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Alumni Resident Profiles

Aisha Barnes
2015-16, Hartford Resident

Aisha Barnes served as the Dean of Students for S.A.N.D School during the 2014-2015 school year. In addition to her recent administrative roles, Ms. Barnes worked directly with students in the capacity of a Special Education English Literature Teacher and Guidance Counselor, with both roles serving high school populations.  Ms. Barnes completed her Bachelor of Art’s degree in Sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, as well as master’s degrees in School Counseling and Educational Leadership from Long Island University and DePaul University, respectively.  Ms. Barnes currently holds an Administrator’s License for the State of Illinois and her Intermediate Administrator (092) Certification for the State of Connecticut.

Brendan Callahan
2015-16, Achievement First Resident- Hartford

Brendan Callahan has served as an Academic Dean at AF Hartford High School for two years. Prior to this, he taught 11th and 12th grade composition at AF Amistad High School in New Haven and middle school social studies at Mary Hooker Elementary School in Hartford. Brendan earned a bachelor’s degree in history from The College of Wooster (Ohio) and a master’s degree in Education from the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education.

Julia Webb
2015-16, New Haven Resident

Julia Webb serves as a teacher and ELA Curriculum Writer and Facilitator for New Haven Public Schools. She has taught Literature for 13 years. Ms.Webb has worked as a facilitator of both departmental and interdisciplinary groups of teachers. She has held leadership roles in her schools work with mastery grading and performance based assessment. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Dartmouth College and an Ed.M.in Curriculum and Teaching from Teacher's College, Columbia University.

Gina Polley
2015-16, Hartford Resident

Gina Polley has worked for the Hartford Public School System for fifteen years. Prior to her appointment as a Dean of Students she taught numerous grade levels, served as a math coach, and an intervention specialist at Maria Sanchez and Dr. M.D. Fox School. Mrs. Polley earned a bachelor’s degree in human development and family relations with a concentration in early childhood education from the University of Connecticut, a certificate in elementary education from Central Connecticut State University, a master’s degree in bilingual education/tesol from the University of Connecticut, and a sixth year degree in educational leadership from Quinnipac University. Gina earned her Intermediate Administrator (092) Certification May 2013.

Roxanne Lopez
2015-16, Achievement First Resident- New Haven

Roxanna Lopez serves as an Academic Dean for Amistad Academy Middle School.  Prior to her appointment as an Academic Dean she taught 5th and 6th grade ELA at Amistad Academy for 11 years.   Ms. Lopez has worked as a middle school and elementary school teacher in New York City, as a member of Achievement First’s Teaching and Learning Team and as an instructional coach at Amistad Middle School.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Haverford College and a Reading Specialist Masters of Arts degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. 

Kimberly Wilson
2015-16, New Haven Resident

Kimberly Wilson served as a teacher at Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet School inNew Haven since 2008.  She was the Vertical Team Leader for the Pre-K to Second Grade team for the past 5 years.  Ms. Wilson earned a bachelor’s degree in Education and Liberal Studies at Southern Connecticut State University, a master’s degree in Special Education from the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford, and a sixth-year degree in Educational Leadership from Southern Connecticut State University.  She earned her Intermediate Administrator (092) Certification in May 2014.  Ms. Wilson has a passion for urban education and believes every child deserves the right to a strong, positive educational experience to set the foundation for lifelong success.

Heather Wachter
2015-16, Achievement First Resident- Bridgeport

Heather Wachter serves as Academic Dean for Achievement First Bridgeport Academy Elementary School. Prior to her appointment as an Academic Dean she taught grades one and two for five years.  Ms. Wachter was also a grade level chair and teacher coach at Elm City College Preparatory School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Southern Connecticut State University and a master’s degree in applied educational psychology from Teacher’s College, Columbia University.