Teacher Residents

Meet the Residents

The third class of 23 in the Teacher Residency Program, a partnership with Buffalo Public Schools, began in the summer of 2021 with an institute held on south campus. Each student is working with a mentor teacher at their assigned school. They will co-teach this year while taking courses that connect research and theory to teaching. Once they finish in August, 2022, residents are certified and eligible to work as full-time teachers in Buffalo schools. Here, members of this year’s class explain what drew them to the program.

  • Photo of Daniyal Ahmed.

    Daniyal Ahmed

    Daniyal Ahmed previously worked as a tutor and earned his bachelor’s degree in biology.

    The residency program will give me enough time to get my footing teaching without being thrust into the field unprepared.

  • Portrait of Kayleigh Brandstetter.

    Kayleigh Brandstetter

    Kayleigh Brandstetter worked at West Side Community Services as a youth services coordinator and has a bachelor’s degree in linguistics and Spanish with a minor in education.

    I love education and empowering youth and their families!

  • Photo of Tenae Connell.

    Tenae Connell

    Tenae Connell, formerly a teaching assistant, holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary social science with a concentration in early childhood education. She was drawn to the program’s approach.

    It offers me the opportunity to finally attain my certification while still remaining in the classroom.

  • Photo of Francisco Diaz Barragan.

    Francisco Diaz Barragan

    Francisco Diaz Barragan earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics. He has worked as a tutor and an event promoter and  is currently teaching his mother English.

    I want to be a role model for young minoritized students while providing them with a quality education.

  • Photo of Daniyal Ahmed.

    Brett Gibson

    Brett Gibson managed a credit union branch located in a high school staffed by students. He has a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences.

    I like the idea of being paired with a mentor teacher and learning on the job.

  • Photo of Eden Griger.

    Eden Griger

    Eden Griger interned at GSE’s Early Childhood Research Center, and worked as a nanny and a one to one classroom aide. She has a bachelor’s degree in social sciences interdisciplinary with a concentration in health and human services.

    I believe that teaching is a great responsibility and the program’s mentor-led approach will help me become the best teacher that I can be.

  • Photo of Elizabeth Hacherl.

    Elizabeth Hacherl

    Elizabeth Hacherl has a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, worked as a teaching assistant and a chemistry tutor and wants to help students create change and show them the importance of education and the power of science.

    I want to help students achieve their goals and have a positive impact on the next generation.

  • Photo of Kimberly Hernandez.

    Kimberly Hernandez

    Kimberly Hernandez, holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. She was a waitress and a cashier and has a passion for helping people.

    I want to work in a public school that mirrored my own experience and learn how to properly support students in these areas.

  • Photo of Jordon Denae Krivonos.

    Jordon Denae Krivonos

    Jordon Denae Krivonos has worked in UB Libraries’ Special Collections, as an academic support leader for UB’s Educational Opportunity Program and as a summer camp counselor. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and English Honors.

    I am really interested in working in a diverse multicultural setting, since I have great interest in multicultural literature.

  • Photo of Melissa McDonnell.

    Melissa McDonnell

    Melissa McDonnell has worked at the West Point Military Child Development Center and has a bachelor’s degree in political science. Her experience in the classroom offered as part of a GSE course led her to apply.

    I was able to help teachers in Buffalo Public School 6 twice a week in their English Language Learning classrooms.

  • Photo of Saw Meh.

    Saw Meh

    Saw Meh, a refugee from Thailand, earned a bachelor’s degree in social work. She is working as an assistant for the Focused Learning for Youth Program with the Westminster Economic Development Initiative and as a multilingual teacher assistant at Lafayette International Community School.

    The program mission and vision align with my own personal goals.

  • Photo of Zannatul Noor.

    Zannatul Noor

    Zannatul Noor has tutored at a Brooklyn after-school program, been a substitute at UB’s Childcare Center and has a bachelor’s degree in English and education.

    My work experience has taught me patience time management, how to work with students, and how hard the teaching profession can be.

  • Photo of Emma Peirick.

    Emma Peirick

    Emma Peirick discovered her love of teaching students who are learning English as a new language while working as a tutor for Buffalo Public School 6. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and recently, she has been delivering literacy interventions at the Charter School for Applied Technologies.

    The program will allow me to provide truly impactful service to enhance urban education while honing my skills.

  • Photo of Nelson Rivera.

    Nelson Rivera

    Nelson Rivera was a tutor, summer coordinator and a science instructor for the Science and Technology Entry Program at UB’s School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He also interned for the City of Buffalo Courts, worked for the Buffalo Common Council and helped students as part of UB’s Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program.

    After the pandemic impacted my job as a student success specialist, I decided to shift my career in education.

  • Photo of Heather Russell.

    Heather Russell

    Heather Russell earned a bachelor’s degree in science and mathematics. She previously worked in customer service and support.

    I believe teaching is a meaningful career. I want to show students that math can be fun and accessible to everyone.

  • Photo of Abby Salamone.

    Abby Salamone

    Abby Salamone worked with at-risk youth, taught in Taiwan as a Fulbright Taiwan Fellow, studied education and international development and worked as a first grade special education aide. She holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and a master’s degree of philosophy in education.

    The program creates positive change for students and our education system, which is a passion of mine.

  • Photo of Sabrina Schwartz.

    Sabrina Schwartz

    Sabrina Schwartz has worked in a day care and preschool and has a bachelor’s degree in social science interdisciplinary with a concentration in early childhood education.

    I learn best working hands-on in a classroom with a mentor. This program is the perfect fit for me.

  • Photo of Kim Seay.

    Kim Seay

    Kim Seay has been a substitute teacher in Buffalo Public Schools and had jobs in local government, higher education and nonprofit arenas. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in organizational leadership.

    I hope to inspire and encourage our societal youth.

  • Photo of Alyssa Shellman.

    Alyssa Shellman

    Alyssa Shellman volunteered with the Buffalo nonprofit People United for Sustainable Housing at the Grant Street Neighborhood Center as part of her UB Honors Seminar. She completed her bachelor’s degree in English in three years.

    I am enticed by the program’s pace and learning style.

  • Photo of Jacob Walek.

    Jacob Walek

    Jacob Walek worked as a summer camp teacher and volunteered with Buffalo Public Schools to help high school students with their homework. He has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in history.

    I have always wanted to teach in an urban school, and am excited to learn from a mentor and the students.

  • Photo of Kacy Wandel.

    Kacy Wandel

    Kacy Wandel has tutored reading, writing and literacy for both native English speakers and those learning English as a second language. She has a bachelor’s degree in humanities with a focus on elementary education and literature. She is passionate about reading and language learning.

    The program will offer me the opportunity to serve students in a variety of life circumstances and places.