Our Team

 
 
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Taylor McGraw

Co-Founder | taylor@bellvoices.org

After teaching for five years at charter schools in Harlem and Bushwick, Taylor left the classroom in 2016 to help launch The Bell.

He produces the Miseducation podcast, facilitates Teens Take Charge, and travels the city speaking to groups of high school students about educational inequity. His education writing has appeared in USA Today, The Hechinger Report and Narratively. In his spare time, he works on a book about a summer he spent playing chess with men in Washington Square Park.

Taylor earned a B.A. in Public Policy Leadership from the University of Mississippi, an M.A. in Teaching from Relay Graduate School of Education, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from The New School. He grew up in Oxford, Mississippi.

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Adrian Uribarri  

Co-Founder | adrian@bellvoices.org

A former teacher and journalist, Adrian has consulted with education nonprofits and social entrepreneurs since 2013.

Most recently, he managed creative operations at Google and led the Esquire Mentoring Initiative, the Hearst magazine’s award-winning effort to rebrand the concept of male mentoring. His writing has appeared in journalism textbooks and major newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, and he has lectured on journalism ethics and press freedoms throughout Latin America on grants from the U.S. Department of State.

Adrian holds a B.A. in political science and a B.S. in journalism from the University of Florida. He grew up in Miami, where he attended New World School of the Arts.

 

Advisory Board

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Kate Connolly

Kate is a High School Program Director for East Side House Settlement, a community-based organization in the Bronx focused on supporting the community through education and access to resources. Outside of her day job, she is a member of Justice League NYC, a direct action task force working towards the abolition of juvenile incarceration. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, reading, and exploring all the free events in NYC.

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Ryan Fajet

Ryan is the Program Manager at Education Reform Now - NY, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that works to advance progressive education policy in the state of New York. He has worked previously with the New York State, Florida, and Miami-Dade Democratic Parties as well as Hillary for America, leading field operations on individual and coordinated campaigns ranging from city council to presidential elections. He is a fierce advocate for educational equity, immigration reform, and Florida Panthers Hockey.

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Lloyd Hall

Lloyd is a former New York City science teacher. Teaching inspired him to think critically about how to make an impact in the education industry at scale. He learned technology is one way to do this. After a stint at Twitter, he now works at Google and helps universities across the country achieve their enrollment goals through digital marketing and advertising. Fun facts about Lloyd: He has officiated five weddings, he was born in the same hospital as President Obama (Kapiʻolani Medical Center), and he has an Instagram account dedicated to Ramen (he is still trying to find the perfect bowl!)


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Nasrin Jafari

Nasrin is an educator who leverages cross-sector partnerships to mobilize fellow educators and school leaders on the front lines of education reform. She currently teaches at a middle school in New York City, writes about k-12 education on her blog and organizes community events that address pressing challenges facing NYC schools.

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Cat Lum

Cat is an educator and facilitator who is passionate about the fight for educational equity and connecting across lines of difference. For six years, Cat taught AP History and served as an Instructional Coach at Uncommon Schools. She also founded the network’s D&I programming to support culturally relevant teaching and community building. Eager to connect diverse cohorts of students from across New York City, Cat joined the team at nXu which supports students in finding their purpose in life. She also helps adults build more equitable and inclusive cultures at work through a consultancy and community known as DEI Collective.

  Rachel Norman   Rachel is a Los Angeles native with a commitment to education and equity. Rachel's background in program development and adult education is anchored in her experience overseeing the Student Equity Program, which connected over 300 low-income students annually to resources that guaranteed access, opportunity, and advancement. She moved to New York to better understand segregated school systems, find meaningful work, and engage in a community that is dedicated to unraveling complex societal issues. When she’s not overthinking the meaning of life, Rachel enjoys exploring the city, pretending to be a food critic, and reading a good book at the park.

Rachel Norman

Rachel is a Los Angeles native with a commitment to education and equity. Rachel's background in program development and adult education is anchored in her experience overseeing the Student Equity Program, which connected over 300 low-income students annually to resources that guaranteed access, opportunity, and advancement. She moved to New York to better understand segregated school systems, find meaningful work, and engage in a community that is dedicated to unraveling complex societal issues. When she’s not overthinking the meaning of life, Rachel enjoys exploring the city, pretending to be a food critic, and reading a good book at the park.


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Laura Petty

Laura is a student at Fordham University School of Law. She earned a master’s degree in Education Policy from Teachers College, Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in Art History and History from Boston College. Prior to grad school, Laura taught tenth grade English for three years in Indianola, Mississippi. Laura has done policy research in Louisiana, legislative work in D.C., program evaluation for the NYC DOE, and helped seniors at three high schools in Harlem apply to college. She hopes to use her law and policy skills to advocate for policies that promote school integration.

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Simone Webster

A former math teacher and policy nerd, Simone currently works as an analyst at Education Forward DC, a grantmaking organization that invests in D.C. schools and educational entrepreneurs. Simone earned a B.A. in Sociology from New York University, a master’s in Public Affairs from Princeton University and is a proud alumnus of Townsend Harris High School. As a native New Yorker, she feels most at home in big cities, and hopes to continue serving students in urban areas. When she’s not doing education work, you can find her roller-skating, performing Improv, or catching the latest film.

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Ben West-Weyner

Ben is a coordinator with Organizing For Equity New York (OFENY), where he works to unite educators, students, and families around dismantling New York City's school-to-prison pipeline and segregated high school system. Originally from New Jersey, Ben lived in Idaho, studied in Massachusetts, and taught elementary school in New Orleans, before returning to the tri-state area to live and work in New York City, following in the footsteps of three generations of Weyners before him.


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Mae Whiting

Mae is a graduate student in NYU’s Sociology of Education master’s program and supports a first grade dual language class in Brooklyn. She moved to New York from Alabama, where she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting and worked with an organization that provides educational programs and financial services to communities across the southeast. Her interests include the role of participatory research in activism and the ways community voice informs policy. In her spare time, she enjoys running and visiting public libraries and parks.

 

2018 Miseducation Interns

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Alberto Lugo

Alberto is a sophomore at Achievement First Univerisity Prep in Brooklyn. He is a talented instrumentalist, produces his own music and DJs at venues such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Brooklyn Public Library. His work has been featured in podcasts, including "The Relentless" and "Caught," a new show from WNYC about juvenile detention. He works with Building Beats, an organization that teaches entrepreneurial and life skills to underserved youth.

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Yasmine Chokrane

Yasmine is a freshman at Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan. She is an avid reader, writer and hazelnut coffee enthusiast. She is known for being quite opinionated, having a big mouth, along with big hair. Along with immersing herself in literature, she has a hobby of catching her hair on fire (two times, to be exact).

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Hiba Hanoune

Hiba is a senior at Fort Hamilton High School in Brooklyn. She competes on her school’s mock trial/moot court team, debates in the Model United Nations program and is a martial artist. Hiba is an avid New York City photographer, and when she's not glamming up her Instagram feed with her epic shots, she advocates for women’s educational rights in third-world nations. Hiba will continue her fight for women’s rights as a human rights major at Columbia University.

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Sabrina DuQuesnay

Sabrina is a senior at Brooklyn College Academy. She is a member of Teens Take Charge, a student led movement for educational equity. Her goal is to advocate for students across NYC, so that she can help to eradicate school segregation and help students of all backgrounds obtain a quality education in well resourced schools. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, sleeping, and Netflix.

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Maya Vesneske

Maya is a sophomore at New York University, where she studies social work and maybe something else, too, if she could just make up her mind. When she is not in class, she can be found working in a middle school special education classroom in Manhattan's Lower East Side, organizing lobbying trips, writing poetry or music with her friends, or scouring the city for the best bagel south of 14th Street. She welcomes any tips on where to find that magic bagel.

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Nyeda Sam

Nyeda is a senior at the Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn. She loves to label herself as someone who “dabbles in the arts.” And, she really dabbles. Nyeda’s interests include painting, drawing, poetry, playwriting and dance. Through these mediums she has found herself exploring complex issues such as race, socioeconomic status and sexuality. She expands upon these notions in her daily life by participating in discussions centered around social justice.

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Terrence Freeman

Terrence is a senior at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School in the Bronx. He loathes the traditional way schools educate students. In March 2017 on a panel at SXSWedu, he discussed how schools must adapt to our changing world by implementing student-centered learning curricula. In the fall, he will be leaving New York to attend Lawrence University in Wisconsin.

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Zoe Markman

Zoe is a sophomore at the High School of American Studies at Lehman College in the Bronx. She is an active member of her school’s debate team, math team, and women’s empowerment club. When Zoe isn’t busy studying or procrastinating, she loves to watch Parks and Recreation or Gilmore Girls.