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Fellows Archive

2014 Fellows

Hannah Biggie

Hannah is from Columbia, Maryland and attended St. Mary's College of Maryland, a small liberal arts school, from 2006-2010. She graduated with a degree in Political Science with a concentration in African Studies and a minor in Theater Studies. She served with the Peace Corps in South Africa from 2011-2013, where she taught 7th grade Mathematics and co-taught English and Social Studies classes throughout the elementary and middle school level. Hannah also developed extracurricular activities for children, organizing dance, music,and art lessons. She also designed a GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) program for young women targeting HIV/AIDS education and prevention in the community, developing leadership skills and addressing career development. After teaching in South Africa, Hannah grew concerned about the lack of attention given to special needs students and became interested in pursuing further knowledge in the Autism and Intellectual Disabilities field. While studying at Teachers College, Hannah will be working in Intellectual Disabilities and Autism programs at the elementary school level in New York City Schools.

Kevin Denunzio

Kevin was born and raised in the New York metropolitan area, he received his BA in Professional Writing from Western Connecticut State University in 2010.  Thereafter, he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in northern Romania where he taught English as a Foreign Language and facilitated secondary projects and trainings in community and youth development.  Such an immeasurable, beautiful experience in Romania revealed a passion within Kevin to sustain his Peace Corps service as a professional career, however, concentrated in Secondary English Education.  As a Peace Corps Fellow, Kevin appreciates the opportunity to observe such limitless learning in himself—while fostering the selfsame, yet wholly unique, feeling for NYC youth.

Anne Elliott

Anne was born and raised in Ketchikan, a small fishing community in southeastern Alaska. Upon graduation from high school, she journeyed to sunnier skies attending San Diego State University, where she received her undergraduate degree in English Education in 2008. Joining the Peace Corps had been a dream of Anne's for years, and fortunately, only three months after graduation, she found herself teaching in a mountainous and frightfully cold region of Kyrgyzstan. This is where her true passion for teaching began! She continued to teach secondary English and history in Qatar for two years after completing her Peace Corps service. She intends to continue teaching high school English while attending graduate school and after. Anne feels a deep connection to the academic work taught at this level, and she also finds adolescent students to be exhilarating and fun. She has spent the last four years teaching abroad, and this work has taught her that students from all backgrounds can grow to understand and eventually love English. She believes in her subject and the worth it has to any ambitious individual's life.

Liam Flaherty

Liam is from New York City.  He attended public school from kindergarten through twelfth grade, graduating from Stuyvesant High School in 1999. He earned a B.A. from Hunter College before leaving for West Africa where he served three wonderful years in the Peace Corps.  Liam taught English Language at the Junior and Senior Secondary School level in Jimmi Bagbo, a small village in Sierra Leone.  He is extremely excited for the opportunity to teach English in the city where he grew up.  He believes opportunity should not be a privilege, but something that every person around the world should be granted.  The foundation of opportunity is built upon a solid education.  His goal is to work with young people and help provide them with the opportunity to achieve the success they desire in their lives.

Abbey Kornhauser

Abbey grew up in Evanston, a vibrant and diverse suburb of Chicago.  Staying true to her Midwestern roots, she didn’t travel far to go to college at the University of Wisconsin- Madison where she earned her B.A. in Political Science.  From 2011 to 2013, she served in the Peace Corps as an Education & Youth Development volunteer in a small, rural community in Paraguay. This incredible experience led her to pursue a career teaching high school social studies, which she intends to start this year!  Her experiences working abroad and with many cultures within the United States have instilled a deep appreciation for the power and validity of every person's story.  From the mundane to the extraordinary, people's stories are powerful lessons that help us make sense of the world.

Christina Martin

Christina is originally from Irvine, California. She attended the University of California, Berkeley, where she earned her B.S. degree in Conservation and Resource Studies. Upon graduating, Christina began her Peace Corps service in Guatemala where she specialized in eco-tourism facilitation. She also spent much of her time teaching environmental education, English, and art in the local elementary schools. Christina intends to teach elementary level special education in New York. Christina believes that the responsibility of an educator is to inspire students to find and develop their talents and gifts.

Szasha Ozard

Szasha is from Petrolia, a rural town nestled along the Lost Coast of Northern California.  She earned her B.A. in History from the University of California, Berkeley where tutoring, developing after-school programs for at-risk middle school students, and volunteering as a summer English teacher in Nepal led her to her passion of education as a means to social equality and justice. After spending her final semester of college studying abroad in Ireland, Szasha served as a 6th-10th grade English teacher in both Cape Verde and Mozambique.  Aside from teaching, Szasha spearheaded several youth and community development projects including youth leadership and life-skills camps, girls empowerment groups, an English Theater Club, a Malaria outreach campaign, an HIV/AIDS peer education group, and an HIV/AIDS Sports Education program which included the construction of a community basketball court and mural. Now, Szasha is looking forward to revisiting her love for history and jumping back into the classroom as a high school Social Studies teacher. She is passionate about providing a high quality education for all students and is looking forward to continuing to change the world one young empowered mind at a time.

Michael Skvarch

Michael is a Florida native who moved to upstate New York for his high school and college years. He studied Physics, Mathematics and Spanish at SUNY University at Buffalo where he was involved in a variety of on campus activities including: tutoring, first-year orientation, and computational research.  Michael studied abroad to Barcelona, Spain his junior year of college which sparked his interest in both languages and travel.  After graduating from university, Michael joined the Peace Corps where he served for two years in Mozambique as an English and Computer secondary school teacher.  While in Mozambique, Michael organized science fairs at both the local and provincial levels, managed the building of a community center in his local community, as well as facilitated, organized and managed workshops at the local, provincial, and national levels for a women’s empower group.  He is a very energetic, and highly motivated to bring that energy into the classroom.

Craig Smith

Craig, an Oregon native, who attended Vanderbilt University where he graduated with a degree in Secondary Education and Spanish.  For his Peace Corps service, he served as a co-English teacher in the Kingdom of Jordan from 2012 to 2014.  Prior to his Peace Corps service, Craig worked for 4.5 years as a public school Spanish teacher in Charlotte, NC and Oakland, CA.  He has also served as a Volunteer Program Director with the non-profit Manna Project International for the period of one year in Ecuador.  Craig is looking forward to the new challenge of serving as a bilingual elementary teacher in New York City.

Matt Thornton

Matt hails from Massachusetts, where he received his B.A. in English Literature from UMass Amherst in 2009. He has worked with adolescents in every facet from summer camps to after-school enrichment programs. Upon graduating, he spent three months volunteering at the Early Intervention Program in Namibia, which sparked his interest in youth development and education. After the invaluable experience of teaching English in rural Azerbaijan from 2010 to 2012, he is devoted to applying his holistic educational philosophy in the diverse communities of New York City. Prior to attending Teachers College, he was teaching ESL at Kaplan International College in Boston.

Delana Turner

DeLana grew up in Walton Hills, Ohio just 15 miles southeast of that large city on the lake, Cleveland. She attended Miami University and graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. For one year she worked as a substitute teacher primarily working with children with Intellectual disabilities and Autism. In 2011, she accepted an invitation to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer in South Africa. As a volunteer in the Northern Cape province in the Kalahari Desert, she taught basic computer literacy and reading classes to primary school learners, and helped organize over 1,000+ donated books into a functional school library. She also encouraged geographical exploration with a World Map project. She has always wanted to work with children and through her Peace Corps experience she realized that teaching was the path fit for her.  The late Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” As a Peace Corps Fellow, she hopes to be a catalyst in cultivating that powerful weapon in today’s youth to be an agent of change in tomorrow’s world. She is excited to have the opportunity to continue with her passion for teaching young children, mentoring, and inspiring the next generation in New York City Public Schools.