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Geneviève DeBose
2011 Alumni Washington Fellow
Bronx, New York


Photo of  Genevieve DeBose, Washington Fellow

Bio/Overview: Geneviève DeBose is an educator, artist and activist who has spent the last decade teaching middle school in urban settings across the country. Having come to the Department from teaching 5th grade in an inclusive classroom at Bronx Charter School for the Arts in the Hunts Point neighborhood of New York City, DeBose spent the majority of her 2012 Washington Fellowship working on Middle Grades Reform with a Senior Advisor to the Secretary on Secondary Schools. Previous to her work in Hunts Point, she was a founding teacher at Lighthouse Community Charter School in Oakland, California where she taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Language Arts and Social Studies. She started her teaching career as a 1999 Teach for America corps member who taught 6th grade Language Arts and Social Studies and 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Spanish at Samuel Gompers Middle School in the Watts area of Los Angeles.  She loves teaching because every day she is challenged emotionally, socially, and intellectually. As a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT), she now serves as the Director of Educator Engagement for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. In this role, she works alongside three other NBCTs to connect, mobilize, and amplify the voices and expertise of the country’s 97,000 NBCTs.

Educational Values/Philosophy: DeBose strongly believes that education is a tool for social justice and empowerment and she teaches to make the world a fair and just place for everyone. In order to make learning culturally relevant, student-centered, and interactive for her students she uses training from models such as Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound. DeBose knows the importance of families and community being integrated into schools and the classroom, so she conducts regular home visits, creates connections between her school and community organizations, and provides genuine opportunities for students to share what they are learning with the larger world.

Achievements: DeBose was a featured teacher in Academy Award winning director Davis Guggenheim’s films “Waiting for Superman” (2010), “The First Year” (2001), and “Teach” (2001). In 2010 she was awarded National Board Certification as a Middle Childhood Generalist. Additionally, DeBose is a dynamic speaker invited to deliver keynote addresses for audiences up to 1,500 people through Breakthrough Collaborative, Teach for America, Bedford Women’s Correctional Facility, Mills College, and others. In 2012, DeBose was named one of Education Week’s “17 Leaders Who Will Shape Education for the Next Generation.”

Affiliations: National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Teach for America, Leadership for Educational Equity, Teaching Tolerance, Association for Middle Level Education, The National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform, Teaching for Change

Leadership Experience: As a Washington Fellow, DeBose organized three major events for the Department. “ED Goes Back to School” gave 50 ED senior officials and career staff the opportunity to shadow a local teacher for a full or half day as a way to inform their work at the department. “Teachers’ Lounge” was a theatrical performance written and performed by a group of local teachers to share the realities of classroom teaching with ED staff. Lastly, she facilitated a panel discussion between National Board Certified teachers and Secretary Duncan at the White House.  In 2012, DeBose was a member of the selection committee for Teach for America’s first ever Social Innovation Award. She worked as a curriculum specialist and development coach in Oakland, California alongside her role as a founding teacher for the Lighthouse Community Charter School, and also acted as a curriculum specialist for Teach for America in New York City.

Education: DeBose attended the University of California at Berkeley and received a Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies in 1998. She also received a Masters of Arts in Education from Berkeley in 1999. Her Masters research focused on the role of athletics in the academic achievement of African American high school student-athletes. She received her teaching credential from Mills College in Oakland, California.

Areas of Interest and Expertise:

  • Middle school reform
  • Arts Integration
  • Teacher preparation, support, and development
  • Culturally Relevant Pedagogy
  • Project-based Learning

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Last Modified: 08/16/2012