“Serving as a teacher gave me the tools to manage a classroom, plan meticulously, and be reflective in my practice. Most importantly, serving as a teacher exposed me to one of the greatest injustices of our time – the achievement gap that exists between students of color and their white peers. This experience was the catalyst for my drive to impact the lives of children moving forward.”
Courtney Rodriguez Sales comes from an extensive and varied background that has always had the same focus: helping children.
Courtney received a Bachelor of Arts in Crime, Law, and Justice from Pennsylvania State University. She then took a position with Teach For America, instructing a fifth grade classroom in her hometown of Bronx, New York. She led her students to achieve over two years of reading growth in one instructional year. The inequities she witnessed inspired Courtney to obtain a Juris Doctor Degree from The Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, which she hoped to use to “dismantle the system” she felt deprived students of a good education. She became an Assistant Public Defender in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, representing juveniles in the criminal justice system.
Two years later, she chose to return to the place she felt she could make the most impact: schools. In her position as the Project Manager for the Pittsburgh Public School District’s Department of Professional Development, she developed and managed a number of district initiatives. Additionally, Courtney supported school administrators in the creation of professional development plans aimed at building the capacity of teachers and producing academic achievement for students.
Courtney was part of the 2017-18 BES Fellowship cohort, and in fall 2019 she opened Bloom Academy in Houston, Texas.