Jessica Jones is a non-binary educator and activist specializing in contemporary literacies and LGBTQ+ justice. They have served as an educator in various capacities for ten years, with most of their career spent as a high school Language Arts teacher. Early in their teaching career, Jessica observed the numerous barriers that queer and transgender students face within our education system and was inspired to challenge these inequities through both student advocacy.and youth empowerment. It is Jessica’s strongly held belief that our work toward a socially just education system must include unconditional support and inclusion of our LGBTQ+ youth.
EPISODE FOUR: "Diversity Beyond the Numbers at New City School" with Thomas Hoerr, Alexis Wright, & Stephanie Teachout
Thomas R. Hoerr, Emeritus Head of School, New City School; Scholar In Residence, UM-St. Louis College of Education
In 1981, Tom became the head of the New City School in St. Louis, a school founded on a commitment to progressive learning and respect for human diversity. Under his leadership, New City began implementing the theory of multiple intelligences (MI) in 1988 and created the world’s first MI Library in 2006. New City hosted four MI conferences attended by hundreds of educators, and produced two MI books of lessons and articles. During Tom’s 34 years at New City, the school raised funds to renovate the building, expand the campus, refurbish the theater, build the MI library, and establish an endowment for need-based financial aid. He was given Emeritus status when he retired in 2015.
Tom Hoerr is now a Scholar In Residence at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he teaches prospective principals.
Alexis Wright, Head of School, New City School
Alexis began his career as a 5th and 6th grades science teacher at Rye Country Day School in Rye, NY, where he also coached middle school baseball and football. He eventually moved into a leadership role as Middle School Principal, before leaving to become Principal of the Middle School at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. After three years in that position, Alexis was recruited back to Rye Country Day School, where he served as the Assistant Head of School and Director of Financial Aid before moving on to Bank Street College.
Originally from New York City, Alexis earned his MA in Marine Affairs and Policy from the University of Miami and a BS in Human Ecology from Rutgers University. His wife Ali is a former upper school English teacher. Together they have two daughters, Morgan and Avery.
Stephanie Teachout, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at New City School
Stephanie has a BA from Indiana University and a Masters from Teachers College, Columbia University. Stephanie has presented at the White Privilege Conference and she is a facilitator for the Anti-Defamation League. She serves on the ISACS Equity and Justice Committee and NCCJ – St. Louis’ Board of Directors. Stephanie's curriculum has been highlighted in ASCD's Educational Leadership Magazine and on St. Louis Public Radio - KWMU.