Teacher credits program with rise to head of class
Merica Neufville is busting through learning barriers at Greenburgh's Woodlands Middle School, thanks to a recruiting program.
Neufville was born in Jamaica. Her father died when she was young, leaving her mother to support her and four other children. Teaching has always been Neufville's dream, but she thought finances would keep it out of reach.
That was until Neufville, who is black, enrolled in Today's Students, Tomorrow's Teachers in 1998. The nonprofit organization, whose goal is to place culturally diverse teachers in schools, helped her attend the College of New Rochelle at half the price. Her graduate degree is from Mercy College.
Neufville now uses her experiences to relate to students on their level while sharing her love of math, which she developed at Lincoln High School in Yonkers. And her seventh-graders get it.
"If we cannot connect with the students, if we cannot build a relationship with them, we cannot educate them because they're not listening," says Neufville. "For example, how can I expect to teach a child polynomials if their stomach is growling?"Neufville also mentors high school students in Greenburgh who are also a part of the same nonprofit program.
Today's Students, Tomorrow's Teachers, Inc.