New York, New York
2019 Campus Principal Ambassador Fellow
Assistant Principal, STAR Academy- PS 63
Bio/Overview: Jodi Friedman has been an educator for 15 years in New York City. She began her career as a Teach for America Corp Member. After teaching 2nd, 4th and 5th grade, Jodi had the exciting opportunity to become an administrator in the school community she had dedicated her teaching career to. She is currently in her 8th year as an Assistant Principal at STAR Academy- PS 63. The Title 1 school serves a diverse demographic and successfully supports a population of 30% of students with special needs. When Friedman became a school leader, she felt it was important to remember how challenging and rewarding the teaching profession is, so she still teaches 4th grade science weekly. Jodi is committed to teacher/leader development and aggressively working towards equitable opportunities and outcomes for students of color within her school community, district and state. In addition to her role as a school leader, Friedman is a professor at Relay Graduate School. Over the past 10 years, she has created and taught graduate coursework on curriculum design, teaching math for conceptual understanding and literacy.
Educational Values/Philosophy: Jodi believes that the goal of teaching and leading is to create our next generation of empowered students who become change makers. She believes in curriculum, practices and policies that center the child, encourages them to think critically and problem solve, and gives them ownership through voice and choice. Similarly, as a school leader Jodi believes that distributed leadership is at the heart of school change. Friedman values the art of reflection for professional growth and crucial conversations in order to move practices forward. She understands the importance of balancing high expectations and a sense of urgency with support, collaboration and empowerment. When implementing new initiatives or having crucial conversations, Jodi puts on her “teacher hat” to anticipate the root cause of the challenges being faced.
Achievements: Jodi Friedman was honored as the Culturally Responsive Educator of the Year in 2019 by the Coalition for Educational Justice. Jodi Friedman was awarded the 2018 Equity in Leadership Award by the New York City Department of Education for her work in supporting teachers and school leaders in implementing culturally responsive practices. STAR Academy has served aa a NYC Showcase School for 3 years. In 2016, the school received an award for performing in the top 25% of the district. In 2017, the school received an award for performing in the top 5% of Manhattan. As a teacher, Friedman was a national finalist for the Sue Lehmann Teaching Award, the Kinder Excellence in Teaching Award, and Cable’s Leaders in Learning award. She is featured in many teaching videos for Relay Graduation School and Teach for America to model best practices. She has presented workshops at EDXEDNYC and New York University’s Decolonizing Education conference.
Leadership Experience: In 2011, Friedman was selected to be a part of the Leadership in Education Apprenticeship Program. As a result, she then had the unique opportunity to be a school leader in the school where she was a teacher. She believes that being a leader means being on the ground and supporting the work from the grassroots. She starts every day greeting children and staff in the lobby. Her day consists of classroom visits, collaboration meetings with teachers and support services, supporting curriculum design, engaging with parents, and supporting students through their social, emotional or academic challenges. Friedman’s leadership extends beyond the school setting. As a 2017-2018 America Achieves Policy fellow, she worked closely with other educators across the state to meet with policymakers to gain support for Bill S3749- creating a task force to investigate segregation in schools. She currently serves on District 1’s Equity Team and leads professional development for educators across the city on culturally responsive schooling. In addition, she is a teacher at heart and as a Relay Graduate School professor, she designs curriculum and teaches classes that prepares educators for the unique and exciting experience of teaching in a K-5 classroom.
Affiliations: Teach for America, America Achieves New York Educator Voice Fellow, Relay Graduate School, Council of School Supervisors & Administrators, Educators 4 Excellence, Critically Conscious Educator Rising Cohort, NYC Coalition for Educational Justice, NYU Steinhardt-The Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and Transformation of Schools.
Education: Jodi Friedman received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Southern California. She received her master’s degree in Childhood Education at PACE University. She received her School Building Leader certification and master’s degree in School District Leadership at Baruch College.
Areas of Interest:
- Teacher Development
- School Climate
- Social-emotional learning
- Special Education Reform
- Inclusion and Equity
- Culturally Responsive Practices
- Innovation in Education
- Teacher and School Accountability/li>