Click below to hear directly from staff members across our organization about what makes working at Ednovate unique.


MIDE (“MAC”) MACAULAY

Position: Principal, USC Hybrid High School

Home town: Lagos, Nigeria/Long Beach, CA

Alma mater: University of Southern California (Fight on!!)

Prior roles in education: 8th Grade Science teacher, Gang intervention specialist, Founding Dean of Students, Founding Assistant Principal Locke High school, Founding Science teacher USC Hybrid High! 

1. WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT TEACHING/LEADING?

I enjoy working with a dedicated group of individuals who are truly passionate about the impact that education can have on the lives of our young Trojans.  I wholeheartedly believe that education is a fundamental right and being able to create an environment where learning, and all the life­-changing effects that it creates, is a wonderful experience. Ultimately, it brings me a great deal of joy when the hard work of my team helps to shape and mold our young Trojans to become critical thinkers who are compassionate and committed to not only improving their lives, but also the lives of those around them.  It’s so much fun!  

2. WHAT MAKES WORKING AT AN EDNOVATE SCHOOL UNIQUE?

Ednovate schools are unique because we are committed to the development of  the whole human being. By putting students at the center of every single thing that we do, we are able to ensure that every action has a positive impact on the evolution of our students.  From the design of our physical space, to the the alignment of our assessment systems, everything we do is driven by our student outcomes.  Our innovative personalized learning systems constantly ensures that we are always asking ourselves if we are giving our Trojans what they need and when they need it.  Our Advisory structure allows us to leverage the power of personal relationships by providing each one of our Trojans with a mentor who will be their cheerleader, coach, and guide through their 4-­year journey.  As a staff member, the level of autonomy balanced with a strong accountability system promotes a stable work environment that is rooted in the foundations of smart and healthy teams.  Ednovate is a great place to work. 

3. IN WHAT WAYS HAVE YOU GROWN SINCE JOINING YOUR EDNOVATE SCHOOL’S TEAM?

I am constantly growing and learning new structures and approaches to tackling our great challenge of closing the college attainment gap. I have developed a greater sense of how critical it is to have a team of strong individuals who love their job and have a genuine desire to make sure our students succeed. I am learning how to incorporate various data systems to help us identify gaps and come up with great solutions to these challenges.  

4. WHAT IS ONE MEMORABLE LEARNING MOMENT WITH A STUDENT THIS YEAR?

Recently while walking past one of our Learning Commons rooms after school, I overheard a group of students having an intense debate about the impact of immigration and self identity.This debate was passionate and they were using personal examples, referencing books, and news articles.  I was fascinated and decided to go find out what project they were working on.  When I got to the room, I found 4 girls standing around waiting for cheerleading and dance practice to start. I asked them what their project was about.  They all had a puzzled look on their faces and one of them said, “we are not doing a project, we were just hanging out and talking about different things, before practice starts.”  That was great to hear and see our Trojans engaging in that type of discourse on their own. 

5. HOW ARE OUR STUDENTS PREPARING TO CREATE A POSITIVE MULTIGENERATIONAL CHANGE IN THE FUTURE?

Several of our students have begun to create a PMC in their families and community.  We have students who created a Girls Empowerment club based on a performance task that they completed 2 years ago.  There is a group of students who have partnered with a school for students with special needs to facilitate social interactions between them and our students.  All this is possible through our performance tasks and alignment to our annual themes. As a result, our Trojans are able to begin exploring their passions.  Furthermore, our students have started their college applications and are gearing towards acceptance to a 4 year college/university!


DREW GOLTERMANN

Position: Principal, USC East College Prep

Home town: Glen Ellyn, IL

Alma mater: Duke University (Go Blue Devils!)

Prior roles in education: Science Teacher, Grade Level and Department Chair with Noble Network in Chicago; Ryan Fellow with Accelerate Institute; Teach for America Corps Member

1. WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT TEACHING/LEADING?

I love working with our amazing team of staff, students and parents. I have the utmost respect for our teachers ­ I am lucky to be able to support them as they reimagine learning so that students are truly at the center. Our parents are incredible ­ some of them have been with us since before we even had a building but believed in our mission and I am forever grateful. 

2. WHAT MAKES WORKING AT AN EDNOVATE SCHOOL UNIQUE?

Autonomy. In order to make sure that all of our students are ready to graduate from college, we need to continue what works and innovate in places that don’t. At Ednovate, we have the autonomy to find creative solutions to problems so that our students can succeed.

3. IN WHAT WAYS HAVE YOU GROWN SINCE JOINING YOUR EDNOVATE SCHOOL’S TEAM?

How can I count the ways? As a leader, I am constantly learning ­ how to set a vision, listen to stakeholders and support our staff. As a school, we are learning how to deliver the best college prep education possible ­including mastery-­based grading systems, using technology and thinking creatively about our use of time and space. As a new member of the Eastside of LA, I am learning about the rich and beautiful culture and how to tap into the spirit of our community through our school.

4. WHAT IS ONE MEMORABLE LEARNING MOMENT WITH A STUDENT THIS YEAR?

One student ­- let’s call him J -­ was in a Biology class I was observing. He was working on his guided notes about carrying capacity, and he was struggling. After a first attempt, J could not correctly answer the short response on his assignment and his teacher asked him to find another resource and try again. J went to his friend and talked it through; after this submission his teacher told him that he had the basics but he could get even deeper mastery. So, J found a video online, watched it, fine-­tuned his answer and submitted a stellar answer. I love seeing our students build their mastery mindset, and J showed exactly that!

5. HOW ARE OUR STUDENTS PREPARING TO CREATE A POSITIVE MULTIGENERATIONAL CHANGE IN THE FUTURE?

 

In their classes, students are working on their PMC projects ­ writing an auto-ethnography for English + humanities about their own history through their family, convincing students the importance of a quality education in Math, tracking to improve healthy eating choices in PE and investigating environmental justice issues in Los Angeles in Biology. Talk about applying learning for PMC! Outside of school, about three weeks into school, we had an opportunity for students to attend a USC Keck School of Medicine event for high-­schoolers in LA ­ and we had almost ten students attend to learn more about careers in medicine as first quarter freshman.


EVELYN CASTRO

Position: Principal, USC College Prep, Santa Ana

Alma mater: University of California, Santa Barbara

Prior roles in education: Founding High School Teacher; Teach for America Corps Member; Department Chair with Alliance College-Ready Public Schools; Teach For America Corps Member Advisor; Assistant Principal at Alliance College­-Ready Public Schools

1. WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT TEACHING/LEADING?

What I love the most about leading is bringing together a group of like­-minded individuals who engage in healthy discourse and conflict that generates new ideas, provides different perspectives, and, more than anything, that inspires. There is nothing that creates greater satisfaction than to listen to and be a part of conversations around changing our education system in such ways that disrupt our current cycles. This gives me a strong sense of hope.

2. WHAT MAKES WORKING AT AN EDNOVATE SCHOOL UNIQUE? 

I absolutely love it. It is definitely the best work environment and team that I have been a part of. What makes it unique is the fact that everything starts with the "why"; we are rooted in our mission of positive multigenerational change and that drives everything that we do. There is a strong sense of purpose that I truly enjoy about Ednovate and everyone is in sync and aligned to that purpose. It is great to see every team member rowing in the same direction. This makes everything more enjoyable and gives our team an even greater force.

3. IN WHAT WAYS HAVE YOU GROWN SINCE JOINING YOUR EDNOVATE SCHOOL’S TEAM? 

I have seen great leadership in action from various staff members. All unique in their own way and very successful. I have also grown by being introduced to different perspectives and personality styles. It has allowed me to rethink my own beliefs and values and it has pushed me develop and practice certain personality traits that do not come as naturally to me.

4. WHAT IS ONE MEMORABLE LEARNING MOMENT WITH A STUDENT THIS YEAR? 

The most memorable learning moment with a student was a brief conversation that I had with a USC Hybrid High School Junior. She transferred this year from a traditional public school and she was so grateful to be a part of our school community. She shared that she did not learn anything last year that that she absolutely loves USC Hybrid High School. This brief conversation proved that as a Network we are doing great things and definitely providing an alternative education experience that all students should have access to.

5. HOW ARE OUR STUDENTS PREPARING TO CREATE A POSITIVE MULTIGENERATIONAL CHANGE IN THE FUTURE? 

Every time that I walk into a classroom, I see all students engaged. There is no time being wasted and there is a sense of ownership, agency, and urgency. This tells me that our students are developing a strong sense of self awareness, that they are discovering their passions, that they are learning about their community, their nation, and the world, and that they are thinking critically and constructively about what they are learning and discovering. They are on a path to make positive multigenerational change.


Chris Rougier

Position: Blended Learning Science Instructor, USC Hybrid High School

Home town: North Conway, NH

Alma mater: Undergrad CSULB, Master LMU

Prior roles in education: Naturalist at El Dorado Nature Center, City Year Corps Member, TFA Corps Member and teacher at Camino Nuevo Miramar HS

1. WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT TEACHING/LEADING?

I love when students have light bulb moments and realize their true potential.

2. WHAT MAKES WORKING AT AN EDNOVATE SCHOOL UNIQUE? 

Every single member of the school is there for one reason: to maximize student learning. 

3. IN WHAT WAYS HAVE YOU GROWN SINCE JOINING YOUR EDNOVATE SCHOOL’S TEAM? 

Working at USC Hybrid High has pushed me to think more critically about teaching science skills to enhance science literacy in my classroom. 

4. WHAT IS ONE MEMORABLE LEARNING MOMENT WITH A STUDENT THIS YEAR? 

My most memorable moment was when P. Estrada showed up to class with a book that had information about a vast variety of health care professions. She brought out the book as a reference for her performance task and began to lead her team through an exploration of health care professions. Her passion became instantly apparent. 

5. HOW ARE OUR STUDENTS PREPARING TO CREATE A POSITIVE MULTIGENERATIONAL CHANGE IN THE FUTURE? 

The students at USC Hybrid High have such an immense passion for learning and using their education to change the world.


Danielle Nathan

Position: Math Teacher, USC East College Prep

Home town: Tustin, California

Alma mater: Duke University

Prior roles in education: Founding 6th grade Math & Science Teacher at Brooke Charter Schools in Boston, MA; Teaching Fellow with Citizen Schools in Charlestown, MA.

1. What do you love about teaching/leading?

I love so much about teaching,­ but I think what I love the most is the moment when a group of students has worked together to successfully find a solution to a problem. It requires students to have the maturity to teach and lead their peers, to be comfortable with conflicting ideas, and to seek feedback on their work. When all of these things happen, students feel ownership over their own learning, and that is incredible to watch. 

2. What makes working at an Ednovate School unique?

Teachers at Ednovate are given a remarkable amount of autonomy,­ but the autonomy is coupled with incredible support from the entire staff at each school. I feel challenged to create an excellent learning environment for our students, and the structure of Ednovate allows me the autonomy to move forward with my vision. 

3. In what ways have you grown since joining your Ednovate school’s team?

My experience before Ednovate was only at traditional schools where very little technology was available. I was a little intimidated by moving to a personalized learning space where so much work is done (by both teachers and students) on computers. With the tools that Ednovate has provided, I learned how to provide our students with an individualized learning experience.  

4. What is one memorable learning moment with a student this year?

I have a student who is struggling in math, not necessarily because she doesn’t understand the content, but because she isn’t confident in her ability to successfully complete the work. Because of this, she leans on me quite a bit for help. I was watching her struggle to answer a particular question during office hours, and I stopped her and started to ask her questions to help her get started. Instead of eagerly answering and looking relieved that I was providing support, she looked and me and said “Ms. Nathan, I actually want to try this one on my own first.”  That was an awesome moment ­ she was building her confidence, one problem at a time. I was there to support her, but she knew that she could do it by herself. 

5. How are our students preparing to create a positive multigenerational change in the future?

Our ninth graders have a focus for their year ­ and that is to learn about themselves. By turning their focus inward, they are learning about what motivates them, what is challenging to them, and what obstacles they have in their paths. I know that our students are getting stronger every day, both academically and personally, and this is what is going to help them to create a PMC in their future.


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alma uribe

Position: Special Education Resource Teacher, USC College Prep, Santa Ana

Home town: Paramount, CA 

Alma mater: Cal State University, Long Beach

Prior roles in education: 6th-8th Mathematics Teacher at the Academy of Multilingual Immersion Studies in Cincinnati, OH and Teach for America Corps Member

1. What do you love about teaching/leading?

I love teaching because it allows me to empower others to reach their full potential. It allows me to tell my story and help students also use their stories to make change in their communities by educating others.

2. What makes working at an Ednovate School unique?

Working at an Ednovate school is very unique because there is always a why for everything we do. We have a system in place to help our students obtain the best education they can receive. We work as a team to assure every student is served, despite the extra work it may bring. We work together to make our school a better place for our students and always keeping in mind the communities they come from.

3. In what ways have you grown since joining your Ednovate school’s team?

I’ve been able to see how trust in a team can change the results of a goal. How our personalities styles can help look at issues in different angles and work towards a solution that keeps everyone in mind. Being on my Ednovate team has taught me to turn vulnerability from a weakness to a strength. I’ve learned to be vulnerable on my team so I can create trust and show respect toward others' perspectives, opinions, and thoughts. Before joining the Ednovate team, I was afraid of conflict and going against an idea, but I’ve learned to voice concerns when I know it will affect our students in the long run. 

4. What is one memorable learning moment with a student this year?

The most memorable learning moment with a student this year has been seeing one of my students with a disability tell me how hard the material she was learning was for her. Despite the difficulty, she continued to work and finish what was set for her to do. Regardless of failure and fear, she continued to work and didn't give up. She showed me resilience and motivated me to find better ways to make her feel she has the support to be successful. 

5. How are our students preparing to create a positive multigenerational change in the future?

Our students are exploring who they are through a personalized learning experience and engaging in their community. Teachers are creating curriculum that motivates students to see how their stories and life experiences can direct the career they will pursue in college. Students are being pushed to identify problems in their communities and search for ways to make their communities a better place, not just for them, but also for everyone who resides in it. After learning about their surroundings and potential issues in their communities, students explore careers that one day help fix the problem they have identified. Throughout this process students learn why it's important for them to have a college degree and to create a positive multigenerational change.


Andy Martinez

Position: Dean of Culture, USC East College Prep

Home town: Apple Valley, CA

Alma mater: UC Riverside

Prior roles in education: Kindergarten Teacher, 2nd Grade Literacy Teacher, College Counselor, 10th Grade World History Teacher, Grade Level Lead at Noble Network in Chicago

1. What do you love about teaching/leading?

My favorite thing about teaching/leading is being able to watch and guide others as they grow every day. Seeing students and staff push themselves to improve is encouraging and makes me want to be a better leader and person. 

2. What makes working at an Ednovate School unique?

Joy. Each school will present its challenges and obstacles. Working at an Ednovate school encourages debate around such challenges. When getting into the daily grind and engaging in these dates, it can be easy to lose sight of what life is all about. Working at an Ednovate school  has been unique because debate is encouraged, but the staff is always joyful. This atmosphere makes coming to work something to be enjoyed.  

3. In what ways have you grown since joining your Ednovate school’s team?

Since joining Ednovate, I have been pushed to think creatively about both proactive and reactive measures. The autonomy granted here allows for us to brainstorm with colleagues, search through relevant research and try new things. 

4. What is one memorable learning moment with a student this year?

I have already had many memorable moments with a plethora of scholars. They are resilient and remind me of life’s struggles and triumphs. There have been a few scholars that I have had to really push; they are so great but don’t realize it. One scholar in particular, on their first day, came in and made it clear that they did not want to be here. I spent a lot of time with them and realized the pain they were in and how great their potential was/is. Since then, the battles have continued but the scholar has shown tremendous progress. Such moments are a reminder that all of our scholars have such great abilities and resiliency.  When pushed and provided support, they can be great. 

5. How are our students preparing to create a positive multigenerational change in the future?

Our scholars are preparing to create positive multigenerational change in a multitude of ways. Although, the greatest work that scholars are doing in order to prepare for the future lies within how they treat one another and how they work to create community. We have seen many instances where scholars have supported one another and have held one another accountable. By creating the school culture that they want now, they are preparing themselves to be leaders of various spaces in the future.


Lorena Gomez

Position: Operations Manager, USC Hybrid High School

Home town: Chicago, IL

Alma mater: Northeastern Illinois University

Prior roles in education: Founding student of Noble Network school (Chicago), Graduated magna cum laude while helping with the expansion of other campuses of the Noble Network, Founding staff member of Rowe Elementary (one of the most successful elementary schools in Chicago). 

1. What do you love about teaching/leading?

I love creating new systems for our school so that teachers and students can focus on what they do best. Creating successful events for student recruitment, enrollment and orientation requires a team that is synchronized and smart, especially when dealing with unexpected situations. I also love connecting with students over lunch conversations or through my after school art club to hear about their day and give them advice even when they don’t want it, haha. Waking up in the morning to come to work is a true blessing and I don’t take it for granted. 

2. What makes working at an Ednovate School unique?

Working at Ednovate means that we are constantly changing to become better. What is unique is that you will often explore an idea, put it into place and when successful, celebrate it and then make it better. If this new idea wasn’t as successful as planned (it’s ok to be vulnerable), there is a strong team behind you that will make you feel supported. At the end of the day, we’re here to make sure our students graduate from college and having been a student and in their shoes before, I’m here to make sure I can do everything possible to make that happen.

3. In what ways have you grown since joining your Ednovate school’s team?

I’ve been fortunate to apply and earn the role I’m in. I feel lucky to have a team that cares about what I believe in and students who respect our work environment. The more transparent we are not only with our teammates, but with our parents and students, the stronger our relationships are and those will go far beyond our four walls. I really believe we’ll be the best high school in the city of Los Angeles. I have no doubt about it. 

4. What is one memorable learning moment with a student this year?

Students are growing mentally and finally feeling empowered. I’ve seen students lead groups or sports teams simply through self­-motivation and that’s very special to see. Our students are becoming responsible and very smart adults. We are often teaching students life lessons through school examples and hopefully we’ll see those transform over their college career and beyond. 

5. How are our students preparing to create a positive multigenerational change in the future?

Our students are definitely feeling the pressure to do something amazing. They are dreamers and work hard to make sure their grades and activity lists reflect everything they do. They will soon join thousands of college students and experience a new environment and I know they will be successful. It’s our vision to see that 90% of students who enrolled in college remain after the first year, but I know we’ll join them in their adventure far beyond that. Relationships don’t end with a diploma, that’s just the beginning of PMC.


Reid Phillips

Position: Chief Operating Officer

Hometown: Los Altos, CA

Alma mater: Williams College, Northwestern Kellogg School of Management

Prior roles related to current job: Boston Consulting Group, Consultant; Teach For America Corps Member and 7th Grade Math Teacher at South Gate MS; Rothschild, Investment Banking Analyst

1. What do you love about teaching/leading?

I love being part of an organization like Ednovate that is devoted perpetual growth and development ­­ serving more families, reinventing the high school experience through greater personalization for students, and building a lasting institution that will endure.

2. What makes working at an Ednovate School unique?

The caliber of people that Ednovate attracts sets it apart from other operators. ­­ We are Ed.Ds/Ph.D.s, MBAs, valedictorians, collegiate athletes, and former Navy officers,­­ and everyone in the organization is aligned around a common purposes of creating positive multigenerational change (PMC).  In addition, it is a self selecting group who thrive in a fast­-paced, entrepreneurial, and mastery-­focused environment with lots of autonomy.

3. In what ways have you grown since joining your Ednovate school’s team?

I’ve grown in a number of ways, most notably in experience with building loose­-tight management systems that work in a matrixed organization and can scale as our organization does.  In addition, our leadership team regularly engages in discussions and coaching sessions focused on developing leadership and people management skills, which are essential in this line of work.

4. What is one memorable learning moment with a student this year?

The most memorable moment with a student last year was when a then sophomore spoke about her experience at an Ednovate school had changed her as a student and young learner, and how she planned to use her college degree and career to make her positive multigenerational change by founding an after-school program for youth from her community.  It was really powerful to hear a student speak about how her high school experience had changed her, and what she was going to do with it in the future.

5. How are our students preparing to create a positive multigenerational change in the future?

Through our student­-centered model and performance tasks anchored around our four annual themes (know yourself, community, nation, and world) our students are developing a self awareness of themselves as learners, and of their passions for how they will one day make an impact on their families, communities, nation or world.  Having this much self-awareness and purpose for college will undoubtedly help them to make it through the challenges of college and beyond.

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