Nigel graduated from the University of London, Goldsmiths College with a Post Graduate Certificate of Education in Theater-in-Education, from Hunter College, CUNY, with a Master of Arts, and from the Principals’ Institute, Bank Street College of Education, with a Master of Education.
His early teaching was influenced by the works of Paulo Freire while he was facilitating a rural literacy program in India. He taught Theater and English for the Inner London Education Authority for 11 years and for the New York City Department of Education for a further 10 years before becoming an assistant principal, principal and deputy cluster leader. In 2003 he was founding principal the Queens High School of Teaching, an inclusive school with a robust D75 partnership. During his time at the central office he helped to design and support other new schools in New York City. He has mentored many future school leaders through the New York City Leadership Academy.
In 2012, feeling less connected to the day to day work in schools, he returned to the principalship and took over a school that required a strong instructional leader. He is now in his fifth year as principal of Richard R Green High School of Teaching and says, “Returning to a school rejuvenated me and gave me a new lease on life. Schools are where the work is.” His career has been devoted to re-thinking education and trying to design or re-design schools that provide more creative, inclusive and individual opportunities for students.
Nancy joined the New York City Department of Education in 1999 after a successful career on Wall Street. Nancy was an assistant principal and founding faculty member of Queens High School of Teaching. Nancy left QHST and after just two years as a principal of Bayard Rustin Educational Complex Nancy was afforded the opportunity to design and found Hudson High School of Learning Technologies. Nancy is committed to building a learning community in which personalized inquiry opportunities for all students are provided using instructionally sound transliteracy approaches. While leading Hudson High School of Learning Technologies Nancy was invited to teach “Transformational Leadership” at Bank Street College.
As the founding principal of an urban high school, Nancy has “ the privilege of fueling my passion each day as I work alongside young people who are shaping their futures by seizing the opportunities available to them. We teach and learn in a special place, where access does not depend upon socio-economics, where bridges are built to span the digital divide and where role models exist in many forms. However, I believe all schools should be special places where students have a voice and a role, where technology serves as both an equalizer and a catalyst, and where partnerships break down brick and mortar walls freeing students to learn with real world partners.”
Kathryn Spence Ed.D
Professor Spence earned her Doctorate in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2009 in the Leadership and School Change Program. She conducted research with NCREST at Teachers College, focusing primarily on the Early College Project. Before earning her Ed.D., Professor Spence provided professional development on meeting the literacy needs of struggling readers in middle and high schools in New York City. Professor Spence has been a coach with ISA since 2006. She previously taught English at both the middle and high school levels.
Professor Spence is interested in teacher attrition and retention, urban school reform, blended learning and the use of technology in the classroom, literacy, and meeting the needs of all students.
Danielle is the founding principal of Frank McCourt High School in New York City. She has been working in New York City public schools for more than 20 years. Danielle began as a middle school English teacher and has worked with every grade from 6-12. She was a founding staff member at two of New York City's most well-known small high schools, Baruch College Campus High School and Millennium High School, moving from teaching to professional development to administration before starting Frank McCourt High School in 2010. In addition to her positions in schools, Danielle also supported the development of several other small schools through her work in new school creation with New Visions for Public schools. Danielle believes strongly in small schools and is happy to be settled at Frank McCourt High School where they strive to meet the needs of a diverse population through work on innovative instructional practices and school design that supports student achievement.