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Introducing: The 2021-2022 Clayborne Fellows

The Bryn Mawr School is pleased to announce our four inaugural fellows for the Dorothy Clayborne Fellowship for Aspiring Teachers of Color. The 2021-2022 Clayborne Fellows will work in the Lower and Middle School and the Office of Institutional Equity and Inclusive Practice. 

The Fellowship is named in honor of Dorothy Clayborne, who retired in 2018 after more than 30 years of teaching at Bryn Mawr. Clayborne Fellows benefit from the coaching of a mentor teacher and a range of professional development experiences. Each fellow will be an active faculty member, teaching a reduced course load or co-teaching alongside their mentor. In addition to their classroom work, fellows will be involved in arts, athletics, clubs, diversity, equity and inclusion training and/or service learning, while also fostering their individual interests both inside and outside the classroom.

Meet the 2021-2022 Clayborne Teaching Fellows:

Allen Branch will be graduating from Johns Hopkins Peabody Conservatory with a Bachelor of Music in jazz performance this spring. Allen joined the Bryn Mawr Teaching Assistant team in February, working in both the Middle and Upper Schools. Passionate about music, Allen recalls the dedicated teachers that inspired him and hopes to similarly help underrepresented students.  Allen’s goal is to become an instrumental music teacher. Allen will be working in the Middle School arts department as a fellow next year.

Imani Cauthen-Robinson '12 is a graduate of Bryn Mawr and Towson University, where she studied English. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in content writing. Imani returned to Bryn Mawr’s Lower School in January 2020 to assist in the Lower School office. This school year, Imani has spent a great deal of time in the classroom, whether as a long-term fifth grade substitute, developing and teaching a poetry intensive for the first grade or helping write the script for the third grade’s Great Myth Play. Imani is excited to gain experience in developing and implementing curriculum, and wants to inspire the students through her love of reading and writing, promote an inclusive and safe learning environment and instill the belief in each of her students that they are capable of achieving success in school. Imani will be working in the fourth-grade next year. Imani has also been named the 2021- 2022 Wilgis Teaching Fellow.  Established by Betsy Strobel Wilgis ’58 and Shaw Wilgis, the fellowship provides either one or two years of extensive guidance and support for a new teacher that will prepare him or her to become a successful full-time teacher.

Aaron Jackson is a graduate of Swarthmore College with a degree in film and media studies and holds a Master’s degree in MediaxArts from Temple University. Aaron has spent the 2020-21 school year serving as a Teaching Assistant in the Lower School. From pre-kindergarten through Grade 5, Aaron has filled in as needed in nearly all subjects. As a natural problem solver and a lifelong learner, Aaron hopes his experience as a Clayborne Fellow will jumpstart a dual prospective career in instructional design training and world languages teaching. He will be working in the Lower School on applied technology collaborations, world languages and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.
Sydnee Simms joined the Bryn Mawr Little School in the fall of 2019 working in both the two- and three-year-old rooms and serving as the DEI Liaison. Sydnee is interested in exploring teaching at the Lower School and developing her DEI practitioner skills. Sydnee is seeking a safe and inclusive space to explore, learn and grow as an educator. Sydnee will be working in Lower School with arts and music next year, as well as the Office of Institutional Equity and Inclusive Practice. 

We are grateful for the faculty and staff members who will be mentoring the Clayborne Teaching Fellows next year:
  • Anne Broadus, Lower School Assistant Director
  • Tanisha Guthrie, Software & Web Applications Manager
  • Mary Mullaj, Middle School Art teacher
  • Diane Nichols, Senior Director of Institutional Equity and Inclusive Practice
Tynaya Quickley Pre-kindergarten teacher

Additionally, we are delighted to have Nickole Sharp join our team as a DEI Practitioner-In-Residence. Nickole will oversee stewardship of the Teaching Fellowship programs. Nickole received a bachelor’s degree in Black Studies and Women’s Studies from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in history at St. John’s University where her exploration of the intersections of race, class, and gender shaped her work as both a history teacher and diversity practitioner. Nickole is currently a Ph.D. candidate of Cultural Anthropology at American University in Washington, D.C., where her research focus is on girlhood studies and identity development. Nickole serves as a Diversity Consultant to independent schools in the D.C., Baltimore and Southern California areas. She is a trained facilitator for The National SEED Project, a peer-led professional development program that creates conversational communities to drive personal, organization and societal change toward greater equity and diversity. Nickole is also a faculty member of the National Association of Independent School Student Diversity Leadership Conference.  

Welcome, Nickole, and congratulations to our Teaching Fellows and their mentors!