Stacey Guerrero '06 is the Dean of Math at Kipp Star Charter School in Harlem, where she is part of the school’s leadership team and has a hand in shaping the culture of the school. In this role Stacey coaches and mentors teachers in the math department. “Some of my responsibilities include helping improve teacher instruction, planning meetings and discussing content, which is my favorite part of my job.” Stacey has always had a passion for tutoring and this continued during her studies at Harvard. Math has always been Stacey’s easiest subject to tutor. After graduating from Harvard, Stacey applied for Teach For America and was placed at Kipp Star. Stacey is a Prep For Prep alum and a member of the Contingent XXIII.
Stacey says, “The idea of tolerance and openness to new ideas,” are the most significant values she learned during her time at Friends. She tries to apply these values every day and in all she does. These values came into play when Stacey first appeared in front of students in the classroom and had to listen to their experiences. It has also helped Stacey in her interactions with adults as well. “People respond positively to those they can trust and who they feel actually listen.”
Stacey’s sister also attended Friends, but the family moved to Florida before she graduated. The family ties to Friends continue today, as Stacey’s niece is a Grade 6 student. Stacey and her sister often talk about one of their favorite teachers at Friends, John Byrne. Stacey says, “Mr. Byrne was the first teacher who made reading fun. I was always a good student but Mr. Byrne made me fall in love with reading and analysis, which helped me really understand what was going on in the story. It’s one of the most helpful skills I was able to apply in college.” Stacey found Mr. Byrne to be approachable, with a great sense of humor, although a little intimidating. “Students would be a little terrified and a lot in awe.” Ted Scovell is another teacher who made an impact on Stacey. Her Grade 8 Biology class allowed her to work on lots of cool projects and study anatomy. Stacey also recalls making a clothing line with her classmate, “It was a fun class that allowed students to present what they had learned before the class.”
As a senior, Stacey was a member of the Committee for the Day of Concern, a long standing tradition at Friends rooted in Quaker values. Stacey’s class led an initiative for students to learn about status and socioeconomics in different NYC neighborhoods. Stacey also played Volleyball and says “I wasn’t great at volleyball but it was really fun. I loved my teammates and being part of the team.”
Everyday Stacey tries to bring her best self to her school and inspire her teachers and students in their instruction and learning. Math is a challenging subject, so she tries to implement a growth mindset. Looking ahead to the current school year, Stacey is hopeful for consistency. The pandemic was particularly challenging to have access to students and to be her best at work for students. Stacey hopes to create opportunities that lead to joy around math, to shine on students who are doing well and she plans to organize a trip to the National Museum of Mathematics.