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Third Grade Teachers
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!
Britt was born and raised in Indiana, where she also earned her Bachelor's of Social Work at Taylor University. She noticed that she loved working with children and families in her experiences as a camp counselor, a social work intern in the midwest and Europe, and a nanny for a brief time in Washington, DC. She worked as a resident teacher at DC Prep Academy in Northeast DC, where she decided that she wanted to become an early childhood educator.
Britt decided to move to New York to attend Bank Street College of Education for her Master of Science in Early Childhood General and Special Education. She also continued to teach in early childhood classrooms in Brooklyn and Manhattan. During her graduate school years, she was able to connect her early learning experiences with an understanding of progressive education, bringing community-centered hands-on learning into her own classroom.
Britt's favorite memories of childhood include outdoor exploration, a safe learning community, experiments in her father's organic chemistry lab, learning through arts integration, and the joy of sharing a well-written book. Now, some of her favorite things are floral design, cooking for friends, yoga / pilates, and traveling to new countries. She hopes to share some of these joys with her classroom community this year!
Sivanne believes that you should always be doing what will make you jump from bed in the morning and seize the day. It is creativity, connection with people, and the opportunity to share knowledge that light that fire in her. During her years as an educator she has always worked to center her classrooms around the philosophy that a child's spark, when found and nurtured, is what will make this world a better one. At this point along her journey she is working on an ongoing cultivation of the mindful, inquiry-based and experiential-geared classroom where student curiosity, real-world connection, and imagination rule the day. Also a 'hodgepodge' artist, Sivanne has dabbled in being a painter, novelist, culinary explorer, singer-songwriter, social entrepreneur, traveler, and community builder, all of which inform her daily life and educational approach. A lifelong learner, Sivanne is excited to continue to work to support all children in discovering that spark and whimsey that is within us all.
Growing up in Ossining, NY, Sally’s first experience working with children was at a musical theater summer camp, where she worked as a teenager to help pay for voice lessons. This encouraged her to take a financial aid job at Vassar College's lab nursery school in Poughkeepsie, NY while she was a student. Seeing the possibilities provided by a progressive and integrated education, she ended up focusing much of her undergrad in education classes while majoring in American History. After she obtained her teaching certification and completed her bachelor's degree, Sally moved to New York City where she worked as a museum educator for two years before becoming a special education teacher. She completed her master's degree in Childhood Special Education at Bank Street College of Education in 2012.
For the past six years, Sally has worked as a first grade special education teacher at an all-girls school in the South Bronx. This experience shaped her view about diversity, activism, and collaboration within the classroom. She strives to create strong classroom communities where students have multiple means of expression and can pursue their interests while also working to learn about and address real-world problems. She loves to collaborate with other professionals to accomplish these goals and so she is very excited to continue and expand this work and her world-view at Compass Charter School.
In her free time Sally loves to cook, sing, travel, read, attend lectures, visit museums and gardens, and walk aimlessly around the city.