Ama Awotwi '00

Policy and Research Associate, NYC Department of Education

B.A., Psychology, Claremont McKenna College
PhD., Cognitive Psychology, Teachers College, Columbia University
There is so much I could share about my experience at Newman - it helped shape me into who I am today. Newman fostered a love of school and community that ultimately led me into the field of education. From custodians to the head of school, the staff showed me an example of the educator I wanted to be.

The relationships I was able to build with faculty and staff were part of what made Newman special. At all stages of my time there, adults took time to get to know me and let me know that I was valued. Whether it was Ms. Martinez letting me help her after school, or Scott McLeod, then head of school, always having an open office door, adults communicated that they were never too busy to chat or lend an ear. It was these relationships that inspired me to teach.

Beyond the inspiration, I got my first teaching job at Newman through Breakthrough (then Summerbridge) where I taught math to students who were historically underserved. The teaching job with Breakthrough made the way for me to teach in Hong Kong for a summer during college. I parlayed these teaching experiences into a teaching job at Wediko, a therapeutic residential program in New Hampshire, and then teaching children with special needs in Boston, MA. No matter where I was teaching, I carried the lessons I learned from Newman with me. I frequently shared favorite books that we had read in library or in class, like My Father’s Dragon.

After several years of teaching, I realized I wanted to better understand how people learn. I attended Teachers College, Columbia University where I completed my PhD. in Cognitive Psychology, with a focus on mathematical development. I am now applying all Newman taught me to my work for the New York City Department of Education where I help implement policy and conduct research that will bring quality educators to every class in the city.
1903 Jefferson Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70115
Phone: 504.899.5641
Fax: 504.896.8597
Open 7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Monday through Friday
An independent,
non-denominational day
school in New Orleans for
early childhood through 12th grade