sophora class: jessica, luke, and teressa

Born and raised in Queens, New York, Jessica Hollins has always been a risk taker.  She was a member of the first graduating class at the Queens School of Inquiry, an early college school associated with Queens College, and member of the first class of a semester-long science and leadership school for 10th grade girls, located on the coast of Maine.

Jessica is a graduate of Syracuse University’s Inclusive Elementary and Special Education teacher preparation program. Although Jessica loved her teaching experiences in Central New York, she seized the opportunity to participate in the Bridge to the City program for her student teaching, working in both East Harlem and Brooklyn.

Through all of her experiences, she’s realized that she learns best through discovery and risk-taking, and wants to help children realize the benefits of taking their own risks and exploring possibilities.

Luke Lee started his teaching career at Compass and is looking forward to coming back for his second year. Luke was born in South Korea and was raised in north New Jersey. He graduated from Syracuse University and was in the Inclusive Elementary and Special Education teacher prep program. During his fall semester of his senior year, Luke took the opportunity to do his student teaching in New York City where he was exposed to progressive schooling in an urban setting. Since then, Luke knew exactly where he wanted to teach.

Luke loves the diversity New York City offers and he loves building close relationships with his students and enjoys building a community where everyone feels safe and respected. Luke always puts his students first and is a child at heart; he seizes every opportunity to get to know them better and helps them grow academically, socially, and emotionally.

Outside of school, Luke loves to workout and his favorite sport to compete in is boxing. He loves watching all kinds of sports and loves to write and spend time with friends and family whenever he can.

Teressa Brake is thrilled to return to teaching at Compass and supporting their mission to put inquiry at the heart of learning. She is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and Teachers College, Columbia University. Teressa has fifteen years of teaching experience in public, charter, and private school settings in Austin, Texas and New York City.

Teressa believes her role as an educator is to guide children to believe in and develop their unique and inherent greatness by providing meaningful contexts full of opportunities to question, hypothesize, create, play and take ownership of new ideas, identities, processes, and the community in which they belong. She brings her interests in music, art, and nature into the classroom to provide many outlets for expression and learning.

Teressa grew up in Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico but has lived in New York City for the past thirteen years. Her two children, Ezra and Lucas, are students at Compass.