated.
Marisa Harris started her career as a New York City teaching fellow and has been teaching for eighteen years. She has taught in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Japan, South Africa, and the state of Georgia. Born and raised in Jamaica, she found reading to be her passport to everywhere else. She loves live performance, big cities, public art, and public transit. Her favorite writers are Toni Morrison, Chimamanda Adichie, Thomas Hardy, August Wilson, Gabriel García Márquez, and Fyodor Dostoevsky. Among her favorite books: "Beloved," "The Idiot," "One Hundred Years of Solitude," and "A Brief History of Seven Killings." Marisa loves exploring new places through long, meandering walks, and is looking forward to six weeks without subways and ginormous buildings blocking her view of the sky.
Taryn Martinez teaches living environment and a feminist literacy class at Hunter’s Point Community Middle School in Long Island City, Queens. For the past ten years, she has shared her love of biology, writing, and good books with her students. Taryn holds a BA and an MA in environmental studies from Brown University, where her research focused on environmental justice education. Currently, she also serves as an adjunct instructor at the American Museum of Natural History’s Richard Gilder Graduate School and a Math for America master teacher. Her time outside the classroom is spent reading, bird-watching, and running after her son, Conrad.
Linda Wang is a New York City public high school teacher of Chinese and ESL since 1997. Considered her trademark, Linda incorporates Chinese philosophy, literature, conversation, writings, songs, dance, monologues, and plays into lessons for all her students, from beginner through AP level. Linda motivates her students to use their Chinese language skills in improvised real-life situations.
An avid reader of contemporary fiction, Daniel Guralnick is a graduate of NYU. He earned an MA in comparative literature from UT Austin and taught ESL in Paris before returning to New York City to become a Teaching Fellow. Since then, he has taught English in several NYC public high schools, including The Beacon School and Bronx Collaborative High School. Fluent in Spanish, he has organized and led student exchanges with a school in Madrid. A biker and a runner, he has paced for New York Road Runners and the New York Marathon. He lives in Brooklyn with his partner and their three dogs.
With a long history of combining her passion for education and literature, Angela Jones has been focused on social justice and storytelling for the past twenty years. Originally from Detroit, she was a youth organizer and a performance poetry coach. She came to New York to complete an MFA program at Sarah Lawrence College and began teaching in their Right to Write program with court-involved youth. She has been teaching literature for eight years. She encourages her students to tell their own stories and she strives to introduce students to great authors who, like them, write from the margins of society.
Mina Leazer is a career educator. She earned her BA in French at the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in teaching English as a foreign language at the American University in Cairo, and an MS in library science at Long Island University. She currently works as an English as New Language teacher in the New York City Department of Education, where she advises for The Moth storytelling program, coaches the rowing team, and runs the school radio station.
Lauren Davenport left the corporate world (Nickelodeon) in 2002 to join the NYC Teaching Fellows, and she never looked back. When she’s not teaching AP literature and 9th-grade ELA, she is raising two cool kids and writing. Her fiction has been featured in Ponder Review, Cactus Press, and the Blue Earth Review.
Eric Lewis is a teacher of English and special education at Brooklyn Technical High School. He also writes fiction, with work appearing in the Oxford American, Glimmer Train, the New Ohio Review, and Story magazines. Raised in the South, he now calls New York home.
Jim Pratzon has been a high school teacher in New York City public schools for more than 20 years. Lyons Community School in Brooklyn is where he teaches and directs the Lyons’ Needs Theatre Company. His courses have covered English 9–12, World Religions, Comparative Anatomy, Geography 101, and Shakespeare. He earned his MFA in Acting from NYU and is the recipient of LIU’s Teacher of the Year award and the American Academy of Arts and Letters President’s Citation for Excellence.
A Math for America master teacher, Ashraya taught science in NYC public schools for more than a decade and is interested in the ways storytelling connects to the work of scientists and the lives of students. At Harvest Collegiate High School, her courses included Climate Justice and The Artist as Chemist. She serves as faculty advisor for the school newspaper, the Harvest Tribune. After school, she plays with a punk band of fellow teachers, hikes with and without students, and attempts to learn French.
Timothy Ree teaches literature and writing at Brooklyn Technical High School. He holds a BA in English from Wheaton College (IL) and an MDiv from Yale University. His poems have appeared in the Cortland Review, Saint Katherine Review, and Peregrine. He has received grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Cave Canem, and Poets House.
Katrina has taught for more than thirteen years in Miami and NYC, most recently at DREAM Charter School in East Harlem. She is a Wilson-certified dyslexia practitioner and intervention specialist, teaching students with language-based learning disabilities and coaching teachers. Her writing has appeared in NANO Fiction, Saw Palm: Florida Literature and Art, and Leslie-Lohman Museum’s the Archive. A VONA/Voices fellow and member of La SoPA NYC: The School of Poetic Arts, she loves puns and narwhals.
Elizabeth Healy has taught English in New York City’s public schools for more than 14 years. At LaGuardia High School she delights in integrating music, drama, visual art and dance with her seniors’ AP Literature and sophomores’ British Literature curricula. She has brought a knack for reaching reluctant students, along with her literary insight and collaborative style, to the inaugural Academy Hamlet seminar as well as programs with NEH, New York Public Library, and Teacher’s College. Elizabeth sings with The Manhattan Choral Ensemble, serves on its board, and performs the role of a lifetime: mother of two.
Monica Rowley has been teaching for over 16 years, in Honolulu, Philadelphia, and New York City. She taught World Literature and AP Research at Brooklyn Technical High School and works as a consultant for the College Board. She is also a creative writer and her work has appeared in Yes Poetry and the Ogham Stone. Her various grants and fellowships include summer study at the Library of Congress and with the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Laura Wang teaches high school chemistry in New York City public schools, most recently at School of the Future. A Fellow of the Academy for Teachers, as well as Math for America and the Knowles Teacher Initiative, Laura incorporates her love of stories and history into her science classes. She and her students have made biodiesel, written letters to the President, and designed public service announcements about the Flint water crisis. She also subjects her students to science jokes on a near-daily basis.
Don Quixote Fellowship
When teachers are inspired, students benefit. The Don Quixote Fellowships supports idealistic, romantic, creative, impractical, adventurous projects born of teachers’ passions. Awards up to $5,000 are granted.
Projects can, but need not, be related to classroom practice: a science teacher might study Inuit poetry in Alaska or a pre-K teacher might carve a fifteen-foot marble sculpture. We are looking for applicants who use ingenuity in planning an original experience.
Jacques Hoffmann is the director and founder of internships at Abraham Lincoln High School—a Title 1 school with students from Brooklyn and over 30 foreign countries. He and his colleagues train and supervise over 300 teens annually to work in businesses, government agencies, and nonprofits. Jacques received his BA in sociology, political science, and Spanish from NYU, and his MS in urban affairs from Hunter College. He worked with ministers and lay leaders to take action on policing, public housing, and school issues. During his fellowship he will work with the leaders and teens of a youth development and job-training NGO based in marginal neighborhoods of Kingston, Jamaica.
Dan Strauss has been a New York City teacher since 1997, teaching science, music, and social studies at both the middle and high school levels. For the last six years, Dan has been an internship coordinator and teacher at City-As-School high school in Manhattan. In addition to being a teacher, Dan is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He has released six albums of original music and performs often in the city and around the Northeast. He has appeared on WFUV and NPR and his music is available on all streaming services. During his fellowship, Dan Strauss will learn to build a guitar from scratch.
Yenmin Young teaches grades 6–12 at East Side Community High School, in such subjects as physics and astronomy, physical computing with Arduinos, and web development. She develops her own curriculum to match the interests of the students and engages them with real-world applications and projects. The Don Quixote fellowship will help broaden her understanding of deep-space objects, telescopes, and archaeoastronomy, which will enhance her physics curriculum and (hopefully) satiate her students’ endless curiosity about the night sky. Yenmin Young will visit observatories to study the night sky above Chile’s Atacama Desert.
Michael Alston is a high school Spanish teacher and PhD student who uses his classroom to teach social justice. His fellowship will take him to Colombia and Mexico to research oppressed people who resisted colonial ideologies of race, class, sexuality, and gender.
Nicky Enright, a socially engaged multimedia artist and educator, strives to guide his students to be moral, creative, confident, and expressive, in that order. His “Drawing for German” project will advance his German skills as Don Quixote might have envisioned: by attempting to create portraits of all of Berlin’s 3.6 million residents. He will draw every person willing to sit for a conversation in exchange for their original portrait.
For more than seven years, after a career in law and higher education, Mark Goldfarb has taught math in public high schools in New York City, most recently at East Side Community School. He prides himself in demonstrating and investigating math’s practical applications with students. For his fellowship, he will travel to Spain to tour its bridges, ranging from arch bridges built in Roman times to recently constructed suspension bridges. This experience will serve as a launching point for teaching a unit on bridges in his geometry course.
Arend Thorp, who teaches science and technology, is committed to educating students about their relationship to the planet and to encourage in them a sense of stewardship for the natural world. He will travel to the Bay Islands of Honduras to contribute to the observation and restoration of coral reefs. While there, he will use his study of underwater photography to document as many species of life as possible to draw attention to the ongoing anthropogenic mass extinction taking place on Earth.
Juliette Varnedoe has been teaching English at a public high school in Brooklyn for more than 10 years. Her fellowship will bring her to St. Martinville, Louisiana, where she will immerse herself in the sounds and rhythms of Cajun bayou country. She will study Cajun French while developing her songbook, rehearse with authentic New Orleans blues players, and finish writing a suite of French Cajun songs.
Jasper DeAntonio’s math students use statistics to analyze the effects of New York’s built environment. His fellowship will fund research on urban design and civic engagement in three European cities—Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Amsterdam—creating a dataset that will serve as a basis of comparison for future classroom inquiries.
Julissa Llosa, a teacher of art and special education, has been taking students on outdoor overnight trips for several years. Her fellowship will take her to seven national parks in the Rocky Mountains and Colorado Plateau, where she will sharpen her wilderness skills, deepen her appreciation of nature, and gather stories to share with her students.
Megan Minturn teaches dance in a public school, leads her own dance company, and dances with two others. Having previously studied sabar dance in Senegal and salsa in Cuba, her fellowship will allow her to study orixá dance, capoeira, and Silvestre technique in Brazil.
David Harvey, a math teacher, first traveled with Teachers-2-Teachers Global to Santo Domingo de Onzole in Ecuador. This isolated jungle community, established by escaped slaves, was until recently only accessible by canoe and had no federal funding for education. David will return with his wife, a native of Ecuador and elementary and middle school Spanish teacher, to collaborate with under-trained teachers in under-resourced schools on curricula and other educational issues.
Sarah Murphy, a librarian who teaches theater, co-founded the Tiny Box Theater in her spare time. The group stages unusual puppet shows inside various types of small boxes, for one or two observers at a time. These (very) brief theatrical pieces have been performed at the Figment Festival on Governors Island and other venues. Sarah’s Don Quixote Fellowship will allow Tiny Box to develop a new street theater piece and perform it during the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Anita Yu teaches math and started a Women In Science and Engineering group at East Side Middle School. She has long been fascinated by the ways math can intersect with art and has built mathematical sculptures with her students, including a harmonograph and a truncated icosahedron. Her Don Quixote Fellowship will help her realize the long-held dream of attending the Bridges Conference On Mathematical Connections in Art, Music, Architecture, Education, and Culture, this year in Stockholm, Sweden.
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