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A third generation New York educator and activist, Rasha grew up in New York City public schools. She taught in Upper Manhattan for 12 years and, during that time, earned a Masters Degree in Special Education from Bank Street College of Education. Her own positive and negative experiences as a student in public schools inspired her to build strong classroom communities where children could support each other in their efforts and explorations.
In 2009, Rasha decided to move to Khartoum, Sudan with her son, Jibreel for a two-year stay. Two years turned into six years during which Rasha taught in an international school, connected with her father’s family, learned some Arabic, began playing guitar, started singing professionally, wrote a children’s book, and got married. It was a busy six years!
When she’s not teaching, Rasha enjoys cooking, making music, writing songs and poems, exploring photography, making all kinds of art, blogging, and hanging out with her family.
Madeleine was born and raised on a small sheep farm in upstate New York. She spent her early years gardening, knitting, and mucking out the barn. After graduating from college in 2006, she traveled to Guatemala and spent two and a half years teaching at a women’s artisan cooperative. She helped develop the organization’s elementary English language program and discovered her love of teaching. Later, Madeleine returned to the US and spent several years working with GrowNYC. Initially, she took a position with the Greenmarket farmers markets, and then she transitioned to the school gardens program. She collaborated with teachers and students around NYC to establish and grow school gardens. Then she decided it was time to return to the classroom! She matriculated into the Bank Street Graduate School to pursue a degree in childhood general and special education. While studying, Madeleine worked as an assistant teacher at the Bank Street School for Children. She spent her first year with the 7/8s (second graders) and her second year with the 9/10s (fourth graders). When she is not in the classroom, Madeleine enjoys running, bicycling in and around NYC, visiting her family in Albany County, and perusing the shelves of libraries and bookstores. This is Madeleine's third year teaching at Compass.
Marissa grew up in Long Beach, California. As a child, she had many caring teachers who helped her realize her potential. They convinced her that she was a writer, a mathematician, a friend, and a hard worker who would grow up to do important things. School was her happy place. Their guidance and support helped Marissa become the first person in her family to go to college.
While at Dartmouth, she discovered her love of sociology, traveling, and autumn. She knew she wanted to be a teacher after interning at a summer reading camp in Baltimore. She was determined to spend her days in the most beautiful way—by empowering young children and helping them see the best in themselves. She knew from experience the positive impact a loving teacher could have on a young person’s life. After she graduated she moved to Brooklyn to earn her Master’s in Education and teach.
Marissa is excited to begin kindergarten with a new group of Gingkoes! She is eager to co-create another loving, supportive, fun, reflective and hard-working community. She hopes to help convince each child that they are uniquely brilliant and important. She will work to ensure the Gingko room is a happy place for everyone.
Outside of the classroom, Marissa loves writing short stories, reading, playing board games, and hanging out with her amazing co-teacher, Rosie!
Rosie is so excited to be joining the Compass Charter team! She views every day in the classroom as a new adventure, and loves learning alongside children. A graduate of Brooklyn College, a student teaching placement at the Brooklyn New School sparked Rosie’s passion for progressive education. Rosie spent the last year as an assistant kindergarten teacher at the Manhattan Country School. Over the summer, she works at Brooklyn Literacy Roots, a small community day camp for struggling readers. Recently, Rosie travelled to Sweden, where she toured and visited many preschool classrooms. She is excited to bring some of what she learned there to her own classroom and the Compass community.
Outside of school, Rosie enjoys cooking, hiking, and traveling. Although she was born and raised in Brooklyn, she enjoys exploring neighborhoods and events the city has to offer!