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Madonna Ramp
2011 Alumni Classroom Fellow
Austin, TX

Photo of Madonna Ramp, Classroom Fellow

Bio/Overview: Ramp is a Social Emotional Learning Specialist who coaches the staff of a dozen schools as they implement social and emotional learning curriculum in Austin Independent School District. Ramp aspires to model the beliefs, understandings, skills, and habits of mind that will lead us, and our nation’s students, toward a brighter future. Ramp has worked in education and training since 1999, and has led adults or students in six states and two countries. Prior to teaching, Ramp ran the recruitment, selection, and training programs for the Listening Ear Crisis Center in East Lansing, Michigan. Ramp has transferred those skills to recruit, interview, train, make certification recommendations, and supervise those processes for thousands of teachers nationwide in full- and part-time roles with traditional public school districts and non-profit organizations such as The New Teacher Project. Ramp started teaching Special Education, English Language Arts and Reading with Teach For America in Miami, Florida where she earned a Florida Professional Educator Certificate. Ramp received a Texas Educator Certificate and achieved National Board Certification as an Exceptional Needs Specialist in Austin, Texas. For the past three years, Ramp has served as a full-time mentor for thirteen high school teachers in Austin Independent School District.

Educational Values/Philosophy: Ramp’s career is predicated on the following four beliefs:

  • An excellent education can change a child’s life trajectory.
  • Highly effective teachers lead students to success despite challenges.
  • Strong leaders hire, develop, and retain great staff.
  • Effective policy cultivates excellent leadership and organizational culture at all levels.

Achievements: Ramp has received both the Michigan Competitive Scholarship and the Teachers College, Columbia University Aspiring Principals Scholarship. As the youngest person in history to facilitate the crisis counselor training program at the Listening Ear, the oldest Crisis Center in the nation, she led the organization to be presented the City of East Lansing Crystal Award for Public Service in April of 2003, and was awarded the Lansing Association for Human Rights PRISM Community Service Award in May of 2003. Ramp was a Teach For America Corps Member and nominated Rookie Teacher of the Year in 2004, named "Outstanding Advisory Teacher in 2009," and Austin Partners in Education "Classroom Coach of the Year" in 2011.

Leadership Experience: Ramp has had the pleasure of recruiting, interviewing, training, making certification recommendations, and supervising those processes, for thousands of new teachers nationwide through The New Teacher Project (TNTP) as a Professional Development Manager, Ambassador, Selector, Fellow Advisor, Content Seminar Leader, and most recently the Lead Selector in Austin. Ramp has helped to create Professional Learning Communities at multiple levels of the education system, from classrooms to groups of new teachers and their mentors, to this year’s group of Teaching Ambassador Fellows. Ramp has spoken and presented in a variety of contexts, including in 2011 delivering the keynote address for the Texas Teaching Fellows Opening Ceremonies, and at the Teach For America Texas School Leadership Summit Closing Ceremonies. In 2012 Ramp presented as a "Featured Speaker" at the national New Teacher Center Symposium, and at South By Southwest edu to highlight the professional learning communities she has created and encourage other education professionals to adopt similar practices. Recently Ramp has been featured in the Austin Independent School District 2012 Salute staff recognition event video, "Why I Teach," and in the Michigan State University Honors College Connections publication, "2011 in Review." Previously Ramp’s work has been highlighted in news sources, such as in Michigan, the Miami Herald, the Austin-American Statesman, and the Jackson Citizen Patriot as well as in the newsletters and home pages of organizations such as the Texas Association of School Administrators, the New Teacher Center, Project PLN, and the Austin Independent School District. Ms. Ramp is also proactive in sharing best practices within and among all of the organizations with which she is affiliated and has most recently created a Wiki space to share her mentoring tools and insights online with fellow educators.

Affiliations: Teach For America (TFA); The New Teacher Project (TNTP) and corresponding Teaching Fellows programs; National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS); Austin Independent School District (AISD) National Board Pre-Certification and Certification Cohorts; The New Teacher Center (NTC); and Teachers College, Columbia University Summer Principals Academy (SPA).

U.S. Cities Lived/Worked In:

Austin, Texas; Miami, Florida; and Jackson, Lansing, and East Lansing, Michigan.

Education: Ramp graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Humanities from the Honors College at Michigan State University, can communicate in Spanish at an Intermediate level of fluency, and will earn a Master of Arts in Education Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University in October of 2012.

Areas of Interest/Expertise:

  • Leadership at all levels, from students to ED policy-makers and everyone in between
  • Transforming the profession through multiple pathways to leadership
  • Teacher and leader recruitment, preparation, training, mentoring, professional development, and evaluation
  • Creative staffing structures
  • Equity - Low-income, African-American, Hispanic, and Latino students
  • Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
  • Secondary Education
  • Special Education
  • School Turnaround and School Improvement Grants (SIG)
  • Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF)/merit pay
  • Career Technology Education (CTE)
  • Dual language schools
  • TAF alumni relations

Personal Facts: Madonna is a workaholic in recovery who has never had fewer than three jobs at one time, and is proud to say that she has been slowly cutting back on work and integrating more personal time into her life:  starting August 6th she will finally have only one job. Madonna is lucky to have some excellent friends and family members to count on, and has recently started taking social dance (everything from swing, to two-step, to salsa, though blues is her true love), and yoga classes. Madonna is a personality test geek who loves good food, live music, dancing, being outdoors, traveling, and connecting with great people.

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Last Modified: 09/09/2015