The second class of the new GSE Teacher Residency Program, a partnership with Buffalo Public Schools, began in the summer of 2020 with a virtual institute. Each of the 15 students was assigned to a mentor teacher who they will co-teach with for the school year while taking courses that will connect research and theory to their teaching practice. Once they finish, residents start jobs in Buffalo schools. Here, this year’s class explains how they expect the experience to shape their careers.
Dayna Boone grew up on Long Island, earned a BS in biological sciences with a minor in health and wellness from UB. During her studies, she worked as an intern with the sexual violence prevention unit at UB Health Promotion office and was also a Campus Living resident advisor. Immediately after finishing her undergraduate degree, she started the residency program, which she liked for its mentorship.
I loved the mission of the program. I knew I wouldn't have gotten this anywhere else.
Griffin Coyne, a Buffalo native, earned a BA in English from UB and has been working as a gallery assistant and bartender at a local art and event space.
I was immediately drawn to how immersive, hands-on, supportive, and demanding the program is. I truly believe it is the best way to train new teachers. We receive real-time, relevant coursework that won't be lost over the span of a few semesters, but rather used in the immediate days and weeks within our classrooms.
Gary Crump, a New York City native, discovered his love of learning, culture and language while earning a BA in history at Wesleyan University. He has a law degree from Case Western Reserve University. Most recently, he supervised an urban program for young people earning high school equivalency diplomas and other work certifications. He is particularly interested in the residency program’s emphasis on support, mentorship, guidance and training for new educators in city settings.
The one-year residency affords us a practical deep dive into the everyday life of a teacher.
Sara Gullo earned a BA in psychology with a minor in exercise science from Buffalo State College. After working as a substitute teacher in Buffalo schools, she sought out the residency program so she could teach full-time in the diverse classrooms of the city she loves.
I aspire to be a transformational elementary school teacher and create a classroom environment that is a safe-place.
Lindsey Hanes, a Buffalo native, earned her BA in anthropology from Buffalo State College. Before starting her residency, she worked as a classroom aide, behavior technician and teaching assistant in local schools. She is eager for the chance to lead a classroom of her own.
It’s time to embrace my passion … This program felt like it was tailored to my dreams.
Micah Harris, a Buffalo-native and a Marine veteran, earned his BA in history with a minor coaching from Buffalo State College. Lately, he has been working as a substitute teacher and coaching football and basketball.
I want to be a teacher and, eventually, a school principal.
Jahil Jocelyn Joseph, grew up in Haiti and earned a BA in French from UB before teaching English as a second language. He chose the residency program so he could focus completely on his studies and his teaching.
I’ve always wanted to be a teacher, help students and create a positive and equal environment for all.
Berkeley Kozuch, grew up in Depew, earned a BS in biological studies and a BA in Spanish from UB. Before enrolling in the residency, she ran an after-school program at an elementary school and substitute taught. She is particularly interested in helping students learn how to create change and contribute.
I want to have a positive impact on our future and the community while at the same time showing my students the importance of education and the power of science.
Cassidy McGee, a Buffalo native, earned a BS in environmental studies with a Spanish minor from UB in 2019. She chose the residency program for its supportive approach and the opportunity to get more involved with the community.
I want to do something that matters. I want to help people and I want to involve myself in my job at a level that provides the most impact.
David Panepinto, a Buffalo native, earned a BA in English and a law degree from UB. His career so far includes a stint as an assistant district attorney for Erie County and nonprofit work helping Alaska Natives develop and increase the capacity of their courts. He chose the program for its practical classroom work and to inform his teaching with current research and theory.
I want to use my experience to help urban students reach their full potential.
Brianna Perry grew up in Lancaster, earned a BS in social work from Buffalo State College. She also has an associate of science degree in nursing from Erie County Community College and has been working as a school nurse. She chose the residency program for the way it combined a living expense stipend with coursework and help finding a teaching position afterwards.
It has been my dream to be a teacher.
Ivey Pittman, a Buffalo native, earned a BA in history at SUNY Potsdam. Her mentorship of students experiencing challenges in school led to her passion for teaching. She would like to manage an after-school program that bridges school and theater.
I can relate to a lot of students in urban areas. I feel as though it is my duty to help prepare them for life after school.
Devan Rodriguez, a Brooklyn native, earned a BA in English with a creative writing minor at Utica College. Before enrolling in the residency program, he was working towards an MFA in fiction, working at a credit union, writing a book and holding writing workshops. Now he looks forward to developing his teaching while he finishes a master’s degree in education.
The residency program has a unique method of co-teaching and will provide me the tools I needed in a classroom. I want to teach high school and college while continuing to work on my novels.
Monet Simpson, a Rochester native, earned a BS in English literature from SUNY Brockport. Since completing her degree in May, she has been working as a food service supervisor and a babysitter for a child with autism. She is looking forward to working with a mentor teacher and learning from her classmates.
I expect that I will gain an immense amount of insight on a multitude of programs, protocols, teaching styles ...
Courtney Smith, a Buffalo native, earned a BS in individualized studies at Buffalo State College. Her interest in teaching developed from her work as a teacher’s aide in fifth through seventh grade classrooms.
I wanted to become a teacher but didn’t think I could do it because my undergraduate degree was not in education. The residency program was a way I could fulfill my goal of teaching while providing an outlet and inspiration to students who think they can’t achieve something because they may not have all of the criteria.