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, Legacy 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.


Andy Martinez

Position: Assistant Principal, 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.


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