Back to School: Prep Alumni Educators

Over 400 Prep alumni are making an impact at all levels of education, including these three educators heading back to the classroom this fall.

Gerald Richards (II/Columbia Prep '86, Wesleyan '90) MFA, Art Institute of Chicago '01 started his career in film, but after observing that Chicago public schools' metal detectors and armed guards created an environment more suited for prison than for learning, he found his life’s purpose. Gerald is Chief Executive Officer of 826 National, a network of creative writing and tutoring centers serving under-resourced students.

“The education community needs people who look like us who can be role models to the millions of people who don’t have role models. You are needed.”

Linda Munro (XIV/VCS '94, Chapin '98, Duke '02) MA, Teacher's College Columbia '06 became a principal in her mid-20s when she founded the Waterside School for Leadership, a charter middle school in Rockaway Park, Queens.

“My own experience with Prep’s high expectations and vision of academic excellence was never far from my mind. I became a principal because I wanted to be a bigger change agent and make a difference in as many young lives as I could.”

Jose Leonor (XVIII/Horace Mann '02, Princeton '06) MA, Teachers College '15 is Associate Head of School and Director of Middle School for The Thaden School in Bentonville, Arkansas, a new independent school opening this fall. Having started his career in education at his alma mater Horace Mann, Jose has taught middle school, upper school, French, Spanish, English, and Film.

“If you can survive and then thrive as an educator in 8th grade English, you can accomplish pretty much anything! Leading learning for young people is remarkably energizing and joyful.”

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