Meet Ms. Brainard: 4-5 Academic Fellow

IMG_7371Rachel was born and raised in Middletown, Connecticut and recently moved to New Bedford to teach with her boyfriend, Gabriel. She attended Central Connecticut State University earning a degree in English Literature. Rachel enjoys kayaking and spending time with her cat, Carlos.
Why did you choose the Alma team?
I chose the Alma team because I wanted to work with a school that was making a real impact in the community- not just talking about it. When I first became introduced with Alma del Mar, it was clear the teachers all have one thing in common; they put their students first. I am excited to be a part of such a dedicated group of educators.
What do you hope to contribute to Alma? 
I hope to bring additional light and positivity to Alma. I want to be an adult that scholars can look up to and rely on each and every day.
What is your top goal during your first year with Alma?
My top goal during my first year with Alma is to grow relationships that will last a lifetime. The most exciting part of teaching is to watch students grow each year and guiding them along their path to college.
What teacher made a difference in your life — how?
If it wasn’t for a wonderful teacher from Middletown, Mrs. Cannata, then it wouldn’t be possible for me to help students as I do today. While I was growing up, I struggled with reading. Mrs. Cannata worked with me, one-on-one, from kindergarten until fifth grade. Not only did she teach me how to read but she also believed in me.
Why did you become involved in education?
My grandmother, who raised me, taught me the value and importance of education at a young age. While she only attended school until the fifth grade, she always reminded me that education is a gift and pushed me to work hard. She is a constant reminder of why I have become involved in education. 
Where did you go to college? What did you like about your college?
I attended Central Connecticut State University for college. I loved the freedom college offered. CCSU gave me the opportunities to explore different things that were important to me. From writing conferences to class trips, I feel like I was able to focus on myself through these experiences. 
What is your favorite place?
My favorite place is a historical site in Hull, Massachusetts called Fort Revere. It is the old remains of a military fort overlooking the Brewster Islands. It is a relaxing place overlooking the water but also full of rich history.
What is your favorite food?
I love Italian food, especially my Nonna’s Sicilian pizza.
Posted in Alma Profiles, Meet Our Crew

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