From the Blog

Meet José, Emily, and Gabriela: Our Newest Senior Associates

We’re thrilled to have three new senior associates and school coaches on staff here at the Great Schools Partnership: José Bou, Emily Gilmore, and Gabriela Stiteler (or Gabi, for short). José, Emily, and Gabi bring new skills, insights, perspectives, and experiences to our organization; we couldn’t be happier or more thankful for who they are and the impactful work we know they’ll do here.

Now, we want you to meet them! Read on below to discover more about who they are as people and as educators. You will also discover what inspires them to do this work and what changes they hope to see in the world.

Be on the lookout for these smart and compassionate educators; they’ll be coaching in the schools where we work, facilitating our virtual events, and so much more.

Who are you as a person? As an educator?

José

I am a father, a learner, a Puertoriqueño, and Western Massachusetts (Holyoke) resident. I love Shakespeare, classical music, and foreign languages.

As an educator, I take joy from watching the progression of others. Learning is a great feeling and to watch others learn is very rewarding.

Emily

Virgo. INFJ. Type 9. East. Oldest child. I love a good story. I’m fascinated by people’s origin stories, in particular.

As an educator, I am an advocate. I want to create a learning environment that is empathetic and empowering for each human in the room to challenge the systems that further the human divide.

Gabi

I am a lover of learning, the mother of two adventurous children, and an avid reader. I love a good story, exploring new places, and laughter.

As an educator, I am driven by a genuine love of learning, people, and growth. Working in the field of education is a reminder of what it means to be human and the infinite possibilities of young people. There is nothing more powerful than “Aha!” moments.

What drives you to do this work?

José

What drives me to do this work is the belief that If we provide students the individual instruction they need, it will lead them to personal and academic success. The most effective individualized instruction respects and honors students’ abilities, hones students’ different skills in the classroom, and encourages students to seek interdisciplinary collaboration in order to meaningfully interact with educational concepts they are learning.

Emily


I want to help make schools a place where students, families, and educators do not experience harm, and instead feel validated and supported. While I loved school growing up, I did not often feel like many aspects of my identity were shown in a positive light, and I want to work to ensure the future of education looks different.

Gabi

I believe in, and have seen first hand, the power of great teaching. I’ve seen this impact magnified beyond a single classroom when teams of teachers row together towards aligned goals and priorities. My belief in all students and the power of education and teamwork drives me.

What do you hope to accomplish in your role at GSP?

José

As a senior associate and school coach at GSP, I hope to be part of fruitful conversations with conscientious leaders that help grow the collective capacity to move the “equity needle” forward for all their students in a measurable way. I hope to learn about the specific barriers schools face and to be part of the collective solution to those barriers.

Emily

My goal as a senior associate is to empower educators to feel confident in their abilities to create equitable learning experiences for each and every human involved in education.

Gabi

As a senior associate and school coach at GSP, I hope to support leaders with strategic planning, aligned professional learning experiences for staff, and resources to center student learning and growth.

What does an equitable school look like to you?

José

When I close my eyes and imagine an equitable school, I see a place where students are given disparate instruction according to their needs. Culture and privilege are not explored solely during “cultural holidays,” but embedded into the curriculum. Teachers are trained in culturally responsive teaching. Students and families report being respected and heard in survey data. The curriculum challenges students and individualized instruction and pathways to success are normalized.

Emily

An equitable school looks like a place where students and educators are ecstatic to show up as their full selves every day.

Gabi

In an equitable school, students drive their learning, building skills and knowledge to prepare them to be leaders in society. The school community pushes, supports, embraces, and believes in the ability of all students to lead and leave the world better than they found it.

What do you see as the biggest barriers holding us back from realizing greater equity in learning?

José

I believe the biggest barrier holding us back from realizing greater equity in learning is our discomfort with having genuine conversations about race, economic disadvantages, and the unearned privileges and disadvantages our students embody. Fear is another barrier. Educators and staff fear students and families while students and families fear educators and staff. We desperately need genuine conversations about the hopes and dreams of all stakeholders.

Emily

As humans, we are limited in our personal experiences simply because we are but one person. That is to say, the greatest barrier holding us back from realizing greater equity is the difficult first step of acknowledging that we are not omniscient simply because we are educators; it takes incredible vulnerability and humility to achieve equity that is not inherent in the current culture of learning in the United States.

Gabi

I believe that the biggest barriers holding us back from realizing equity in learning are systems that weren’t designed with all students in mind, fear of change or things unknown, and discomfort in engaging in conversations about race and privilege.

Starting Sept. 23, 2021

Principals' Professional Learning Group

  • 3:15 - 4:30 PM ET
  • Virtual, via Zoom
  • $550/person

Meets monthly, Sept. 2021 - May 2022

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