Residents

The Summit Learning Teacher Residency supports a diverse cohort of teacher residents in developing the skills and habits of high-quality, personalized learning educators. Meet some of our phenomenal residents!


April Carrera-McGuire, Summit Rainier, San Jose, CA

 

Resident - April Carrera-McGuire

Hometown:

San Jose, CA

Subject:

History-Social Science

Education:

BA, Geography, CSU Long Beach

Professional Goals:

High School History Teacher

Why did you decide to join the Summit Learning Teacher Residency?

The program is a huge opportunity for me to follow a path towards my professional goals and learn essential teaching skills through a personalized learning model and with a great cooperating teacher. I believe that this program will provide me with knowledge and experience that will guide me as a future educator.

What has been the highlight of your time at Summit so far?

I am amazed at the relationships that I have built with students and faculty in such a short time. Summit’s focus on mentorship is great and the influence it has can be seen throughout everyday interactions with students. Those positive relationships have a clear impact on building a strong community.

How has your work at Summit changed the way you view education?

Summit is unique in many ways, from the Personalized Learning Plans to the mentorship program. During my time at Summit, I saw this framework in action and succeeded in helping students become self-directed learners and college ready. I realized that a strong education goes beyond simply teaching content, and that building relationships and teaching students critical thinking skills is just as essential.


Jack Ying, Summit Rainier, San Jose, CA

 

Jack Ying

Hometown:

Modesto, CA

Subject:

Mathematics

Education:

BA, Liberal Studies
San Francisco State University

Professional Goals:

Elementary school teacher

Why did you decide to join the Summit Learning Teacher Residency?

I decided to join the Summit Learning Teacher Residency because I believe in Summit’s mission and values as an institution that empowers students through innovative personalized learning. The program is designed to guide and prepare me for my future as an educator and also mirror the students learning experience as I work and learn with personal progression as a self-directed adult learner. Not only will I have a Mentor to give me weekly support, coaching, and feedback for best practices in the classroom, I will also have a Cooperating Teacher who will be there to support me throughout the program.

What has been the highlight of your time at Summit so far?

The highlight of my time at Summit so far has got to be the camping trips! Both the Summit-wide all faculty camping trip and school site camping trip have been unforgettable experiences. Bonding with our team and students outside the classroom helped build a stronger community amongst ourselves. The camping trip is an important Summit tradition that emphasizes our value on relationships and community connection and is most definitely the best way to start off every school year!

How has your work at Summit changed the way you view education?

Before joining Summit, the idea of personalized learning was foreign to me. While working at Summit, I saw how students were really in the driver’s seat of their own learning. Creating and collaborating during project and personalized learning time gave students the opportunity to take ownership of how and what they learned at their own pace. My view of education definitely changed in a way that every student should and could create their own pathway to success in college, career, and their future endeavors.


Janine Peñafort, Summit Tahoma, San Jose, CA

 

Janine Penafort

Hometown:

Redwood City, CA

Subject:

Spanish

Education:

BA, Spanish, Linguistics, Occidental College

Professional Goals:

Principal of a Dual Immersion School

Why did you decide to join the Summit Learning Teacher Residency?

I was a Summit student when I first realized that I wanted to go into teaching. My teachers were passionate, thoughtful, personable, and dedicated to providing their students with opportunities. They inspired me to pursue a career in education after high school. Coming back to Summit, these are the qualities that the teachers still continue to embody. To be part of the Summit community means learning and growing as an educator surrounded by fellow educators that share the same values that I hold.

What has been the highlight of your time at Summit so far?

My highlight has been being a mentor. It is so important to me that aside from core subjects we are also supporting our students with the college application process, time and stress management, and building strong relationships. I was so overwhelmed with excitement and confidence in every one of my mentees when they walked the stage at graduation. Mentor groups are an amazing way to bring a group of diverse students together to support and build lasting bonds.

How has your work at Summit changed the way you view education?

Students are capable of driving their own education and learning. Summit Learning gives students the opportunity to learn in the way that best suits them at their own pace. It may take some adjusting from traditional learning settings, but once they get the hang of things, it is amazing to watch students achieve their goals and support one another.


Sara Ragey, Summit Everest, Redwood City, CA

 

Sara Ragey

Hometown:

Sunnyvale, CA

Subject:

English

Education:

BA, Theatre, Chapman University

Professional Goals:

High school English teacher; start a non-profit to support professional development for teachers, with an emphasis on mindfulness

Why did you decide to join the Summit Learning Teacher Residency?

I am thrilled to be learning through a groundbreaking organization that is making great strides toward implementing positive changes in the country’s education system. What first attracted me to the program was knowing how much time I will get to spend actually in the classroom, with an experienced Summit teacher. Summit has a great commitment to professional development, so I know I am going to receive an enormous amount of support throughout this year from my cooperating teacher and coaches. One thing I’ve learned through this past year is that in order to be a great teacher, you need a great team behind you to give you feedback and help you grow.

Another aspect of the program that I’m excited by is the opportunity to work with a diverse team of people that will push my thinking, with in-depth coursework and deep discussions. Summit definitely has a knack for attracting and hiring really amazing staff, and I’m proud to be a part of this wonderful group of people.

What has been the highlight of your time at Summit so far?

I’ll definitely never forget the students I work with. They pushed me to be a better educator and a better person. Seeing the smiles on students’ faces when they pass a playlist they’ve been struggling with, having moments of laughter watching funny Youtube videos during breaks, and getting to co-mentor a group of phenomenal kids (capture the flag champions–2017!) have made this tough profession so rewarding and full of joy.

How has your work at Summit changed the way you view education?

Learning about, and working with, the self-directed learning model has completely changed my view of education and the role of the educator. Having students work at their own pace and develop skills like persistence, appropriate help seeking and goal setting is so much more empowering for students than having a teacher stand at the front of the room and lecture for 90 minutes. I truly believe that this is the best way to prepare students for college and the dynamic, ever changing workforce that exists today.