Meet AMY HOBSON. After graduating from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, with a BA in Photocommunications, Amy worked for the Texas Education Agency doing photography and graphic design work. After 4 years with TEA, she returned to school and earned a Texas Teaching Certificate (Pre-K-6). After 6 years in the classroom, she then took a job as an assistant language teacher in Sasebo, Japan. After a year in Japan, Amy moved to Brooklyn, NY, and started teaching 3rd grade. Since 2003, she has been a technology educator to grades K-8 within NYC public/charter schools. Her responsibilities have included not only being a tech instructor, but working to create strong interdisciplinary curricula with the aid of technology. Thus, her role has grown to include training teachers through sharing current web resources and other aids to improve their teaching practices. In addition to being a teacher herself, Amy has two other passions: baking and traveling. So far, she has traveled to over 11 countries with Bali, Indonesia being her favorite.
Meet HEATHER MARSHALL: A 15- year Social Studies educator, current high school dean, educational blogger and public speaker. Heather, born and raised in Alabama, earned a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Samford University and a Master of Education degree from Jacksonville State University in Secondary History. She is a seasoned Model UN coordinator with several student wins over 10+ years under her tutelage. Her extensive travels to several nations & genuine passion for global issues draws her students keenly to her. Her educational blog EyeCan is dedicated to providing information & resources to support individuals who have a form of vision impairment. That is because Heather herself has lived with Stargardt’s Disease since her teenage years and have shared with hundreds through presentations and talks nationwide, insights on living with and teaching and attending to students, patients etc. She continues to collaborate with and provide her services to hospitals and other medical support organizations. However, her greatest joy is teaching. It brings her immense joy making History come alive for her students.
Thank you for all that you do for NYC students Ms. Marshall! Cheers!
Meet CRIS MERCADO. His students have earned over $1 million in grants and scholarships from organizations such as the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and the National Science Foundation. In 2011, he was named Director of All About Business, a youth financial literacy initiative. Cris is also featured on the cover of the New York City Housing Authority 2011 Annual Report in recognition of his work under the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).
In July 2013, Cris formed GrantAnswers LLC, an educational service/technology start-up specializing in grants, scholarships and admissions. Based at the Zahn Center for Social Innovation at CUNY City College of New York, GrantAnswers operates primarily through partnerships with schools and the NYCDOE, community organizations and corporations. It provides workshops and consultations for educators and administrators on incorporating college readiness and admissions/funding opportunities into the classroom. For administrators, GrantAnswers consultations center on cost analysis, recruitment & retention, process & performance evaluation and data collection.
Cris – thank you for all that you continue to do for the youth of NYC! For more information on GrantAnswers, please visitwww.grantanswers.com.
Vilson writes for Edutopia, GOOD, and TransformED / Future of Teaching, and has written for CNN.com, Education Week, Huffington Post, and El Diario / La Prensa NY. He has also spoken at TEDxNYED and the Save Our Schools March.
Cheers to all that you do to make a difference within education Mr. Vilson.
MICHAEL MACCARONE || STEM EDUCATOR || CURRICULUM SPECIALIST
MICHAEL MACCARONE is a science curriculum specialist and an Upper School science teacher at the Avenues School. Since 2005, he has taught physics, chemistry, mathematics & engineering courses. He received a B.S. in physics, with minors in mathematics and business, from Penn State University.
Recently, Maccarone received some exciting news and will boldly go where few teachers have gone before! The Brooklyn resident will join engineers and scientists onboard NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy or SOFIA – a retrofitted Boeing aircraft that can fly up to 45,000 feet in the air – a few thousand feet higher than typical commercial airliners fly. Maccarone was one of 24 teachers nationwide (and one of 2 New Yorkers) chosen to participate in the research program. “As a science teacher, it’s incredibly interesting and fascinating to do anything with NASA. It’s a privilege and an honor.”
Maccarone will take two 10- to 12-hour flights onboard the jumbo jet – which is equipped with an 8.2-foot-in-diameter telescope – once it launches on May 15 and May 16 from Ames. He will have in-depth conversations with scientists onboard the flight about any new observations they make about the planets in our Solar System. Maccarone plans on developing iBooks for kindergarten through high school students relating to his findings.
His passion for science and math stems from his love of music, and he can be found listening to, writing and performing music for fun in venues throughout NYC. His goal as a teacher is for every student to leave the classroom charged with an appreciation of and curiosity about how the universe works and equipped with the skills to ask questions about the many ideas and experiences they have yet to explore.
Congratulations Mr. Maccarone!
SHANI PEREZ || ART EDUCATOR || ARTIST || ART LIASON
LEAH UMANSKY|| ENGLISH EDUCATOR || AUTHOR || POET
Educated right here in her home state at SUNY Binghamton, Sarah Lawrence College & CUNY Hunter College, LEAH UMANSKY is not your average NYC English teacher. Her students at describe her as effervescent, inspiring, & genuine; and she works fervently to instill within them a love for writing and poetry. She is also the mastermind behind her school’s newspaper The Paw and its literary magazine called Genesis.
In addition to teaching both middle and high school English for the past 8 years, Leah is a published poet and travels extensively across the country to share her work. Her first book of poems, Domestic Uncertainties, was published in 2013 and her second, a Mad-Men inspired chapbook, Don Dreams and I Dream has been published already this year. She has been a contributing writer for BOMB Magazine’s BOMBLOG and Tin House, a poetry reviewer for The Rumpus and a live twitterer for the Best American Poetry Blog. She also hosts and curates the COUPLET Reading Series. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in POETRY, Thrush Poetry Journal, Poetry Review, Barrow Street, and The Brooklyn Rail. Flavorwire named her #7 of 23 People Who Will Make You Care About Poetry in 2013.
Leah masterfully personifies what it means to be an educator who is passionate about her craft and is fearlessly making her mark both in the classroom and in the literary world. Learn more about this wonderful educator at: http://iammyownheroine.com