Teaching Ambassador Fellowship
2011 Alumni Classroom Fellow
Bio/Overview: Gamal is presently teaching and co-writing science and history curricula at Philadelphia’s Science Leadership Academy, where he also sponsors the ski and yoga clubs. Sherif began working with children in 1980, when he served as a summer camp director in New York’s Bear Mountain State Park. After earning his undergraduate degree, Sherif worked as a sous chef, a school bus driver, a development director for a non-profit and a cinema projectionist. Over the years, Gamal has facilitated school planning, professional development, and program enrichment for charter, independent and traditional public schools in Philadelphia, across the U.S. and in Morocco.
Educational Values/Philosophy: As a teacher, Gamal enjoys helping his students develop the critical and creative thinking skills he believes are important to sustaining a democracy. Each year, Gamal’s science students use inquiry to investigate unexplained phenomena that culminates in an end-of-year “Inquiry” Science Fair. He is also proud of his students’ work in the African American history classes he has taught, which have employed ethnomusicology projects to examine liberty and equality as they relate to the US Constitution and African American history.
Achievements: In 2008, Gamal received his school’s Lindback Foundation’s Distinguished Teaching Award, and in 2011 he received the NSTA’s National Award for Inquiry-based Science Education. Sherif also completed a prestigious fellowship with the International Leaders in Education Program at the U.S. State Department, and is currently a fellow with the Center for Teaching Quality in North Carolina.
Leadership Experience: As a 2011 Teaching Ambassador Fellow, Sherif organized a Professional Learning Community on Teacher Leadership involving several teacher leadership organizations from across the city in conjunction with the Philadelphia Education Fund. Sherif was also a founding teacher for the Science Leadership Academy, and before that served as the regional director of curriculum for Mosaica Education Inc. in New York. He is also very involved in K-12 STEM initiatives, and has presented at conferences related to science literacy and learning.
Affiliations: Center for Teaching Quality, National Science Teachers Association, ASCD, Teacher Union Reform Network
Education: Sherif received his Bachelor’s degree from SUNY-Binghamtom, and went on to earn a Master’s in Education from Temple University in Philadelphia. After five years as a high school teacher and grants administrator with The School District of Philadelphia, he enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania where he earned his Principal Certificate as well as a Master of Science degree in Educational Administration.
Areas of Interest/Expertise:
- Inquiry-driven curriculum, instruction and assessment
- Effective teacher engagement in unions