by Patreece Thompson
Patreece: Thank you so much Christina for the opportunity to speak with you about Youth in the Middle, (YiM) a pilot program that seeks to address youth development from holistic and systemic perspectives. We would like to learn a little about you. What inspired you to become involved with the YiM Program?
Christina: I was a former teacher for the 5th and 6th grades. Then I obtained my Masters in Education in Instructional Technology and curriculum design and later was involved as a program manager for NASA and The Tech Museum in STEM education – (STEM is an acronym for “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics”).
I became interested in schools and reform. Through my network, I became connected with YiM because I wanted to be: a. more in touch with school reform, b. in touch with schools that are doing the work of reform, c. in situations to think about school as a system.
Patreece: As I understand it, this program started as a conversation between John W. Gardner former, Secretary of HEW during LBJ administration, and Dr. Milbrey McLaughlin, professor of education and public policy. What is a community school? How did Kennedy School come to be chosen for this “pilot”?