All posts by Patrick Gillespie

About Patrick Gillespie

Graduate student at the CUNY Graduate School of journalism.

Gillespie Blog

Strengths: I have all the basics up and the top bar is well organized.

Weaknesses: I was blogging a lot at the beginning of the semester, but as assignments piled up, I basically stopped. So the blog looks dormant. I think until I can balance school and blog time, I might be better off with just a portfolio, blog-free site.

http://www.phgillespie.com/

Gillaspie Photo Essay by Patrick Gillespie

Aaron Gillaspie left the bright lights of Big Ten Football to teach in New York three years ago. With two years of teaching experience, Gillaspie became principal of Brilla College Preparatory this fall. Brilla is an independent charter school in Mott Haven, and has 200 kindergarteners and first graders. Gillaspie moved to Mott Haven last year to start Brilla. And he’s only 26 years old.

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Aaron Gillaspie is the 26-year-old principal of Brilla College Preparatory, a new charter school in Mott Haven.

 

Brilla houses 200 students in kindergarten and first grade.

Brilla houses 200 students in kindergarten and first grade.

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Brilla received 500 applications for 200 students last spring. Since the spring, Gillaspie estimates an additional 350 applications have come in.

Ninety-five percent of Brilla students are on a free lunch program.

Ninety-five percent of Brilla students are on a free lunch program.

Gillaspie hired 22 teachers and administrators from a pool of 2,000 applicants.

Gillaspie hired 22 teachers and administrators from a pool of 2,000 applicants.

Students have electives during the day, ranging from karate to dance (above).

Students have electives during the day, ranging from karate to dance (above).

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Gillaspie leads cheers and chants during the lunch period. He even throws out banana peels for his pupils.

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Gillaspie was a fullback for the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team that won the Gator Bowl in 2008 against Clemson.

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Gillaspie recruited Kelsey Kopro to be his director of community and culture at Brilla. She is also 26-years-old. They taught together at the same school in Brooklyn for Teach for America from 2010 to 2012.

Gillaspie stands outside with parents and students most days when school ends.

Gillaspie stands outside with parents and students most days when school ends.

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“This is the best thing that ever happened [to me],” Gillaspie said of opening Brilla.