Our Team

 
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Taylor McGraw

Co-Founder | taylor@bellvoices.org

After teaching for five years in Harlem and Brooklyn, Taylor left the classroom in 2017 to help launch The Bell.

A fierce advocate for student voice, he collaborates with high school interns to produce the Miseducation podcast and serves as an advisor to Teens Take Charge. His 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.

Adrian Uribarri  

Co-Founder | adrian@bellvoices.org

A former teacher and journalist, Adrian has advised nonprofits and social entrepreneurs since 2013.

His recent work includes engagements with Google and other technology companies, primarily focused on strategy, marketing and operations. Previously, he led the Esquire Mentoring Initiative, the Hearst magazine’s award-winning effort to rebrand the concept of male mentoring, and developed wide-ranging communications for efforts related to social-emotional learning and character development in K-12 schools.

Adrian earned a B.A. in political science and a B.S. in journalism from the University of Florida. He attended Miami-Dade County Public Schools and graduated from 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.

 

2019 Miseducation Interns

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Maria De Los Santos

Maria De Los Santos is a junior at Comprehensive Model School Project 327 in the South Bronx. She attended The School of the New York Times during the summer of 2018, where she took a class on sustainability, tech innovation, and the UN. She is an immigrant from the Dominican Republic and arrived to the United States at the age of 6. Growing up in NYC has been a great experience for her so far because of the diversity. Yet, not much diversity is seen in her public high school, as the majority of students are Hispanic. Her hobbies include listening to different genres of music, reading, writing poetry, playing volleyball, and eating various cultural dishes.  

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Yasmine Chokrane

Yasmine is a sophomore 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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Miriam Entin-Bell

Miriam is a senior at Bard High School Early College in Queens. She enjoys studying Latin American history, queer theory, and environmental sciences. When not studying, she writes poetry, paints, grows plants, babysits for her neighbors, and is captain of her school’s cross country and track teams. She has won Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for her poetry, been an active part of the CUE teen art collective, and works at a summer camp that strives to empower young women through community and play. She is motivated by principles of reciprocity, community, and unwavering justice and uses her voice and arts to advocate for these things in all aspects of her life.

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Sultan Martins

Sultan is a junior at Midwood High School at Brooklyn College. While having a strong distaste for the way education is taught in public schools, he still regards himself as an avid academic, taking courses beyond what is normally taught in schools with programs such as SEO, College Now, STEP Academy, and GripTape. In his free time when he isn't studying for classes, or complaining about them, he can likely be found at your local library... asleep.

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Mohammad Mahee

Mohammad is a junior student at Brooklyn International High School. He is a trilingual student: Bengali, English, and Urdu (oral). He is a member of the National Honor Society and Student Government at his high school. He is an experienced filmmaker, editor and designer. He is passionate about computer science. He is a creative, well-organized, responsible, and hardworking person. As soon as he has some down time, he’s editing a film or working something creative on his laptop. Sometimes, it’s for a class, but oftentimes it’s for his own growth, satisfying his curiosity or feeding his creative energy.

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Ashaa Khan

Originally from India, Ashaa currently attends Columbia Secondary School for Math Science and Engineering in Manhattan. Her interests, ironically enough, include reading, writing, drawing, film, photography—basically anything unrelated to math, science, and engineering. Aside from being great leisurely activities, these interests have allowed her to observe and understand various social issues pertaining to poverty, education, race, and gender not only in America but in her native country as well. She plans to continue exploring such complex issues throughout her life.

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Katherine Sanchez

Katherine is a senior at Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan but her heart lies in the Bronx. She is passionate about education reform in New York City, as well as English Literature, creative writing and media. When she’s not busy working on her school’s literary magazine or attempting to find NYC’s perfect study space, Katherine finds solace in the depths of YouTube or just one of the many books on her seemingly endless “to read” list.

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Zoe Markman

Zoe is a junior 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.