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third grade teachers

lorna varney

Lorna grew up in Hartford Connecticut and graduated from Hampshire College in western Massachusetts. Throughout high school and college Lorna worked with children part time in after school programs, childcare centers and by providing childcare to families. In 2006 Lorna joined the New York City Teaching Fellows and taught in the Bronx as she worked on her Masters Degree in General and Special Education. Lorna then taught Kindergarten at Success Academy for 6 years.

When Lorna was a little learner she thrived when teachers provided opportunities for her to work on projects that integrated  the arts and sciences with reading and writing.  Now as a grown up learner and teacher Lorna is passionate about working with children to create exciting and purposeful educational experiences. She believes that children learn best through real world contexts where they are socially and emotionally encouraged and supported.

Lorna has many passions and interests. some of theses include drawing and painting, riding her bike, and traveling. She has 2 cats named Nomi and Jakey. She also loves to spend time with her big family in Connecticut. Lorna is thrilled to continue to be part of the Compass team where her dreams of true education reform are shared.

drew egan

Drew is excited to be joining such an awesome team at Compass!  Prior to living in Brooklyn he grew up along Lake Michigan in Wisconsin, where he enjoyed swimming, camping, and playing in the snow.

Drew began teaching in summer school arts programs where he immediately enjoyed all the opportunities for creativity, play, and collaboration. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison he gained experience at a variety of progressive settings.  He continued to grow by learning piano, directing publications at the Wisconsin Union, and working with pre-K students. Upon graduation in 2008 he took an opportunity with Teach for America to become an early elementary educator in New York City while completing a graduate degree at Lehman College.

Drew continues to be an avid reader and writer and an amateur artist and biker. He spends his time visiting and swimming with family, traveling to natural places, and finding new hobbies.

katie rust brown

Katie is thrilled to be a new member of the Compass community! Her journey to teaching started on Long Island, New York, where Katie grew up.  As she began the process of applying for college, Katie considered a career in teaching, but ultimately attended Syracuse University to study television production and philosophy.  For two years, she worked in Los Angeles, California, helping produce television shows and films.

Following a visit back to Syracuse, where Katie was reunited with a student that she had mentored years before, she felt the sparks of love and wonder that prompted her to question her ultimate career goals.  Her job was fun, it was cool, it was adventurous, but was it fulfilling? Did her current career choice help the world become a better place?  Did it really mean something?

Before long, Katie had re-enrolled in Syracuse University and earned her Master’s Degree in education.  She has since been teaching in the New York City area and has experience working in a variety of educational settings and roles.  Katie especially loves facilitating project time and watching student growth through exploratory work!

This love for play-based and inquiry-based learning has taken on new meaning to Katie as she became a mother to her daughter, Harper, in August of 2015.  Now more than ever, Katie has a passion for allowing children to explore, question and create using their natural instincts for play and inquiry.

Outside of teaching, Katie loves to spend time with her family exploring New York City for all of its wonderful experiences!

Chiara joins the Compass team after two years as an Assistant Teacher at Bank Street School for Children, where she worked while completing her Masters in general and special education at Bank Street College of Education. Before transitioning to the classroom, Chiara was a museum educator at a variety of New York City institutions including the Guggenheim Museum, where she specialized in teaching students with special needs. She is a native New Yorker, raised in Manhattan, who now calls Brooklyn home. Chiara never gets tired of: visiting museums, reading, and biking through the city.

Chiara Di Lello