Sizer Fellows

The Forum for Education and Democracy is pleased to announce the selection of the first cohort of the Sizer Fellows, a project commemorating the work of the late Theodore Sizer and his wife, Nancy, themselves both original Conveners of the Forum. They are Ayla Gavins of the Mission Hill School in Boston, Tony Monfiletto of ACE Leadership High School in Albuquerque, and Hector Calderon of El Puente Academy and Andrea Zayas of La Cima Elementary, both in New York City. [ed. note:  Andrea Zayas resigned her Sizer Fellow position in 2012.]

These four Fellows reflect the diversity and dynamism of today’s educational landscape. They represent the leadership of traditional public, district Pilot, and charter schools. They have each distinguished their schools through hard work, thoughtful practice, and a commitment to embody the ideals of the Sizers—that our schools become places where all young people learn to use their minds well in order to become fully participating and engaged members of our democracy.

The aim of the Fellowship is to play a role in further broadening each participant’s leadership skills and increasing their ability to impact their respective contexts through strategic public engagement. In addition to three formal gatherings over the coming year, each will receive support in writing for further publication, speaking at key events, and have the option of connecting with individual Forum Conveners for mentoring, provocation and action research.

The first convening of the Fellows will occur in Providence, RI, former home to Ted Sizer’s Coalition of Essential Schools in late September, and will include text-based seminars, sharing outstanding school-based practices, colloquia with experts in a number of key areas related to dilemmas of school re-design, an action-planning component and a dinner with Nancy Sizer. The Fellows will also host a panel dialogue at the annual CES Fall Forum in Providence in early November.

In the coming months each of the Fellows will be featured on the Forum website, with opinion pieces, videos and links that will help their thinking, accomplishments and, especially, their schools come alive. We see this as each Fellow’s contribution to the Forum’s commitment to putting forward the kind of schools that we believe represent the highest aspirations of American democracy and progressive educational practice.

"We believe the Sizer Fellows will carry on the tradition of advocating for schools that are progressive, responsive to their communities, and prepare young people for the challenges of life in a democracy."
George Wood, Forum Convener and Executive Director
Superintendent and Secondary School Principal, Federal Hocking Local Schools

"Ted would be very pleased that this is taking place."
Nancy Sizer, Forum Convener