From teaching Sunday school classes, to volunteering in various early childhood and middle school settings, Esther has always felt the draw of education. An internship experience with Breakthrough Long Island, formerly Summerbridge, as a student-teacher would lead her into the classroom. Breakthrough provided a summer of training, learning, workshop and grit that rooted her philosophy on education. Upon graduation from The University of Florida (B.A. Anthropology- 2004) Esther worked as a Program Assistant with Breakthrough. During her 5-year tenure with Breakthrough Long Island, she served as an Assistant Director, Co- Director and ultimately a Director of the academic enrichment program. While promoting and upholding the unique students teaching students framework of Breakthrough, she taught 8th grade Ethics, 7th grade World Cultures, coached and advised students at a Quaker independent school on Long Island. The same pull she originally felt to accept her participation in the education movement, motivated Esther to join her like-minded educators in New Orleans. These rich experiences led to Esther becoming a 2010 teachNOLA fellow. For two years following her fellowship, she taught 2nd grade as a founding teacher at a turn-around charter school before moving to her current position. She serves as a Team Leader, as well as an upper elementary teacher at a charter school in New Orleans. As an aspiring school leader, Esther is looking forward to using her experiences as a SPA NOLA graduate to create and foster a school climate of high intellectual curiosity, empathy, compassion and justice for all learners. The same pull she originally felt to accept her participation in the education movement, motivated Esther to join her like-minded educators in New Orleans. These rich experiences lead to Esther becoming a 2010 teachNOLA fellow. She taught 2nd grade as a founding teacher at a turn-around charter school and currently serves as a Team Leader, as well as a Literacy Teacher at Lusher Charter School. Esther is thrilled to join the 2014 SPA NOLA cohort and looking forward to shaping a culture of learners- in both teachers and students- this upcoming school year as a member.