Success Academy and HWS – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Success Academy and HWS

This summer, nine members of the Classes of 2017 have been hired by Success Academy Charter Schools (SA), bringing the total number of HWS graduates employed as teachers, staff and administrators of SA to 28. They are working in the classrooms of New York City schools in an effort to improve K-12 students’ access to opportunities through quality education.

Eleven of the HWS hires became teachers through the “teacher residency program,” including: Sara Helmer ’13, Emily Davidowitz ’14, Maya Maor ’14, as well as 2017 graduates: Madeleine Booth ’17, Matthew Gennarelli ’17, Taylor Jaye Levin ’17, Brittany MacLeod ’17, Alta Markley ’17, Maggie Nalbone ’17, Inty Ramirez ’17, Lesly Rivero ’17 and Marjorye Santos ’17. The residency program allows teachers to collaborate with a Lead Teacher in the classroom and provides ongoing support in curriculum development, instruction and classroom management.

Danielle Mueller ’16 MAT ’17 will spend her second summer working at SA as a learning and development intern, before heading to the Czech Republic in the fall to teach through a prestigious Fulbright Award. Last year, Mueller helped plan and execute summer training for new teachers and gained important leadership experience in the process.

The young alums who have studied a diverse range of majors — from economics and international policy, to mathematics, English, physics and education — share a passion for social justice.

Davidowitz, who completed her master’s degree in teaching at Columbia University and has taught at three NYC public schools, says she’s ready to teach at Success Academy in order to “take action for change.”

“I credit my time at HWS for helping me to develop the mindset of constantly challenging the status quo,” says Davidowitz, emphasizing the lessons she took away from classes in public policy and education reform.

Nalbone and Markley, who are getting ready to enter the classroom as teachers for the first time, say their experience tutoring through America Reads and the Boys and Girls Club of Geneva have prepared them well.

“Both of the tutoring programs I participated in provided me with a channel to uplift students and show them their full potential,” says Nalbone.

In addition, Keegan Prue’16 and Stephanie Aliquo ’16 work at the organization’s headquarters, and have stayed connected with HWS, returning to campus last spring to lead a Professional-in-Residence session through the Salisbury Center for Career Services and Experiential Education.  

Prue was one of the first HWS students to be hired by SA six years ago. He started as a third-grade teacher, and this summer will take on a new role with SA’s Education Institute. He believes the expansive connection between the Colleges and the Success organization has grown because of their strong similarities.

“When meeting and interviewing HWS alums, what always sticks out is their desire to be ‘in the arena’ doing the real work that will increase the access and opportunities of SA students – truly setting them up to lead lives of consequence,” Prue says.

Aliquo, an instructional recruitment coordinator for SA, says HWS grads have demonstrated skills important to the organization, such as being “feedback oriented, gritty and passionate about serving all kids.”

Gennarelli says SA’s innovation in curriculum development and teaching methods is what inspired him to begin his career with the organization. “They emphasize the idea that there is rarely a singular way to solve a given problem,” he says.

As of August 2017, SA will operate 46 schools, serving 15,500 scholars in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. The academy draws 76 percent of students from low-income households, 93 percent students of color and 15 percent special needs students.

The photo above features HWS alums who work for Success Academy charter schools posing for a photo in front of the New York City skyline in August 2016.