A Master’s in Beating the Odds for: Kids in the South Bronx.

Andrew Proto teaches at the PS274M-New American Academy, a newly created zoned public school that is based on an innovative curriculum proven to result in greater student achievement in urban settings. Known for recruiting teachers deemed to be “the best of the best,” the New American Academy in the South Bronx has garnered rave reviews from the New York City superintendent despite the community’s economic hardships.


I had left teaching in a private school to work in retail and was anxious to get back to teaching. MCNY’s accelerated Master’s in Education curriculum enabled me to complete the program in a year, get on with my life—and get back in the classroom.

What did MCNY’s Purpose-Centered Education mean to you?

The approach is tied directly to the classroom experience. It allowed me to hit the ground running. When I graduated from MCNY, I was incredibly prepared for the rigors of this academic environment. I felt as if I already had a year of teaching under my belt.

Tell us about your Constructive Action plan. How has it impacted your career?

My Constructive Action (CA) evolved around strengthening family partnerships and working in “whole family environments,” which has impacted my teaching at PS274M greatly. The school uses a unique cohort-teaching model. Five teachers work collaboratively to educate 100 students and we “loop” with them throughout their entire K–Grade 5 education.