Re’Shawn Rogers (he/him/his) is all too aware of the inequities in the public school system that face students of color and students experiencing poverty. Growing up in Detroit, his family struggled to find high-quality educational options. He ultimately moved in with his grandparents to qualify for a public charter high school, where he became a fluent reader for the first time in his K-12 experience. “As a Black student, I was consistently failed by policies that considered me a number, not an individual. It is my duty as a Black educator to serve as a positive example for students of color with an upbringing similar to my own.”
Re’Shawn notes that while there are other groups in Schenectady working to revitalize low-income communities, most lack a specific focus on education, particularly in the city’s predominantly Black neighborhoods. His proposed school will emphasize the use of culturally-relevant practices to help students of color develop a sense of belonging; practices ranging from staff recruitment, to instructional strategies, to subject matter for mathematics lessons. “I know what it’s like to feel unseen in an educational environment, so representation will be a priority at our school. Students will see themselves in our teaching, and their identities will be uplifted and celebrated. Learning will become more meaningful as they understand how to apply skills to their lives through rigorous learning experiences and real-world connections.” Re’Shawn is also committed to ensuring teachers are trained in blended learning strategies, allowing them to advocate for and support the needs of all students.
Re’Shawn has worked at Achievement First Aspire Elementary in Brooklyn, NY for the last seven years, serving as a classroom teacher and dean of academics. Prior to this, he spent three years working in charter schools across Detroit. Re’Shawn received a Bachelor of Arts in secondary education from Eastern Michigan University and a master’s in general education from the Relay Graduate School of Education.