A Progressive Infant Through Grade 12 Community School in New Jersey
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Ashley Gomez

Ashley Gomez
Teacher/Researcher - Infant/Toddler

Born in Sonoma, California, before it became wine country, Ashley G. had a childhood full of encounters with nature. Be it going to work with her father to the turkey farm and being chased by a turkey, to discovering the many species of spiders that freely existed, nature was abundant.  A move to Arizona at the age of 13 allowed her to learn about desert life, including how to avoid wolves while driving at night and how straying off the path while hiking could lead to new discoveries of the natural and unnatural type.

As adolescence ended, Ashley made the decision to attend a school as far away from the West Coast as possible and landed on George Washington University in Washington, D.C. In this city, Ashley was introduced to the idea of caring for the whole child in a supportive environment, particularly when it came to trauma and major life changes. As such, her goal was to become the next Olivia Benson from Law and Order: SVU. Ashley earned her B.A. in Psychology. After graduation, she took on a one-year Americorps position with an organization called City Year, where she was assigned to work with 6th graders in an inclusion classroom in the worst performing school in the Washington, D.C. area. It was here that Ashley became further exposed to the importance of engaging the family unit in a student's learning and how, for some students, school became the safest place they had to express themselves and their feelings. 

With a move to New York City on the horizon, she sought out jobs working with children and found Children's Corps, a program aimed at recruiting foster care caseworkers by providing summer training and ongoing support in return for their two-year commitment. Ashley's time with her Brooklyn-based foster care agency lasted three years and it became apparent that education was her true passion and the most effective way to provide safe, engaging communities for students. She enrolled in a Master's Program at Bank Street College of Education and graduated with her M.S. Ed in Early Childhood General and Special Education. She moved to New Jersey to begin a life with her partner and sought out a progressive learning establishment from which to grow and learn in her journey as an educator. It was then that Voyagers' entered onto the scene and was a match for both. 

Art has the role in education of helping children become like themselves instead of more like everyone else.

Sydney Gurewitz Clemens

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