A principal who helped found a Baychester public school in 2011 has dedicated himself to attracting new talent to the teaching profession.
Shawn Mangar, the young administrator at Baychester Middle School at John Philip Sousa recently appeared in a subway advertisement for New York City Teaching Fellows, part of an ongoing effort to recruit new qualified teachers to the profession.
NYCTF, which launched Mangar’s career in education, seeks to attract potential teachers who may have had successful careers in other fields and who now looking to give back in a different way.
The advertisements featuring principal Mangar can be found around the mass transit system, and include mention of the fact that he was a legislative aide prior to becoming a teacher and a principal.
He had interned for an elected official and a political organization in Connecticut and Washington D.C., respectively, he said.
Mangar, a Williamsbridge native who grew up near East 233th Street and White Plains Road, endorsed NYCTF, but also supports the idea of getting new teachers with fresh perspectives into the classroom through a variety of different stategies.
“I think that there a lot of good teaching programs, but I think (NYCTF) is…always striving to get better,” he said. “It is very reflective in terms of accepting feedback and always looking to become better every single year.”
In addition to being a NYCTF graduate, Mangar has also served as a mentor for other new teachers, helping to prepare new educators for the classroom, he said.
He got his start at Truman High School in Co-op City in 2004, where he learned a lot from his principal and was successful in having a high percentage of students achieve proficiency on standardized tests.
After a three-year stint as a special education lead teacher at a Brooklyn school and at another in Wisconsin, he said that he began to aspire to be a part of an educational start up.
After a couple of years of planning with others, he became founding principal of BMS, he said, stressing what sets the school apart is its holistic approach to education.
“(Our committee) would meet, plan and think about what would be a great school for students, parents and teachers,” said Mangar about the BMS founding.
Founding the school in the northeast Bronx afforded Mangar the opportunity to come back and work with students from communities near where he grew up.
BMS focuses on collaboration among adults, and providing a safe and secure environment that makes students want to be in school, he said.
The school also features an advisory program at the start of every day where adults ‘check in’ with children before educational instruction occurs, he said.
Shauna Hart, NYCTF program director, stated that the program was excited to feature Mangar in its subway advertisements and celebrate his contributions to excellent teaching. “Shawn, as a special education teacher and founding principal of Baychester Middle School, has dedicated his career to educating the students of the Bronx,” stated Hart. “Shawn represents the diversity of teaching fellows, having become a teacher after working in nonprofit, government and business sectors.”