Opportunities in International Education: A Panel Discussion with Bank Street Faculty and Alumni
For everyone considering traveling or teaching abroad
An urban and international educational leader for 30 years, Dr. David Penberg ('84) has
a deep grounding in academic excellence, rigorous progressive education, and the
cross-cultural experience. He was a fellow in the Carey Leadership Program at Bank
Street College (1982-84) and Klingenstein Fellow for International School Heads
at Teachers College, Columbia University (2008). He was the founding director
of the nationally recognized Liberty Partnerships Program 22 years ago at Bank
Street College. Since then, Penberg has held posts as Head of Studies and Head of
School in international schools in Mexico City and Barcelona. He was most recently
Interim Head of Stevens Cooperative School in Hoboken/Jersey City. Dr. Penberg’s
areas of interest include: global citizenship, youth leadership, social and emotional
intelligence, institutional collaborations, technology integration and advocacy of
the arts in K-12 programs. In addition to his M.S. in Leadership and Supervision
from Bank Street, Dr. Penberg has a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the
University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
Stan Chu's (‘72) recent international education experience has been in Kathmandu, Singapore, Taipei, Jakarta, and Rwanda. His earlier work with teachers abroad includes Cambodia, Laos, Paris, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and in Sierra Leone as a Peace Corps Volunteer. He has been a faculty member at Bank Street since 1989 and is currently an advisor, Director of the Early Childhood General Education program, and course instructor.
Debbie Kurtzberg (‘09) After practicing law for 22 years, Debbie changed to a career in teaching. After earning her Masters degree at Bank Street, Debbie served as the Director of the Primary Division of Tsinghua International School in Beijing, China, and as a fifth grade teacher. As Director, Debbie brought many teachers to Tsinghua and helped them to adjust to life and teaching in a very different culture.
Melanie Okadigwe (’08) has taught preschool at Cedar International School, an International Bacalaurreate school in Tortola, British Virgin Islands since moving there in 2008. Since the fall of 2010, she has been working as a reading specialist at a local speech and language center in Tortola. Previously she taught at St. Ann's School in Brooklyn, NY and was a managing editor in the book clubs at Scholastic for six years. In addition, she was a TA for Bank Street's study abroad program in Costa Rica (2010) and participated in Bank Street's study abroad program to Morocco (2008). She earned her MSEd from Bank Street College and holds Dual Certification in Teaching Literacy and Childhood General Education (Grades 1 - 6). She also holds a BA in English from Amherst College in Massachusetts.
Beth Norford (‘89) first experience with international education was at Woodstock School in Mussoorie, India where she attended high school. After completing her master’s at Bank Street in 1989, she worked briefly at the International Community School in Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire, West Africa. In 1992, while a teacher at Bank Street’s School for Children, she helped to establish a collaboration between Bank Street and the Rato Bangala School in Kathmandu, Nepal, founded by a family who wanted to bring progressive education to their country. Rato Bangala is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year and Beth has been privileged to work with them on teacher training and curriculum design. Most recently, she has created a non-profit corporation – Educational Alternatives Worldwide (EAW) - offering consultancy, training and support to organizations throughout the world that wish to implement progressive pedagogy. EAW began in 2010 and is now pursuing projects in Nepal and Guatemala, with much more in the works.