Neena Goswamy credits a high school mentor for fostering her growth and putting her on the path to college. In 2011, Neena joined Teach For America after receiving a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Gender Studies from the University of Washington. As a ninth and eleventh grade literature teacher at Muchin College Prep High School, she designed a curriculum infused with culturally sensitive literature and themes appropriate for her 100 percent minority student population. This effort paid off, and she found herself in the shoes of her high school mentor: providing her students with coaching, improving test scores, and inspiring them to strive for college.

Following her time at Muchin, Neena joined the KIPP Bloom Campus in Chicago, Illinois, as a founding humanities teacher for fifth grade. Her high expectations and history of improved scores followed her to KIPP, where 82 percent of her students’ reading scores improved by two grade levels. In addition to her academic work, she designed and founded systems at KIPP to foster school-wide social engagement. She left in 2014, working as an Associate Project Manager and Developer for an investment company, and as the Director of Growth for EDpuzzle, a video platform promoting student engagement.

Neena will return to the classroom with her high-expectations approach as she founds and leads a charter school in the Bay Area, California.