Joiselle's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    TEACH Roadtrip

JOISELLE CUNNINGHAM

Washington Fellow
Department of Education

“I’ve persevered through the challenge of speaking up about the things that I believe in, even when no one else in the room agrees.”

INTERESTS:

Education Politics

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Fulfillment Inspiration Confidence Values Determination Perseverance Culture Education Societal Pressures Support & Encouragement Dedication Hard Work

FOUNDATION:

Teaching / Mentoring

BIOGRAPHY:

  • From a young age, she knew she wanted to make an impact on the world and be involved in social change.
  • As someone who had difficulty finding teachers and mentors that looked like her, she wanted to become that role model for the next generation of students.
  • Received two bachelor’s degrees from Duke University, then attended Pace University in New York to get her master’s degree in elementary education and bilingual teaching.
  • During her first three or four years of teaching, she began to see that she was on a path towards burnout, a common problem among educators.
  • She heard a lecture that encouraged her to work her own interests and passions into teaching, so she began incorporating dance—a long-time passion of hers—into the classroom.
  • Also loves traveling and learning about different cultures, so she took multiple opportunities to teach in different countries and learn new languages.
  • Eventually she realized that she wanted a better way to contribute to policy and to have an impact on some of the issues she’d seen while she was teaching.
  • She’s been working at the Department of Education for several years, focusing on policies that prohibit discrimination and ensure equal access to education for all students.

Send us your feedback

(all fields are required)