Courtney Saretzky is the principal of Achievement First Bushwick Elementary School. She joined Achievement First in 2010 and most recently served as Achievement First Bushwick Elementary’s dean of special services, where she created and led the school’s special services program. Achievement First Bushwick Elementary proudly serves the largest population of students with disabilities in the AF elementary cohort and was recognized by the NYCDOE as one of only eight city schools with high needs populations that excels at preparing scholars for college. Prior to joining Achievement First, Mrs. Saretzky was a Teach For America corps member and taught for four years at a public school in Brooklyn, NY. She was raised in Virginia and double majored in English and psychology at the College of William and Mary. Mrs. Saretzky earned her master’s degree in teaching and a certificate of advanced graduate studies in autism and multiple severe disabilities from Pace University.
AF Bushwick Empower Program
AF Bushwick Elementary is home to the AF Bushwick Empower Program – Achievement First’s intensive program serving students with disabilities. The Empower Program’s design builds on the three pillars of our special services program: meaningful inclusion, intervention and specialized instruction to access grade-level curriculum. As a small-scale program beginning in 2017-18, it will serve students in grades 1-4 from Achievement First Brooklyn elementary schools. The program is transitional in nature, with the ultimate goal for many students to have a thoughtfully planned and supported transition back to co-taught and general education classrooms at their original Achievement First school.
School Leader, AF Bushwick Empower
Emily Salander is the founding principal of the Achievement First Bushwick Empower Program at Bushwick Elementary. She joined Achievement First in 2016 as a principal-in-residence, serving as Achievement First Endeavor’s dean of intervention, dean of first grade and special education coordinator. Ms. Salander is a passionate special educator with a track record of results serving students with disabilities. Prior to Achievement First, she was a special education leader and founding teacher at UP Academy Leonard in Lawrence, MA. Ms. Salander also taught special education for four years at Excel Academy Charter School in Boston. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and comparative arts and earned her master’s degree in teaching and curriculum design from Boston University