photo of sue schwartz holding books in the library

Upper School English Teacher and Team Leader

I am an Ithaca native who feels tremendous gratitude for the community and land that has raised and nourished me throughout my life. I am also a brand new mother of a sweet baby boy who I am raising with my wonderful husband and fellow teacher David Streib. Nature, friendship and time for reflection are three things I cannot live without; reading, writing, live music and chocolate are pretty essential as well.

As a high school student I was restless to find connections between what happened in my classes and the “real world,” so when I decided to become an English teacher my hope was to make this connection as clear as possible for my students. It was a stroke of luck for me that New Roots, with its focus on social justice, community-based education and education for sustainability happened to be hiring the year I earned my Masters in the Art of Teaching degree. I was thrilled to join the team in the school’s second year, and have been happily teaching here ever since.

I believe that reading and writing are the fundamental ways we converse with the world and with ourselves. My favorite times as a teacher have been when this conversation happens in my classroom. When students make new discoveries about their ideas, feelings or abilities by developing a piece of their own writing, when they uncover new insights in a piece of literature, when they reflect on a new experience they’ve had as a result of going out into the community with our class, and when they step up to the microphone to perform an original spoken word piece: all of these make me glad I am a teacher. I aim to give students the tools and the inspiration to converse with the world and themselves through reading, writing, and creativity.