Rachael Sewards creates positive learning environments necessary for a student population to thrive.

Rachael was introduced to charter schools early in her career, when she headed to Memphis, Tennessee as a member of Teach For America in 2006. She taught sixth grade language arts at The Soulsville Charter School, during which time 94 percent of her students scored proficient or higher on the TCAP. Rachael moved to Columbus, Ohio and joined KIPP Journey Academy as a founding teacher. In 2011, she joined the team at The ASK Academy Charter School, a project-based STEM school in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as a founding teacher in the middle school.

After four years at ASK, she began teaching middle school literacy at Cochiti Middle School, a rural, traditional public school. At Cochiti, her students have averaged 1.4 years of reading growth and a 1.845 value-added growth score on the PARCC assessment, earning her the distinction of Highly Effective on the rigorous New Mexico teacher evaluation system. In addition to teaching, Rachael participated in the inaugural New Mexico Teacher Leader Network, a group of the state’s most effective teachers working to foster clearer means of communication between the Public Education Department and classroom teachers.

There is still work to be done and Rachael is up for it, founding and leading a high-impact charter school in New Mexico.