Summer Spotlight: Week 4

Sarah Rice

Sarah Rice

Faculty Member of the Week
Humanities Teacher, College Success Academy

Hometown: Dorchester
Education: Bachelor of Arts from Smith College and Masters in the Art of Teaching from Simmons College
Favorite hobbies: Gardening, football, cooking
Favorite book: Maya Angelou’s All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes
If I could have one super power it would be: Flight
Interesting fact: I love running long distances (5-10 miles a week)
What is your favorite part of Steppingstone?: Being a part of the College Success Academy’s culture. I love running into people who have such high opinions of The Steppingstone Foundation as a whole, and feeling a part of that community.
Do you feel like you have been able to make an impact this summer?: I sure hope so. If not, CSA has definitely made a huge impact on me. I love the relationships that I have developed with Scholars and other members of the staff and faculty. I love being able to push Scholars to improve their writing and active reading strategies, and knowing that they will be able to meet my expectations. Hopefully, Scholars see me as firm, but also as someone who provides them with empathetic support in order to help them reach their goals.
What have you learned during your time with Steppingstone?: I have been able to co-plan with teachers who have really interesting and effective teaching strategies. Additionally, Scholars have transformed my thinking around what successful urban education can be. In the past, I have not given my students a lot of responsibility in the preparation of stations and classroom materials. I also rarely asked my students how they think I can deliver lessons more effectively. Scholars have really shown me that my middle school students can handle more adult responsibilities. It is my teaching during the summer with CSA that structures my student interactions for the rest of year.

Nicholas Otis

Nicholas Otis

Faculty Member of the Week
Science Teacher, The Steppingstone Academy

Hometown: Goshen, Massachusetts (in Western MA)
Education: University of Massachusetts Amherst 2014 (Kinesiology & Nutrition)
Favorite hobbies: Hiking, traveling, finding new music
Favorite book: The Heart and The Fist by Eric Greitens
If I could have one super power it would be: Transport
Interesting fact: I speak Swahili
What is your favorite part of Steppingstone?: Getting to work with brilliant Scholars who also make me laugh every day
Do you feel like you have been able to make an impact this summer?: As a teacher, I can only hope that I have made an impact on Scholars. I hope I’ve taught them freedom of expression, how to have fun while learning, and how to question their surroundings (especially in my 9-III class, Environmental Investigations!).
What have you learned during your time with Steppingstone?: How to think on your feet when lesson plans go awry. Also, how to Nae Nae in Hip-Hop class.

Geoff Favakeh

Geoff Favakeh

Faculty Member of the Week
Math Teacher, College Success Academy

Hometown: Randolph, MA
Education: BA Political Science- Umass Amherst,  Masters of Education (MEd) – Umass Amherst
Favorite hobbies: Hiking, playing frisbee golf, going to concerts and movies, making lesson plans!
Favorite movie: O Brother, Where Art Thou?
If I could have one super power it would be: The power to fly
Interesting fact: I lived in Florida for 3 years to the day during high school.
What is your favorite part of Steppingstone?: I love seeing Scholars’ eagerness and willingness to continue their education. Scholars have a thirst for knowledge and are constantly asking the question “Why?” which is a great sign of their desire to learn.
Do you feel like you have been able to make an impact this summer?: Yes, I feel that I have shown students that education can be fun and that we can laugh while learning. I try to make materials relevant to the Scholars while also adding some humor into the materials and the way they are presented.
What have you learned during your time with Steppingstone?: I have had the fortune of working with students who want to learn, and that has become contagious. I have focused this summer on different strategies I can use in the classroom as well as learned a great approach to math instruction through the use of stations.