Spring 2021 Character Matters

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Hilda Roberts, Class of 2013, is the epitome of perseverance and drive. “...I am a mother, an empath, and a dreamer with way too much passion for one girl,” describes Hilda. There is no such thing as too much passion when you’re exploring your unique potential. Upon graduating from Hyde, Hilda worked to finish her Bachelors in Criminology from the University of South Florida where she finished with honors. She also completed an Associate’s Degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management when she joined the United States Air Force, and currently serves as a Logistician. “...What exactly does that mean? It means that I get the right parts, to the right place, at the right time. It is the Amazon of the Air Force, and I love every second of it,” says Hilda. With her recent acceptance to NYU, she will be studying for her Master of Arts In African Studies. She hopes to become a Judge Advocate Officer and use her background to “...better equip minorities with the tools they need to be successful in defying odds stacked against them.” Hilda expresses her gratitude for the many Hyde staff members that have been a large influence on her life. She continues by stating that the biggest impact Hyde has had on her was the teachings of humility. She mentions Matthew Hittenmark, Assistant Director, and Mark Fusco, English Department Head & Teacher, as key influencers who pushed her to show courage to step out of her comfort zone and become an agent of change. Hilda says, “To care just a little bit about everything and everyone…It would be life-changing.” Thank you Hilda for being an inspiring role-model and for all that you do for our country.

Message from Our Executive Director

Character Matters is published by Hyde Leadership Charter School www.hydebronxny.org 718-991-5500 Elementary and Middle School 730 Bryant Avenue Bronx, NY 10474 High School 830 Hunts Point Avenue Bronx, NY 10474 Character Matters Staff: Editor-in-Chief: Susan Marber Editors: Julia Kempner and Carlos Alicea Contributing Writers & Photographers: Carlos Alicea, Julia Kempner, Valarie Hunsinger, Thomas Sturtevant, Hilda Gonzalez Roberts, Yris Moran, Amesika Bediako, Yvonnia Wise, Brianna Robinson, Erith Abbey, Hadiatou Barry, Oumou Barry, and Stephanie Oteng-Damoah, and Yashica Goulbourne Design: Rodriguez Valle Creative Hyde Leadership Team: Thomas K. Sturtevant, Executive Director Christine Froman, Elementary School Director Maya Severns, Interim Middle School Director Celia Sosa, High School Director Liz Martin, Director of Special Education Stephen Trowbridge, Chief Operating Officer Valarie Hunsinger, Director of Development and Marketing

Board of Trustees: Herbert B. Fixler, Board Chair Deborah Dumont, Susan Engel, Ruth Jarmul, Herbert Kaplan, Maureen Singer, Tony Stoupas, and Chavon Sutton ©2021 Hyde Leadership Charter School

GIVE Consider Making A Tax-Deductible Gift to Hyde Leadership Charter School You will be contributing to the excellence, character, and achievement we seek to inspire in our students, families, and teachers each and every day.

Donations should be made payable to: Hyde Leadership Charter School Attn: Valarie Hunsinger Development Office 830 Hunts Point Avenue Bronx, NY 10474 You can also donate online at www.hydebronxny.org by clicking the “Give” tab. 2I

This edition of Character Matters demonstrates how one’s foundation in character deepens the purpose of the commitments we make, ultimately creating pathways of meaning and resonance in our life stories. The ultimate measure of Hyde’s mission is the agency of our graduates (parents included here). Do Hyde graduates as adults have choices in work and society that engage their unique potential and that enable them to contribute meaningfully and significantly to an enterprise that calls for their best? As you will read in this edition of Character Matters, the answer to this question for Hilda Roberts is a resounding YES, as her still-unfolding story has engaged her Concern and Leadership. She has pursued advanced education and work that engages her passion for social justice and service. For current senior William Velez, the answer, too, is YES. Curiosity and Integrity feed his careful choices of words. His talent for writing catches you like an earthquake when harnessed to these powerful contours of his character. For teacher Yashika Goubornne, that answer is YES, too! Her courage and her confidence to harness her love of music and children have led her to build on her successes as a spiritual person, a teacher, a mother, and a leader at Hyde. As we contemplate the future, we certainly can look back and see how much the world can change quickly as it did with the pandemic. More importantly, as we look ahead in our lives, we can see how many choices we can make to turn towards our true selves, to make choices that strengthen our opportunities for a life we want for ourselves, our families, and our community. The academic tools of reading, critical thinking, organization, time-management, data analysis, abstract thinking, etc… these tools go to work in the service of one’s calling, in the service of an idea of one’s identity, and in the service of an idea of choosing towards one’s unique potential. Those small and sometimes bigger choices are the ligatures of one’s character and create the enduring fiber of one’s purpose and one’s place in family, work, and community. I am so proud of the many members of the Hyde community who adapted to the many new restrictions and challenges of the pandemic while also continuing to navigate by that inner voice that always, courageously steers by truth, challenge, curiosity, concern, and an imagination for one’s best and for a better world for everyone. Sincerely,

Thomas K. Sturtevant Executive Director


The Impact of the Family Education Department (FED) Yvonnia Wise

The unique impact Hyde has on the community it serves and its effectiveness starts with the foundation and role of the Family Education Department. While the landscape has changed, Hyde’s history of building bonds with families has remained constant. Yris Moran, Elementary School Family Education Coordinator cites, “We are still keeping families engaged with our communication through Class Dojo, family check-ins (via messages, zoom, phone calls, video calls...) and virtual family events.” One example is the Winter Wonderland Themed Virtual Family Day Yris worked to coordinate. She explains that there were “...wonderful activities such as paint & sip with hot cocoa, a read-aloud, moving activities (dance, yoga, fitness), and mug decorating.”

Yris Moran

“The more parents are engaged, the more students do better academically, and improve their social-emotional abilities,” adds Amesika Bediako, Director of Family Education & Post Secondary Success. Amesika continues by saying, “We are not just here for the kids, we are here for the entire family.” Additionally, the bonds and lasting relationships Hyde has developed through these events have also led families to show a great deal of courage and humility to seek assistance from the FED this school year. The FED’s leadership has been an essential line of support for the Hyde community, whether it’s been through providing families with wifi-enabled devices, or directing families to different community organizations, food pantries, and other free resources. “We’re always looking for solutions, and every day we keep facing new challenges. So, we need to be sure that we are searching out relevant answers for people.” explains, Yvonnia Wise, Director of Home and School Partnerships.

Sika Bediako

Thanks to the FED, our sense of solidarity is strong and more than ever we see the impact of Hyde’s family-based education impact on the community.


80% 90% 98%

Approximately 80% of Hyde families have attended six or more school events each year since the school was founded in 2006.

On average over 90% of our high school students graduate in four years vs. NYC average of 78%, and this is nearly triple the local graduation rate in Hunts Points of 34% .

of Hyde’s 2020 high school grads attended college in the fall.


Hyde alumni are on track to earn a college degree at rates 3 times the national rate of degree attainment for low-income students. I3

student profiles

Oumou Barry

Brianna Robinson


Stephanie Oteng-Damoah

Leadership in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility In the wake of 2020’s Black Lives Matter protests and the devastating pandemic, five 7th graders showed outstanding leadership in DEIA by creating virtual safe spaces where their peers talk through issues of race, identity, and current events. “It’s good to open up and it’s ok to express yourself.” - Brianna Robinson.

Erith Abbey


Hadiatou Barry

Brianna Robinson (13), Erith Abbey (13), Hadiatou Barry (12), Oumou Barry (12), and Stephanie Oteng-Damoah (12) are a group of 7th graders who have recently exhibited leadership in Hyde’s Leadership in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) team by providing their peers with virtual gatherings where they can discuss collective experiences. The five young leaders host confidential discussions “in three groups”, describes Oumou Barry, “[1] coping with quarantine, [2] Black Lives Matter, and [3] LGBTQIA+”. “Some people prefer to talk to their friends or people they’re close with,” notes Hadiatou. By offering safe spaces to discuss these topics with others their age, these five students highlight the ways in which sharing one’s feelings with those around you can help provide camaraderie and clarity during troubling times. “People can be more open-minded to things… maybe they don’t think it’s going to be effective, but if they have more of an open mind to try and see if it helps then that would help them,” adds Stephanie. Erith also expanded on this message by explaining, “People should communicate and speak to us and I think that would help us communicate with them and others too.” We can all support Brianna, Erith, Stephanie, Oumou, and Hadiatou in their mission by continuing to value vulnerability through open and honest conversations with one another. Overall, these five inspiring students exemplify Hyde’s core values by exhibiting courage, concern, curiosity, leadership, and integrity when providing their peers with judgment-free conversations following the overwhelming events of 2020.

special feature

Hyde Students Celebrate Black History “I learned that it’s not just for Black History Month, it’s about honoring the people before us.” – Quran Bell, 3rd grader. During this year’s Black History Month, Hyde students explored Black portraiture at the Smithsonian, attended weekly career panels, and paid tribute to Black role models through dedicated presentations and performances. Our elementary students put their detective skills to the test during their virtual tour of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. Alongside specially trained gallery educators, our young portrait detectives analyzed clues to learn more about historically significant African Americans. Using the National Portrait Gallery programming as a guide, and artist Kehinde Wiley as inspiration, our kids created their own portraits. Combined with Hyde’s programming, this Portrait Detectives Program at the National Portrait Gallery encouraged students to learn more about Black and Brown leaders who have shaped our nation through the power of portraiture. Hyde’s high school students celebrated Black History Month by attending weekly virtual career panels which featured panelists of color who exemplified excellence in many varying fields. Each panelist spoke about their experiences as a Black, Latinx, or Native American professional in the US and answered questions about their careers asked by Hyde’s high schoolers and student moderators. Armani Harris (‘22) reflected on the events when stating, “Something that stood out to me is when the panelists were telling their stories it spoke to me and it was telling me to just go out there and get it on my own without a handout.” As Armani suggests, each panelist offered invaluable advice which exemplified the power of perseverance within communities of color. Additionally, K-3 students and staff came together in a showcase to honor Black History Month by crafting book covers, magazines, videos, portraits, and speeches about their Black role models. Some of the figures included, Jackie Robinson, Barack Obama, Kobe Bryant, Harriet Tubman, Ruby Bridges, Michelle Obama, Mae Jemison, Bessie Col, Rosa Parks, and many more. We had performances from our very own Hyde Choir, Hip-hop Dance Club, Hyde Elementary Dance Company, and even a special guest appearance from DJ Kool Herc! Our students worked very hard on their projects and it was heartwarming to see how their love of learning, incredible creativity, and excellence shined throughout the showcase. Whether it be through career panels, a virtual museum tour, or a creative showcase, studying the legacies of Black and Brown icons during Black History Month through varying activities allowed our students to celebrate the power of BIPOC in unique and creative ways.




Students Get Inspired During COVID-19



1- Tianna Gutierrez, Acrylic on Canvas, Class of 2014, 2- Leah Burton, 10th Grade Tiger Scratchboard, 3- Dyanna Allen, 4- Meliza Mendez, 10th Grade, Assembling Oneself, Pencil & Colored Pencil, 5- Arianna Rijo, 9th Grade, Inktober: Fancy, Maleny Silva Pencil and Pen, 6- Oyiosa Ovenseri, 7- Smeraldyn Altamirano, 10th Grade, Story Scene Sculpture Model Magic; 8-Carmen Eder, 10th Grade, Quotation India Ink & Watercolor








illustrious Nothingness


Why do we hate, love, attempt to conquer others? We all, in our hearts, want to smother what’s blinding our eyes, but all over our ears. We adhere to this through what we call common sense. We hear fear, we need to control it. Through misplacing some of ourselves in prominence Equality never fed ivory the safety it needs, it always meant being lesser. They build border walls to drive fear away. Driven with hate, they sought to make feeling great something no other people can relate to. Seven-foot gates leave the shadows at bay Bittered by virtues of religion, “only white is seen at heaven’s gate.” Did it originate from the cross? The it is the nothingness that has been every division for mankind. And no, the cross didn’t form what we know as the background’s boss. Hope, no hope, what fractures is the anecdote of possibility across the mind. The ability to sign supreme, this was once a white man’s dream. Written down history tells us one tale. The bitter one who shed no pity will prevail. The colors we don’t see are the ones behind the overwhelming black and white. The transparent tears, sweat, sprayed by the MLK Books read in the night, prison bed, Detroit Red. Across the blue ocean, into the green, and all the land in between. Origin of man, lied kings and queens. Then, Mandela, a millennia later, fighting for the paper brown, all the way down. Then Harriet Tubman, rising up out of the dirt-filled ground. From this, came a black rose, risen through the newfound cement.




All of these events, has anything changed? Black woman in her house, bullets flying all about. An entire gun clip, eight shots, silencing a citizen’s mouth. Democracy we call it? Is there happiness? Freedom? There’s always been, since the beginning of us. An illustrious nothingness has shut that up. Art of the mind is a powerful pedestal that has rose man to the top. Just for it’s shadow to look up, and feel the drop. When does the pain stop?


8- Carmen Eder, 10th Grade Apple, Scratchboard; 9, 11- Deyanara Sanchez; 10- Kihanny Falu; 12- Crystal Rodriguez, Acrylic on Canvas, Class of 2013

To this canvas, I say, Don’t wait another day. Let colors fade the blank. Please, don’t let the balance tear you apart. This world of building and of bank was always meant to be a well-crafted art. This is the beauty I’ve always hoped you’d be apart.

-W.E. Velez, Class of 2022




Raising Health Awareness in Our Community SIXTH GRADERS

This past fall, the middle school hosted a Virtual Health Fair, where our 6th graders showcased their project presentations on the health issues prevalent in our community. The Health Fair Project, aimed to bring awareness to our health, forced our attention towards the environment around us, and stressed the importance of healthy eating habits. Our students took on the roles of professionals like Nutritionist, Medical Professionals, Data Analyst, Event Coordinators, City Planners, and Chefs. They worked to find and provide research through the lens of these professionals and presented the solutions they believed could support our community. 6th Grade math Teacher, Tiffany Brown says, “I’m very career oriented… I really like the approach of project based learning, and it is something I carried over from my last position... I find that it helps to engage students more. This particular project allowed for the students to choose the roles that interested them the most, and to get a feel for what it’s like to work and think as that role.” In addition, the Health Fair Project was supplemented by accounts of past students, real professionals, and documentaries to help direct our students in the right direction of thinking. Amazing work as always, we can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has in store!

Hyde’s Mighty Milers Partner with New York Road Runners to Build Life-Long Healthy Habits Hyde’s elementary students are practicing their running skills through Mighty Milers, a New York Road Runners initiative designed to help our students develop the ability, confidence, and desire to be physically active for life. While working diligently on their academics, students are also staying active and healthy virtually with Mighty Milers. Latea O’Kane, K-1 Academic Dean, one of 4 head coaches for this program said, “I believe the earlier you have healthy habits the better off you will be as an adult. It is amazing to see the consistency of kids who show up to the meetings. This means they are already forming good habits because they are committed to their health and learning more ways to be fit.“ This is a perfect example of our students building their character by showing concern for their health. It’s great to see how they are taking advantage of this initiative virtually. Their unwavering motivation shows that we all 8 I can live a healthy lifestyle!





“Family is everything to me,” says Yashica Goulbourne, a 2nd Grade Teacher at Hyde. Yashica has been an exemplary leader and mentor for the Hyde family throughout this unusual period of remote learning. She has exemplified what it means to consistently rise to new challenges and has proven that, even during times of fear and uncertainty, we can all continue to move forward with a progressive and positive mindset. In this past year alone, she worked over the summer to prepare rising elementary students to current grade standards while simultaneously caring for her newborn daughter, Ryan. Her story doesn’t end there though. Yashica continued to push forward by transitioning from teaching kindergarten to teaching 3rd grade right out of maternity leave and suddenly found herself navigating a new and technical world of remote learning. All the while, she continued to earn her bachelor’s degree. No easy task during this period. Before joining Hyde three years ago, Yashica was an instructor for music at a youth ministry where she taught for over 15 years. Yashica credits this period as one of the defining moments in her life which helped her discover her passion for teaching children. “... teaching music brought out a different side of me.” Although the landscape has changed, Yashica continues to emulate her enthusiasm for her students as if they were still in the classroom. Yashica mentions that her drive and persistence during this time have come from maintaining strong interpersonal bonds and building rapport with students and families alike. “Learning who my students were and are was the main driving force for becoming a better teacher in 3rd grade. I pride myself on keeping open communication with my students’ families.” Her story is just one of the many displays of courage that continue to inspire our community every day. I9


We are grateful that so many likeminded individuals and organizations believe in our mission and donate their time, energy, and resources to our school. Given the disparity in how district public schools and charter public schools are funded, we could not operate without the generosity of the following supporters. BOARD Dumont, Deborah Engel, Susan Fixler, Herbert (Chair) Jarmul, Ruth Kaplan, Herbert Singer, Maureen Stoupas, Tony Sutton, Chavon

ASSOCIATE BOARD Braganza, Debra Mcguire, Mac Montague, Kaitlyn Niles, Nina

Ober, Nick Troy, Laura Waiters, Chitara WIlliams, Josh Zidow, Matt Chadwick, Jerhmie Khan, Maryam

FOUNDATIONS Hyde & Watson Foundation William E. Simon Foundation Sara Chait Memorial Foundation The New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund Inc. Zegar Family Foundation

GOVERMENT & NONPROFIT Councilmember Salamanca

CORPORATE Amazon Smile Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP Baco Enterprises Inc. BBVA Foundation Blue Ribbon Fish Company Box Tops for Education Citarella Coosemans New York, Inc. D’arrigo Bros. Co. of NY Dayton Industries, Inc.

Everest Scaffolding Inc. F & F. Hardware and Supply, Inc. J Margiotta Company Kreinces & Co. CPA’s McKinsey & Company Morgan Stanley Mosner Family Brands Nebraskaland, Inc. Northern Trust Corporation PGA Tour, Inc. West Side Foods Yankee Corp Yankee Wiping Cloth

IN KIND Global Leathers


Adderley, Rena Alfano, Joe Anderson, Peter Anonymous, Anonymous, Appelson, Jessica Aprile, George Asadi, Amir Barriola, Gissel D. & P. Bayly Family Foundation Inc Berman, Noel Black, Lizzie Blank, Edward Bost, Alyssa Bowencamp, Connie Brown, Norman Buchman, Irene Cajigas, Tina Calderon, Cristina Cruz and Siddiqui, Flor and Umair Dakers, Frances Damico, Erin Dasgupta, Esha Davidson, George & Barbara De Los Santos, Leonidas Delrosario, Darlyn DeMarzo, Camille Denney, James Rosenman, Dr. Marty Dumont, Carrie Dupie, Tanya Emery, Richard Fasanelli, Richard Feliz, Mary Figueroa, Patricia Fine, Susan Fixler, Nina Fixler, Laura

Fletcher, Sharilyn Flumenbaum, William Franklin, Allison Froman, Christine Garfein, Karen Glenn, Edward Gould, Bruce Greene, Brenda & Alan Hanley, Vincent Hawes, George Hawes, Elizabeth Hernandez, Jasmin Hiloidhari, Barasha Hirshman, Nora Hittenmark, Elizabeh Houseworth, Elin Houseworth, Nancy Hunsinger, Valarie Hunsinger, Mary Iboshi, Trish Imhof, Andrea Jacobs, Gary Joseph and Katherine Macari Foundation Juliano, Gregory Juliano, Christine Juras, Kenneth Kaplan, James Kaplan, Mara Kell, Deborah Koenig, Georgia Koshiyama, Nancy Kraft, Arnold Lamport Family Foundation Lee, Alexandra Lengyel, Suzanne Leslie, Richard Logan, Kelty Macari, Anne Marie Maginnis, Thomas Maitra, Tara Mangan, Colleen

Mangan, Timothy Marber, Susan Margolis, Marcia and Barry Martin, Liz Mcguire, Patrick McNamara, Patrick McNamara, John McNamara, Gerald McNamara, William McNamara, John Mejia, Kate Mejia, Jack Messing, Ellen Miles, Hannah Montague, Maureen Moor-Jankowski, Bernard Murphy, John & Martha Myers, Corinna Nash, Frank Nesfield, Griffin Nevin, Laurie Niles, Kelty Niles, Nina Nocita, Catherine Ober, Nick Ortiz, Rafael Phillips, Cindy Pott, Judith Powe, Allan Preau, Blaise Pruzansky, Dina Raedle, Dianna Reeves-Fortney, Elizabeth Rodner, Robert Rodriguez, Heriberto Rodriguez, Edgar Rosen, Michelle Rosser, William Rottersman Tepper, Judy Rowe, Rick Saltzman Foundation Inc Sather, Lizzie

Severns, Maya Sordenstein, David Sosa, Celia Soutter, Madora Steadly, David Stout, Valerie Stowe, Beverly Strom, Burton Sturtevant, Thomas Sturtevant, Elizabeth Sturtevant, Peter Sullivan, Ann Swader, John Tenner, Susan Thomas, Dorothy-Dean Thorner, Julie Trowbridge, Stephen Turner, Jacqueline Urena-Rodriguez, Milca Van Veen, Peter van Voorhees, Cliff & Kathi Vecchio, Taylor Velasquez, Francisco Wadden, Jessica Walker, Miguel Weiser, Marjorie Werner, Deborah Wiedenmann, Erik Williams, Josh Wilson, AnnaLee Wilson Win, Heather Wunch, Peter Young, David Zandarski, Grace Zubovic, Vicki



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