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2011-2012 Teacher Exchange

About the Participants

2011-2012 Teacher Exchange Participants, December 2011. Photograph by Erika Pekar

2011-2012 Teacher Exchange Participants, December 2011. Photograph by Erika Pekar

Sarah Arvey, Math and Science, and Special Education Teacher

Sarah teaches math and science to students with special needs at a public middle school in Queens. She believes that creativity and innovation are vital qualities in the arts and sciences, and she often designs curriculum that highlights the interdisciplinary connections between both fields.

Kendra W. Brown, Visual Arts Specialist

After receiving her masters degree in education from Tufts University, Kendra moved to New York City to take advantage of the rich and diverse cultural resources offered to educators. She teaches at a public elementary school in the South Bronx. 

Catalina Chavez, English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher

Catalina is an ESL teacher in a public middle and high school in the West Bronx. She enjoys teaching English Language Learners because she herself was one when she was younger. Catalina has an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts and a master’s degree in teaching ESL.

Kiara Downey, English Literature and Drama Teacher

Kiara is a tenured teacher of English Literature and Drama at a private school in Manhattan. She recently took a one-year leave of absence to teach English at SOS Hermann Gmeiner International College in Ghana, West Africa. Kiara has a master’s degree in Theatre from Trinity College Dublin in Dublin, Ireland.

Kyla Gay, Classroom Teacher

Kyla is in her fourth year of teaching at a public elementary school in Brooklyn. After studying education and social development at the University of California, Berkeley, followed by a brief stint of teaching English abroad, Kyla received her master’s degree and teaching credentials at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York.

Kathleen A. Gold, Special Education Teacher

Kathleen is a special education teacher at a public middle school on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. She teaches English Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science. Kathleen enjoys designing and teaching multi-sensory lessons, which invite all learners to become active participants in the classroom. 

Adam Kinory, English Teacher

Adam is entering his twentieth year of teaching for The New York City Department of Education. He is currently teaching English at a public high school in Manhattan. By participating in the Teacher Exchange program, Adam hopes to enrich his students’ ability to analyze both print and non-print texts.

Robin Lentz, Art Teacher

Robin has fifteen years of teaching experience. She is currently teaching  second and third grade students at a private school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Through the school, she has received two summer travel grants: one to Guatemala to study weaving and another to Austria to study the work of Austrian artist, Friedensreich Hundertwasser.

Erica Yonks, Art Teacher

Erica teaches at a public high school in Brooklyn. As an art educator living and working in New York City, she is grateful for the many professional development opportunities offered by arts and cultural institutions. Erica also loves to travel, cook, visit museums, and spend time on the beach.

Andrew Willgress, Visual Arts Teacher

Andrew is a visual arts teacher at a progressive public high school in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. He earned a BFA in Studio Arts from the University of Colorado and an MAT in Art Education from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He is also an active photographer, painter, and sculptor.

Alycia Zimmerman, Gifted and Talented Education Teacher

For the past five years, Alycia has been teaching at a public elementary school in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. She teaches all subjects to her third grade students and always includes an artist study in her curriculum. Through this program, she hopes to learn new ways to incorporate the visual arts into each unit of study.