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Profiles in Success

Jerome Ellison

Jerome Ellison

BS in Childhood Urban Education
Class of 2009.

He was honored as the School of Education’s Symbolic Recipient at the graduation ceremony. Upon graduating, he was hired to teach in a first grade CTT classroom at P.S. 8 in Brooklyn Heights. This is his story:

“I was born and raised in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, New York. As I reflected on my childhood I began to realize that education has played the biggest role in helping overcome numerous challenges in my life. Losing both of my parents at a young age, I could have easily fallen victim to the temptations of the inner city streets. I grew up with kids who were smart and came from wonderful families but were lost in the violence, drugs, and crime that pollutes our communities. It is my love of education that allowed me to become a first generation college graduate. This love is what led me to pursue a career in education. I can honestly say that I found my heart’s passion. As I move forward I am committed to showing students that no matter where you come from or what challenges you may have faced, a quality education can help you accomplish anything that you put your mind to. I live my life by the line ‘If you can think it, you can be it.’ I would like to thank Long Island University’s School of Education for helping me to become a lifelong reflective learner. Thanks for instilling in me the educational values through your KEEPS mission that enables me to set high standards for myself as well as my students. It is because of this perspective that I can understand and appreciate the wonderful possibilities, power, and responsibility of being an urban educator.”

Chelsea DaviesChelsea Davies

Master's in Early Childhood and Childhood Urban Education

When you meet Chelsea Davies, you can just sense in her a special gift for working with young children. Underneath a calm, quiet and thoughtful exterior is a deep and reflective intelligence, one that she brings to bear with great insight on the study of teaching and learning. Through her life, Chelsea has been taught to see the light in everyone. As an educator, she says, “this belief has transformed into discovering strength, something beautiful in every child and valuing and appreciating that light in the classroom.” For Chelsea, her beliefs were supported by her studies in the Childhood Urban Education program, which are designed to foster a stance towards children that focuses on their strengths, rather than their deficits, and on the idea that all children can learn and develop into positive and productive people. Of her experiences, she writes, "The professors in the Teaching and Learning Department at Long Island University supported me in becoming an educator who is grounded in the theoretical aspects of teaching but also reflective in my practice. The perspectives on children I was exposed to in the program will continue to shape the work I do in my own classroom. I am grateful to the professors who helped me to find my calling in life and supported me in growing not only as a teacher, but as a person."

Chelsea was honored by the School of Education as the Symbolic Recipient at her graduation ceremony. Students selected to be recognized in this way hold not only the highest GPA in their graduating class, but have demonstrated exceptional understanding of, and adherence to the School’s guiding principles: Knowledge, Enquiry, Empathy, Pluralism and Social Commitment.

Upon graduation, she was hired as a kindergarten teacher at The Earth School in Manhattan, “a peaceful, nurturing place to stimulate learning in all realms of child development–intellectual, social, emotional and physical.” What a perfect professional home for Chelsea! We know that she will bring warmth, intelligence and compassion to her work, as she continues to “find the light” in her students and colleagues: “Simple as the idea of finding good in everyone may be, it stands as a core of what I believe should happen in the classroom and shadows my every action, word and thought as a teacher. I believe if I can move through my career in this way, that I will not only be practicing my own beliefs but also teaching my students to be caring, thoughtful and appreciative of themselves and others.”

Wynette Caesar, B.S. in Childhood Education, M.S.Ed. in Special Education, M.S.Ed. in Teaching LiteracyWynette Caesar

B.S. in Childhood Education
M.S.Ed. in Special Education
M.S.Ed. in Teaching Literacy

“I see myself as a continuous learner,” says Wynette Caesar, and her experiences as a Brooklyn Campus student and NYC public school teacher prove it! Born in Trinidad, she earned her bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees at the Brooklyn Campus School of Education. Upon graduating in 2004, she was offered teaching positions in two different schools. She selected the school where she did her student teaching, P.S. 372 - The Children’s School, in Park Slope/Carroll Gardens. Since then, she has taught fourth grade and kindergarten. This year she will be teaching second grade in a Collaborative Team Teaching classroom, working side by side with another educator in a class that includes both children in general education and children with disabilities.

Wynette credits her Brooklyn Campus teacher preparation program with giving her the foundation she needs as a teacher: knowledge of curriculum, plenty of experience in the field, a reflective stance, and, especially, an understanding of the value of collaboration for both teachers and children. On the job she is known as an effective teacher, helpful to her colleagues, someone who is ready to take initiative and to share ideas. And, despite her busy schedule as a teacher and mother of a young child, she is still learning: participating in professional development and completing a post-master’s certificate in educational leadership. Most of all, she says, she learns from the children in her own classroom: “ I think I learn more from them about teaching... about life and how things change, and how to be adaptable, and how to modify my thinking because they are all so different... They know more about themselves than we know about them, so I really see them as teachers.”

Sadie GoddardSadie Goddard

M.S. in Mental Health Counseling

Sadie Goddard came to New York City from Barbados to study mental health counseling at the Brooklyn campus of Long Island University. Sadie made the most of her time in the City, interning first at the Diagnostic Vocational Evaluation Unit of the Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service and at a domestic violence shelter through the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services. During her final internship year, Sadie worked at the Teen Life Center at Harlem RBI, conducting individual and group counseling with adolescents as part of a multifaceted community-based organization. Sadie graduated in Spring 2008 with a 4.0 grade point average and the Departmental Award for Academic Excellence.

Upon graduation, the Victim Services Unit of the Office of the Kings County District Attorney hired Sadie as a counselor. In that position, she assessed the mental health status of domestic violence survivors and witnesses, engaged in treatment planning and individual counseling for survivors of domestic violence, designed and facilitated a support group for survivors, provided crisis intervention, and engaged in a host of advocacy and collaborative work to serve survivors of domestic violence.

After a year at the Brooklyn DA’s office, Sadie returned home to the beloved warm weather of her native country. She is now employed as a clinical counselor at the Business and Professional Women’s Club in Barbados, providing counseling and community based programs for women and children. She is continuing to specialize in domestic violence and survivors of trauma.

Sadie shared the following reflection upon her time at LIU:

Some of my most valuable experiences during my journey as a Mental Health Counseling student at LIU stemmed from the mentoring, supportive and oftentimes nurturing relationships fostered with my professors. I was blessed to have encountered individuals who understood and catered to the many facets of students. These professors provided me with opportunities to share, learn about and learn from the cultural differences I experienced as an international student, and helped me to explore who I was and who I could be in this field-clinician, researcher, teacher, advocate, policy maker- regardless of where I am in the world. Such relationships and resultant opportunities were instrumental in strengthening my spirit, developing my counseling skills and shaping my clinical persona.