Teacher Education Program
Alumni & Careers
Meet the Alumni and Students of TEP
Jennifer Wu, MCMS ’09, Middle School Mathematics
When Jennifer was graduating college, there were two promising options ahead of her: business school or teaching. After getting her MBA and working in the consulting and corporate world for 15 years, she decided to finally pursue her other calling. “It was time for me to find something more intrinsically rewarding and also to develop a career with meaningful social impact. I wanted to work more directly with young people by teaching in an urban environment.
David Juiliano, TAC ’09, High School Mathematics
Dave has always been excited about what happens within schools. Ever since his first work experience as an AmeriCorps volunteer at the Joseph Lee Elementary School in Boston, he knew that this excitement would propel him forward in his career as an educator. He found further motivation as he continued to experience positive student energy in schools outside of Los Angeles, CA, Boulder, CO, and Guyana, South America. As a TEP student, he built upon this desire and grew more eager to influence and be influenced by students. Today, as a math teacher at Manual High School in Denver, CO, he continues to take delight in the role he has in students’ lives.
Julie Kim, TAC ’09, Middle School General Science
Julie grows more passionate about teaching as time passes. As a high school student, she ran her school’s tutoring program and taught at elementary schools. As a freshman at Amherst College, Julie heard Jonathan Kozol speak about the unequal public education system and felt compelled to enter the field of teaching. During college, she tutored in Holyoke and Amherst, MA. She also traveled to Florida and South Korea during the summers to be a teacher of science and English. Wanting to expose others to this profession, she recruited for two teaching programs – The Breakthrough Collaborative and Teach for America. Her professor encouraged her to apply to graduate teaching programs if she wanted a sustainable career in education.
Julie Krieger, TAC ’08, High School Biology
After getting her B.S. in Biology at the University of Washington in Seattle, Julie came to Harvard not quite knowing what to expect. She was completely intimidated by the school’s reputation, but was immediately attracted to the prospect of being able to serve an urban population and share her passion with students who may not have been exposed to science in a proper way. Working with urban students through the TAC program, she quickly fell in love with teaching biology and being able to work with a population that had often been overlooked and ignored. After graduating from Harvard, Julie began working at Quincy (MA) High School as a biology and ELL environmental science teacher. She is currently in her third year of teaching at Quincy High and says that she can’t imagine working anywhere else.
Jason Gipson-Nahman, TAC ’07, High School Physics
A native of Houston, TX, Jason's early fascination with math, science and Spanish led him to pursue both a BS in mechanical engineering and a BA in Spanish from the University of Texas at Austin. Lured by the attractiveness of the dot-com boom, he joined a small start-up company and spent more than two years working as a software consultant. Initially, the weekly travel was fun and the job was definitely financially rewarding, but sitting in airports and living in hotels soon grew old. So, Jason left corporate America and went to the Dominican Republic to work as a Peace Corps volunteer. During his first two years, he taught computer courses in a small town in the northwest part of the country, on the Haitian border. He extended his service for a third year to work as a volunteer coordinator, and spent a lot of time working with the Dominican Ministry of Education.
Brooke Buerkle , TAC '07, High School Social Studies
As a teacher’s daughter in rural Nevada, Brooke swore she would never become a teacher. However, after several political science internships during undergrad, she realized that through teaching she could accomplish her goals and create change more directly in the lives of children than she ever could through working in legislation. Once at Harvard, Brooke taught at English High School in Jamaica Plain, engaged in action research through the Cross Role Cohort, and took classes about which she felt passionate.
Robby Chisholm, TAC '04, High School History
Before coming to TEP, Robby taught fourth grade in Roxbury, Massachusetts, worked for four months in an orphanage in Nicaragua, and then taught at a large public high school in Chicago. However, he had never been formally trained to teach. "I knew that I was doing my students a disservice by subjecting them to the only technique that I knew: chalk and talk." After his fourth year of teaching that way, he knew that he needed to learn more about how to teach in an urban school. But he also wanted to deepen his knowledge in history content. The Teacher Education Program at HGSE seemed to be the perfect fit.
Charissa Saenz, TAC '04, High School English
Charissa's original plan at age six was to become an astronaut/artist so that she could paint masterpieces on the moon. Although she never made that trip to the moon, she has certainly traveled the distance. Charissa was born in Tucson, AZ and raised in El Paso, TX on the border of Mexico. With the exception of a few exciting summers in the Big Apple at the School of American Ballet, she spent the majority of her high school years in Texas until the age of 16. After that, sunny California became her home.
Felicia Phillips, MCMS '04, Middle School Mathematics
A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Felicia's first "teaching" experience happened in the sixth grade, when a teacher asked her to help a seven year-old with her reading. Before graduating from high school, she had tutored students in several subjects and knew that she would one day be an educator.
TAC Students and Alumni
We are proud to offer additional profiles of some of the dedicated people who represent what the Teacher Education Program is all about.
- Liz Aybar, TAC '02
- Tally Briggs, TAC '05
- Robby Chisholm, TAC '04
- Angela DeProspo, TAC '04
- Antonio Garcia, TAC '03
- Jeff Garrett, TAC '04
- Monica Groves, TAC '07
- Roni Habib, TAC '05
- Olga Hechavarria, TAC '04
- Jen Hohmann, TAC '03
- Bill Jaeger, TAC '03
- Kristi Johnson, TAC '02
- Laina Jones, TAC '02
- Michael Lamb, TAC '02
- Michael McCaffrey, TAC '04
- Stepan Mekhitarian, TAC '06
- Jose Medina, TAC '02
- Lisa Novelline, TAC '06
- Bronwyn Ryan, TAC '04
- Charissa Saenz, TAC '04
- David Taus, TAC '04
- Laura Wells, TAC '05
MCMS Students and Alumni
- Kathy Koch, MCMS '03
- Jose "Tico" Oms, MCMS '03
- Felicia Phillips, MCMS '04
- Ginger Ellsworth Reiner, MCMS '06
- Adam Seldow, MCMS '03
- Carly Shellhammer, MCMS '04
- Johan Tabora, MCMS '04