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Educator Worries & Practical Solutions

Session 2: 1:15 - 2p / Panel A


How to support teachers in and out of the classroom in this new climate


Lorenzo Castillo, Facilitator

Director, Strategic Engagement, KIPP Foundation

Lorenzo Castillo After graduating from the very first KIPP School, Lorenzo earned full scholarships to attend boarding school in Connecticut and business school in California. Post college, Lorenzo returned to his hometown to serve as a corps member for Teach for America and taught for 2 years in Houston followed by an additional 2 years in New Orleans. Since then, Lorenzo has gained a variety of experience working with educational startups and non-profit organizations. Currently, Lorenzo serves as the Co-Founder of Education Everytime, Entrepreneur in Residence for PowerMoves, and Coach for Teach for America. When he is not working with teachers or doing business, Lorenzo enjoys running in Central Park with his dog Penelope and spending time with his family in Texas.

Kareem Farah

Founder and Executive Director, The Modern Classrooms Project

Kareem Farah @kareemfarah23 @modernclassproj
Kareem Farah taught high school math in Hawaii and Washington, DC, for six years. He earned his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis and later received a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education at Johns Hopkins University. Kareem was awarded the 2018 DC Public Schools Award for Classroom Innovation. In an effort to scale his classroom model, Kareem launched a nonprofit, The Modern Classrooms Project. As the Executive Director of The Modern Classrooms Project, Kareem trains and supports educators who seek to develop blended, self-paced, mastery-based classrooms of their own.

Dr. Nadia Lopez

The Lopez Effect, Fmr. Mott Hall Bridges Academy

Nadia Lopez Dr. Nadia Lopez is an educational leader dedicated to showing the world how underprivileged communities can beat the odds and create positive institutions that have a global impact. As the founder of Mott Hall Bridges Academy, a New York City public school located in Brooklyn, NY, Dr. Lopez’s story became a viral sensation. This led to a visit with President Barack Obama at the White House, and receiving the Medal of Distinction from Barnard College. In addition, Dr. Lopez was honored alongside First Lady Michelle Obama with the Change Agent Award at the Black Girls Rock show hosted on BET Networks, selected as a Global Teacher Prize finalist, and became a TED speaker delivering a talk on the ‘Education Revolution’. Dr. Lopez is the author of the best-selling book The Bridge to Brilliance and co-author of Teaching in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, as well as the CEO of The Lopez Effect and co-founder of the ElevatED Conference and Podcast, which focuses on personal development, sustainability, and wellness.

Tiffany Hicks

Principal, Walter Francis Bishop Magnet School of the Arts - PS 160Q

Tiffany Hicks @ps160
Tiffany Hicks started her career in 2001 as a New York City Teaching Fellow in District 28. Her love of literacy led her to become a literacy coach in 2005, followed by her acceptance into the New Leaders Aspiring Principal Program where she served as a Resident Principal for one year at PS 161. Throughout her time in New Leaders, she developed the skills needed to strengthen the instructional core across the school, design and enact an improvement plan, and foster high expectations. In 2013, Tiffany was appointed as Principal at PS 160 back in District 28. Her goals for PS 160 are making thinking visible and building the capacity of teacher teams to close the gaps in ELA and mathematics.

Tiawana Perez

Principal, PS 6X, The West Farms School

Tiawana Perez Tiawana Perez is a former student of New York City public schools and fondly recalls many of her teachers and the wonderful lifelong lessons they taught her. Over the span of 19 years, Tiawana served in evolving roles including: Assistant Principal, Special Education Evaluation, Placement and Program Officer (SEEPPO) for the Committee on Special Education, teacher, instructional coach and manager of school fiscal activities as a payroll secretary. Since May 2016, Tiawana has served as the principal and lead learner of PS 6X – The West Farms School in the South Bronx, where she is passionate about providing successful school experiences for all students.

Cynthia Sherry

Kindergarten ICT Teacher, NYC Charter Schools

Cynthia Sherry Cynthia’s education journey started as an art teacher with a BS in Art Education. She earned her Masters in Early Childhood Education (Gr. 1-6) & Special Education. She has taught Kindergarten for six years in the NYC charter school network between Harlem and Bushwick, four of those years in the ICT classroom. Cynthia has written the Kindergarten literacy and reading curriculum for Achievement First Charter Schools. She is deeply inspired by the role of a kindergarten teacher, often being the first school experience for her students. In addition to being an educator, Cynthia also owns an art business and a line of greeting cards built on the foundation of representation.