Rachel Talasko (MA Sociology, 2012)
"During my time at Florida Atlantic University, I was able to explore the intersection of political-economy, race, and education. Guided by these interests, and hoping to explore them further, I joined Teach For America. The program placed me in Hawai'i, where I now live. I spent several years teaching at a low-income elementary school in Kailua-Kona, Hawai'i. My graduate studies at FAU prepared me to serve in several leadership roles, and more importantly, my work in sociology allowed me to understand the institutions that construct the experiences of my students and their families.
I recently earned my MS in Education from Johns Hopkins University. With this degree, I was able to further explore the role of education in low-income, high-need areas. At present, I serve at the Department of Education in the West Hawai'i district. I work with the "Evidence Based Practices" team to ensure the 19 schools in our district are providing inclusive, equitable, and rigorous programs to students. Further, I co-lead a team that aims to bring restorative practices into schools and the criminal justice system in our community.
In the near future, I look forward to serving in a school administration role. With this experience, I will eventually seek a PhD program that allows for a deeper exploration of the traumas caused by Western education systems being imposed on indigenous populations."