Having grown up in New York City’s foster care system, Antoinette Kane (she/her/hers) is more than familiar with the inequalities encountered by students of color in low-income communities. After attending a new charter high school in her neighborhood, she received a full scholarship to Bard College, where she rented her first apartment in nearby Poughkeepsie. Antoinette noticed that the community, comprised mostly of people of color, lacked quality educational choices and opportunities for social mobility within their own city. “I can personally attest to the transformative power that education can have on one’s life. I want to return to Poughkeepsie to develop a school that allows the city’s students to experience the kind of academic success that can lead to a lifetime of opportunity.”
Fueled by her college experience tutoring incarcerated adults and local public school students, Antoinette returned to Brooklyn to make an impact on youth with experiences similar to her own. She served as a second-grade teacher and grade team lead at Success Academies, where she also led an integrated co-teaching classroom and was given an Excellence Award for Academic Achievement. Antoinette taught third grade and was the grade level chair at KIPP AMP Elementary, where she developed and led the after-school program, which engages middle school students in matters of identity and race.
Antoinette envisions a school where students are not just expected to go to college but are exposed to a collegiate academic environment throughout their educational experience. Her proposed school will include a focus on data-driven instruction, with frequent formative assessments and ongoing professional development for staff. The school’s design also includes project-based learning opportunities to foster leadership and advocacy skills, as well as a major emphasis on social justice through character development studies and aligned behavioral management practices. “It is our mission to ensure students are empowered and encouraged to use their voices to disrupt systems and make positive change within their communities and beyond.”
Antoinette holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Bard College and is pursuing her master’s in education at Touro College Graduate School of Education.