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New Teacher Profiles

Teacher and group of students standing in classroom

Creating a culture of respect

Anthony Chin Kee Hee, a third-year high school English teacher at the Bronx Latin School, has learned how to become an effective educator by building relationships with his students.

Teacher sitting on classroom couch holding a book while two young students look on

That's 'LYFE'

Patricia Belluscio left a career in the fashion industry to work with infants and toddlers in the LYFE program.

Woman wearing glasses holding a book in front of bulletin board

She sees herself in her students

Maritza Vasquez, a teacher at the Academy for Language and Technology in the Bronx, sees a lot of herself in her 9th-grade immigrant students. She said she’s able to relate “to everything they are feeling” because at one time she felt the same way. “I tell them I was a newcomer myself.”

Man playing basketball in gym with students

In his class, learning equals fun and games

A five-year veteran of Major League Lacrosse, Kieran McArdle is a first-year K–5 physical education teacher at PS 48 in upper Manhattan and the embodiment of what the city’s Department of Education hopes to achieve with PE Works.

Tara Jarvis, a former hair stylist, says when she goes to work now as a District

World looks different from District 75 classroom

Tara Jarvis traverses New York City wearing a huge grin. “People smile back at me and that’s when I realize I’m smiling,” says Jarvis, a first-year art teacher of students with special needs at District 75’s Brooklyn Transition Center. After a challenging childhood and a heart-wrenching 2017, Jarvis is living her dreams.


Gehan Habashy helps students create self-portraits overlaid with identity poems

She teaches by example

Immigrant students at the International HS for Health Sciences in Queens can relate to visual arts teacher Gehan Habashy, who was born and raised in Egypt.

A student gets some one-on-one time with third-year teacher Leslie Martinez at H

She brings the world to her classroom

It’s all about “kids having access to experiences, whether I do it through being a teacher or being a program director at a museum or being a Girl Scout leader,” says Leslie Martinez, who is starting her third year as a teacher at Manhattan’s Humanities Prep Academy.

Michael Oeckel helps students at the HS of World Cultures, composed of immigrant

Teaching immigrant students adds up for this math teacher

Michael Oeckel, a first-year high school math teacher, employs exaggerated hand motions and expressions and gets students out of their seats to illustrate math concepts to his students who don't speak English.

PS 133 dance teacher Elizabeth Supan said her Harlem students have taught her "t

Dancing with the stars— her students

About the time her body began whispering its complaints against her, ballet dancer Elizabeth Supan was ready to step off the stage and onto solid ground. That’s how she found herself at PS 133 in Harlem after earning her master’s degree in dance education with the help of the Lincoln Center Scholars Program.

Alison Fox left the entertainment industry for a more satisfying career teaching

Finally, a rewarding role

After seven years of catering to adults who often acted like children, Alison Fox fled the entertainment industry for the classroom, where she teaches actual children. “Real kindergartners are so much nicer and more rewarding to spend time with,” she says.