Cary Finnegan joins The Fellowship with a strong understanding of the intersectional impact that history, policy, and politics have on the education landscape in our country.

Cary began her teaching career as a Teach For America Corps member in Hartford, Connecticut, teaching at a K-8 school just a few miles away from where she grew up. Selected as grade-level team leader in her second year, she learned the importance of data-driven decision making and instructional leadership. Following her residency with TFA, Cary attended Teachers College, Columbia University where she received her Master in Education Policy.

As a Program Manager with New Leaders, an education nonprofit focused on training and developing excellent school leaders, she collaborated with district leadership from Newark Public Schools in creating principal evaluation and development tools. Cary returned to the classroom as a third-grade teacher, working at Match Community Day School in Boston, Achievement First Endeavor Elementary School in Brooklyn, and Democracy Prep Harlem Prep Elementary School, a high-performing BES school in New York City. These opportunities exposed her to high-functioning, high-achieving charter networks and strong schools, as well as experience in literacy planning, curriculum development, and data.

These skills were invaluable when she moved to DC and became a Program Director for the Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching, and Service, where she directed the DC Reads program; a literacy tutoring program. She also ran the Summer Institute of Teaching and Learning, an immersive teacher training program for students considering careers in education. She travels around the country to elementary schools to train and support teachers in implementing high-quality literacy instruction in their classrooms.

Cary will remain in New York and put all of her skills and experience to work as she founds and leads a high-impact charter school for the city’s students.