NY Times Names Alumnus Lee Gabay a 'New Yorker of the Year'
Lee Gabay (Ph.D. ’14, Urban Education), an educator in Brooklyn, has been named among the “New Yorkers of the Year” by The New York Times.
In a detailed profile, Gabay talks about his transition from self-described “class clown” to beloved English teacher at Brooklyn Democracy Academy, a transfer school for under-credited students whose education had been interrupted.
“I loved to learn, but I hated school, always,” he told the Times. “I think that has inspired what I’ve become, what I wanted to do and the kind of classroom I wanted to create.”
Gabay, who has taught in schools for court-involved youth for over 20 years, has broadened his role to become like an older brother to his students — many of whom have spent time in foster care or in jail.
The profile notes that in addition to riding a motorcycle to school and sitting with students at lunchtime to talk about music, he is “as adamant about nurturing them socially and emotionally as he is about preparing them to take tests.”
“Brownsville has the worst schools in the city, the worst health care, the most homicides, the worst food — there are no Starbucks here — and I want to give them access to all the good things that I was blessed to have,” Mr. Gabay said.
His motto: “Students need to know how much you care before they care how much you know.”
Read the profile.
Submitted on: DEC 27, 2016
Category: Alumni News | General GC News | Urban Education