Student Stories

Judy Wu
Current Student
SL Resident 2015

“The HTH GSE School Leadership program is an exciting and unique place to explore the many facets of leadership. Through a fully immersive residency, I have the opportunity to grow as a leader within a school and with the support of the school. My graduate coursework is a place for me to actively challenge myself within my residency and live the world of theory in practice. Every day, I am surrounded by thoughtful, intelligent, and passionate colleagues who are and will change the future of education. When I finish this program, I know that I will be well-equipped to make the education system better for all children!”
Judy Wu studied Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, MO and then spent one year pursuing a doctorate in Neuroengineering at the University of California at Los Angeles. After realizing that she did not want to spend her life hovering over microscopes and studying the auditory system of frogs, Judy spent the next three years working as an aquatics director, swim instructor, lifeguard, nanny, management consultant, and real estate assistant. Because her favorite aspect of her many jobs was helping people learn, Judy went back to school and earned her M.Ed. in Teacher Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Since then, she has worked as a mathematics teacher and instructional support coach at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, the only public high school in Cambridge, MA. She is currently earning her M.Ed. in School Leadership from HTH Graduate School of Education.
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Geoffry Roehm
Co-Founder and Executive Director ~ Launch Expeditionary Learning Charter School
SL Graduate 2011

“I graduated from a Master s program in School Leadership at Columbia in August 2010 and was on a flight the next day to begin the School Leadership M.Ed. program at the HTH GSE. I wanted to come to HTH for the residency aspect, and craved the practical experience gained through an apprenticeship model. The year I spent at HTH was transformative. Not only did I learn new skills, debate big ideas, and practice it all on a daily basis at one of the most progressive schools in the country, HTH changed the way I look at education.”
Geoff Roehm began his career as a New York City Teaching Fellow and taught middle school and high school English for six years in Harlem, where he also served on the School Leadership Team, the Consultation Committee and as an Intern Principal. He is currently partnered with Expeditionary Learning Schools to help open Launch Expeditionary Learning Charter School in 2012 in Brooklyn, where he will serve as Executive Director. Geoff earned a B.A. from Middlebury College, M.A. in Secondary Education from CCNY, a M.Ed. from Columbia University Teachers College in School Leadership, and a M.Ed. in School Leadership from the HTH Graduate School of Education.
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Lilian Hsu
Director - High Tech High Chula Vista
SL Graduate 2010

“If you are passionate about leading a progressive, student-centered school, there is no better program in the country than the HTH GSE School Leadership M.Ed. program. This is a place where you will be surrounded by innovative thinkers who care deeply about building better schools--schools where students are known, loved, and challenged; where teachers have the freedom and support to be truly creative; where everyone is engaged in lifelong learning. I took away so much from the School Leadership program: outstanding models of thoughtful leadership, concrete ideas for professional development, and most powerful of all, transformative conversations with stunning colleagues.”
Lillian Hsu earned her B.A. in psychology from Yale University, her M.A.T. in English Education from Brown University and her M.Ed. in School Leadership from HTH Graduate School of Education. She has worked in a variety of educational settings, including Sesame Street, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Teacher Magazine. She was a founding teacher of Unity High School, a charter school in Oakland, California, that prepares first-generation high school graduates to attend college. She is currently the director at High Tech High Chula Vista.
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Cassie Pergament
Principal ~ DC Prep
SL Graduate 2011

“The HTH GSE School Leadership M.Ed. program was an incredible way to dive into the world of leadership, collaborate with others and put into practice what it takes to be an effective leader. High Tech High gave me hands-on, practical experience as a resident in one of their middle schools. I worked directly with students, families and staff and was immersed in learning about how to run a school, from the management of the budget and physical space to hiring, supporting and evaluating teachers. Without my experiences at High Tech High, I would not have been as well-positioned for my next career move ~ returning to DC Prep as the principal. My experience at High Tech High was invaluable in preparing me for this important role and I often draw on experiences from my time there to fuel my work.”
After graduating from the University of Rochester, Cassie Pergament joined Teach for America and taught at an elementary school in Compton, CA. With a strong desire to improve schooling and close the achievement gap, Cassie taught middle school at KIPP in Oakland, CA, and then English at DC Prep, a high performing urban middle school, where she also served as an instructional coach and department chair. She is now the Principal of DC Prep s Edgewood Middle Campus in Washington, DC. Cassie earned her M.Ed. in School Leadership from the HTH GSE.
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Melissa Han
2nd grade teacher- Baker Elementary
TL Graduate 2013

“I attended the HTH GSE Teacher Leadership M.Ed. program at a critical point in my career. I had been asking myself the question "Is this as good as it gets? Is this it? I was faced with the fact that there was a disconnection between my ideals and the reality at work within my classroom. I had become a control-freak. I told my students what to learn and how to learn. I decided I was the one who needed to change, so I sought out a place that could help me return to the root of why I became an educator. HTH GSE's Teacher Leadership program equipped me with the tools to be an agent of change to the powerlessness my students and I had formerly experienced. Both my students and I now foster a culture of democracy within our classroom where student voice is an essential value and put into daily practice to guide our learning together.”
Melissa Han earned her B.A. in psychology from UCSD and her M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership from HTH Graduate School of Education. After graduating from the HTH GSE Teacher Leadership program in 2013, her action research on student voice in the classroom led to more questions. She is currently exploring her questions about distributed leadership and student voice in elementary school settings as a doctoral candidate in the UCSD/CSUSM Educational Leadership Joint Doctorate program. She is also teaching second grade students in the San Diego Unified School District.
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