Class of 2007
Fifth-Grade Reading Teacher
KIPP S.T.A.R College Preparatory Middle Charter School in Harlem
Educational reform is one of America’s most pressing topics. How do we get students performing at grade level? How do we close the achievement gap? Chelsey Tubbs isn’t just asking these questions, she’s living the answers.
Chelsey teaches fifth grade at the KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) S.T.A.R. College Preparatory School, a revolutionary charter school system in the Harlem neighborhood of New York that has been replicated nationally and become an international model for ending generational poverty. Its instructors need a diehard passion for teaching, and Chelsey fits the bill.
“The mindset of our school is ‘whatever it takes,’” she says. “You’re supposed to do whatever it takes to reach student goals. It’s very powerful to be working at a school where everyone thinks and acts that way.” She started teaching during a two-year Teach for America stint at the Harlem Children's Zone, during which she earned her master’s degree in early childhood education. She is currently pursuing a second master’s degree in education leadership at Columbia University’s Teacher College Summer Principals Academy.
She was first inspired to teach by Beloit professors. “I want to uplift my students because that’s what I always got from my professors at Beloit College,”she says—during her time at the college, faculty members encouraged her to take advantage of opportunities including the American Political Science Association’s Ralph Bunche Summer Institute, which involved graduate-level work at Duke University and off-campus study in Washington, D.C., and Bosnia, Serbia, and Croatia.“They took an interest in me and pushed me academically. Without that, I would have never succeeded.”