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Joiselle Cunningham
Washington Fellow
New York, NY

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Bio/Overview: Joiselle Cunningham is currently a doctoral student in Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. After her fellowship, she served as a Special Advisor in the Office of the Secretary of Education, working on preK-12 policy and initiatives. Joiselle is an award-winning educator who has worked nationally and internationally. She has taught fifth grade reading at KIPP Infinity Middle School in Harlem, NYC, and has previously taught mathematics, social studies, science, Spanish, writing, ESL and Native Spanish Language Arts. She has also worked to plan and develop educational programs in Europe and Latin America. After completing her undergraduate studies, Cunningham joined the teaching profession through Teach for America and began teaching 4th grade bilingual Spanish in the Bronx.

Educational Values/Philosophy: Cunningham deeply believes that all children can learn and that education is essential to social equity and justice. Her work in diverse settings, including bilingual, ESL, traditional, charter and international settings has helped her to find a variety of ways meet her students’ needs despite academic and/or environmental challenges. Additionally, Cunningham is a fervent believer in culturally competent education and delivers content peppered with culturally diverse themes and highlights multiple perspectives.

Achievements: Cunningham was named a Reginaldo Howard Memorial Scholar and was awarded an academic scholarship to Duke University. Upon graduation, Cunningham heeded the call to educate. In 2009, Cunningham contributed to and was featured in Steven Farr's Teaching as Leadership, and highlighted specific strategies used to help students to achieve at high levels. Also in 2009, Cunningham was awarded the Sue Lehmann Exellence in Teaching Award and in 2013 was recognized as a finalist for the Teach For America Alumni in Teaching Award. Recently, Cunningham was awarded a fellowship through America Achieves and works with teachers, principals and policymakers across the country to bridge education policy and school-level practice.

Leadership Experience: Cunningham has led and worked with several teams of educators in the United States and abroad. In 2008-2009, Cunningham formed and led a team that secured over $100,000 in grants to help provide necessary resources for English language learners. Additionally, Cunningham has worked with Empieza por Educar (Teach For Spain), Fordham University and other organizations as a Content Specialist and in teacher training and evaluation. She has also presented at numerous conferences, including Föreningen Rektorsakademien in Stockholm, a summit dedicated to advancing education using innovative practices. She is also a Student Achievement Partners Fellow and collaborates with teachers to provide feedback and professional development regarding the Common Core State Standards.

Affiliations: Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP), America Achieves, Teach For America, Empieza por Educar, Student Achievement Partners

Education: Cunningham earned her Bachelor’s degree from Duke University, spending one year studying at La Universidad San Pablo-CEU in Madrid. She then continued her education at Pace University earning a Masters of Science in Teaching with a certificate in Bilingual Spanish education.

Areas of Interest/Expertise:

Last Modified: 08/15/2016