• Alaina Carter

  • World History

  • Alaina Carter

    World History

    Alaina Carter is a New Orleans native and Southern University alumnus with a bachelor’s degree in General Studies concentrated in African & African American Humanities.  Her master thesis, Public School and Museum collaborations:  The Need and the Benefit for Cultural Curriculum, discusses how professional developments for teachers and field trips to museums can positively impact the learning outcomes and student engagement in public schools classrooms, especially when rooted in Africana Studies. 

    This is Alaina’s tenth year as an educator in New Orleans. During her career she’s worked as an elementary and middle school teacher and a high school behavior and reading interventionist. In early 2020 Alaina began working with the Leona Tate Foundation for Change researching and developing the education exhibit for the Tate, Etienne, and Prevost (TEP) Interpretive Center, which is focused on the desegregation of the New Orleans public schools.  

    When she’s not teaching or conducting research, she enjoys spending time at home with her husband, son, and daughter.

  • Alicia Cooke

  • World Geography

  • Alicia Cooke

    World Geography
    Alicia has lived in Ireland, India, Niger, Slovakia, and on a boat traveling around the world.  She has taught ages 10 to adult in subjects such as environmental education, ESL, African Literature, and health education and has been teaching in some form or another–be it in a classroom, conference room, webinar, or community space–since 2004.  Moving to New Orleans in 2011, she achieved a Master’s degree in Public Health and began devoting all her free time to climate justice work, borne out of a deep love and appreciation for the beauty and importance of the Gulf South region.  She is a founding member of 350 New Orleans, a local nonprofit organization that seeks to amplify and support the work of frontline organizers working for climate justice in their own communities.
    Her top 3 recommendations for New Orleanians looking for a quick day trip outside the city are Bogue Chitto State Park (hills and shade!), the Bayou Coquille Trail at Jean Lafitte (gators!) and Crosby Arboretum (turtles!).  In her free time she enjoys hiking and cycling, and she really wishes rollerblading was cool again.
  • Amanda Murray

  • Project Management & Capstone

  • Amanda Murray

    Project Management & Capstone

    Amanda is a Latin female gerundive name meaning “deserving to be loved,” “worthy of love,” or “loved very much by everyone.”[1] Its diminutive form includes Mandy, Manda and Amy.

    This Amanda is also an advisor and math teacher at New Harmony High. She loves math and dogs and is committed to getting her students love them as well.

    Her background in education began a charter middle school in New Orleans East. She has taught math, science, english, and special education courses in a middle school in New Orleans East. This past year, she took a brief hiatus from classroom teaching to spend some time under the sun. She worked for a year as an outdoor educator on the Chesapeake Bay where she learned to make the most beautiful campfires (ask any NHH student to verify this information but, please, do not ask Fernando). Amanda is so excited to have returned to New Orleans to be teaching at New Harmony High.

  • Amanda Snyder

  • Chemistry

  • Amanda Snyder

    Chemistry

    Amanda has lived in New Orleans almost all her life. Seeing all the environmental issues faced on a daily basis here has fostered a passion for protecting the environment. She went to Loyola University to study environmental science and education. She has worked in New Orleans City Park, where she helped to make a curriculum for outdoor education and completed research on effective outdoor education methods. You can find her out and about walking her dog, at local coffee shops, and reading at the lakefront. She can’t wait to help all her students see chemistry for the incredible subject it is!

  • Annie Stallman

  • Geometry

  • Annie Stallman

    Geometry
    Annie grew up next to the mountains of Northern California. She has always wondered about and looked for the answers to life’s greatest questions in the natural world. Questions about knowledge, social justice, perception, what’s the greatest cereal, dreams, community, is Cinnamon Toast Crunch the greatest cereal, happiness, cultural relativism, does Cinnamon Toast Crunch get too soggy too quickly, etc.
    Annie found her second home in New Orleans when she moved to teach math by the bayou six years ago. After four years of teaching geometry and calculus at a high school in New Orleans East, Annie worked as an investigator for the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center (LCAC). The LCAC is a non-profit organization that provides criminal defense to indigent clients charged with capital crimes. If that last bit made you curious, ask her about it!
    While Annie loved her experience at the LCAC, she was never able to shake this gnawing feeling that a piece of her heart was missing. Her days just weren’t as full without the joy of sharing in learning. At her core, Annie believes the key to disrupting systems of oppression is education—where intellectual openness and conflict are bound together in pursuit of discovering truth.
  • Anthony Burrell

  • Director of Community and Partner Engagement

  • Anthony Burrell

    Director of Community and Partner Engagement

    Anthony believes that high school is a critical time during which youth learn to engage and hold themselves in the world. Throughout this period, they discover and develop their talents as they begin their pilgrimage into adulthood.

    Anthony aspires to aid students in finding their vocational calling through work internships, research projects (and other unique learning opportunities) by utilizing his career experiences that span the fields of corporate finance, corporate social responsibility, and education.

    Anthony’s background in Education includes participating in the Education Pioneer fellowship and working as the Finance and Accounting Controller for a CMO with five schools.

    Prior to entering Education, Anthony Burrell spent six years providing accounting and sustainability professional services, most of which were spent at Ernst & Young those services included financial audits, carbon and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) assurance, environmental liability testing, and conflict minerals management and reporting.

    Anthony is a founding and current board member with Compass Community Collaborative school, serving as the Board Treasurer. Anthony received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of New Orleans, and a CPA license in Louisiana.

    In his life outside of work, Anthony enjoys photography, traveling and listening to jazz music.

  • Ari’yana Gibson

  • Administrative Coordinator

  • Ari’yana Gibson

    Administrative Coordinator

    Ari’yana was born and raised in rural Slidell, but has always been drawn to exploring life in the city.

    She attended Louisiana State University and studied English with a concentration in Secondary Education. As a lover of learning, she has taught Science, Louisiana History, English, and IBCA. Her favorite part about working in education is providing students with an opportunity to explore their interests. Something she is passionate about is creating spaces for LGBTQ+ youth and teaching students about the different options available to them post-graduation. After four years of teaching she has decided to step out of the classroom into a new role.

    Drawn to New Harmony because of the choice students get to have in their education and the passion that the staff has for the mission, Ari’yana is very excited to be a part of the family by serving as the Administrative Coordinator.

    In her free time, she likes to try out new recipes, binge watch vampire shows, travel as much as possible, and work on improvement projects in her new home on the Northshore.

  • Charles Whitaker

  • English II

  • Charles Whitaker

    English II

    Charles grew up in New Orleans hating school. Waking up before the sun was out. Trying to do work that made no sense to him. Feeling like a failure for not being able to perform as well as his classmates. He rarely felt comfortable in his own skin or respected by adults, so he acted out and did some very silly things. He got punished for those things, and because the roots of his problems were ignored, the cycle continued.

    The strange thing was he actually liked to learn, he wasn’t completely hopeless socially, and he liked quite a few of his teachers—even his parents were teachers! Stranger still, he found he really enjoyed teaching when he started tutoring students in the writing process at Loyola (somehow a college did accept him). He enjoyed it so much he’s now been doing it 5 years.

    He’s co-taught students across a spectrum of disabilities in the humanities, led a World Lit class that scored his school’s highest LEAP scores each year, and gone on all kinds of adventures with students from performing at poetry open mics to camping under the stars of northern Mississippi.

    As an English teacher, Charles sees the world as a text that’s meant to be read, questioned, and reshaped, and our lives as stories meant to be written day by day. While the sciences and mathematics may deal with the literal meaning of life, Charles believes stories are still the most fundamental way we understand the world and ourselves. What story do you want to tell with your life?

  • Chiquita Adams

  • Math Intervention

  • Chiquita Adams

    Math Intervention

    Chiquita is a self-proclaimed artist who marches to the beat of her own drum, a beat that has led her to New Orleans from Mississippi. She believes in the reverence of Mother Nature, in the unity of one’s physical and spiritual being, and in having a strong sense of community and responsibility to it.

    Chiquita’s began her humble teaching journey circa 2005, volunteering her time to tutoring and mentoring high school graduates in Jackson, MS on their way to college. Since then, Chiquita has taught students both inside and outside of the classroom, academics and nonacademics, traditional and nontraditional settings (and subjects). She most recently served a year as an Americorps Ed Fellow and another year as 7th grade science teacher and director of the after school program at a charter school in Central Falls, RI.

    Her hobbies include cooking, eating, traveling, reading, and all things music-related. She looks forward to rooting and growing like a giant tree, branching up towards the sky, with New Harmony.

  • Chris Beamon

  • Behavior Health Specialist

  • Chris Beamon

    Behavior Health Specialist

    Born and raised in New Orleans, Chris is our clinical mental health counselor specializing in child centered play therapy and expressive arts therapy. Chris finished both their undergraduate and graduate degrees in New Orleans proper with an aim and passion to change the systemic issues that plague the city of New Orleans.

    Chris is also the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Coordinator for Communities in Schools Gulf South. With this position Chris works closely with our school to ensure that all of our students are given empathy and equity during their time at New Harmony School.

  • Chris Hill

  • 1:1 Interventionist

  • Chris Hill

    1:1 Interventionist

    The youngest of three siblings, Chris was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. There have been many different career iterations for Chris, but his passion for working with students was ignited when he moved to New Orleans seven years ago. Accompanied by his wife, who is also an educator and his son, Elijah. His family moved to New Orleans in search of a place to plant roots and raise his son. This transition allowed him to dive head first into education, supporting and teaching students with exceptionalities. In this role, Chris was and still is a proud advocate for his students. Making sure that they receive the best education and proper accommodations to support their learning and growth.

    Outside of the classroom, Chris enjoys traveling with his family and is a consummate “project starter” from painting to reupholstering furniture, creativity is his “happy place”. You can often catch him walking alongside his wife during Mardi Gras as she is the Co-Owner of a New Orleans based dance team, The NOLA Heat. You might even see him walking alongside his son who plays the Trombone with Roots of Music. Chris may not originally be from New Orleans, but since moving to the city, he has fully embraced and immersed himself in the rich culture of the city.

    As a new member of New Harmony, Chris is excited to continue making a difference in the lives of students in a city he loves dearly.

  • Christine LeGuizamo

  • Site Coordinator / Social Worker

  • Christine LeGuizamo

    Site Coordinator / Social Worker

    Christine is coming from Communities In Schools of the Gulf South and has been with them since 2016. She graduated from Tulane University with her Master’s in Social Work in 2013 and received her LCSW credentials in May of 2019.

    Prior to coming to New Harmony, she was a school social worker for a high school in the 9th ward and an alternative high school located in New Orleans. She has a lot of experience in trauma work, child advocacy, and community outreach. Christine is very passionate about her clinical work and ensuring every child she comes across knows their rights and can obtain equal access to educational opportunities, mental health services, and other various needs.

    Outside of school, Christine enjoys playing with her dog, reading, and watching documentaries. She feels so lucky to have the opportunity to be a part of a student’s growth as they continue their journey through New Harmony, and she looks forward to meeting students and their families!

  • Dina Ross

  • Probability & Statistics

  • Dina Ross

    Probability & Statistics
    Dina is an eclectic, old soul. Since childhood she has always been interested in equity and empowering people to create change. She believes that education is not only the key to opportunity, but also the key to social change.
    Dina began working in classrooms during her undergraduate education while attending Northwestern University where she majored in education, social policy, and civic engagement. After graduating she began working in schools full-time and has had the privilege of teaching many students across the country in a variety subjects including English, math, social studies, and physical education. She came to New Orleans in 2014 and has been a lead classroom teacher in middle and high schools across the city.
    When she’s not with her students you can find her creating a mess in her kitchen, eating across the city of New Orleans, hitting the gym, or attempting beautifying her backyard space.
  • Dominique Dison

  • Health & PE

  • Dominique Dison

    Health & PE
    Graduated Nicholls State University BS in Nutrition
    I’m the proud mom of 5 year old son.
    It’s my first year teaching.
    I spent college years volunteering at various health fairs throughout New Orleans and Thibodaux, hosting Nutrition education sites around campus, spending the summer teaching New Orleans youth kitchen safety and enhancing their cooking skills.
    I’m drawn to New Harmony because of its unique mission that sets itself apart from all other high schools in the state.
    In my free time I enjoy going to the gym, sitting out at the lake, and watching scary movies while eating sushi.
  • Doug E. Fresh

  • Therapy Dog

  • Doug E. Fresh

    Therapy Dog

    Doug E. Fresh is a certified Therapy Dog. He and his handler, Nia DeCoux, are trained to provide comfort to schools, hospitals, and other human service providers. His calm disposition and super-soft, hypoallergenic fur make him a champion snuggler! Before joining the NHH Family, Doug served as a therapy animal for The Academy of the Sacred Heart in Grand Coteau, Louisiana. Therapy animals in schools have many positive outcomes, including increases in school attendance, gains in confidence, decreases in learner anxiety behaviors, improved motivation, and enhanced relationships with peers and teachers. Doug hopes to improve the lives of the entire school community. He loves belly rubs, warm hugs, and cheese.

  • Ericka Daniels

  • U.S. History

  • Ericka Daniels

    U.S. History
  • Fernando Wagner

  • SPEW (Environmental Science)

  • Fernando Wagner

    SPEW (Environmental Science)

    Fernando is a human being who really enjoys aquatic animals. He was born in Mexico City, Mexico and has lived in New Orleans since 2005. He has taught in varied classroom settings and was most recently engaged at the New Orleans aquarium in their school and youth volunteer programs.

    His alter ego is named “Captain Tangent” and has the incredible superpower of turning basically any discussion into an exploration into the strange and interconnected paths of biology. You’ll usually learn something interesting, but you won’t always know how you got there.

    Fernando’s prary ambitions revolve around environmental education and ecological conservation. He is beyond excited to join the New Harmony team to take these issues to the front lines and to explore the many and incredible natural resources we have waiting in our metaphorical back yard.

  • Jaron Berliner

  • Spanish II & III & IV

  • Jaron Berliner

    Spanish II & III & IV

    Originally from an island near Seattle, an island where you actually have to take a boat to come and go, Jaron Berliner has lived, mostly, in New Orleans since 2003. His experience in public education began with the STAR reading program. After a year living in Bolivia, Jaron and his wife Caitlin returned to New Orleans and he has been a foreign language classroom teacher ever since. Jaron is a deep lover of words, culture and travel.

    When not in the classroom playing games, singing, debating and putting on puppet shows, Jaron is often found chasing after his speedy toddler. The chase usually takes place in City Park, the Lafitte Greenway, along Bayou St. John and through endless restaurants and grocery stores.
    In addition to the aerobics of parenting, Jaron is devoted reader, an emotive guitarist, a passionate traveler (with family, students, and toddlers alike!), a hopeful exerciser, a music nerd, a serious soccer fan and a lover of his wife and child.
    Jaron is particularly proud of having taken cohorts of students abroad to Panama on multiple trips. He looks forward to future adventures and reading Roald Dahl books to his son!
  • Jazmen Hardy-Young

  • Algebra I

  • Jazmen Hardy-Young

    Algebra I
    My name is Jazmen. I’m originally from Baton Rouge. I have a 4 year old Shih Tzu, named Francesca. I’ve been in NYC for a year teaching Algebra. I’m very excited to be moving back home.
     I graduated from LSU. I will be teaching Algebra. I’m most looking forward to building relationships with the students, and making math FUN using real world connections.
  • Jeff Carver

  • English III

  • Jeff Carver

    English III
    Not-so-FAQ’s about Jeff:

    Where are you from? 
    * In chronological order: California, Washington, Virginia, Louisiana
    What courses have you taught?
    * English I, AP Language and Composition, Technical Writing, Civics — this year English III.
    What were you doing before working in education?
    * I worked as an A&R rep for a record label for a good part of a decade and spent a couple years working as a project manager for a company that composed music for national advertising campaigns.  Lots of writing.  Lots of reading. Lots of communicating.
    Why New Harmony?
    * New Harmony’s approach to education resonates with me on a deep level, and I am inspired by the school’s innovation and fearlessness in creating authentic learning opportunities for students.
    Are there any NHH projects that you are particularly proud of?
    * Yes!  Plug time. Check out the New Harmony High Podcast here and here — it’s one of my favorite things ever.  Also, check out the book of dystopian flash fiction stories that our students published in partnership with 826 New Orleans here — it’s called Once Upon a Time in a City Called New Orleans.  It is also one of my favorite things ever.
    Are there any other books you’ve been thinking about a lot lately? 
    * In no particular order: Teaching a Stone to Talk – Dillard, Salvage the Bones – Ward, Parable of the Sower – Butler,  East of Eden – Steinbeck, The River Why – Duncan, Gilead – Robinson, and Infinite Jest – Wallace.  I would love to talk to you at length about all of these books.
    What are you interested in?
    * Family, birding, reading, music, backpacking, the natural world, podcasts, field recordings, yard beautification, talking to Fernando about insects, and trying to fix things around the house (see: usually unsuccessfully).
    Are there any birds you’ve been thinking about a lot lately? 
    * Actually, yes!  In alphabetical order: Belted Kingfishers, California Quail, Harpy Eagles, Ivory-Billed Woodpeckers (or lack thereof), Loggerhead Shrike, Painted Buntings, and Roseate Spoonbills.
    Did you interview yourself for this bio?
    * Maybe.

  • Jess Hinchey

  • English Language Learners

  • Jess Hinchey

    English Language Learners

    Jess is a language loving they/them hailing from Philadelphia. As a community minded trans and queer educator, they are driven by mutual aid and political education. They have taught basic subjects and English language learners while living in the Dominican Republic and Chile and have since unpacked the ways in which “voluntourism” and their role working for nonprofits outside US borders supported its global imperial project. Jess has a Masters degree in Political Science from Tulane University and a half blind cat named Sampson. They can often be found riding their bike or hanging near the Bayou.

  • Josie Ygnatowicz

  • Office Manager, Media, and Sustainability Coordinator

  • Josie Ygnatowicz

    Office Manager, Media, and Sustainability Coordinator
  • Katelynn Clement

  • Director of Learning

  • Katelynn Clement

    Director of Learning
    Katelynn’s main passions in life include building, walking and eating. Uncoincidentally, their past 9 years in the education world have been filled with all three. Katelynn came to New Orleans in 2011 as a high school math teacher, and spent three years in the classroom teaching the spectrum of math classes including Pre-Algebra, Algebra I & II, Geometry and PreCalculus. In the classroom, they focus on building an empowering environment for students to take risks, be themselves and embrace their curiosities and passions. Outside of the classroom, they focus on eating as much delicious local food as possible.
    Katelynn’s curiosities led them wandering to the northern California coast then to the eastern mountains and the Appalachian Trail, where they walked from Georgia to New York for a few months. Somewhere along the way, they landed a teaching job at the Journeys School of the Teton Science Schools in Jackson, Wyoming and spent two years re-building the design program at the school, as well as teaching math. There, they grew their knowledge and skills around place-based, project-based and design education: utilizing the local community and ecology as a classroom to deepen learning experiences and using design thinking to build solutions to local challenges. They are excited to bring this experience to their work at New Harmony, and support our teachers in building and implementing a place-based and project-based philosophy and practice.
    Since returning to New Orleans in 2017, Katelynn has spent time as a carpenter doing historic restoration in the city, built a tiny house in their backyard, been a pedicab driver in the Quarter, and become active in local environmental and social justice movements. On any given day, you may find them playing soccer in a park, walking along the levee with their dog (Dug), riding their bike all around the city or reading/eating in their backyard.
  • Katherine Bell

  • Academic Counselor

  • Katherine Bell

    Academic Counselor

    Kat finds joy in helping students discover their interests and talents in unexpected places: she believes that everyone is a genius at something. Her first teaching experience was in Argentina and since then she has taught in Florida, Montana, and New Orleans. She has lived in big cities, rural areas, and on the Blackfeet Reservation, but New Orleans is the only U.S. city that has ever captured her heart. She first moved to New Orleans in 2009 to study linguistics and anthropology at Tulane and when she tried to move away she went through amazing food and music withdrawal and had to return.

     

    A lover of beauty, whether it is found in a trumpet solo, a sunset, or the written word, she has taught middle and high school students in a variety of subjects, including English, social studies, art and music, biology (for a hot minute!) and wilderness survival and is excited to bring all of her experiences in education and the workplace to the Quest for Success course at New Harmony. 

     

    When she’s not tracking down her fluffy, escape-artist dog, Poka, she might be found biking by the river, playing the piano, enjoying music somewhere in the city, cooking, or devouring a novel in a hammock. She thinks that any day that is spent by a body of water or on top of a mountain is a great day.

  • Kelsey Reynolds

  • English IV

  • Kelsey Reynolds

    English IV
    Kelsey Reynolds is a Black queer educator, youth community organizer, abolitionist, and lifelong student who centers relationship building and listening to youth in her teaching practice. Through 7 years of co-learning alongside young people, she knows their radical imaginations will save us. Originally from Los Angeles, California, Kelsey made her way to New Orleans through the Tulane Posse Scholarship where she studied Africana Students. After graduating from Tulane she never left New Orleans due to her work in Education, which started as a freshman interning at Tulane’s Upward Bound. She leaves 826 New Orleans where she supported students in finding their authentic voice through reading and writing. When not in the classroom you can catch her crocheting or knitting while watching Harry Potter.
  • Kitty O’Connor

  • Outdoor Adventures

  • Kitty O’Connor

    Outdoor Adventures
    Kitty is devoted to listening to youth and supporting them to discover, unfold and explore their passions.
    Kitty has been teaching in New Orleans public schools since 2008, when she completed TeachNOLA with a certificate in Special Education.  She has a wide range of classroom experience working with youth across a spectrum of disabilities (low and high incidence), and in a variety of settings (inclusion, pull-outs and special programs).  Kitty’s belief in a radical change of schooling and education is what brought her to New Harmony High as a founding team member.  She is part of the SELF 2019 Cohort (Special Education Leader Fellowship), a certified CPI  Instructor (nonviolent crisis intervention through the Crisis Prevention Institute), and a certified Louisiana Master Naturalist.  She is constantly seeking ways to grow as an educator.
    You can find Kitty en route to an outdoor adventure in her minivan with her family (two kids, three dogs and her sweetheart).
  • Laura Campagna

  • Spanish I & II

  • Laura Campagna

    Spanish I & II

    A native of Louisiana, I worked in restaurants, and studied French before Spanish. I have been a teacher for 22 years now and have one canine companion who is three. I graduated with a Spanish degree from SLU and started teaching Spanish K-8. I earned a Master’s in Education and ESOL in 2001 and travelled to Sicily, Italy and Barcelona. While in college I took classes in Mexico and lived with a really helpful family that didn’t speak English. I also visited Puerto Rico and the Bahamas to see friends. I returned to Barcelona in summer of 2005 with my son and lived in an apartment there. After that, Hurricane Katrina hit, so we moved to Chapel Hill and lived there for nine years until he graduated. I taught Spanish K-5 and ESL 9-12 there and treasure my time and adventures in North Carolina…but, there’s no place like home! So, we moved back a few years ago and I am so happy and fortunate to be here at New Harmony High! I love everything about Spanish and this school. I especially love sharing the food, music, and rich culture of Spain and Latin America with others. I hope to one day travel to Cuba, Colombia, Argentina, and Galapagos next! !Hasta pronto!

  • Laura Lobosco

  • LRS Coordinator, Case Manager

  • Laura Lobosco

    LRS Coordinator, Case Manager

    Laura is committed to the idea that young people should not have to wait until they are adults to be valued and respected members of their communities. Advocating for the right to equitable and just educational experiences for high school students has been the focus of Laura’s work since she joined a special education team in a New Orleans high school in 2013.  She is so happy to be joining a team of educators who are dedicated to supporting students in finding and using  their own voices to direct their futures.

    Born and raised in Rhode Island,  Laura studied Psychology, English and Spanish at the University of Mississippi. Since 2011 she’s been proud to call New Orleans home, and highly prizes the opportunity to explore, hike, and camp in the Gulf Coast region.
  • Lauryl Grimes

  • Government & World Geo.

  • Lauryl Grimes

    Government & World Geo.

    Lauryl is a native New Hampshirite, long time Bostonian, recent Portlander, and a New Orleanian at heart. After getting her Masters in Public Health at Tulane, she and her partner moved to Portland, Oregon where Lauryl became a begrudging west-coaster and found herself, sort-of-accidentally, in education. 

     

    Interested in food systems and nutrition, she served a year with AmeriCorps as the garden coordinator at Trillium Charter School. Gardening is objectively the best but Lauryl quickly realized that high schoolers are the coolest, most interesting group of humans and argued to become a high school advisor and teacher the following year. She believes relationships and diversity-in-all-its-forms are fundamental to education. She loves breaking down constructs and smashing the patriarchy and is thrilled to continue her work in special education, equity, and advisory at New Harmony! 

     

    When Lauryl isn’t at school, you can likely find her at a dog park with Zuzu (her pet velociraptor), cooking, camping, or thinking about running. 

  • Margaux Joseph

  • Algebra II for Environmental Sustainability

  • Margaux Joseph

    Algebra II for Environmental Sustainability

    Margaux Joseph is a true New Orleanian who graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a bachelor’s degree in General Studies concentrated in education. This is Margaux’s 21st year as an educator in New Orleans. During her career she has worked the majority of her time as a 7th/8th grade math teacher.

    In addition to teaching, she truly enjoys spending time with her family and friends. A few of her hobbies include custom cake designs, art, and fishing, when she gets the chance.

    Margaux is also the proud wife and momma to two sons.

  • Nia DeCoux

  • English I

  • Nia DeCoux

    English I

    Nia DeCoux is a writer, educator, and activist who believes that when done well storytelling and teaching become the same practice. Her work has been honoured by both the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, and the National Black Arts Festival. She is a native of rural Southwest Louisiana and her work as an educator has taken her all over the world including Atlanta, Detroit, Oakland, New York, Belize and Honduras. Nia is the Founder of Untold Education and a Festival of Words board member. She’s excited to help shape and be shaped by the New Harmony educational community. Nia loves secondhand shops, trying new foods, and those unexpectedly wonderful conversations you have with strangers on a bus.

  • Rae Banks

  • Director of Operations

  • Rae Banks

    Director of Operations
    Rae is a native New Orleanian however spent her formative years in Detroit, Michigan. She is a proud product of Detroit Public Schools and Wolverine.
    Creating an exceptional experience for each student has been her passion since entering New Orleans Public and Charter school system. It is her absolute passion to blur the line of the experience that students obtaining privatized education with those of a more common and urban demographic in Orleans Parish.
    Rae is a Mother of three amazing small people whom she encourages to reach beyond the sky. She enjoys a nice cup of tea, cooking, dancing, art, great salads, Mardi Gras, and loving family/friends extra hard.
  • Raheem Williams

  • Data Manager

  • Raheem Williams

    Data Manager
  • Regina Serafino

  • Family/Parent Coordinator

  • Regina Serafino

    Family/Parent Coordinator
  • RJ Gutierrez

  • Nurse

  • RJ Gutierrez

    Nurse

    RJ Gutierrez joined New Harmony in the Fall of 2018 as our School Nurse. He is a graduate of LSU’s School of Nursing and uses his degree to help inform the New Orleans community about healthy lifestyles. Before starting with us he provided care for several years in hospitals, emergency departments, home health and hospice, and management.

    His focus at New Harmony is to instill healthy eating and exercise habits, as well as raise awareness about high rates of obesity, heart disease, and type II diabetes which are, for the most part, preventable with proper education and minor changes in lifestyle. He also manages and executes all communication with students, parents, and guardians about their individual health plans, as well as the routine injuries and illnesses, and any other medical concerns.
    RJ has two daughters, is passionate about the outdoors, the environment, and hands-on projects such as wood working and mechanics. He also has chickens.
  • Ruben Sartin

  • Student Support Coordinator

  • Ruben Sartin

    Student Support Coordinator

    Ruben is a familiar face from Communities In Schools of the Gulf South and had interned with us since fall 2019. He is originally from New Orleans, LA where he graduated from LB Landry- OP Walker college preparatory High School in 2015. He went along to receive his BSW from Miles College in 2019. As well as graduating with his Masters of Social Work from Southern University at New Orleans in 2021.

    Prior to coming to New Harmony, He was an intensive algebra, algebra 1 instructor, & football coach for a high school on the Westbank. Ruben’s passion for the student body assists him in connecting and aiding their academic, emotional, and social needs.

    Outside of school Ruben enjoys working out, writing poetry, and spending time with loved ones. He is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this unique institution. And vows to advocate for the betterment of everyone apart of the New Harmony High family.

  • Sentoris Bronner

  • Director of Diverse Learning

  • Sentoris Bronner

    Director of Diverse Learning

    Sentoris Bronner, is from a small town called Shelby, Mississippi. Growing up in a small community of 1,500, he knew all his classmates as he transitioned through school. With limited options of things to do, Sentoris grew up playing all kinds of sports. He was also very interested in exploring the world of science. At one point, he had aspirations of becoming a doctor. However, his dream shifted after observing his high school basketball coach work with special education students.

    Sentoris did not have a solid vision for his future until he made it to Jackson State University. His college experience was unique. The College of Education staff placed him under their tutelage and mentored him through attaining his Masters of Science degree in Special Education. While receiving an exceptional education, his drive to educate and support students consistently grew. From learning about the history of the institution to meeting new individuals from around the world, his time at Jackson State University laid the foundation for his professional career as an educator. 

    After college, he was employed by Jackson Public Schools, where his former high school assistant principal served as commander and chief.  After teaching for one year, he discovered that the totality of this passion was not in your traditional education system.  He decided to transition to a field safety specialist where he went on to teach food safety across Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana. Nonetheless, his educational experience would bring him back to the classroom where he continues to challenge minds and change lives.

  • Shea Toups

  • Reading Intervention

  • Shea Toups

    Reading Intervention

    Shea is a passionate English teacher devoted to utilizing expressive and holistic language instruction to ultimately foster the belief young people have in the validity of their own stories, creative perspective, power, voice, and craft.

    Born and raised in Raceland and Gheens, Louisiana, she spent her time doing absolutely nothing but wondering how to get somewhere else. Frequenting New Orleans as a child, usually referred to as “the city,” she knew it would be where she’d continue finding and practicing whatever it is that would end up making sense to her.

    After she found herself holding bachelor’s degrees in both Literary Studies and Secondary English Education, she leapt into an unexpected and specific professionalism and urgency as an educator. She previously thought she’d be keeping space for a writing and/or music career, but her first year teaching provided her with weird possibilities to transmute those deep loves and be exposed to the moral obligation of teaching (which isn’t something she thinks you can just back out of). She has taught alternative high school English and Composition seminars year round for three years by integrating Fine Arts, Music, Civics, and World Geography credits, always making a point to turn to the community, popular culture, and contemporary findings for real world relevant and activist-inspired projects.

    Shea probably loves these things (or just can’t get away from them): using 20 thousand words, singing quietly where she finds nice acoustics, synchronicity, hot beverages, the unrelenting reminder of the human condition, being in bodies of water, lamps, typing notes of all sorts on her phone (loves) and never really using them (doesn’t love), organizing and directing strange performances, and being right-up-on-the-stage during concerts.

  • Sierra Jenkins

  • Biology

  • Sierra Jenkins

    Biology
    Sierra is from Gaithersburg, MD and has slowly migrated further south since graduating high school. She is very passionate about science and exposing students to using different topics that they have never heard of.  Sierra believes it is important for students to take on the role as change agents in their communities, and discover interests they are passionate about early on in their high school career.
    In her free time you can find Sierra eating at different restaurants around New Orleans, cooking new recipes from blogs , or looking up random facts about whales (her favorite animal).
  • Simone Cifuentes

  • AP Environmental Science

  • Simone Cifuentes

    AP Environmental Science

    Ms. Cifuentes believes in SCIENCE!, the interconnectedness of all things, codeswitching, washing your hands, environmental justice, proper grammar, the all powerful healing magic of puppy kisses, and asking A LOT of questions.

    Despite being a Louisiana licensed attorney, she prefers that environmental education life. Ms. Cifuentes earned her J.D. from LSU, and her B.S. in Environmental Economics and Policy from UC, Berkeley where she lived in housing cooperatives and learned valuable home maintenance skills. Ms. Cifuentes is all about exposing her student to elements of the natural world around them and fostering better stewards. A confirmed urbanite, she enjoys finding the right balance between natural environments and urban ones.

    When not conducting wild scientific experiments, Ms. Cifuentes can be found cuddling with canines or at Lowes looking for items to improve her 140 year old Creole Cottage or, hopefully soon, at a musical theater performance.

  • Stephen Hoyt

  • Intervention 1:1

  • Stephen Hoyt

    Intervention 1:1

    Stephen grew up in rural Iowa, spending much of his childhood surrounded by corn. He studied sociology at Knox college and became increasingly interested in helping marginalized groups. This led him to work with adults in state care and then, after moving to Austin Texas, in special education. He has lived in New Orleans going on 5 years now and has been working in charter schools in a variety of capacities (teacher, behavior interventionist, one to one, case manager.) Stephen loves spending time on the bayou with his 45lbs wiener dog Guapo, attending Pelicans games, and biking around New Orleans taking in everything the city has to offer. He is in pursuit of a Masters of Counseling at Loyola University where he hopes to concentrate in school counseling so he can expand his reach in the helping professions.

  • Sunny Dawn Summers

  • School Leader

  • Sunny Dawn Summers

    School Leader

    Sunny is a passionate and dedicated public school educator. Starting in 2011, Sunny has been learning from the youth of New Orleans in charter schools across the city. Before New Harmony, Sunny was a teacher leader, department head and instructional coach at New Orleans Charter Science and Math High School.

    Sunny has always valued the relationships she cultivated with her students, and has stayed in touch with so many of her previous students. Inside the classroom, her achievements include having the school’s only 100% passing ratio for the English II EOC, as well as co-developing a new, innovative English curriculum to meet the needs of incoming sophomores with writing deficiencies. Her World Lit classroom has been host to camera crews filming real-time sessions for teacher education as well as radio producers test driving podcasts and teaching storytelling. Sunny has taught English I and II, Algebra, Geometry, reading intervention, and 8.5 writing. As a founding teacher at ReNew Accelerated High School, she received Teacher of the Year Honors.

    Sunny received her BA in English and Art (Magna Cum Laude, All College Honors, Departmental Honors) from the University of Saint Mary in 2001, and her Masters in Teaching from the Relay Graduate School of Education (Honors) in 2015. She completed teachNOLA in 2011.

    Prior to becoming a teacher, Sunny had a successful nine-year career as Vice President for Content Development in the business of adult education, where data mining and instructional coaching were critical. She has extensive non-profit and volunteer experience including advising the founder of The HALO Foundation and serving as Board Vice President and teaching English in Nicaragua.

    Sunny was a founding member of the New Harmony High design team that won the nationally competitive XQ: The Super School Project, receiving a $10 million grant to open a public high school focused on coastal restoration and preservation. Since 2017, she has served as the school leader for New Harmony. Sunny and her husband Tyler have a son, Beau, who specializes in being ornery.

    You can catch her marching in front of the Treme Brass Band on Lundi Gras as El Capitan Ad Infinitum for Krewe of Redbeans and Rice in New Orleans.

  • Tori Berliner

  • 1:1 Interventionist & LEAP Connect

  • Tori Berliner

    1:1 Interventionist & LEAP Connect

    Tori Berliner is a creative, free-spirited and open minded interventionist at New Harmony High. Born on an island in the PNW, Tori moved to New Orleans ten years ago to live in a place where her passions aligned with the city’s culture. Her strong adoration for costuming, crafting, eating and dancing has kept her rooted.

    Tori also loves to travel and experience the world. She lived abroad in Mexico and Vietnam, where she taught ESL to a diverse population of students. But above all, she loves working with students at home in New Orleans. The kids keep her entertained, laughing, thinking, and learning about the world around her.

    Lastly, Tori is a genuine lover of humanity. She cares deeply for the earth, environmental and social justice, as well as challenging societal norms. Catch her leaning into her spirituality and connecting to the earth beneath her feet.

  • Tracey Hoskin

  • Media Arts & Yearbook

  • Tracey Hoskin

    Media Arts & Yearbook
  • Wafa Faris

  • Quest for Success & Financial Lit

  • Wafa Faris

    Quest for Success & Financial Lit