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Deirdra Grode
2009 Alumni Classroom Fellow
Hoboken, NJ


Photo of Deirdra Grode, Classroom Fellow

Bio/Overview: Grode is currently the Executive Director of the Hoboken Charter School and Principal of its elementary and middle school. After volunteering as a teacher in a prison throughout her freshman year of college, Grode realized that education was where she felt most passionate and of use. The experience also raised her awareness of the tremendous social consequences that can result from a flawed educational system. Upon her completion of her undergraduate degree, Grode moved to Costa Rica where she taught English at a public elementary school in the central mountains. Grode then taught social studies at a chancellor-designated School Under Registration Review (SURR) middle school in the Bronx, NY. For the seven subsequent years, Grode had the privilege of teaching social studies and language arts at the Hoboken Charter School (HCS), an urban charter school in New Jersey which serves children in grades kindergarten through twelve. In July 2009, she became the Co-Director and Principal of grades K-8 at HCS, and with a school restructuring in 2012, she took on the new role of K-12 Executive Director while maintaining her position of K-8 Principal.

Educational Values/Philosophy: As an educational leader, it is Grode’s goal for students to view the world with critical minds and be inspired and prepared to be agents of positive change in their communities and in the world at large. 

Achievements: : In 2013, the New Jersey Charter Schools Association honored Grode was with the 2013 Administrator of the Year Award, and in 2008, Grode was honored with ASCD's Outstanding Young Educator Award (OYEA). Additional honors have included the 2008 Eva's Village Service Award, a Promising Practices Award through the Character Education Partnership (CEP) and the Pennsylvania Governor's Award for Excellence in Community Outreach. 

Leadership Experience: An advocate of service-learning and character education, Grode has had the good fortune to lead presentations on these topics at numerous national conferences and Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College Independent School Leadership Institute. In June 2010, Grode served on the Whole Child Commission II and in September 2010, she presented at the Teachers’ Conference in Singapore and toured effective schools there. Grode also had articles published in Educational Leadership and ASCD Review Singapore as well as amonthly column for the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development’s newsletter, Education Update.

Affiliations: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

Education: Grode received a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Boston College's Lynch School of Education.  While teaching, she went on to earn a Master of Arts in Arts and Humanities from Columbia University's Teachers College.  More recently, she completed a Master of Arts in Urban Educational Leadership at New Jersey City University.  

Areas of Interest/Expertise:

  • Service learning
  • Charter schools
  • Instructional leadership
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Last Modified: 09/23/2013