The following profiles are of a few individuals who have participated in the NTC program.
Caleb Hurst-Hiller, Head of School
BA, Brown University
EdM, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Caleb Hurst-Hiller became head of school of the Community Charter School of Cambridge in July 2012. A member of CCSC's founding faculty, Mr. Hurst-Hiller started as a 7th and 8th grade humanities teacher and an advisor. He then taught 10th grade, before serving as the school's first instructional leader, mentoring teachers new to the profession and the school. He coached the varsity basketball team for the school's first four years. In 2009, he became upper school principal.
A history major at Brown University, Mr. Hurst-Hiller earned a master's degree at Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he concentrated on educational policy, instructional improvement, and small school development. Prior to CCSC, he was part of the New Teachers Collaborative and taught at the Sizer School, formerly the North Central Charter Essential School in Fitchburg. He has also taught in rural Kenya through Global Routes. He grew up in New York City and attended Central Park East II in East Harlem in elementary school adn Ethical Culture Fieldston School in high school. He and his wife live a short bike ride from CCSC with their young son and their dog.
Through its brief, but intense, summer session, the NTC provided me with a necessary introduction to both the larger educational issues which we ponder as teachers and the smaller, more routine occurrences we encounter in the classroom on a daily basis. In addition to providing a curriculum on adolescent psychology, special education, and the history of American educational reform, the intimate community created through the NTC is continuing to serve as a group to which I feel comfortable turning when confronted with the challenges of this profession. The NTC has blended a study of the craft of teaching with the ability to experience pedagogical issues in real time on the job; I cannot imagine diving into this world any other way.
Liz Naiman, English Teacher, Souhegan High School
B.A., Georgetown University
Liz Naiman graduated from Georgetown University in 2000 with a B.A. in Liberal Arts. Liz majored in Theology and Government and minored in English. While at Georgetown, Liz was an SAT prep classroom teacher as well as an Assistant Teacher in a 3rd grade classroom. She also participated in Sursum Corda, an inner city mentoring program which matches Georgetown undergraduates with Washington DC area high school students. During her summers, Liz worked as a Group Leader at ASA Programs at Stanford University, a college preparatory program for high school juniors and seniors. Liz is currently teaching tenth grade English at Souhegan High School.
Through the New Teachers' Collaborative, I have embarked on the process of mastering the intricacies of the classroom while learning the larger theories of secondary education. It is daunting to step into the classroom for the first time but, through the NTC, I feel confident that I have a large system of support, both from renowned, seasoned educators and from my fellow new teachers. I rely on our seminars as a reflective "step back" from the classroom: How can I improve my practice? What am I doing well as a first year teacher? The New Teachers' Collaborative supplies the pedagogical advice, innovative ideas, and comforting humor that I need to get through my first year of teaching!
Jen Spingla, Science Teacher, The Sizer School
B.S., University of Maine
Jen Spingla graduated from the University of Maine in 1996 with a B.S. in Horticulture. During and after college she worked as a youth expedition leader and experiential educator along the coast of Maine. She also co-instructed an outdoor leadership and marine science course for high school students to earn college credit through Franklin Pierce College and the Marine Awareness Research Expedition School. Jen taught 7th and 8th grade science at the Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School and is currently teaching at the Sizer School, formerly, the North Central Charter Essential School, in Fitchburg.
NTC provides the perfect bridge between academic learning and hands-on experience. Through NTC, we are provided with the opportunity to simultaneously be both teachers and learners; what we learn is reinforced in the best possible way, through real life experience. I considered graduate school as a means of obtaining teaching certification but it removed me from the very thing that had drawn me to teaching, the students.