Learn more about Teach For America's work in the Rhode Island region.
Teach For America Rhode Island launched in 2010 to meet a critical need in the state: the recruitment of more teachers from diverse backgrounds to work in high-need subject areas in the most underserved schools. At the time, Rhode Island’s four-year graduation rate was 75 percent, and just over half of Rhode Island seniors went directly onto a two or four year college the next fall. School and student success is deeply varied within our small but mighty state.
Fast forward nearly a decade later, and Teach For America serves as the state’s only alternative teacher preparation program, and has recruited, trained, and supported nearly 250 educators who are focused on improving educational outcomes for students across the state. Due to sustained and strong partnerships with local school districts, committed family, and persistent community organizations, student outcomes are making consistent and steady progress. The high school graduation rate now reaches 81 percent, an all-time high for the Ocean State. As partners in the movement for educational equity, this is an exhilarating time to join a network of over 280 Teach For America corps members and alumni in Rhode Island.
Even with persisting opportunity gaps, research demonstrates the importance of teachers in transforming the life prospect of the children they teach. Teach For America Rhode Island looks to continuously evolve our leadership development model to activate corps member leadership in the classroom. At the same time, we are developing innovative approaches to engage and collaborate across our network to maximize the impacts of the coalition we have built. In our nation’s smallest state, you can make a large contribution to impact a child’s life!
“When someone asks me about my Teach For America experience in Rhode Island, I always seem to forget the 11:00 pm Wednesday night grading sessions, the hours of lesson planning on Sunday afternoons, and the many sleepless nights spent worrying about an activity for the next day. I do remember the look on Leticia’s face when she received her first “A” on a math test, working with Joel after school to help him get ready for a job interview, and watching my students receive their college acceptance letters. While my initial two-year commitment has passed and my original students have graduated from high school, I now carry my experiences and the vision of “One Day” with me in everything I do.”
Regional Staff & Board Leadership
Michael Broschart, Director, Program Continuum (Rhode Island '11)
Originally from Long Island, New York, he attended NYU where he studied physical anthropology, sociology, and creative writing. After college Michael joined TFA as a 2011 Rhode Island corps member, where he taught ninth through 12th grade English at the Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex. After his two years in the corps Michael continued to teach at his placement school, while also pursuing a master’s degree in urban education policy at Brown University. Michael enjoys helping teachers develop in their practice and skills, and has worked as an instructional coach in both his role as a CMA at NYC Institute, as well as the teacher leader of the English department. When he isn’t working with students and teachers he loves spending time with his close friends and family. He especially enjoys trying new food and new restaurants.
Carol Lai, Director, Development (Rhode Island '14)
Carol Lai joined Teach For America Rhode Island as a 2014 corps member. Coming from an English Language Learner background, Carol credits her educational success to her parents’ sacrifices and her teachers’ relentless dedication. As a Teach For America corps member, Carol served as the algebra and geometry teacher for English Language Learners at Alvarez High School. Her experience in the classroom has inspired her to look at how different stakeholders can play a part to support education equity. After falling in love with the Ocean State, Carol joined staff as the development manager for Teach For America Rhode Island. In this role, Carol oversees all external relationships with partners to ensure the region’s sustainability to extend impact for students. Additionally, she works directly with school partners and districts to ensure the successful hiring and retention of our teachers. Carol graduated with a B.A. in economics and communication from the University of Utah in 2014, and earned her A.M. in urban education policy from Brown University.
Liz Laguerre, Manager, Teacher Leadership Development (Rhode Island '13)
Liz is a Rhode Island native who began her journey with Teach For America in 2012 as a campus campaign coordinator at Mount Holyoke College. She became a Rhode Island corps member in 2013 as a special educator for seventh and eighth grade ELA at Blackstone Valley Prep Middle School 1. She then went on to become a general education eighth grade ELA teacher. In 2016, she became a founding fifth grade ELA teacher at Blackstone Valley Prep Middle School 2, where she helped to develop a strong school culture focused on rigorous academics, high behavioral expectations, and joy. In addition to teaching fifth grade ELA for the past two years, she also served as grade chair where she oversaw a team of seven fellow teachers. Throughout her time as a corps member and teacher, Liz always had a passion for discussing and implementing initiatives that highlighted issues of diversity, equity and inclusiveness, cultural competency, and social justice. At Mount Holyoke, Liz studied English literature as well as African American studies. She is excited to begin her first year as Manager, Teacher Leadership Development and even more excited to continue to push thinking and build coalition and community around diversity for the Rhode Island Teach For America team and greater New England region.
Mike Northup, Manager, Teacher Leadership Development (Rhode Island '10)
Mike is excited to be starting his first year as Manager, Teacher Leadership Development for Teach For America's Rhode Island Corps. For the past six years, he taught English Language Learners at Mount Pleasant High School, where he has taught since he joined the Rhode Island corps in 2010. Over the past two years, he served as Teacher Leader for the ELL department at Mount Pleasant. During this time, he has developed a deep passion for serving the students of Providence—and English Learners in particular. Over the past year, Mike participated in the Instructional Coaching track of the Teach Beyond Fellowship, where he developed his practice under the tutelage of Elena Aguilar and a group of 15 other Teach For America alumni. He also served as the ELL Content Community Group leader for TFA Rhode Island during the 2015-16 school year. Mike was born and grew up in Narragansett, Rhode Island, and currently lives in Cranston, Rhode Island, with his wife, Beth—a fellow 2010 TFA Rhode Island alum—and his cat, Thor. He attended the University of Connecticut where he studied journalism and psychology. In 2013, he completed a master's degree in teaching English to speakers of other languages at Rhode Island College.
Jamie Quattrini, Manager, Operations
Jamie Quattrini joined Teach For America Rhode Island in December 2016. Jamie was born and raised in Rhode Island. She attended the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College. Prior to joining staff, Jamie worked at Brown University and Providence College in the development field. Jamie’s passion for education began at home. Raising her two children, Victoria and Nicholas, she directly witnessed and experienced educational inequity. She went back to school to get her M.A.T. to put her passion to work to enact change. She worked for many years in a small Catholic school in Greenville, RI as a Teacher Assistant and Director of the after-school daycare program. Jamie is currently the Manager, Operations at Teach For America Rhode Island, driving the day-to-day management of the office, and working as the manager of matriculation, event planning, and marketing. You will often find Jamie at her son’s high school basketball games or at home relaxing with her husband, Alan, and their two Labradoodles, Bosco and Lily.
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