Teaching Ambassador Fellowship
Saint Paul, MN
Bio/Overview: Vernosh currently serves as the principal of Maxfield Elementary School in Saint Paul Public Schools, Minnesota. While a Fellow, Vernosh served as a Peer Assistance Review (PAR) teacher in the Saint Paul Public School district, working with beginning teachers on developing sound practices to ensure all students are achieving. Prior to his role as principal Vernosh worked in the Saint Paul Public School District as Director of Communications, Marketing and Development, as well as helping lead the district’s Policy, Planning and Intergovernmental Relations. In this role, he helped bridge the gap between policy and practice and helped steer the direction of the district, especially with regard to its racial equity policy. As the district’s policy and strategic planning administrator, he led the eighteen-month district outreach process and creation of the Gender Inclusion policy, the first in Minnesota. Vernosh has taught pre-school and first grade before moving to the middle grades, where he has worked for the majority of his career in single-gender 6th and 7th grade classrooms.
Educational Values/Philosophy: Vernosh came to teaching as a call to work for equity and social justice in our schools and greater communities. He has an unwavering belief that all children can learn no matter the circumstance. Children from poverty, children with exceptional needs, children from disenfranchised and marginalized communities—all can and will achieve in his classroom. Vernosh believes in the power of culturally responsive teaching as a gateway to equity with excellence. Through an authentic curiosity of our young people’s lives, hey will guide us to exactly what is needed to build a truly representative and relevant curriculum.
Achievements: Vernosh was appointed by Minnesota Governor, Mark Dayton, to serve a four year term on Minnesota’s Board of Teaching, and was the 2011 Minnesota Teacher of the Year. Vernosh has also been honored with a Saint Paul City Resolution Proclamation of Ryan Vernosh Day, recognizing community involvement and education services. He was a featured Guest on Minnesota Public Television’s Minnesota Leaders with Mary Hanson, and has had numerous other television, print and radio media interview appearances discussing impacts of local and national legislation on classroom teaching. Vernosh also has a published chapter in Yes We Can! Transformative Educational Practices for Urban Schools, and has been a keynote speaker at many different conferences and events at the state and national level.
Leadership Experience: Vernosh currently serves as a consultant and facilitator for Minnesota Humanities Center. He has also been involved with many groups concerned with educational policy, including the Closing the Achievement Gap Institute at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Glenn Singleton’s Beyond Diversitytraining. As an education policy advocate, Vernosh has also participated in conversations with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan discussing legislation impacting turn-around schools, and meetings with Minnesota U.S. Senator Franken and staff pertaining to the reauthorization of the ESEA and STEM initiatives.
Affiliations: The Minnesota Humanities Center, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, National Education Association, American Federation of Teachers, Education Minnesota, Saint Paul Federation of Teachers, National Council for the Education of Black Children
Education: Vernosh received a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education with early childhood license from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He went on to the University of Saint Thomas to earn his Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with ESL License.
Areas of Interest/Expertise:
- Teacher Evaluation and Peer Assisted Review
- School Turnaround
- Culturally Responsive Teaching
- Mathematics Education
- Teacher Prep