Changing the educational landscape
Link has supported the growth of educational leaders and innovators who have used their Link experience in founding, expanding or leading educational institutions across the country
In 1969, the Dominican Sisters planted a seed for social justice and educational equity. It flourished; providing not only a strong academic setting for Newark youth that would change the trajectory of their lives but also a place where educators and leaders were nurtured and developed. The very fabric of Link was passion and the mission breathed life into the adults who shared their time at the school. All adults are changed as a result of their Link experience and all adults leave their mark in Link. As a result, Link has continued to fight for educational equity through both its own academic program and the impact it has had through the teachers, staff and leaders it has touched. Many have gone on to found schools and lead organizations, all impacting the educational landscape throughout the country. Here is a list of some of those amazing individuals:
- Jamey Verrilli (former Link Jesuit Volunteer, history teacher and principal) and Norman Atkins (former Link trustee) who co-founded NorthStar Academy in the first year of charter school approvals in NJ and later expanded to Uncommon Schools, and most recently Relay Graduate School of Education.
- Bill Kurtz (former Link principal) who helped the Gates Foundation launch the Denver School of Science and Technology as the founding school leader, later expanding to add more schools and serve more students.
- Fiona Thomas (former Link Director of Curriculum and High School Placement), RoseMary Dumenigo, Jodi Cenac, Amanda Hayes and other former Link teachers who launched Pride Charter Academy in East Orange, NJ.
- Misha Simmonds (former Link history teacher) who wrote the original charter for Schools that Can, a national network of cross-sector high performing schools and has helped turnaround schools in Newark in leadership positions, as well as support the charter sector through the Newark Charter School Fund.
- Morgan Dixon (former Link teacher and student life director), who has worked as school leader and leader of teacher development with the Achievement First network in NYC and CT, and Hope and the Urban Assembly in NYC, before starting her own life changing organization, GirlTrek.
- Brian Sims (former Link social studies teacher), who has had a huge impact in Chicago, one of the largest public school systems in America where he supported educational equity and school improvement through various leadership positions in nonprofit organizations, directly supporting teachers and classrooms throughout the Chicago Public Schools and charter sector.
We know there are others, so we hope this short list stirs conversation and that we’ll learn of others from Link pursuing the important work of social justice. Email us at email@example.com to share your stories and shout out those in our Link circle.