Kate Quarfordt is an educator, writer, theater director, artist and mother. Founder and director of the musical theater program at Bronx Preparatory Charter School, Kate encourages young people to engage with the arts as a direct pathway to deep, transformational learning experiences grounded in the powerful stories that connect us all.
As a member of ASCD’s Commission on the Whole Child, Kate has worked to craft and support a nationwide initiative to shift the conversation about education toward a broader definition of achievement and accountability that promotes the development of children who are healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged.
Kate’s formative teaching experience was working with young adult international students in New York City in the weeks directly after 9/11. Tapping into the power of language and creative expression to help her students make meaning from their personal experiences gave Kate a taste of the transformational possibilities of teaching and learning. She continues to explore creativity as a catalyst for potent experiences of learning and healing, both in her work with middle and high school students in the South Bronx as well as in her own artistic life.
Kate holds a double BS in visual art and theater from Northeastern University and an MA in TESOL from Teachers College, Columbia. She is the recipient of the John Fanselow Scholarship Award for outstanding creativity in teaching. Her students have been nationally recognized in speech, oratory, writing and acting; many have received full college scholarships and gone on to major in the performing arts and arts education. The musical theater program at Bronx Prep produces student-directed work and full-length musicals involving hundreds of students, parents, teachers and community members at every level of production.
Kate’s writing can be found at GothamSchools.org Newwork magazine and on ASCD’s Whole Child Education blog. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, daughter, son and dog.